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!