Community of caring: Light for Levi Foundation provides hope, assistance for brain injury treatment


Lining up with the first day of summer, the second Light for Levi Foundation lemonade stand set up shop June 20 in the Village in Zionsville. 

The Light for Levi Foundation was created following the near-fatal drowning of twins Levi and Lainey Chisholm, who were only 22 months old when they experienced a tragic drowning accident Nov. 28, 2020. Lainey made a full recovery, but the accident left Levi with a severe hypoxic brain injury — a brain injury that results when oxygen is unable to get to the brain.

Following the accident, Levi’s parents Meagan and Scott Chisholm turned to their faith and shared their story on social media and with the community in Zionsville. The response was astounding.

“We felt like the community just surrounded us with support and so much support that we wanted to find a way to not only give purpose to our pain but to give back to the community,” Meagan Chisholm said. “So, we created the foundation immediately and the community just supported it. It just has turned into this beautiful nonprofit and a way for us to give back to others in need. It really has given a lot of purpose to a very painful, tragic time in our life.”

The Light for Levi Foundation was officially founded in 2020.

“It started with a golf outing in 2021. It was a huge success,” Chisholm said. “Slowly, as the years are going, we’re growing it. Last summer was the first Light for Levi lemonade stand. We set up in front of Francis+Parke (clothing store on Main Street) and we want to just be present in the community. So, we felt like doing it again and making it an annual tradition. What better day than the first day of summer to kick it off. The money raised will go toward our grant program.”

This year’s event expanded to two lemonade stands, one in front of Francis+Parke, the other at COHatch. Chick-Fil-A in west Carmel donated lemonade and iced tea, and the Zionsville Fire Department brought fire engines for a visit with children at the stand.

The foundation works throughout the year to assist families in need. Light for Levi Foundation awards $3,500 grants to families who have a child 21 and under with a diagnosed brain injury. Applications are submitted through the Light for Levi Foundation website and three applications each month are randomly selected to receive those funds.

“They can live anywhere in the country,” Chisholm said.

The foundation also does the Beacon Bag Program — bags that are filled with treats and necessities that are donated to hospitals.

The foundation grew so quickly in its first few years that it hired a business director, Tammy Wegman, last year. In that role, Wegman coordinates and plans events, works on sponsorships and answers questions, while Chisholm concentrates on her four children and Levi’s care.

 Wegman said the foundation has grown so quickly thanks to the efforts of Levi’s parents, noting that Meagan Chisholm immersed herself with the community via her blog and social media outreach, providing a message of hope and allowing the foundation to spread far beyond Indiana’s borders.

“The Zionsville community and the community really around the country just came together and showered them with love,” Wegman said. “Support with prayer, support with emotion and a lot of financial support, which they needed. It was a whole new way to navigate. So, feeling as they were feeling, they decided that they needed to give that same feeling back to other people. They took the love and some of the financial resources that were showered upon them and used it to build that up.”

Wegman said in addition to the grant program, the foundation donates to organizations that support similar causes when those donations make the most sense, such as for organizations with limited fundraising abilities.

The foundation participates in fundraising events throughout the year.

“Our largest fundraising event is in October — we’ll have our fourth annual golf outing (at Eagle Creek Golf Club),” Wegman said. “On Aug. 9, we’ll be one of the participating charities at the Hickory Hall Polo Club in Whitestown. Our goal is just to continue to grow that and continue to give back.”

Wegman said smaller events like the lemonade stand help to raise funds while letting Levi’s siblings and other children play a role.

“I can just see this really continuing to grow and really just being present in our community,” Chisholm said. “There’s just so much community support rallying around this foundation.”

light for levi siblings
Helping out at the Light for Levi Foundation lemonade stand are Levi’s siblings Lainey, 6, and Connor, 10. (Photo by Marney Simon)


Brain injuries take on multiple forms and can have wide-ranging results on the patient.

Levi’s injury, severe hypoxic brain injury, is the result of the brain being starved of oxygen. Common traumatic brain injuries occur when a sudden, external, physical assault damages the brain.

Megan Chisholm said one thing all brain injuries have in common is that there is no standard.

“I think when someone has a traumatic brain injury, every person’s journey is different and there is no roadmap to it,” Chisholm said. “So, you will have your traditional medical route with neurology and appointments at the hospital. For Levi, there is seizure medicine.”

Chisholm said while there are scientific advances in treating brain injuries, those treatments are also expensive. 

“There is a whole world of newer therapies that are really showing promise, but insurance doesn’t usually pay for that — they just haven’t been around long enough, I think,” Chisholm said. “But there are a lot of really amazing therapies out there that parents are utilizing to help their children, but they’re not paid for by insurance and they’re very expensive. So, that’s where we thought the grant program would really be a blessing to families and can help them on their journey with their child to help improve their quality of life.”

Chisholm added that the foundation hopes to grow over time to assist more people in need. 

“I think we have a good foundation right now with the grant program and the Beacon Bag program,” Chisholm said. “As we can raise more money, we’ll be able to give more grants.”

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