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Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation funds breakthrough childhood cancer research. Join us and donate today.

Twelve years ago, in 2005, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation gave its first grant to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As we continue Alex's legacy, ALSF continues to raise funds for cutting-edge research, moving the world closer and closer to cures and more effective, less toxic treatments for childhood cancer. 

Recently, we introduced you to future pediatric oncology nurse Taylor, who is alive today because of a breakthrough treatment funded by ALSF. Treatment after treatment failed Taylor, until she met Dr. Nabil Ahmed who gave her an immunology treatment that finally stopped the osteosarcoma that Taylor had battled since she was 11-years-old. Today, Taylor is 20 and in nursing school. 

This year, we hope to introduce you to more children and young adults thriving because of the breakthrough treatments they’ve received which were funded in part by ALSF. And here’s how we hope to get there, continuing Alex's legacy, one cup and one research grant at a time. 

1. Commitment to Cutting-Edge Research
In 2016, ALSF granted 121 multi-year research grants (meaning we’ve funded over 690 grants since 2005!). As we move into 2017, ALSF will continue to rally behind the scientific community, review grants for all types of childhood cancer and award the best and brightest scientists with funding that will potentially lead to breakthroughs.  Our Scientific Advisory Board thoughtfully reviews every project to ensure we fund the most promising research conducted by top scientists. From funding young researchers and helping nurses study quality of life issues to accelerating research towards new standards of care, the ALSF childhood cancer research grant program is bringing us closer to cures than ever before.

2. Accelerating New Treatments
As our funded projects continue, we know we will see more clinical trials for childhood cancer types. The Bio-Therapeutics Impact Award accelerates the development of clinical trials for promising biologic approaches to treating childhood cancer. These approaches include cutting-edge treatment like immunotherapy and gene therapy. The award is intended for investigators who are initiating clinical trials or undertaking the pre-clinical work necessary to move into the IND (investigational new drug) phase.

3. Getting Families To Treatment
Families often have to travel long distances several times to access the most promising treatment for their child. Sometimes, these families are forced to make treatment decisions based on personal finances to purchase airfare, hotel, gas cards and meal gift cards. Our Travel For Care program expanded in 2016 to help families traveling to any medical facility in the United States for treatment. We helped 419 families travel nearly 250,000 miles for treatment in 2016. This year, Travel For Care will continue to help families get to the promising treatments that can offer hope for their children. 

4. One Cup At A Time
We will get there like we always do: One Cup At A Time. This year our founder, Alex Scott, would have celebrated her 21st birthday. As we celebrate her legacy, our annual Alex Lemonade Days celebration will expand to include two weekends and be held June 3-June 11. In September, we will host our 5th annual Alex’s Million Mile event — encouraging people everywhere to go the distance for childhood cancer. Alex’s Lemonade Days and Alex’s Million Mile are perfect ways to rally your community towards funding for critical childhood cancer research.

Want to help year round? Join our One Cup At A Time Club and help us find cures for all children battling childhood cancer. 

Alex's dream was a cure for all children battling cancer. Her legacy is the amazing work of our supporters, hero families, volunteers, partners and researchers. Together, we will find breakthrough treatments. 

Categories: 
Research

by Liz Scott, Alex's mother

Today marks what would have been a big birthday for Alex—she would be turning 21!  

It is hard to picture Alex as a healthy 21-year-old. Cancer was such a part of her life that I can’t imagine her without it — maybe it is because even if she had survived, the cost to her health would have been significant. Or maybe it is just too painful to try to create the 12-plus years of living Alex missed. But, I think it is really because I don’t want to think of her as anything but exactly who she was – my daughter, a sister to her three brothers, a friend. Alex was a girl who faced more adversity in her short life than most of us will face in a lifetime, but still dared to dream of a better future for other children. She is forever 8 in my heart.

In trying to put my thoughts together as we mark Alex’s birthday, I decided to go back to an old online journal I used to keep. I thought I could get some inspiration from reading about 8-year-old Alex. I couldn’t bring myself to read most of it because it was so tough, but I did come across a poem that was written for Alex that I hadn’t read in quite a while. It was written by her Aunt Lisa on her 8th birthday. It says so beautifully what Alex’s life was about, so I thought I would share it with you:

DREAM 

When you face one more day where you’re too tired to play,
And that same awful pain just won’t go away,
Close your eyes and dream.

