When life gives you lemons, raise funds for charity

Original article from Gordon Preece from Nelson Weekly – view article here

Picture caption: Marie Dickson, left, Ally Hossain and Barney Hossain toast to his fourth lemonade stand for Cancer Society at the Maitai Shared Pathway on Saturday. Photo: Gordon Preece.

Barney Hossain has added a modern flavour to the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
The eight-year-old Nelsonian has had a fizzing relationship with his former Eden Preschool teacher and current babysitter, Marie Dickson, since he was two. After receiving the news last year that Marie had been diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided to come to her lemon-aid, by turning his summer lemonade stand idea into a charity case.

“She’s very special… I decided to do a lemonade stand and after I heard she got cancer, I decided to use it [to raise funds for Cancer Society],” he says.

Barney says after establishing his stand just before Christmas and making lemonade at his Atawhai house using water, sugar, and donated lemons, including from Marie, he set up his stall at Trafalgar Skatepark, Nelson Cathedral and Cable Bay Beach. He says he also sold popsicles and lolly bags alongside the beverages.

“Almost 200 people [have bought lemonade], they loved it, and they kept coming back for more,” he says.
Barney’s mother, Ally, says her son has so far raised $651.80. She says Barney will continue selling his wares in the coming weeks at other Nelson hotspots, including the Maitai Shared Path-way over Waitangi weekend, before donating the money to Cancer Society Nelson Tasman.

“A thank you to everyone that’s supported us so far, we’re really proud of Barney,” she says. “Barney also has an idea that over the wintertime turn it into a hot chocolate stand and continue raising funds for Cancer Society.” Marie, who now teaches at Richmond Preschool, says she was diagnosed in June last year.

“I had my first mammogram at 45 in September [2022], and there was nothing there, and then in June [2023] I felt a lump, and I went to my doctor straight away and she sent me off for a second mammogram, and two weeks later it was picked up,” she says.

“I then went straight for an ultrasound and then a biopsy, and then it started from there basically, and I found out after that it was BRCA1.

“I’ve gone and done 16 rounds of chemo, still managed to work through that at a preschool, and now I’m off for surgery [this week] for a double mastectomy and reconstruction.”

Marie says Barney’s initiative, and his support since the diagnosis, had been “amazing”, and their relationship had strengthened.

“He’s an incredible young fella… he’s always asking how things are going and how I’m feeling, it’s pretty amazing, the support I get from an eight-year-old,” she says.