by Trish Adkins, Web Content Writer for ALSF and Hero Mom

This is my first Thanksgiving working at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. 

When I asked my co-workers to share the things they were thankful for, I was floored by their amazing, heartfelt responses. So many of us at ALSF have a personal experience with childhood cancer—we are mothers, fathers and siblings of children who have battled. More of us have a close personal history with adult cancer. Some of our colleagues are survivors who battled adult cancers and know very personally the toll it takes on your body. There are also many ALSF staffers and volunteers who have no direct connection to cancer. These individuals made a choice to join the fight, inspired by our founder Alex Scott and all the childhood cancer heroes. 

Fighting childhood cancer takes an army. 

I am thankful for all these amazing people who have dedicated their lives to finding cures for all children. My daughter Lily battled childhood cancer. She was 14 months old when she was diagnosed with ependymoma, a brain tumor. Lily is now 9 years old and cancer-free. Her health is one of our biggest gifts—but cancer and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation have given us so many more gifts. 

None of us can change the past diagnosis, but all of us soldier on together— doing our part to fight all these horrific diseases and carrying on the amazing legacy of Alex Scott. Alex’s dream is a world where childhood cancer treatments worked—a world where sick kids get better.  On the days when this work seems too much, I think of Alex, who raised $1 million while fighting neuroblastoma.  I think of Alex saying she could do it, if everyone helped. Alex’s legacy teaches each of us that nothing is insurmountable when we all work together. 

Alex Scott gave us all the gift of empowerment and the gift of each other. Her dream created a place where lemons are always lemonade and a place where cures will be funded, found and delivered to the children who are so desperately waiting. 

At ALSF, we all work together. From staff to volunteers to hero ambassadors to SuperSibs to stand hosts to corporate sponsors to bloggers to the media to donors to the person who always clicks “like” on a Facebook post—each of us work together to save lives, find cures and grow hope. 

I am thankful for the lemonade that flows from pitchers and cups and hearts and minds all over the world in honor of the little lemonade girl with a dream. I am thankful for my incredible co-workers. I am thankful for the health of my daughter Lily and her two SuperSibs, Chloe and Nicholas, who all count Alex as their hero and role model.

Each of us at ALSF share in this gratitude for a little girl who changed the world, one cup at time. 

Enough of me, here’s what my other heroes—the children who have fought this disease, their amazing SuperSibs, parents and of course, the incredible ALSF staff are thankful this Thanksgiving.  But before I go: I am thankful to each of you. If you are reading this, it is because you, too, have shared in that lemonade magic. Thank you for your donations, your time, your energy and for believing in Alex’s legacy.

From our Heroes, their families, SuperSibs and the ALSF staff:

"Our family is thankful for organizations like Alex's Lemonade Stand who continue to raise money for research, awareness and hope for cancer families.”
"I am thankful for Slim Jims and roast beef."
"Our family is thankful for second chances." 
"I am thankful for a break from treatment for the holidays."
"I am thankful for all those that volunteer / help in any way to make our children’s lives a little bit brighter."
"I am thankful that the cancer family community is so full of hope."
"I'm thankful my survivor gets to grow up!"
"I am thankful for Mommy and Daddy!"
"I am thankful for HoHo and trash trucks and Papa. "
"I am thankful for the Tooth Fairy!"
"We are thankful for our family and friends and all the support we get from them."
"I am thankful for my life and that I get to be a big sister." 
"I am thankful for my dog, my sister, my home, my brother and my whole family."
"We are thankful for higher mountains to climb!"
"I am thankful for my crazy brothers and sisters."
"I am thankful to be alive."
"I am thankful for everything." 
"I am thankful for medicine."
"I am thankful for family."
"I am thankful to be healthy enough to enjoy Disney World."
"I’m thankful for the opportunity to spread childhood cancer awareness and get people involved with ALSF in my new city, Boston. "
"I am most thankful for my 4 wonderful children who make me smile everyday and that I get to work and live with my best friend, my husband Jay."
“I am thankful for the opportunity to keep my son’s memory alive through my work with ALSF, while helping other children and families who are affected by childhood cancer.”
"I am thankful for all of our amazing hero families who continue to inspire and motivate me to work hard every day."
"I am thankful for my supportive team here at Alex’s who pushes me to be better everyday."
"I am thankful for a clean bill of health, great family and friends, and the privilege to work at an organization that I am proud to be a part of!"  
"I am thankful for laughter."
"Grateful to have such a close relationship with my teenage daughter!"
"I am thankful to work with families."
"I am thankful for the opportunity to live out my dream by working for ALSF; to help kids fight cancer every day!"

