Lemonade & love: Young Tea resident helps to raise funds for her brother’s Leukemia treatment



A sibling bond can be one that is stronger than any other. This is just the case for local Tea, South Dakota siblings Josie (9 years old) and Levi (17 months old) Baartman. The two siblings haven’t been able to spend much time together lately as Levi has been spending a lot of time in the hospital. Levi is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments to fight his Leukemia.

Levi has been receiving treatments since April 30th. During each round of treatments Levi must stay at the hospital. Each round of chemotherapy lasts between 25 to 31 days. After each round Levi gets to come home for a few days in between each round of treatment. Levi is not only fighting Leukemia; he also has Down Syndrome. Having Down Syndrome increases a child’s chances of having Leukemia. Levi has been monitored since birth and this past February was diagnosed with Leukemia.

Even though the Baartmans have a tough road ahead as Levi has only completed two out of his six rounds of treatments, his big sister Josie wanted to do something special for Levi while he was home this past weekend between rounds of chemotherapy.

Josie had received a lemonade stand type gift and this is where she got the idea to set up a stand for her brother. With her parents Adam and Michelle’s help, Josie came up with the plan to host a lemonade stand to help raise money for her little brother.

On Sunday local residents of Tea were able to stop by and make donations towards helping Levi in his battle against Leukemia. Everyone that stopped by had the chance to enjoy some homemade lemonade, cookies and ice pops as well. Those in attendance were also able to paint rocks. The rocks will be taken to the hospital where they will be put in the rock garden for all the patients to see.

What was simply a gift turned into a great idea and a way for a big sister to help her little brother. While these two siblings might not see as much of each other as they used to, one thing is for sure, Levi definitely has an amazing big sister who loves him and will do anything she can to help him.