Making lemonade out of lemons

Ambulance team sweetens girl's day

Kyleigh O'Brien poses with MU Health Care employees at her lemonade stand.
Kyleigh O'Brien, 11, poses with MU Health Care employees Meghan McGee, RN, Christy McCloud, EMT, and Katelyn Sickels, EMT, outside her home in Columbia on June 29.

Janet O’Brien, RN, a nurse at MU’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital shares this picture of her daughter, Kyleigh, 11, with EMTs at her “Making Lemonade Out of Life’s Lemons” stand to raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation.

Ambulance crew members Christy McCloud, paramedic, Meghan McGee, RN, and Katelyn Sickels, EMT, were driving in Columbia on June 29 when they saw the stand and stopped. Inspired by Kyleigh’s reason for selling lemonade, they generously donated more than Kyleigh’s posted price of 50 cents.

As a child with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Kyleigh strives to raise awareness of the disease and the importance of a positive attitude when living with a chronic condition. She launched a website,, where she shares her story.

Janet said she is thankful for the crew dropping by and donating.

“My daughter was so thrilled,” Janet said. “It was truly the Culture of YES exemplified in the community. I work in the ER often, but do not personally know these three great ladies. It was truly just an act of great service and goodwill to a young girl.”