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8-year-old raises money for mental health awareness with lemonade stand after dad dies by suicide

Kyleigh Brunette
Posted at 7:44 PM, Jul 13, 2022

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Kyleigh Brunette is your typical eight-year-old girl. She enjoys sports, playing with her siblings, and loves her family. But what you might not know is that at just six years old, her world came to a halt after her dad, 32-year-old Jordon Wakefield, died by suicide.

"I miss him every day," said Kyleigh.

It wasn't until a couple of months ago that Kyleigh learned what actually happened from her mom. That conversation inspired Kyleigh to set up a lemonade stand right down the street from her house the week of her dad's birthday, July 9.

"We wanted to raise the money in honor of my dad so that no other kid would have to go through losing a parent," said Kyleigh.

"After everything she's been through, to come out on top and to use it to push her and drive her further. That's just, it's amazing," said Kyleigh's mom, Brittany Brunette-Thimmesch.

Kyleigh Brunette
Kyleigh Brunette, left.
Kyleigh Brunette
Kyleigh Brunette

In total, Kyleigh ended up raising $800 for mental health awareness. On Wednesday, she took her initiative a step further by driving to the Mental Health America organization in Sheboygan to surprise the non-profit with a donation.

"I am so proud of her. She is the most incredible, most incredible eight-year-old I could've ever asked for," said Brittany.

Kyleigh says while her dad may not be here, she knows he's smiling down and watching her.

"I miss my dad a lot and I can't wait to see him again soon," said Kyleigh.

And she's continuing to inspire others along the way.

This story was originally published by TMJ4 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.