The Childhood Cancer Blog

My first experience with ALSF, and my lasting inspiration

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Lauren Humphries – Race Director,
2009 LEAD Strong Half Marathon

Coming into this position as race director for the 2009 LEAD Strong Half Marathon, I knew very little about Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, or its founder Alex Scott. But I believe that giving back is an essential part of being human, so I was very excited that we had already established a LEAD Strong tradition of donating proceeds of the event to ALSF.

There's a plaque on my desk that our organization received for being a Top 100 Stand Host in 2007. Engraved on the plaque is a quote from Alex & the Amazing Lemonade Stand,

"It's simple, you see, for this whole thing is not about me. As long as kids are sick, I'll do what I can, to help raise money through my Lemonade Stands."

I was amazed at its childlike simplicity. After reading Alex's story, I was so moved by the fact that one small girl with a big heart and big dreams turned one small idea into a national phenomenon. Though like many ALSF supporters, I never had the privilege to meet Alex, her strength of character and determination to help other children with cancer have made a tremendous impression on me, and the rest of our staff. We're so excited to keep helping Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, knowing that they're putting the money in the hands of the brightest minds in the country, in the hope that someday, someone somewhere will find a cure for childhood cancer.

I think many great lessons can be learned from Alex's story, but the thing that has touched me the most is her complete selflessness and desire to help others. I think most people would simply call that love.

LEAD Strong is a half marathon that Towson University Campus Recreation Services hosts every spring as part of Campus Recreation Services’ mission to promote healthy, active lifestyles through involvement on campus. LEAD Strong is a 13.1 mile half-marathon that covers a 6.55 mile stretch of the NCR trail in Freeland, Maryland. LEAD Strong is about setting and achieving goals, and proving to yourself that you can defy limitations. The race is named LEAD Strong, because it focuses on leadership skills such as having vision, setting goals, being persistent, managing your time, honing your focus, and improving physical fitness in order to reach a specific goal.