Story by Ty Stumpf

My son, Jude, is surrounded by cancer. His grandfather, whom he never met, died at the age of 46 from cancer. His grandmother suffered with breast cancer. His mother is BRCA 1 positive, which means that she has the “cancer gene” and is at a huge elevated risk of getting cancer in her lifetime.

10299170_10154524107895171_3868197863065596430_nJude, who’s 5 years old, surrounds himself with all things Star Wars. Over his bed is a life-sized Yoda, glowing lightsaber in hand, ready for battle.

Jude and Cora, our 3-year-old daughter, take one of Yoda’s sayings to heart, “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?” So, when Jude said he wanted to try to have a lemonade stand, we asked what he would do with the money. He said, “I could get a new Star Wars toy. But I should probably give it to people who need it. I should help people with cancer.” Jude’s Lemonade Stand was born.

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?”

Jude is surrounded by good people from our community. We have always known that. We are lucky to live in town where good people are everywhere, from his teachers, to our dentist, to our veterinarian, to our church family, to Facebook friends far and near, and so on. We announced via Facebook that we’d have Jude’s stand working for two hours and invited friends to drop by. A few out-of-town friends asked us to set up a virtual lemonade stand so that they could contribute, so we did. Our original goal was $50.

Within the span of two days online and two hours of serving lemonade, Jude and Cora have raised more than $1,500, and it’s not over yet. We are excited, overwhelmed, and thankful for the support that so many have shown to our little Jedis as they learn a lesson so easily forgotten by all of us—it is community that matters. Cancer is frightening. Being little can be overwhelming. But, size matters not. Especially when so many care so deeply and give so freely.

Jude’s virtual lemonade stand will be open a bit longer (you can visit it here). If you’d like to join this community, we’d love you have you. The lemonade and cookies are good, and the company can’t be beat.