When each second of the hour feels way too long,
And all of your choices just seem wrong,
Close your eyes and dream.

Dream that warm, safe arms are hugging you,
Just like Mom’s and Daddy’s do.
Dream of all the people you’ve touched, who smile,
And say you’ve made their life worthwhile.

Dream of all the kids you’ve helped to say,
“I’m feeling better every day!”
Dream of shining power deep within,
To face the darkness and scream “I win!”

For in dreams we make our hopes come true;
We shade the glass we’re looking through,
And despite how it can often seem,
Nothing can take away your dreams.

Everyone who knows you is dreaming for you,
That your days will get sunny and your skies be clear blue,
That you’ll get all you need and then so much more,
That you’ll never feel sick and your spirit will soar!

See, we don’t have to dream, the way some people do,
About strength, love or courage, for we know they are true.
You’ve shown them to us by the way that you live,
Through all that you go through, your one wish: To give.

So dream really BIG of all you wish for,
Close your eyes tight and look forward to more,
And remember with every fight you go through,
We love you and know all your dreams will come true.

It was written with so much love. At the time, it represented that little tiny bit of hope we still had that some miracle cure might come along for Alex. Now, looking at this poem today, the words take on a different meaning to me. It speaks to something much bigger than Alex, and in so many ways the words are truer today than they were when they were written 13 years ago. 

Obviously, Alex did not get to live all of her dreams for herself. She had a lot of them that she would be old enough now to have accomplished – family vacations to places like the Grand Canyon, shopping and sightseeing in Paris, designing and creating clothing, going to college and so many more. Cancer stole those dreams from her and I wish I could tell her how sorry I am for that. 

She would probably say as tough as cancer was, she was tougher. We all know that was true, because Alex was strong enough to dream a dream so big that cancer couldn’t take it away: the dream that all children with cancer could be cured someday. 

That dream has not only lived 13 birthdays past her last birthday, but it has grown even bigger as more and more people have taken this dream into their hearts and have worked to keep it going. Most importantly, this dream IS coming true for more and more children every day. We are seeing the progress made, the lives saved and the difference it is making. It is such a gift in so many ways. I am grateful for it and it inspires me to keep going and doing more, until the day when we can mark her birthday in true celebration, knowing that her dream finally came true.

Categories: 
Alex Scott

For those of us in the northern United States, it feels like days of sipping lemonade are far behind us during these long winter months. But, every day is a great day to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation! Leave the icy cold lemonade behind and instead, embrace the winter season!  

Curing Childhood Cancer, One Gingerbread House At a Time
One of our supporters, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, is helping cure childhood cancer, one gingerbread house at a time!  The Hyatt hosts a Gingerbread Challenge each year as a fun event for clients in the DC Metro. This year the employees turned the event into a fun, winter fundraiser for ALSF.

Hero mom and Hyatt employee Michelle Crabtree suggested that the event benefit ALSF. Her son Tyler was diagnosed with Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (low risk)  when he was 2 1/2. Tyler completed 3 years of treatment and  is now seven years old. The Crabtree family supports ALSF as hero ambassadors and lemonade stand hosts.  

This fun and creative event was a great way for the Hyatt to engage their clients and to help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. At the event, the Hyatt set up an onsite lemonade stand, while teams worked to assemble creative, holiday gingerbread houses. Entries were posted online for public voting and the winning team (with 131 likes!) won a 2-hour reception for up to 25 guests at the Hyatt. That winning team, the Expedia Team, donated their winnings back to ALSF!  

Warming Up With Hot Cocoa
ALSF hero Matthew McDonnell decided to give his Alex’s Lemonade Stand a winter twist! The six-year-old, who has been battling Wilms’ tumor since he was three-years-old, decided to switch up the usual lemonade with hot cocoa. Matthew’s Miraculous Hot Cocoa Stand was held outside a local park in his hometown! Friends and neighbors came out and warmed up with a cup of hot cocoa while making donations to support ALSF!

Have you hosted a winter fundraiser for ALSF? Tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!  And don't delay, now is the perfect time to register your winter lemonade (or hot cocoa) stand! 

Categories: 
Lemonade Stands

“Being from Philly, I remember when Alex’s Lemonade Stand was an actual lemonade stand. It received an enormous amount of attention, rightfully so, and has evolved to be one of the most important fundraisers of our time. Fighting to end pediatric cancer is not just noble, it is necessary for the future of the human race. Whenever and wherever I am, I will be ready, willing and able to join the fight," Joey Campanaro, chef and contributor to Alex’s Table. 

