(WMC-TV) - Two sisters built a big empire to support their baby
brother and other kids like him. They did not do it by starting a
lemonade stand or holding a bake sale -- but by going straight to the top.
They took their presentation to the corporate level.
When 4-year-old Ingram Dismuke is not singing, he is building.
"I'm making the biggest tower," he said as he played
with building blocks.
They call him Ingram the Conqueror.
"Ingram was only two when we named him that and the only
thing he liked to do was build towers," said his father, Craig Dismuke.
"And as soon as he got it built, he would knock it over."
Ingram lives in Germantown with his parents, Craig and Ashley
Dismuke and sisters, Madison and Lindsey. They are big sisters who
love their baby brother.
Ingram started having headaches last March. In April, an MRI
revealed a tumor the size of an egg in the back of his head.
"That was the first question from Madison, 'Is he going to
die?' I told her, I said, 'Honestly, I don't know,'" said Ashley Dismuke.
Desperate to do something to help their baby brother, the sisters
focused on raising funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital where Ingram
"So I sat down with them one night and talked about the
economics of lemonade stands versus visiting with businesses," said Craig.
Craig, chief economist at Memphis investment firm Vining Sparks,
taught his girls how to make presentations.
They went on their own into board rooms in Memphis, Texas, and as
far away as Virginia.
"They would have to call, set up the meetings and then we
would go. I would drop them off," said Craig. "I wanted
people to recognize this is genuine from two little girls, who know a lot about
St. Jude and care very much about their little brother."
Madison and Lindsey put their professional presentation on DVD,
courtesy of Dean Film and Video, who fell in love with Ingram the Conqueror.
Ashley kept a widely read Team Ingram blog about the girls' fund
raising and Ingram's 34 rounds of radiation, then chemo, and transfusions.
The Germantown Football League took up Ingram's cause as parents
donated to St. Jude for tackles, yards gained, and points scored.
There were Ingram bracelets, T-shirts, even stationary.
Ingram appeared in the "Hey St. Jude" video and took center stage with
other St. Jude kids on the TODAY Show.
It all added up.
"I thought we would end up getting about $3,000. Instead, we
went way over our goal," said Lindsey.
Madison and Lindsey raised over $100,000 each.
Their running grand total adds up to nearly a quarter million
dollars for St. Jude.
Best of all, Ingram's three month check up a couple weeks ago
shows he is all clear of cancer.