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Meet Our Founder: Alexandra Scott

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

Alexandra Scott at a kitchen table with pitcher of lemonade

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.


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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.

  • Hy-Vee Supermarkets hosts the first Midwest Lemonade Days in Kansas City, MO. Since 2004, the annual event has raised over $1 million for childhood cancer research.

  • 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 is held. Hosted by Chef Marc Vetri, the event raised $50,000 and planted a seed in the culinary community.

  • ALSF reaches the milestone of more than $5 million raised for childhood cancer research. Supporters hold lemonade stands as far away as France.

  • 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.

  • ALSF funds 35 research projects this year, totaling $4.5 million. The Foundation surpasses $25 million raised.

  • 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.

  • The Young Professionals of ALSF (formerly know as the Lemon Society of Philadelphia), the young professional association of ALSF, launches to encourage young adults to get involved.

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

  • 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 the Student Leadership Academy to provide high school juniors and seniors with the tools they need to to become motivated leaders and make a difference in their community.

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

  • MyChildhoodCancer.org, the childhood cancer database project, is created to study the effects of childhood cancer on families.

  • 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 (subsequently renamed Alex’s 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.

  • The second of Enrique Iglesias' North American tour benefits ALSF with $2 from the sale of each ticketed donated to childhood cancer research.

  • 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.

  • Alex’s Table, ALSF’s first celebrity chef cookbook is published.

  • Alex’s Million Mile collectively logged 1 million miles for the first time.