Tormoehlen strong: Kids raise $1,600 for foundation


When life hands you lemons, make lemonade and help others.

Maybe that’s not exactly how the phrase goes, but it certainly applied to what Bryce and Kinley Tormoehlen did Friday outside All Phase Electric Supply, 1003 W. Brown St, in Seymour.

The siblings were each dealt lemons when they were diagnosed with cancer. Bryce, 5, was 4 when he was diagnosed with leukemia, and Kinley, 3, was 11 months old when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Bryce was diagnosed with his cancer just eight days after Kinley finished treatment.

They heroically battled the disease, and each are in remission even though Bryce still takes treatments. The siblings, however, wanted to help other kids who are going through the same thing.

So they opened up a lemonade stand for a few hours Friday and raised $1,624.24 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, exceeding their goal of $500.

The Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based organization funds research, raises awareness and supports families impacted by childhood cancer. The organization is named for Alex Scott, who died in 2004 at the age of eight.

She set up the stand during her own battle in 2000 to give money to doctors to find a cure for cancer. Her parents, Liz and Jay, formed the foundation in 2005.

Customers continuously stopped by the stand outside the business and each were greeted by Bryce and Kinley. The two were selling yellow or pink lemonade and would ask customers what they preferred before filling cups with ice and filling it to the top.

Katie Tormoehlen, the children’s mother, said Bryce approached her and asked if they could do something to give back to the community that had helped them so much through their battle. As she thought of ways to help, her thoughts went to the foundation, which gave the family a fuel card to help them cover gas expenses driving to and from Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

“It is something that is so simple, but made such an impact,” she said.

Knowing her son wanted to give back and help other children who are battling cancer was a moment of pride for their parents.

“It was very touching and we were proud of him,” Katie said, adding her children have been thankful for their local community who has helped them. “Our community has done so much for us and have been so supportive, so it’s great to help others, too.”

There was another little boy the family grew close to at the hospital because he was diagnosed with the same cancer as Bryce.

“His just came back two months ago, so I think that’s what got him thinking about it,” their father, Shane, said.

There was another fact that bothered the family. Through the foundation, they learned that only 4% of research is for pediatric.

Research can have an impact, and the Tormoehlens realized that when Bryce’s treatment changed two months ago and adjusted to less chemotherapy. He was having to have IV chemotherapy every month, but now it has been changed to every other month.

That’s because research was done that showed that method and combination gives a better success rate, Shane said.

“In my eyes, the research benefits all the kids,” he said.

That’s another reason the four decided to do genetic testing to see if there were any consistencies of why both children had cancer, even though the cancers are not related.

“We wanted to know why, but there is no link that they know of,” Katie said. The family went to Riley Hospital for Children and worked with a research firm, which took blood tests for research. “We hope that helps another family somehow.”

Seeing such little done in research despite some minor breakthroughs is frustrating, Shane said.

“That’s a problem and if we can help, then that’s what we wanted to do,” he said. “This has touched our lives like it has touched so many, and our kids understand what it’s like to, so we want to see more done. We also want to help people who are going through the same thing.”

So the family received a small wooden stand from relatives and obtained all the supplies needed to make lemonade.

Bryce and Kinley each helped make about seven gallons to get started. Bryce preferred the yellow lemonade while Kinley, who wore a dress featuring lemons, favored the pink.

“I like lemonade,” Bryce said shortly after the sale ended. “I like that they (the foundation) helps kids that are sick. I’ve had fun today.”

Shane said it meant so much to see so many people come together to support the family through their battle. He said it meant just as much to see people show up to buy lemonade.

“It’s amazing to see so many people come who you don’t know and help,” he said. “To know people will help other kids means a lot.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”On the Web” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

If you didn’t make it to the lemonade stand, you can donate online at


No posts to display