Kids have been setting up lemonade stands for generations. Lemonade Stand was even one my favorite (and one of the first) computer games I played on the classroom Macintosh in 2nd grade. The lemonade stand is as American as apple pie, baseball and helping those in need. And that is exactly what Alex Scott was doing when she started her namesake, Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma around her first birthday. She endured countless treatments and just after her fourth birthday and a stem cell transplant, she decided to hold a lemonade stand to raise money for doctors to “help other kids like they helped me (https://www.alexslemonade.org/about/meet-alex).”
By 2004, 7 years after her diagnosis. Alex’s lemonade stands had raised more than 1 million dollars towards childhood cancer research. Alex died at the age of 8, but her legacy was firmly planted in pitchers of lemony goodness.
The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has grown exponentially since Alex’s death. To date, the foundation has provided $127 million dollars to pediatric cancer research. This has funded 652 researcher’s work to help find better treatments for pediatric cancers. Given that 5% of all cancer research funding from the government sector is allocated toward pediatric cancer research, the work that ALSF does in the non- profit sector to support research is monumental.
In addition to supporting pediatric cancer research, ALSF also offers some special patient and family support, and education programs to families coping with pediatric cancer. One such program is the “SuperSibs” program. Recognizing the challenges siblings of cancer patients face, ALSF developed this program to be inclusive of the needs of siblings of cancer patients. This free program offers age specified activities and resources quarterly to siblings, as well as highlight achievement and life experiences of the siblings.
ALSF also offers the Travel for Care grant. This grant provides up to $2000 to qualified families for travel related expenses associated with pediatric cancer treatment. Specialized pediatric oncology care isn’t available in everyone’s hometown. The Travel for Care grant assists families to access treatments that are not available locally, including clinical trials. For more information about this program, visit the ALSF website or talk to your social worker to assist in applying for the grant on your family’s behalf.
Alex Scott knew the benefits of giving back at the ripe old age of 7. She is an inspiring figure who has made a lasting impact on pediatric cancer care long after her pre-mature death. Her legacy seems to know no bounds. It is a gift to her family, friends, community and the world. Thanks to Alex and ALSF for supporting kids and families coping with childhood cancers.