9-year-old with juvenile arthritis selling lemonade to raise money for a cure

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"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And what that means is when something bad happens - make the best out of it," said Lilli Gentry.

At just 9 years old, Lilli Gentry is taking that saying to heart. She is mixing up a summer favorite and raising money for a good cause.

"All this money's donating to juvenile arthritis," she said. It is a cause that's near and dear to her own heart.

"There's more than 300,000 kids that have arthritis. It's not just old people that have it, it's kids, too," she said.

Kids, just like Lilli. She was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis more than a year ago.

"In January 2018 she started experiencing pain in her foot," said Julie Gentry, her mother. "And she couldn't put any pressure on her foot, she couldn't walk."

"I couldn't do gym, dancing, I couldn't do a lot of things - and I couldn't go out for recess," she said. "I had to just stay in an office for all recess."

"It was so scary because she couldn't put any weight on her foot," her mother said.

Scary also, because they didn't know what was wrong. It took several doctors and a couple of months to get a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis.

"There are thousands of kids - 10,000 in Michigan alone - that suffer from arthritis," said Bill Wenzel with The Arthritis Foundation. "That's more than who suffer from cystic fibrosis and juvenile diabetes combined - so it's a big problem."

The Arthritis Foundation is the organization Lilli is raising money for, and so far she's given more than $300 in donations from her lemonade stand outside the Gina Agosta Salon on Grand River in Novi.

"It's just so heartwarming. You heart these heartbreaking stories but it's heartwarming when we know there's kids out there like that that are doing something to make a difference," Wenzel said.

"I wish nobody could have it but since they do I want to raise money so they don't have to suffer as much," Lilli said.

You can support Lilli outside the Gina Agosta Salon, 39831 Grand River Ave. Novi, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.