No one ever imagined that a front yard lemonade stand would grow into a global movement to cure childhood cancer. No one, that is, except for Alex, who believed if we worked together cures would be found.

Alex’s Table—the first ever cookbook from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation packed with over 55 recipes from culinary greats, celebrities and hero families—has it roots in our founder’s legacy. Alexandra Scott was just four years old when she held her first lemonade stand. Four years later, when she was just eight years old, Alex boldly declared she would raise a million dollars, if everyone held lemonade stands and worked together.

Alex reached her million and then some. 

Alex invited everyone to the table to share in the hope and in the action that would make childhood cancer cures a reality.  After Alex’s death, her legacy grew and grew. There were lemonade stands everywhere and supporters creatively fundraising and raising awareness in Alex’s honor for her lemonade stand. 

The culinary world was quick to believe and quick to support the ALSF mission. Much like Alex and her lemonade stand, culinary events benefiting ALSF have grown in a grassroots way, with chefs and restaurateurs sharing Alex’s legacy and story with their networks and inspiring their friends to do more each year.  

The partnership between ALSF and the culinary world began in 2006 with The First Annual Great Chefs Event hosted by Chef Marc Vetri and his Vetri Family of Restaurants partner, Jeff Benjamin. That first event brought together eight local Philadelphia chefs and 100 guests. The event raised $50,000 and planted a seed in the culinary world. Chefs that attended The Great Chefs Event were inspired by the energy, the cause and the need for cures for childhood cancer. These chefs brought ALSF culinary events home to their own cities. There are four unique culinary events benefitting ALSF: The Great Chefs Event, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, Lemon: NYC and Lemon: Chicago

And now, there is Alex’s Table, filled with recipes for everyone at your table. Chefs shared their signature recipes and hero families shared their favorite dishes (like Liz Scott’s famous $1,000 lemon cookies). There are several kid-friendly designated recipes in the book as well as culinary masterpieces for the experienced home chef.  

Alex’s Table is also a cookbook that is more than just recipes.  Filled with stories from the chefs and heroes that donate their time, talents and name to Alex’s legacy, Alex’s Table is an invitation to us all to join the fight against childhood cancer, one recipe at a time. 

Keep reading for a sample recipe from Alex's Table!

Alex’s Table is available for purchase ($29.95) through the ALSF Shop!  Look for the special icon that shows which dishes are kid-friendly and easy for them to help make! Photography by Jason Varney.  Foreword by Marc Summers. 

Order by 12/20 with expedited shipping for delivery by 12/24. 

Jumbo Dinosaur Eggs Filled With Nutella

Chef Hedy Goldsmith

SERVES 12 KIDS

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup extra-fine sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
Nutella or prepared pudding, for the filling


Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment or silicone backing
mats.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on low to mediumlow
speed until they form soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed and very slowly
add the sugar, 1 tsp. at a time. Beat until the mixture is glossy and thick; it will resemble
marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the whip. Sift the cornstarch over the
meringue, add the vinegar and vanilla and gently fold until everything is incorporated.
(Cocoa nibs, chia seeds, flax or even basil seeds can also be folded into the meringue.)
With a very large spoon, dip the spoon, into warm water, drain and scoop into the
meringue. The shape of the spoon is oval, so when you place the meringue on the sheet pan,
it resembles a jumbo egg. Continue scooping, rinsing the spoon after every scoop (which
helps the eggs keep their proper shape and makes for much neater, smooth meringue).

Put the eggs in the oven (if you have a convection oven, set it to 225 degrees). Keep it in
the oven for at least 90 minutes. If they start to slightly change color, lower the oven by at
least 25 degrees. Don’t rush meringue. It takes time to dry out enough so they can be easily
lifted off the pan. When in doubt, leave them in longer. When properly baked, they will be
very light and lift off the pan very easily. Turn off the oven; don’t open the door. Let them
cool slowly in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pans from the cool oven.
They’re ready to be filled when totally cool inside.
Flip each egg over and, with a melon baller, make a hole just large enough for the tip
of a piping bag to fit. Fill a piping bag with Nutella or chocolate pudding (or vanilla or
butterscotch pudding; any flavor that your kids will like). For adults, fill the eggs with
rich lemon curd, salted caramel or pastry cream. Squeeze the filling into the egg just
until you can see that it’s starting to come out. Flip the egg onto a serving platter.