Thank you, and happy Thanksgiving!

December 1 is officially #GivingTuesday. For Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation it is also #LemonadeTuesday! Join ALSF for a special Twitter party to learn more about our mission, raise awareness of childhood cancer, the need for research and of course, celebrate the hope we are building one cup at a time!

On #LemonadeTuesday, we will unveil our new special Giving Gift Shop with great alternative holiday gifts for everyone on your list! Please help us spread the word about gifting hours of childhood cancer research—a meaningful gift that will help us get closer to cures for all children, one hour at a time. 

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children; however your support will change that fact and makes cures a reality. We have some special guests at the #LemonadeTuesday Twitter Party, including:

  • Bailee Madison (@BaileeMadison), actress and youth spokesperson for ALSF
  • Jay Scott (@LemonadeJay), Alex's Dad
  • Lily Adkins (@WorldRecordCup), childhood cancer hero and holder of the world record for the biggest cup of lemonade
  • Hero Families
  • Childhood Cancer Researchers and ALSF grantees, and of course:
  • YOU! 

Join the party for a chance to win some great prizes (like our 2015 Holiday Ornament!), spread the word and help us make #LemonadeTuesday one of the most exciting days on Twitter!

Here are the details:

When: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 1-2pmEST
Where: @AlexsLemonade
Hashtag: #LemonadeTuesday
No RSVP required, just follow along with #LemonadeTuesday
Spread the word and share this tweet: Join @AlexsLemonade for the #GivingTuesday and #LemonadeTuesday Twitter Party on 12/1, 1-2pm EST

See you at the party! 

In October, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation hosted its third annual Young Investigators Summit, generously sponsored by Northwestern Mutual.  Nearly 50 young scientists who have received ALSF grants attended, shared research, networked and collaborated. This two-day summit is one of the ways ALSF helps spur advances toward cures. These young scientists each presented their research, heard presentations from established researchers and were inspired by the story of a childhood cancer hero. The end of the conference resulted in many new professional connections, inspiration and dedication to cutting edge research for all types of childhood cancers.

We know the way we will find cures for all children is through comprehensive, innovative, creative and long-term scientific research. We also know that we will fund that research with the help of our supporters, one cup at time!  Understanding the highly specialized and technical details of childhood cancer research can be a challenge for the non-scientist. We compiled a list of five things you need to know about childhood cancer research and our dedication to find cures, one cup at a time.

  1. Childhood cancer is fundamentally different than adult cancers.  There are dozens of different types of childhood cancer, each requiring their own unique research projects. Childhood cancer is not one disease, but several. It is also not adult cancer in little bodies. Targeted, specific research into all types of childhood cancer is needed to find less harmful treatments and cures.  
  2. Attracting and retaining bright, young researchers is critical to the future of childhood cancer research. This is why our Early Career Research grants program is so critical. Pediatric oncology research and breakthroughs can take years of dedicated research. By funding young researchers, early in their careers, we can attract the best minds ot the field, engage them in promising studies and ensure consistent, long-term projects that result in real breakthroughs.
  3. Innovation is critical to researching and attacking childhood cancer. The most innovative research projects do not always receive funding by the National Institutes of Health, but they can be critical and sometimes, the closest to cures.  Dr. Matthias Gromeier’s innovative research on using the poliovirus to kill cancer cells in patients with glioma was initially began in 1996 and was funded by ALSF in 2006. Now, Dr. Gromeier’s work is showing amazing results for patients battling glioblastoma.   
  4. Researching quality care, long-term outcomes and survivor success is important too. Nursing care grants allow frontline nurses to research quality of care and quality of life outcomes for their patients. Psychosocial research reveals the long term side effects of childhood cancer and treatment, giving caregivers a better understanding of the long-term needs of survivors.
  5. The cost of childhood cancer research is high; but every donation, no matter how big or how small adds up to weeks and months and years of research.  For $50, you can fund an hour of research; $400 funds an entire day; and $2,000 funds a week. Together, we are funding research and we will have cures, one hypothesis at a time.

