CAMERON PARK (CBS13) — A Cameron Park father got an unexpected diagnosis and now his six kids are trying to raise $50,000 dollars for treatment by selling lemonade!

“When they say the word cancer, it just sucks the air out of your lungs,” said Jen Vanderstoep.

Back in July, Craig Vanderstoep felt a lump in his throat. But wasn’t until his wife noticed that he took action.

“Jen could see my neck and she said, ‘Oh my gosh, Craig!” he said. “’Get out right now and go to the hospital.’”

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After weeks of doctors’ visits, Craig had a lymph node removed and got the diagnosis on August 13: stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

It was devastating deja vu for Craig. His mother Janice was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was just a child. She died when he was in high school.

“I learned to drive taking her to the hospital in Seattle and back,” Craig recounted. “It’s not the experience I want for them.”

But the six Vanderstoep children decided they wanted to step up and help out. Noah, 12, Silas, 10, Maela, 9, Noami, 7, Owen, 4, and Cade, 18 months, started selling lemonade afterschool to raise money for Craig’s treatment.

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“Take a break come get some lemonade and cookies,” sang Silas Vanderstoep, to his own melody. “Stop right now and get your fresh lemonade and cookies. Help our dad fight cancer please!”

“My first thought was about how I could help and what I could do,” said Noah Vanderstoep.

“They broke the lemon peeler,” Craig laughed.

Craig and Jen chose alternative treatment in Mexico, not covered by insurance.

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“We wanted the 30-year good prognosis, not just 5,” Jen said.

But they need to raise $50,000 dollars in just three weeks. A goal they’re determined to reach with a laughter, love and a lot of lemonade.

“We’ll fight and make sure we have a daddy here.”

The kids have already raised $9,000 in just 2 days. And Friday, the kids will host a fundraising dinner at 5pm at Bertelsen Park in El Dorado Hills. Those interested in attending can learn more about the event on Facebook.