 

Categories: 
Culinary Events

In 2006, at the age of 11, Taylor was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. After 9 months of chemotherapy and surgery on her right arm, Taylor was declared cancer-free. Unfortunately, she relapsed 18 months later when a spot was found on her lung. After her third relapse, the family was desperate for a cure. Thanks to a clinical trial, made possible by an infrastructure grant from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Taylor and her family finally had hope and her cancer disappeared. Today, she is a college student at University of North Alabama studying to become a pediatric oncology nurse. 

There's no better feeling than knowing that the research we fund is saving children's lives! With your support, we can spark more breakthroughs and find better treatments and more cures.

This holiday season, you can provide more kids like Taylor with real hope and cutting edge treatments. Please share Taylor’s story on social media and donate today!  

About Monthly Shareables:
You can help Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation raise awareness of the need for childhood cancer research and cures for all children! Each month, we will share a new "shareable," an image for you to share with your social media network. Every time we start a conversation about childhood cancer, we bring ourselves closer to cures.

How To Share:
Sharing is easy! Links to the shareable on Facebook and Twitter are on the tabs below. Simply click on each tab and share, like and favorite! Thank you for helping ALSF fund innovative, cutting-edge childhood cancer research. 

Social embeds

Facebook
Categories: 
Research

’Tis the season for holiday shopping! We’ve got something for everyone on your list. When you shop with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, your gifts help fund childhood cancer research and raise invaluable awareness of the need for cures! 

And trust us, this stuff is so great, that you’ll want to toss in a few gifts for yourself too! 

Don’t delay, order by December 21st at noon, for next day or 2-day shipping. 

 

 

 

1. Give hope for the holidays: 2016 Midwest Lemonade Days Ornament $20
Deck the halls year-round with the 2016 ALSF ornament. Based on the best-decorated stand featured at the Hy-Vee store in Overland Park, Kansas for the 2015 Midwest Lemonade Days. Local Hy-Vee groceries have supported ALSF during the first weekend in June since 2004. Similar to Alex’s story, what started as one store helping a local family has blossomed into a community effort throughout Kansas and Missouri, raising over $1.15 million.

2. For year-round comfort and style:  ALSF Zip Up Hoodie $40
Our organic cotton zip-up hoodie is both lightweight and warm, perfect for chilly days on the run or just cuddling up with a warm cup of tea. Our hoodie is unisex and available in sizes small through 2XL.

3. Indispensable for days when you are on the go: ALSF Canvas Boat Tote $25
The ALSF canvas boat tote is the indispensable big bag that everyone needs at the ready! Pack it for the plane, the beach, a road trip, work days or simply for running errands. The zipper closure keeps everything safe and in the bag. 

4. Keeps drinks hot and cold for hours: Alex’s Lemonade Stand Insulated Bottle $22
The Alex’s Lemonade Stand insulated bottle is a must have for everyone on your list. Able to hold 17 oz of hot or cold liquid, the insulated bottle keeps beverages hot or cold for up to 7 hours. Fill it with coffee or tea, water or wine. 

5. Brighten up the winter blues: ALSF Beanie Hat $20
The ALSF Beanie Hat has endless uses: brighten up the winter blues, look stylin’ on the ski slopes, keep your head cozy on the walk to the bus stop or step up your winter running gear! At just $20, this is the perfect stocking stuffer, co-worker present and gift for heads of all ages! 

6. For fitness enthusiasts: ALSF Lemon Athletic Shirts $25
Get a jumpstart on a new year of fitness with our full line of ALSF Lemon Athletic Shirts. Available in youth, womens, mens and unisex sizes, our athletic shirts are made of performance fabric to wick away sweat and keep you cool as a cucumber as you race across the finish line! 

7. The everyday carry-all:  Lemon Shopping Tote $12
The perfect everyday carry-all and shopping bag that has endless uses! Gift it on its own or use it as a very festive and reusable gift bag.

8. Make a statement--ALSF style: Alex’s Lemonade Stand Crazy Socks $15
Whether you wear these out or keep your flair hidden under a pant leg, our crazy socks are a fun, unique way to wear your ALSF pride. Available in two designs and two sizes, the ALSF crazy socks are 8 inches tall and made of coolmax acrylic. Tuck a couple in our Lemon Shopping Tote for a complete gift! 

