Ellie Estes wanted to celebrate her seventh birthday in a nontraditional way. She planned a drive-by and virtual lemonade stand to raise money for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
Ellie, who has idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, hoped her community would support her fundraiser to help find a cure for pulmonary hypertension (PH).
News of the fundraiser spread quickly through the Rockwall, Texas, area. Supporters drove to the Estes home, donating hundreds of dollars for a glass of lemonade and bottle of water. More people donated online. Ellie raised more than $7,800, and donations are still coming in.
“We were absolutely blown away by the generous community of support surrounding Ellie,” says Ellie’s mom Amy.
For the family, Ellie’s seventh birthday was something to celebrate, not just because of the community’s generosity.
When Ellie was diagnosed was IPAH, her parents didn’t know whether she would start kindergarten. Today, she thrives at school, making new friends and getting ready to start second grade.
Amy hopes the fundraiser will support research that can reduce the severity of Ellie’s symptoms and slow her disease progression. Ideally, new treatment would prevent an eventual lung transplant, which would “start the clock on her life expectancy.”
In the meantime, Ellie faces her medical challenges bravely with her stuffed monkey toy Jules by her side, a smile on her face and a big dose of positivity and joy to all she meets, Amy says.
Every year, about 40 events taking place to raise much-needed funds to support the PH community. Some events are hosted by PHA, and others are hosted by members of the community, like Ellie’s lemonade stand.
Interested in hosting a virtual fundraiser? Contact us.