MOULTRIE -- Willie J. Williams Middle School students are buying Lemon-Aide by the case and are donating the lot to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Lemon-Aide the doll, a movement born in Moultrie last year, was designed and is being marketed by friends and cancer survivors Sharon Herndon and Lesa Moser. All proceeds from the sale of the cloth clown doll go to fighting cancer.

Eighth graders at Willie J. Williams have raised money to buy the dolls in honor of their friend and classmate, Jeffery Madison, 13. Jeffery has been battling leukemia, and it appears to now be in remission, teacher Ken Wimberly said. Jeffery wasn't in class Friday. He's back in the hospital building up his blood count after a virus, Wimberly said.

So far, the students have purchased one case and have raised enough money so far for another half. They've sent the first case off just in time for the holidays.

"I don't know how these children feel who go through this, but I know that they're probably lonely without anything, " said Ashley Carr, 13. "I just kind of feel sorry for them, because they have to go through this. Some of them are really young. They're just babies, and I just feel like helping them out. I felt good when I did this. I had a good feeling inside me."

Eric Nahkivell, 13, thinks the doll can take the place of a "real close friend," he said.

And that's the idea behind Lemon-Aide. The doll is supposed to represent empathy from others for the pain of cancer and the ordeal of treatment and is meant to be signed and passed from one patient to another.

Fourteen-year-old Ronald Huckaby said the features of the doll stand for experiences cancer patients typically encounter during treatment. The socks represent when patients' feet get cold, a tear on the doll's cheek for compassion, hearts for love, a hat for when they lose their hair and the legacy cape means that others truly understand what they're going through. The name "Lemon-Aide" itself has a dual meaning of being a ready helper and the taste of lemons often is one of the few flavors cancer patients can find palatable.

Huckaby said that people in the community were more than willing to donate money to send the dolls to Egleston, and the effort will continue.

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