9. For weekend errands or summer lemonade stands: ALSF Distressed Baseball Hat $20
For weekend errands, summertime lemonade stands and even to remedy a questionable-hair day, the ALSF distressed baseball hat is the perfect solution!  The light distressing makes this hat unique and totally on-trend for that laid-back casual look. Perfect to gift to all baseball hat-lovers on your list! 

10. Great gift for a child, teacher or school library: Alex & the Amazing Lemonade Stand $15.95
Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand is the true story of Alexandra “Alex” Scott and her courageous, inspiring battle against childhood cancer – using a lemonade stand. Written by Alex’s parents (with help from Alex) and illustrated by Pam Howard for caring people of all ages, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand shows how one person can make a difference and change the world. Makes a great gift for a child, a family, a teacher and anyone you know needs a little lemonade magic in their lives! 

11. Bringing happiness and hope to all: Hero, the ALSF puppy $12
Aptly named, “Hero,” our sweet ALSF puppy stuffed animal is just the right size for stocking stuffing and cuddling. Hero will brighten the day of all those on your shopping list (and be sure to snag one for yourself! After all, everyone loves a puppy!). 

12. Fight childhood cancer, one recipe at a time: Alex’s Table Cookbook $29.95
Our brand-new, first edition cookbook, Alex’s Table, is sure to be a bestseller this holiday season. Packed with recipes from celebrity chefs, hero families, Hollywood celebrities and sports stars, Alex’s Table is the perfect gift for the food lovers in your life. The recipes and stories throughout the book are inspiring and remind us that our founder Alex invited everyone to the table to fight childhood cancer. 

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping! Thank you for helping us find cures, one gift at a time.
Want more gift ideas? Check out some super cool gifts from our corporate partners!

Stuck with no idea what to get all the loved ones on your list? Don’t stress—we’ve got some great gifts that give back to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and help fund groundbreaking childhood cancer research

You can feel good and look good with our Gifts that Give Back Holiday Gift Guide! 

Chavez for Charity

Take a stand against childhood cancer this holiday season by purchasing jewelry from Chavez for Charity. For every yellow item sold, CFC donates 25% of their profit to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.  Chavez for Charity jewelry makes great gifts for all the women in your life—teachers, best friends, sisters and mothers! Check out the full line benefiting ALSF here


 

 

 

glassybaby

Beginning Friday, November 25 through December 31, glassybaby will donate 10% from the sale of ANY glassybaby to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation when you enter the giving code “alsf”.  Votives and drinkers from glassybaby are perfect for host/hostess gifts, teachers, neighbors and to spice up your home decor! Head to glassybaby (and don’t forget giving code “alsf”)!


 

 

ALEX AND ANI
We #CARRYLIGHT for all children with cancer this holiday season. Now through December 31, our partner, ALEX AND ANI, will be offering 10% off all e-commerce sales generated from this unique link. In addition, ALEX AND ANI will donate 20% of the purchase price from each Zest for Life Charm sold here. Gift your favorites with charmed arms this year! 

 

 

 

 

Looking for more gift ideas? Check our full list of partner products that benefit ALSF and visit our gift shop for amazing ALSF merchandise. 

Happy Shopping, one gift at a time!

Categories: 
Gift Shop
Taylor was a cancer patient and now, she is studying to be a pediatric oncology nurse.

Taylor, a 21-year-old University of North Alabama student, is studying to become a pediatric oncology nurse. Although she’s only in her first year of nursing courses, Taylor knows exactly what nurses can mean to their patients. Taylor was once a cancer patient herself, relying on the nurses as a support system. 

“The nurses helped me. They were my family away from home,” says Taylor, who plans to help children battling childhood cancer in the same way she was helped. 

Her Cancer Journey
In 2006, Taylor was an active 11-year-old, swimming daily during the summer on her local swim team. She complained about soreness in her right arm, but she and her parents assumed it was from swimming.

When school started in September, the pain became so bad that Taylor was taken to the local bone and joint clinic. After an x-ray, the doctor sent them to Children’s of Birmingham but didn’t say why. Shortly after Labor Day in 2006, Taylor’s mom Tammy received a phone call: Taylor had osteosarcoma. It is the most common type of childhood bone cancer, but is more common in boys than in girls. 

