January 18th is Alex Scott's birthday. To commemorate the occasion, below is the transcipt of a speech Liz Scott, Alex's mom, gave at the 2015 L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade event. We believe it captures the spirit of Alex and why we fight everyday to find a cure.
It is such an honor to be here with you and have your support. I am in awe every day to see how the foundation has grown and the impact we are all having…
Our three boys started school this week, and while I was anxious for them – hoping that they like their new teachers and worrying about my son who is now driving to school - I couldn’t help but reflect on what Alex would be doing now. She would be a 19-year-old woman, maybe on her way to college to study her second year of fashion design or music performance. I hate to admit it’s hard to imagine her as she would be. 19 is so different from the 8-year-old girl I remember. So, instead of trying to imagine her as she would be today, I decided to take a look back to remind myself of the person she was in her life. I looked through some photos and old writings I had done and came across the eulogy that Jay and I had written for her. It made me laugh, cry and remember the things I miss the most about her. It is those unique qualities that only a parent would know that I think of when I am missing Alex the most. In fact, those qualities are what made her the person she was – she was more than a hero with a lemonade stand, she was a little girl just like any other little girl, with her own plans, dreams, and personality.
It reminded me that every few years I like to dust it off and share it with others, to remind us all that Alex was more than her lemonade stand-
This is the Alex we knew and loved:
From the beginning, Alex did things her way – she came into the world in a hurry 19 ½ years ago, arriving more than a month before her due date. The doctor told us she would likely be underweight and have to stay at the hospital for a few extra days – well, she weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 oz and left the hospital with us 24 hours later. Looking back, I think we should have known right then that there was something special about our girl….
• Alex was bright and smart. She had a vast knowledge of medical terms and kept close track of her medications. She always knew the names and dosages of her medications, as many as 6-8 pills at a time. Believe me when I tell you she always checked on us. She often surprised us by knowing unusual facts… For example, she seldom came across a word that she did not know the meaning of, I can recall one time when she was quick to offer an accurate explanation to her older brother Patrick of what a ficus plant is . She also was a great problem solver and would sometimes chime in with a solution to a tricky math or word problem; and
• Alex was protective. So much so that she earned herself the nickname “mother”. Her watching over of all of us was most often accompanied by loads of advice, phrased in an adorable way “I really don’t think I would do that if I were you…” or “Do you think that is such a great idea?” or, my personal favorite, “ I’ve told you a million times not to do that!”
• Alex was determined. When her younger brother Joey was born someone sent us a baby swing. Jay was trying to put the swing together and got very frustrated because there were no directions included. He left the room and said “I give up, I can’t put this thing together” When he returned to the room some time later he found Alex, with the swing put together. She said “I just need a screwdriver to tighten the screws.” She said “you should never give up, it’s never good to give up”
• Alex was funny. One of her aunts was visiting shortly before Alex died and we were trying to pick a movie to watch. Her aunt recommended a movie but then quickly said, “actually I don’t think it is a good idea”. When Alex asked her “why” she said, “Well, it is kind of depressing.” Alex immediately turned to look at her and said “trust me, I can handle depressing.”
• Alex was confident. She believed she could do anything; even it was a physical challenge for her or an obstacle to overcome. She often said that if she could just get an audition for American Idol, she could definitely make it into the top 10. She was also confident that she was capable of defending herself and others against any dangers, after all, she would say, “I know karate.”
• Alex was courageous. Despite often struggling with pain, fatigue, and other side effects, Alex rarely complained. As a matter of fact, when over hearing me answer questions about how she was feeling she would usually chime in and say – “tell them I am fine. I am fine.” She showed this courage everyday, insisting that she was fine, always telling us not to worry about her.
• Alex was wise. Jay once gave her the suggestion that she might want to try walking with the help of crutches because it might allow her get around faster. Without hesitation she said “ haven’t you ever heard the story of the tortoise and the hare?” When he paused to think, she looked him in the eye and said with a smirk on her face “slow and steady wins the race.”
• Alex was thoughtful and kind. I will always remember the last Mothers’ Day that she was with us, when she secretly bought me earrings, with the help of my mother. When I woke up on Mother’s day, there she was at my bedside with a huge smile on her face and the earrings in her hand.
• Alex was a girl with plans –– she was looking forward to showing her baby brother Joey some of her favorite places to visit when he got older; she was looking forward to attending the first day of school alongside her big brother Patrick when she felt better. She planned on learning how to swim, cross stitch, and walk again.
• Alex was a girl with dreams – She wanted to be a world traveler and she dreamed of going to the Grand Canyon with the family and to Paris with me. She dreamed of attending college but living in an apartment so she could have as many pets as she wanted; she promised her brother Eddie that, even though she wouldn’t let him live with her when they grew up as he suggested, he could visit as much as he wanted as long as he called first); She wanted to marry her prince charming and have a family, she even put her plans of becoming an astronaut on hold because she thought she would miss her kids too much on her long trips to outer space; She even dreamed of a cure for childhood cancer.
• And certainly, Alex was an inspiration – Her bravery and composure throughout her life inspired all of us to be stronger, better people. Her efforts to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer while she fought so terribly against her own cancer inspired all of us to help her cause. Her love of life inspired all of us to love our lives.
So many times we have heard people say that Alex lost her battle with cancer. We believe that this could not be farther from the truth.
Alex won her battle in so many ways … by facing her cancer everyday but still managing to be a kid; by not letting cancer take away her plans and dreams, by making the most of every day; and …of course by leaving an incredible legacy of hope for a cure for others and empowering everyday kids and their families to share her dream. She was a hero for sure, but she was also just a little girl. A little girl that we love and miss every day.
And sadly, we are not alone. Every single day approximately 150 kids in the world die from cancer . All of these kids are heroic and amazing and they too have unique qualities that are hard to describe, just like the kids in your lives, things we love about them and things that can drive us insane, they have great moments, they have bad moments, and typical childhood fears, hopes and dreams. It is wonderful that they are heroic and strong, but in my opinion it would be far better if they didn’t have to be.. and they could just be kids. That is why Alex started her stand, that is why we continue and that is why we are here tonight. Thank you all for being here and investing in cures for all kids.