Ally has more pals than she thought.
Ally Hennessey, an eight-year-old Saline girl who lives with an inoperable brain tumor slowly diminishing her eyesight, held a lemonade sale Saturday.
The Hennessey family held the lemonade sale on the same day as the Wildwood subdivision garage sales. The Hennesseys hoped to raise about $400 to help research childhood cancer.
When it was over Ally, her sister Lily and their family and friends raised more than $4,000. And the Hennessey family, still fairly new to Saline, made a lot of new friends.
"The response was more than we ever thought possible," said Ed Hennessey. "This community came together in support of our daughter and childhood cancer and we are forever grateful."
The Hennesseys were also grateful for the opportunity to speak to so many visitors about Alex's Lemonade Stand and childhood cancer.
"Childhood cancer research is terribly underfunded," said Shannon Hennessey, Ally's mom.
Many websites back her claim.
"So it's up to groups like Alex's Lemonade Stand and the ChadTough Foundation to raise funds to donate for research," she said.
Alex's Lemonade Stand was founded by the late Alexandra Scott. In 2000, at the age of four, she decided to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to find a cure for all children with cancer. Alex passed away in 2004 but her hope lived on. So far, foundation has raised more than $120 million and has funded 550 research projects.
When Aly was two, doctors diagnosed her with an optic pathway glioma. It's an inoperable brain tumor that is diminishing her eyesight. She's been receiving chemotherapy since she was three years old.
The Hennessey's were also happy to meet so many of their neighbors in Saline. Fire Chief Craig Hoeft and a crew of firefighters stopped by to visit Aly. Saline Police officers also stopped by for a visit and lemonade. Other visitors included teachers, principals and Congressman Tim Walberg.
It was an eye-opening experience for the Hennessey family, who moved to Saline from Illinois less than years ago.
"It's pretty amazing the way this community comes together," Ed Hennessey said.
To learn more, follow the Aly's Pals group on Facebook. People can also donate at Ally's "virtual" lemonade stand.