Taylor started treatment right away which included chemotherapy, reconstructive surgery on the upper part of her right arm, a donor graft, metal plates and pins. When chemotherapy was complete in June 2007, Taylor was cancer-free. 

Desperate for a Cure
Taylor was cancer-free for 18 months until doctors found tumors in her lungs, which is typical of an osteosarcoma relapse. She would cycle through treatment – chemotherapy and a thoracotomy to remove the tumors in her lungs, over and over again--briefly being cancer-free and then relapsing twice more in 2010 and 2011.

During Taylor’s last relapse in 2011, she was receiving treatment from MD Anderson in Houston, over 700 miles away from her home in Alabama. Desperate for a cure, she was referred a trial at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, which was supported in part through an Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Infrastructure grant. 

HEROS Trial 
Dr. Nabil Ahmed (ALSF Young Investigator 2007 & Innovation grant 2013 recipient) was Taylor’s doctor during the Her2 Trial. He remembers Taylor’s amazing smile the first time they met – it was a stubborn, survivor’s smile. He told her she looked like a person who was going to live. 

The Her2 Trial – nicknamed the HEROS Trial for Her2 Osteosarcoma – was an immunotherapy trial.  Blood was drawn from Taylor and then doctors separated the immune cells, reprogrammed them to attack the cancer and reintroduced them into her body. The treatment was successful and shortly after the trial, Taylor had her right lung removed. She has been cancer-free since 2012.

“I honestly believe if we had not been at Texas Children’s and didn’t have this research from Dr. Ahmed, I don’t think she’d be here. I really don’t. I mean it kept coming back, until he did this.” said Tammy, Taylor's mom. 

Support Makes a Difference
“Without funding from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to participate in this. We wouldn’t have the opportunity to make this happen for Taylor and other patients like her,” said Dr. Ahmed. “Perhaps she wouldn’t have been able to survive and our work wouldn’t have been able to survive.” 

The Her2 Trial was supported by an ALSF Infrastructure grant. These grants are funded one cup at a time, by our generous supporters. There are over a dozen different types and countless subtypes of childhood cancer. By supporting the research into better and safer treatments and creating the infrastructure for trials to take place, we can make a difference in a child’s life that is battling cancer. 

ALSF’s research grants program selects the most promising, innovative programs to fund. Every hour of research costs $50 and brings us closer to cures for all children. Every donation, every dollar counts in our battle to find breakthroughs for all children. ​

Inspired to join the fight? Donate here to fund innovative research, so more kids like Taylor can realize their dreams. 

Categories: 
Research

While playing goalie for her soccer team this April, Chloe Cox, a super bright 12-year-old from Texarkana, Texas, was kicked in the head. She stood up holding her head; but seemed okay. 

In the weeks that followed, Chloe began to have horrible headaches. Her family doctor diagnosed her with a mild concussion, with instructions to return if the headaches continued or got worse. The headaches continued and her doctor sent her to the ER for CT scan. 

Within one 1 hour, the family had a diagnosis: there was a tumor the size of a walnut near her pineal gland—a gland deep inside the brain tucked between the two hemispheres that produces melatonin which the body uses to regulate sleep cycles.  Doctors told Chloe’s parents that they were lucky they found the tumor now—all thanks to that kick in the head during soccer which led them to fear a concussion. Any further delay in treatment and Chloe could have died. 

Chloe had surgery that evening to relieve the pressure in her brain and to biopsy the tumor. While the family waited on results and for the next steps, Chloe’s oldest sister got married with Chloe right by her side.  The biopsy revealed that Chloe had glioblastoma multiforme, with rare histone mutations. This already rare, fast growing tumor was now classified as even rarer.

The next week, Chloe had a tumor resection removing 75-80% of the tumor. Then, Chloe was sent 300 miles away to M.D. Anderson, in Houston, Texas for radiation treatment. Chloe finished 7 1/2 weeks of radiation and now is continuing treatment in a clinical trial at M.D. Anderson in an effort to eradicate the disease and give Chloe her childhood back.

Chloe’s mom, Michelle, left her business and her job of 30 years to be with her daughter during treatment. It was a clear choice; the family had health insurance through Michelle’s husband and Michelle needed to be there for her daughter, in a way she never expected. 

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to be by her side every day. I have truly enjoyed our one on one time and we have laughed a lot together and cried a little, too,” says Michelle. 

