‘I hope I make it’: 7-year-old Alabama girl selling lemonade to fund her brain surgeries


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Savage’s Bakery in Alabama is now serving a new kind of lemonade, a special concoction customers won’t find on their regular menu.

Liza Scott, the 7-year-old daughter of owner Elizabeth Scott, has set up a lemonade stand inside the bakery in Homewood. Because when life gave her lemons … she made lemonade.

For her customers, it’s a cool, thirst-quenching treat. But for Liza, it’s a sign of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity because the proceeds from each glass of lemonade will help fund Liza’s upcoming brain surgeries.

“She has three cerebral malformations,” Elizabeth said. “One is what they call a schizencephaly. So it’s a cleft in the frontal lobe in the right side of her brain, and we think that’s what’s causing the seizures.”

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, schizencephaly is “an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits, or clefts, in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.”

It was less than a month ago that Liza began having grand mal seizures, which cause unconsciousness and violent muscle contractions.

Weeks later, doctors learned this “spunky, loving, fearless, bright, happy girl” has an “extra special brain.”

“In most every instance of these rare malformations doctors only see one malformation — in Liza’s case she has 3,” Elizabeth wrote on Liza’s Mightycause page.

Next week, Liza and her mother will fly to Boston Children’s Hospital for the first of a series of surgeries.

“I can’t handle it. So, I hope I make it,” Liza said. “My mom keeps saying I’m going to, but I feel like I’m not.”

Elizabeth says she’s still processing this reality and is leaning on her faith to stay strong.

“You know, in the moments that I feel like I can’t breathe, or I’m awake in the night and I can’t sleep, I pray,” Elizabeth said. “I’m on my hands and knees, literally, praying.”

Elizabeth purchased additional insurance to help pay for Liza’s brain surgeries. But with travel and hotel costs heaped on top of medical expenses, the family is already nearing $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.

“As a single mom and the financial supporter of both of my children, this is not something you can budget for,” Elizabeth said.

So in addition to selling lemonade, the Scotts are also seeking donations. As of Thursday afternoon, they had reached more than $22,000 toward their $25,000 goal.

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