North Mankato family raises money to give back to children’s hospital

The Saidler family has hosted their lemonade stand fundraiser for nine years.
North Mankato family raises money to give back to children’s hospital
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - When life gave him lemons, Owen Saidler made lemonade. The annual lemonade stand fundraiser has been the Saidler family’s way of giving back to the UMN Masonic Children’s Hospital for the continuous amount of care they’ve received during Owen’s life-saving heart surgeries.

“I remember that there was this- I think it’s child family life- they would come in with toys and stuff to distract the kids, give out toys and stuff. And I want to help the kids,” 13-year-old Owen Saidler said.

Owen was born with only 3 chambers in his heart, and he will eventually need a heart transplant.

“We knew that he was going to have to have multiple surgeries after he was born. One in 100 babies are born with heart defects, and his is even more rare than that. It’s like, I don’t know, one in 20,000 with his specific defect,” mother Nicole Saidler said.

According to Owen’s mom, Nicole Saidler, Owen has had about seven surgeries at the children’s hospital. To give back to the hospital for helping and distracting the family during the difficult procedures, the Saidler family has hosted their lemonade fundraiser for nine years.

“The very first year that we did it, it was just like a spur of the moment. Like, ‘hey, we should do this. We live on a busy street.’ I think we raised just over $200 and we were just blown away,” Saidler said.

Last year, the Saidler lemonade stand raised more than $2,800. This year, Owen’s goal is $3,000.

“All the stuff, all the money that we get, it goes to the children’s hospital,” Owen said.

“I think about things that I have to go through that are just minor, and I’m like, ‘man, Owen’s gone to heart surgery. I cannot be such a baby.’ He’s gone through much harder things, and he’s been just a champ through everything,” Saidler said.

To donate and help Owen reach his $3,000 goal, go to the UMN crowdfund website.

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