The void left by Michelle’s income in the family finances was large.  Even as their local community rallied around the Cox family, the expense of travel was looming. Chloe and her family have made several trips, sometimes for weeks at a time or multiple times during a month, to M.D. Anderson in Houston, 300 miles from their home. Michelle knew they needed more support to ensure they could afford to get to the critical treatment that Chloe needed. 

“The ALSF Travel for Care team stepped up immediately with funding for our hotel expenses. Providing our family with the support we needed to stay together during Chloe’s treatment,” said Michelle. 

Chloe’s family is much like many childhood cancer families—who have to travel great distances, multiple times a year and even multiple times in one week for treatment, consultations, medications and surgeries.  Pediatric oncology care is so specialized—and even families close to a major cancer center, still may have to travel a distance to reach the most promising treatments.  ALSF’s Travel for Care program provides qualifying families with travel grants that help children and their families get to the most promising treatments at facilities across the United States.

Chloe’s cancer—glioblastoma multiforme—typically occurs in adults and is a fast growing tumor. Chloe’s tumor tripled in size between brain surgeries.  There are not known cures; but Chloe is determined to beat the disease and pave the way for breakthroughs for other children battling rare brain tumors.

“She is a survivor and a conqueror. Chloe is a force to be reckoned with. Her amazing strength and faith is something that many adults, including me, wish they had,” says Chloe’s mom.

Chloe continues to battle cancer and be an active 12-year-old. She loves her family. She loves to draw. She is funny. She is happy and when Chloe sees someone in need, she goes out of her way to do whatever she can to help.

There have been times in Chloe’s treatment when the family has traveled to the hospital for treatment; only to be turned away because insurance had not yet approved the treatment. They have no choice but to leave and then make the long trip again as soon as insurance approval came through. 

“My husband and I have been married 20 years and once we had children, we decided to never spend a night apart from each other and the children. This experience has challenged our family —and it has divided us in ways that are not always pleasant. We are so grateful for the support of ALSF for our travel and for their dedication to funding childhood cancer research” said Michelle. 

Tomorrow on #GivingTuesday, Chloe will take over the ALSF Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the day and share more of her story. You can help us help more families like the Cox family travel to treatment by making a Giving Tuesday donation. In one day, ALSF hopes to raise $10,000, enough to help 20 families with travel expenses associated with treatment for childhood cancer.  Donate here. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Hero Families, SuperSibs, supporters and amazing network of friends.  

We are thankful each year for the hero families—the Hero, the SuperSibs and the parents of a child battling cancer. These families go the distance each year for their own children, for each other and for their larger childhood cancer community. Our founder, Alex, inspired all of us to be thankful each day and of course, to turn all of our lemons into lemonade! 

Members of Hero Families are each affected differently by a childhood cancer diagnosis and  SuperSibs, the siblings of childhood cancer survivors, often struggle with a changing, unknown future in their family. Our SuperSibs program is dedicated to helping these amazing children and teens during their family’s battle, so they can face the future with courage and hope. 

SuperSibs give us, at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, courage and hope as well! We asked our SuperSibs and their families to share with us the things they are thankful for this Thanksgiving:


“I am thankful for how well life is going,” Rebecca, SuperSib
“I am thankful for the people who help me,” Dominic, Hero
“I am thankful for my mommy and daddy and my hero Dominic,” Dominic’s Sister
“I am thankful for donuts,” Ryan, Hero
“I am thankful for support,” Ellie, Hero
“We are thankful for kids getting cured every day,” the Nagrant Family
“We are thankful for friends,” the Matz Family
“We are thankful for our 4 daughters,” the Littlefield Family
“We are thankful for our family,” the Jackson Family
“We are thankful for Team Minion and the support of ALSF,” the Gibson Family
“We are thankful for ALSF,” the Cartafalsa Family

ALSF is thankful for the amazing network of Hero Families who work with us to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research! Our SuperSibs program offers siblings a variety of programs including:

  • Comfort and Care—we provide siblings and parents with resources that ensure appropriate and effective support at home, in school or at the hospital. 
  • Sib Spot—a special area on the ALSF website  that offers fun activities, words of support and resources for siblings. Sib Spot is divided by age group.
  • Sibling Ambassador Program—offers siblings of children with cancer the opportunity to share their family’s story and experiences with other kids, researchers and supporters. 

Meet our Hero Families and SuperSibs here. 

 

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