What has 19 superstar chefs, inspiring food and speakers, the hostess with the most-est Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, amazing auction items, spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and hope by the plateful?

Lemon: NYC, of course!

Lemon: NYC is New York City’s premier culinary event benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. In its third year, Lemon:NYC brings together foodies, superstar chefs, sublime culinary creations and hope for children battling cancer into one spectacular evening.

Whether you are a foodie veteran or someone just out for a fabulous night for a great cause, Lemon:NYC has it all. Our host Chef Alex Guarnaschelli of New York’s Butter Restaurant and the Food Network has put together a beautiful and delicious evening guaranteed to wow your palate and fill your spirit with hope for cures for children battling cancer. This year’s event is a super social, interactive evening. Instead of sitting down for a formal meal, take a culinary tour with chefs from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans. Check out the full list of guest chefs here

In addition to incredible food and drinks, there are both silent and live auction items up for bid, including the chance to score a Private Cooking Class with Geoffrey Zakaria in his Iron Chef Food Studio.

Special honorees for Lemon: NYC are Anabelle and Daniel Bean, a dynamic sister and brother duo who have hosted five lemonade stands for ALSF in Manhattan, raising over $10,000 for childhood cancer research. Anabelle was just 7 and Daniel, 3, when they hosted their first lemonade stand in Manhattan. Anabelle and her mother, Dina, read about Alex’s story in a food magazine and the rest is lemonade history!

Lemon: NYC is made possible by our generous sponsors including Toys”R”Us as the 2015 Presenting Sponsor. Other sponsors include: 

Executive Chef Sponsors 

  • Northwestern Mutual-Park Avenue
  • Volvo

Chef Sponsor

  • Inspira Marketing Group
  • Camila Pastor and Stephen Maharam

Sous Chef Sponsor

  • Laurel Durst & Edward Strong
  • Billy, Melanie, Natane & Reggie King
  • Margie & Bryan Weingarten

This year’s Lemon: NYC will be held on Tuesday, October 27 on the 43rd floor of 225 Liberty Street in Manhattan. Grab your tickets today! Hurry space is limited and you don’t want to miss this opportunity for inspiring evening.

​Monsters are scary, but childhood cancer is scarier. Maximize your Halloween fun by sharing treats and raising awareness of the need for childhood cancer research. During the month of October, over 20,000 children (nearly 700 a day!) will be affected by an initial or recurrent diagnosis of childhood cancer. Together, we can change this scary fact and work together towards cures.

Here are five great ways to have some Halloween fun while supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  This October, forget the tricks and let’s treat childhood cancer!

  1. Decorate! Forget pumpkins! This year make a crop of Jack-o-lanterns out of lemons. Grab a Sharpie and decorate a bowl of lemons with adorable (and spooky!) Jack-o-Lantern faces. Cover a grapevine wreath with fake lemons (decorated with fun faces) and some Halloween ribbon (or maybe some ALSF Lemon Laces).
  2. Dress Up! Need a great costume? Dress up like a giant lemon or grab some great accessories from our gift shop. Try on our signature bandana to add some ALSF flair to your pirate costume or grab a few pairs of our brand-new childhood cancer crazy socks to spice up your costume (whether you are a clown or an athlete or something else fabulous!).
  3. Celebrate! Add some lemon flair to your Halloween celebration. Switch out the apples and bob for lemons. Celebrate with a Scary Lemon Face contest. Kids and adults take turns placing sour lemon slices in their mouth and making their scariest, sour lemon face.
  4. Lemon-tastic Treats! Stock up on lemonade Mike & Ikes from the ALSF gift shop and hand out to trick or treaters with a one of our printables about ALSF.  Or grab a pack of our ALSF wristbands to pass out instead of candy.
  5. Host a Trick or Treat Lemonade Stand! On Halloween night transform your front yard into a lemonade stand. Decorate with lemon Jack-o-Lanterns, pass out lemon candy and serve lemonade! Announce your special Trick or Treat stand in advance of Halloween, so everyone remembers to bring their donation to your stand.

This October, let’s give childhood cancer the scare. Wishing you a fun, month of making lemons into lemonade (and Jack-o-Lanterns!). 

