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Making a Difference: ‘Gabby’s Lemonade’ helps a local cancer center

When a four-year-old girl discovered her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, she didn't hesitate in helping her. (WJAC)

BROOKVILLE -- When a four-year-old girl discovered her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, she didn't hesitate in helping her. In fact, not only did she make a difference her life, but she continues to do so for many others as well.

It started with a small lemonade stand that barely holds a jug filled with the popular summer drink.

Gabby McLaughlin, 8, is doing much more than just offering a refreshment.

She's giving back to her community.

It was back in 2013 when a then 4-year-old gabby wanted to help her grandmother, nicknamed “Goo-Goo,” who was diagnosed with cancer.

"I took my mom to the treatments. So she was over there at the cancer center, so really had a life lesson. She saw people struggling," said Jill McLaughlin, Gabby’s mother.

"So she set up a lemonade stand that year at her mother's yard sale that year. Sold lemonade and took donations," said Randy Mumford, Gabby’s “Poppy.”

That first year, "Gabby’s Lemonade" raised $75.

"We were happy with that. At first, she maybe thought she was going to use that money to go to Disney World. But she decided she would use it for a good cause," said McLaughlin.

That good cause was the Cancer Center at Clarion Hospital. This is where her grandmother was receiving treatment. Sadly, she passed away the following year.

"It was a very difficult time," said Mumford.

Gabby's grandfather was overwhelmed by Gabby’s determination to continue to help others.

"I was proud of it, and I think 'Goo-Goo' would've been proud, too," said Mumford.

In four years, Gabby raised over $12,000 and donated it all to cancer patients and their families.

"It makes me happy because I’m giving money to people who need it," said Gabby.

For her commitment to her community, Gabby was given a local Jefferson Award.

As for the future of "Gabby’s Lemonade," her family says they're not entirely sure. But they do hope it serves as a lesson for all of us.

"Well, you're never too young to care, and every little bit helps," said Mumford.

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