About ALSF

You are here

Meet Our Founder: Alexandra Scott

Our founder Alexandra “Alex” Scott gave us our mission:
to find cures for all children battling cancer.

It all started with one front yard lemonade stand.

When she was just four-years-old, Alex held her first childhood cancer fundraiser in her front yard and raised over $2,000. By the time of her death in 2004, Alex raised $1 million and inspired a legacy of hope and cures for childhood cancer. 

Alexandra “Alex” Scott was born to Liz and Jay Scott in Manchester, Connecticut on January 18, 1996, the second of four children. Shortly before her first birthday, Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer.

On her first birthday, the doctors informed Alex’s parents that if she beat her cancer it was doubtful that she would ever walk again. Just two weeks later, Alex slightly moved her leg at her parents’ request to kick. This was the first indication of who she would turn out to be — a determined, courageous, confident and inspiring child with big dreams and big accomplishments.

By her second birthday, Alex was crawling and able to stand up with leg braces. She worked hard to gain strength and to learn how to walk. She appeared to be beating the odds, until the shattering discovery within the next year that her tumors had started growing again. In 2000, the day after her fourth birthday, Alex received a stem cell transplant. She told her mother, “When I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand.” She wanted to give the money to doctors to allow them to “help other kids, like they helped me.” True to her word, she held her first lemonade stand later that year with the help of her older brother and raised an amazing $2,000 for “her hospital.”

While bravely battling her own cancer, Alex and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands in their front yard to benefit childhood cancer research. News spread of the remarkable sick child dedicated to helping other sick children. People from all over the world, moved by her story, held their own lemonade stands and donated the proceeds to Alex and her cause. 

In August of 2004, Alex passed away at the age of eight, knowing that, with the help of others, she had raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for the disease that took her life. Alex’s family — including brothers Patrick, Eddie and Joey — and supporters around the world are committed to continuing her inspiring legacy through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Find all the resources you need for a school biography project about Alex!


Sign Up for the ALSF Newsletter

Learn about research, read Foundation stories, and find out how to get involved

Our History

  • Alexandra "Alex" Scott, future founder of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, is born in Connecticut to parents Liz & Jay Scott. She is the second of four children.

  • Just days before her first birthday, Alex is diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.

  • 4-year-old Alex announces she wants to hold a lemonade stand to help her hospital! With the help of her older brother, Alex raised an amazing $2,000 for her hospital.

  • Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand, a children's book telling Alex's story, is published. It was written by Alex's parents, Liz and Jay Scott, and illustrated by Alex's aunt Pam Howard.

  • Alex announces she is going to raise $1 million to help all children battling childhood cancer.

  • Alex's story attracts national attention and she appears on the Oprah Winfrey show and the Today show.

  • Tragically, Alex Scott passes away at the age of 8. That same summer, she reaches her $1 million goal with the help of people across the country inspired by her courage and selflessness.

  • On Alex's 9th birthday, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer is officially established, dedicated to funding and finding cures for all children battling cancer.

  • The owners of thoroughbred racehorse Afleet Alex invite Alex's parents to set up a lemonade stand at the Kentucky Derby. A few weeks later, Afleet Alex goes on to win the Preakness Stakes despite a dramatic stumble, bringing more attention to Alex's story.

  • The first Lemonade Days weekend is held asking supporters from all over the country (and the world) to hold lemonade stands and support childhood cancer research.

  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Alex's hospital) names its oncology day hospital the "Alex Scott Day Hospital."

  • The first Great Chefs Event Philadelphia is held. Hosted by Chef Marc Vetri, the event raised $50,000 and planted a seed in the culinary community. Since then, ALSF has also established chef events in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

  • ALSF reaches the milestone of more than $5 million raised for childhood cancer research.

  • The first Annual Lemon Ball is held in Philadelphia, celebrating Alex's legacy and raising more funds for a cure.

  • CBS 3 and The CW Philly host the first annual Alex Scott: A Stand for Hope Phone Bank — an all-day telethon devoted to raising funds and awareness of the need for childhood cancer research.

  • The Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Travel Fund is launched providing travel, lodging and food support to families traveling for treatment. In 2016, we expanded the reach of this program to include all U.S. institutions treating childhood cancer patients and renamed it Travel For Care.

  • ALSF hosts the first Lemon Run, a family-fun 5K in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.

  • ALSF receives a 4-star rating, their highest rating available, from Charity Navigator.

  • 10 years after Alex Scott's original front yard lemonade stand, ALSF awards $5 million in childhood cancer research grants to 26 institutions and universities in 17 states, totaling 34 new grants.

  • ALSF starts Team Lemon, a charity race program supporting Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

  • With funding from ALSF, researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia test a new treatment for children with a specific cancer-causing gene. For several of the children in the trial, including Edie Gilger of Virginia, their cancer disappeared. Best of all, the new treatment is a pill instead of IV chemotherapy with fewer side effects and impact on healthy tissue.

  • ALSF reaches the $80 million fundraising mark—surpassing Alex’s original goal by $79 million.

  • 10th Anniversary of Alex’s "Original" Lemonade Stand at Penn Wynne Elementary School in Wynnewood, PA raises nearly $100,000 in one day.

  • The Million Mile asks supporters to raise awareness by cumulatively logging 1 million miles and raising $1 million for childhood cancer research during the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

  • 60 Minutes reports on a project which ALSF helped make possible. Using a form of the polio vaccine, doctors at Duke University were able to completely eliminate brain cancer in some of their patients.

  • At age 11, Maya Rigler raises $250,000 for childhood cancer research. A two-time cancer survivor, Maya sets records as an individual fundraiser and is honored at The Tenth Annual Lemon Ball as Stand Host of the Year.

  • The Million Mile collectively logged 1 million miles for the first time.

  • Northwestern Mutual's float in the annual Rose Parade highlights their commitment to the fight against childhood cancer.

  • Lemonade Days expands to a week-long event, giving supporters even more time to host stands for kids with cancer.

     

  • ALSF's Childhood Cancer Data Lab (CCDL) officially opens. It is the first informatics lab of its kind dedicated to childhood cancer with a focus on harnessing the power of big data to accelerate the path to cures.

  • Charity Navigator names ALSF as one of the "10 Best Medical Research Organizations" in the US.

  • ALSF raises over $25 million, surpassing $150 million raised and nearly 1,000 projects funded since its inception.

  • The inaugural Lemon Climb Houston is held at Chase Tower, the tallest building in Texas. Nearly 700 dedicated supporters come out to climb.

  • The Crazy 8 Initiative launches with the goal of detailing roadmaps for cures for specific, hard-to-treat childhood cancers. Researchers from across the world collaborate at this initial meeting to brainstorm how to tackle eight different pediatric cancer topics in the years ahead.

  • The CCDL launches its online data repository, refine.bio, in beta. Researchers across the globe can download publicly available childhood cancer data for free that is translated into one universal format.

  • The Lemon Run celebrates its 10th anniversary. In 2019, ALSF rebranded the event as the End Childhood Cancer Walk/Run. 

  • Lemonade Days celebrates its 15th anniversary with almost 2,500 stands and events held across the country.