Man Sells $1,000 Drink to Pay for Medical Bills

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- As the saying goes: "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade." A Lakewood man is approaching his life that way and hoping his entrepreneurial spirit brings him some sweet success.

Tobin Northrup, 43, has set up a "Cool-Aid" stand in front of his parents' house in Lakewood.

On Sunday, he was selling a peach-mango drink for $1,000 a cup. But, he was offering buy one, get one free. Northrup knows getting a customer to buy that first cup--at that price--is the trick.

Northrup said his "Cool-Aid" is cool and refreshing. The emphasis is on the "aid" part, because that is what he needs. He has had to be hospitalized three times recently. 

"I had three bouts of pancreatitis. Turns out, I had gall stones, so they removed my gall bladder. Now, they say I might have kidney stones," Northrup said.

He has been a bartender for 15 years, but since he's been sick, he hasn't been able to work much. With no health insurance, the medical bills have been piling up. 

"If I sold 19 'Cool-Aids,' that would probably cover maybe about half," Northrup said.

Tish Close had just finished the Rite Aid Marathon and would have liked a cool drink, but she didn't get one.  

"I think it's a little pricey, certainly. But I mean, it's worth a shot, you know, if you got to make some money," she said.

"It keeps me going, gives me hope," Northrup said as he waited for that one customer who would just might pay the $1,000 price.