We made it and have crossed the Alex’s Million Mile finish line for 2015! Thank you for helping us raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. Our #Journey2aMillion was an amazing, shared experienced that helped us run, walk and ride miles closer to cures.  We officially traveled 963,966 miles in September and raised more than $600,000, which will fund over 250 weeks of research!

September, which is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, has brought us cups and cups of inspiration. 

We kicked it off with our First Mile—when we logged over 10,000 miles simultaneously.  Mid-month, we asked you to donate and help us max-out the generous Volvo 25-hour match and you did—donating more than $25,000 in a day.

Teams all around the world took on the journey, like team Miles for Kees, Take 2, who went the distance in memory of Kees Poole. Kees passed away at 14 months old from ATRT (Childhood Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor), a very-rare, fast-growing tumor of the brain and spinal cord.  Miles for Kees, Take 2 traveled nearly 3,000 miles in September with the hope that other families will have access to more treatment options and cures for rare cancers like ATRT. Team Proclaimers 3 took inspiration from the song “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more,” to raise over $8,000 and go almost 5,000 miles in September.  In total, more than 1,000 teams made up of over 7,000 individuals walked, ran and rode their way closer to a cure! 

Some of the powerful inspiration came from the stories of our Gold Ribbons Reps--the heroes we walk, run and serve lemonade for every day.  Maeve Smart, an osteosarcoma survivor, inspired us with her willingness to stand up and walk again following a leg amputation. Madeline Hull, an ependymoma survivor, inspired us with her continued good health and her drive to help other children. We heard from Mateo, who is currently battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Mateo is nicknamed “The Beast” and reminded us that childhood cancer does not have define someone.

You all went the distance for children and families who have traveled thousands and thousands of miles for cancer treatment. Want more inspiration? Please share and watch our Alex's Million Mile and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Thank You video, below. Thank you for getting us closer to cures, one mile and one cup at time. 




***Update: Congratulations to our sweepstakes winner, Matt Jones of The Proclaimers 3!***


Attention, Alex's Million Mile participants - get ready for an exciting chance to win a trip to Philadelphia for The Lemon Ball!

For every $100 a participant raises for Alex's Million Mile before midnight on September 30, he or she will receive one entry in our Night at the Lemon Ball Sweepstakes. At the close of the event, we'll draw a random winner from among all the sweepstakes entries. One lucky winner and a friend will receive round-trip airfare to Philadelphia, a night's stay at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and two tickets to The Lemon Ball, ALSF's "yellow tie" gala on January 16, 2016. This is a fabulous opportunity for a lucky winner to attend one of ALSF's most fun, inspirational and glamorous events.

How to enter: As a participant in Alex's Million Mile, you can fundraise or donate to your Alex's Million Mile page or ask people donate on your behalf. For every $100 in donations that appears on your fundraising page, credited to you individually, as of September 30, you will receive one entry in the sweepstakes and be automatically entered to win. For example, if you have received $250 in donations as of September 30, you would receive two sweepstakes entries. If you have received $300 in donations, you would receive three sweepstakes entries. Please note that matching funds from Volvo will not count toward your sweepstakes entries.

Here's the fine print: read about Night at the Lemon Ball Sweepstakes eligibility, prizes and rules. For questions, contact Chris Evans at [email protected] or (610) 649-3034.

Read more about The Lemon Ball!


Updated 9/25/2015 at 2pm: We did it! Thanks to your generosity we maxed out the $25,000 Volvo match! Thank you for your support - $25,000 is enough to fund approximately 500 hours of childhood cancer research!

Ready, set, donate! During the next 25 hours, Volvo will match all Alex's Million Mile donations up to $25,000. You can donate to any Alex's Million Mile team

Share the graphic below on social media and get the donations rolling in! Thank you for joining us on the #Journey2aMillion



Dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis can be one of the most devastating and frightening experiences for a family to face.  Every day, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation works to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to raise funds for a cure for all types of childhood cancer. 


We've compiled Five Childhood Cancer Facts You Need to Know (and Share!). Please take the time to read these facts and share with everyone you know! Each September we work to raise awareness of childhood cancer. Knowing and sharing  the facts about this complicated set of diseases helps raise awareness of the need for more research and helps us journey closer to cures for all childhood cancer, one cup at a time! 


1. Every day there are almost 700 new cases of childhood cancer around the world, equivalent to an entire elementary school of children.  This adds up to over 250,000 new cases of cancer in children under the age of 20. 


2. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children in the United States. Every day 250 children around the world die from cancer. Each year, 91,250 children lose their life to cancer. Long term survival rates continue to increase, but not fast enough to save the thousands of children who will succumb to their disease today. 


3. Childhood cancer is not one disease, but several. Childhood cancer is made up of over a dozen different types and countless subtypes. Cancer in children can begin in the brain, bones, blood, kidneys or the lymphatic system. The causes of most types of childhood cancer are not known and are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors, unlike many adult cancers. Our Gold Ribbon Reps represent many of the different types of childhood cancer. 


4. Surviving childhood cancer brings its own set of complications.  Two-thirds of all childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment.  Advancements in treatment have increased survival rates; however the treatment can lead to late term effects including chronic health conditions, struggles with learning and cognitive impairment.


5. There is hope. While childhood cancer is consistently underfunded at the government level, your support of research projects for all types of childhood cancer is bringing us closer to cures than ever before. There are children alive today that would not be—because of our supporters' dedication to finding cures for all children, one cup at a time.


In addition to these five childhood cancer facts, we also have an infographic you can share on social media and at fundraising events! Download it here. 

What’s gets you pumped when you are running, walking or riding during Alex’s Million Mile? We asked the ALSF staff and Hero Ambassadors for their favorite songs to help them power through their #Journey2aMillion. Below is what they shared. What's on your  #Journey2aMillion Playlist? 

  1. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out (Bruce Springsteen)
  2. Lively Up Yourself (Bob Marley)
  3. Reggae Got Soul (Toots and the Maytals)
  4. Hey Ya! (OutKast)
  5. Elastic Heart (Sia)
  6. Eminem (Not Afraid)
  7. I’ve Got Soul But I’m Not a Soldier (The Killers)
  8. Lunatic Fringe (Red Rider)
  9. Baby I’m a Star (Prince)
  10. Bang Bang (Jessie J & Ariana Grande)
  11. Runaway Baby (Bruno Mars)
  12. Uptown Funk (Mark Runson Ft. Bruno Mars)
  13. Diana (One Direction)
  14. Best Song Ever (One Direction)
  15. The Fighter (Gym Class Heroes)
  16. Just Lose It (Eminem)
  17. Let’s Get Loud (Jennifer Lopez) 
  18. Fire Woman (The Cult)
  19. Story of My Life (One Direction)
  20. Back in Black by AC/DC
  21. Evenflow (Pearl Jam)
  22. Stronger (Kanye West)
  23. Ready or Not (Fugees)
  24. Don’t Stop the Party (Pitbull)
  25. For Those About to Rock (AC/DC)
  26. Closer (Tegan and Sara)
  27. This Means War (Avenged Sevenfold)
  28. Sister Havana (Urge Overkill)
  29. You’re So Vain (Carly Simon)
  30. Welcome to the Jungle (Guns ’n Roses)
  31. Sandstorm (Darude)
  32. Blow Me One Last Kiss (P!nk)
  33. Armageddon It (Def Leppard)
  34. Phenomenon (LL Cool J)
  35. I Bet My Life (Imagine Dragons)
  36. Alive (Pearl Jam)
  37. The Fixer (Pearl Jam)
  38. Lean On (Major Razer and DJ Snake)
  39. The Fall (Imagine Dragons)
  40. Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)
  41. Uma Thurman (Fall Out Boy)
  42. September (Earth Wind and Fire)
  43. Stomp (The Brothers Johnson)
  44. All Day (Kanye West)
  45. Zero (Smashing Pumpkins)
  46. Fight Song (Rachel Platten)
  47. Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus)
  48. Where R U Now? (Skrillex & Diplo)
  49. What Do You Mean (Justin Bieber)
  50. One More Night (Maroon 5)

Looking for more inspiration? Read the stories of our Gold Ribbon Reps! Each of these childhood cancer heroes represent a different type of cancer. Donate to or join their Alex's Million Mile teams!


Wondering what Alex's Million Mile and the #Journey2aMillion is all about? Head over to the Alex’s Million Mile dashboard to sign up to help us collectively go 1 Million Miles this September, for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Each step gets us closer to a cure, one mile at a time!


Already a member of an Alex’s Million Mile team? Make sure to log your miles! For more details on mile logging click here.