Lemonade for Fellowship

Alexis BennettBrooklyn and Alexis Bennett

Having a rare genetic disease can be difficult, especially for a young child.  Alexis Bennett was diagnosed with galactosemia when she was born eleven years ago.

The disease, which only affects one in every 60,000, is caused by a missing enzyme in her liver that normally breaks down a sugar called galactose.  Without the enzyme, that sugar builds in the body and becomes toxic, causing severe damage to the kidneys, liver, intellectual disabilities and more.

Although the disease doesn’t have a cure, it does have a treatment, which involves a very strict diet.  Those with the disease must avoid all milk, cheese and legumes to limit the intake of galactose.

Being it’s such a rare disease, Alexis has never had a chance to meet others with it, except for only one who was only two years old.  “She feels very alone,” Leigh Anne Bennett, Alexis’ mother said.

Alexis and her sister, Brooklyn, however, came up with an idea to help.  As their parents are having a yard sale this weekend at 512 Hickory Road, the girls decided to open a lemonade stand stocked with lemonade, water, and cookies to help fund a trip to Atlanta, GA, this July for the Galactosemia Conference.

The conference brings together many doctors, scientists, and especially families with those suffering with the disease, to discuss new breakthroughs in treatments and have fellowship with others.  Alexis is hoping greatly to go so she could talk to others her age with the disease and make new friends.

The girls will be opening their lemonade stand again tomorrow morning at 10am.  They also have a GoFundMe page here for those who would like to donate.

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