By Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On Sunday Aug. 29, young Alberta entrepreneurs served up cool glasses of lemonade for a good cause, raising funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

For Kisti-Lee German and her family, the day was personal.

After spending months in this hospital with her micro-preemie, German found out about Lemonade Stand Day and knew she had to give back to hospital that supported her family for months during the toughest days of their lives.

“We owe the Stollery so much,” German said through tears.

“They’re such amazing people. We will do everything and anything we can to help other families that will be there.”

German’s daughters six-year-old Kaydia-lee, three-year-old Beck-lyn, and now-seven-month-old Nayvi-raine, raised more than $1,000 dollars for the hospital after the youngest was born at 26 weeks old and spent 84 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, which is run by the Stollery.

The family had just moved to St. Albert from Medicine Hat on Dec. 28 and by Jan. 4 German’s water broke when her baby was only 22 weeks and four days old. The mom was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, a hospital she had never heard of before, in a city she wasn’t familiar with, having to leave her two oldest kiddos behind with their dad.

What followed was weeks of fear, uncertainty, and anguish as German stayed on bed rest at the hospital, trying to extend her pregnancy for as long as possible to keep her youngest daughter safe, all the while already grieving a child whom she wasn’t sure would survive.

At 26 weeks, young Nayvi-raine couldn’t wait any longer and charged into the world at a tiny one pound and 11 ounces — small enough to fit inside a Ziploc sandwich bag.

“The whole time she was in the NICU I had it in my mind that she was never going to come home just because I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” German said.

This item is reprinted with permission from the St. Albert, AB, St. Albert Gazette. For the complete article, click HERE

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