Lemons for Lungevity

Daughters set to hold fundraiser for lung cancer research

Two sisters have made their summer bucket list to include running a lemonade stand to raise money for lung cancer research.

Isabella and Greta Nerstad, ages 7 and 4 respectively, are holding Lemonade For LUNGevity [Foundation] Lemonade and Dance Party from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 12, at the pool parking lot, 10102 Longford Drive in the Wexford neighborhood off Northshore Drive near Farragut.

“We’re trying to get a lot of people to our lemonade stand so doctors can get more medicine and get medicine to LUNGevity,” Isabella said.

The fundraiser came about after the girls’ mother, Amanda Nerstad, 39, was diagnosed in October 2016 with Stage IV non-small cell non-smoker’s lung cancer, which is called ALK positive.

“It’s a genetic mutation,” Amanda, who grew up in Village Green, said. “Traditional chemo doesn’t really help mine, so I take a daily targeted pill, which is like a chemo pill that I take twice a day that keeps everything stable.

“Eventually my body will become resistant to my pill, so then I will have to go to the next generation pill and there are only so many generation pills out there; but lung cancer is the least funded cancer division because of the smoking stigma it carries.

“We’re just trying to keep our kids to stay positive,” Amanda added. “We rely on our faith a lot and count our blessings. This summer we decided to make a summer bucket list. We’re having fun checking the activities off our list.”

Along with family hiking day, family movie night and camping in the back yard, Isabella came up with the idea to have the lemonade stand with a dance party for children to enjoy.

“The songs are going to be [from] Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake,” Isabella said.

“It’s her playlist for her songs,” Amanda said. “They just want it to be a fun dance and lemonade stand.

“Isabella is the one who said, ‘What if it goes toward lung cancer?’” Amanda added. “We’ve been involved with the LUNGevity Foundation since being diagnosed, and they helped with a sign and they sent wrist bands for kids. The girls had to approve everything [on the sign].”

LUNGevity Foundation is a nonprofit lung cancer-focused organization that focuses on research, education and support.

“It is very active in the lung cancer community,” Gary Nerstad, Amanda’s husband, said. “They do wonderful things and they help promote and support fundraisers like we’re having. They are just very active in conferences, lobbying, raising awareness and raising research money for lung cancer across the board, and we’re in a specific segment with that ALK.”

“We are trying to create some awareness a little bit and end that stigma that lung cancer is a smoking disease,” Amanda said. “Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer, so the girls wanted to do this [event] and we are really proud of them.”

“I think it’s really important we get our story out there,” Gary said.

For more information or directions to the party, e-mail the Nerstads at amand12827@aol.com