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A Grantee Stops By

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As we continue our quest to find cures for all childhood cancers, we are constantly amazed by the dedication of the researchers who receive funding from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Through our grants program, we see firsthand how passionate they are about improving the lives of children facing cancer, and we want to share this with all of our supporters, including our own staff and Board of Directors. The funds that are raised in the name of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation are allowing these grantees to lead the way to a day when cures become realities.

During one of our recent Board of Directors meetings, we invited one of these grantees to talk about his childhood cancer research, and the path that led him there. His name is Donald W. Parsons, MD, PhD, of Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Dr. Parsons, or Will as he likes to be called, was awarded a Young Investigator Grant by the foundation in 2007, and more recently was among the first recipients of our prestigious “A” Award. During his visit, we learned many things about Will, and maybe even something a little surprising – he did not plan to go into pediatrics. In fact, Will didn’t even initially plan on becoming a doctor. However, his path would eventually lead him there, and during his first rotation in residency, he chose pediatrics as a specialty, and has been dedicated ever since to making a difference for the amazing children he meets every day.

Funding from us has allowed Will and many other pediatric oncologists to pursue their passion and stay in childhood cancer research. Now, Will finds himself both treating patients and doing research in the lab. He is equally focused on patient care, and his patients inspire his determination to research genes that may be related to brain tumors. His research is promising, and has resulted in the identification of numerous mutated genes that contribute to tumor initiation and growth. It seems he is well on his way to uncovering the keys to unlock the causes and cures for brain tumors.

We are so thankful to Dr. Parsons and all of our grantees for their amazing work. Like us, these individuals have dedicated their lives to eradicating childhood cancer, and though you may not hear a great deal about them, they are working every day behind the scenes on behalf of children. We wanted to share this experience with all of you, and below you will find a short video of Will’s visit.

- Liz & Jay Scott, Alex's parents