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Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

$1 million helps children battling cancer and funds childhood cancer research

 

During Alex’s Million Mile in September, supporters raised over $1 million for childhood cancer research and supportive services for families! All year long, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) uses this money to fund projects at every stage of research to ensure cures are being found today and for the future. 

Here are seven ways $1 million helps children with cancer:

1. Fund Early Career Research 

Through the ALSF Early Career Research grants, we are attracting the best and the brightest early career scientists to the field of childhood cancer research. These amazing oncology research minds receive the funding they need to continue working towards childhood cancer breakthroughs. Three different grant programs propel young scientists through all stages of early research from student research to start-up to more innovative programs. 

2. Accelerate Research

Big rewards come with big risks. ALSF accelerates the rate of research by investing in research projects that embrace innovation and have the potential to result in breakthroughs. Seven different programs work towards building infrastructure, implementing clinical trials and ultimately bringing new treatments to children waiting desperately for cures. 


3. Improve the Quality of Life and Care for Childhood Cancer Heroes

The ALSF Quality of Life and Care program empowers nurse practitioners and psychologists to make powerful discoveries for children in treatment as well as long-term childhood cancer survivors. A cure is not enough—and the Nurse Researcher and Psychosocial grant programs help ensure childhood cancer heroes have the best outcomes.


4. Support Big Data as a Tool to Fight Childhood Cancer

For years, the primary tools to fight childhood cancer were beakers and test tubes. Now, ALSF is adding big data to that arsenal with the opening of the Childhood Cancer Data Lab. The lab, which launched in August 2017, collects and analyzes findings from the world of childhood cancer research.  Our data lab team uses that data to integrate discoveries and search for novel ways to approach childhood cancer research. 

5. Get Families to Treatment Quicker 

Traveling for childhood cancer treatment is often necessary and expensive. Treatments can often change in an instant and families are forced to make quick travel plans to reach potentially lifesaving treatments. Recognizing the financial burden that families often face during treatment, the ALSF Travel for Care program provides financial assistance for lodging and transportation to families who travel to hospitals in the U.S. and Canada for treatment. 

6. Help Siblings While Their Brother or Sister Battles Cancer

Childhood cancer impacts the entire family and often siblings are left with their world turned upside down. Our SuperSibs program works to support siblings of all ages as they face complex emotions, turmoil, treatment and changing family dynamics.  SuperSibs materials provide participating siblings with age-appropriate resources and community support through their journey with childhood cancer. 

7. Support Families Through All Phases of Treatment and Survivorship

ALSF is dedicated to providing a full array of family support services, including a Treatment Journal to provide a place to keep track of important information and My Childhood Cancer, an online discussion board and family support network for childhood cancer families, and the Hero Ambassador programs.

Ready to help us raise our next $1 million for childhood cancer research and services? Find out how you can get involved and help find cures, one cup at a time. 

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Research

We are halfway through the month of September and halfway through Alex’s Million Mile, the largest childhood cancer awareness challenge that funds researchers so they can find better treatments and more cures for kids battling cancer. Now is a great time to check in and see how your mile logging is going.

Maybe you are racing ahead to the finish line, ahead of your goal and ready to go farther than you planned. Or maybe you are lagging a little behind and need some ideas to catch up? No matter where you are on your journey, we have some great ways for you to help us reach 1 million miles.

Here are six ideas to reach your mileage goals and help Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) get one million miles closer to a cure for childhood cancer:

1. Assess the Goal (Mileage Potential: Limitless!)

Look back at your progress so far—are you ahead or behind? If you are ahead, think about upping your mileage goal and going even further. If you are behind, look at how many miles you’ve gone each day so far and figure out how many extra miles you will need to go to reach your goal. ALSF staff accountant Rob Schuster has some great tips for “budgeting” your miles and reaching your goal. Check those out here.

2. Toss Some Bike Rides in the Mix (Mileage Potential: 10-30 miles a ride)

Short on time? Take 30 minutes to jump into a spin class or go on a bike ride in your neighborhood. Bike riding is 6-8 times faster than walking or running, which means you can maximize your time and your miles on the bike! Need some cycling inspiration? Meet Arnav, childhood cancer hero and junior national cyclist.

3. Make Sure To Sync Your Fitness Apps (Mileage Potential: Limitless!)

Did you know you can sync several fitness apps at once? AMM participants can connect their FitBit, MapMyFitness and Strava apps. So whether you track your steps all day or when on a run or ride, it is easy to make sure all your miles count! Here’s how to easily connect the apps!

4. Walking and Talking (Mileage Potential: 1-5 miles/day)

There are so many hidden times during the day you can get in some bonus miles! Instead of a usual office check-in with your boss, ask for a walking meeting down the block. Walking your kids to the bus stop? Do a bonus lap on your way home. Watching your kids at soccer practice? Walk around the field while you watch. Have 30 minutes before dinner? Grab your spouse/neighbor/kids for a quick walk and talk to catch up on your day!

5. Motivate for Miles and Money! (Mileage Potential: 15 miles)

Challenge yourself by pledging to go an extra mile each day between now and the end of September! Announce your intention on social media and ask your friends to hold you accountable. Bonus: ask your supporters to sponsor you for $1 per extra mile you go each day and get closer to your fundraising goals as well. Need more fundraising ideas? Never fear, we’ve got you covered here.

6. Don’t do it all Alone! (Mileage Potential: Double! Triple! Quadruple!)

Double, triple or quadruple your team AMM mileage goal by asking your friends to join AMM. It is not too late and signing up takes just a few minutes! Ask your friends to help you go gold and help fund innovative childhood cancer research and raise awareness all month long. Head here for the quick and simple registration.

Want more great ideas for logging miles all month long? Look no further.

Categories: 
Alex's Million Mile
It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and time for Alex’s Million Mile (AMM).   AMM is the largest childhood cancer awareness challenge that funds critical, innovative research. Childhood cancer families help lead the charge by forming teams, raising awareness, logging miles and fundraising.   A million miles may seem like a far distance—but families battling childhood cancer would go a million miles and more for cures for their children.  Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in childr

It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and time for Alex’s Million Mile (AMM). 

AMM is the largest childhood cancer awareness challenge that funds critical, innovative research. Childhood cancer families help lead the charge by forming teams, raising awareness, logging miles and fundraising. 

A million miles may seem like a far distance—but families battling childhood cancer would go a million miles and more for cures for their children.

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children in the United States. Research is critically underfunded as compared to adult cancer research. AMM is a chance to change that fact and to help continue Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s mission of finding cures and safer treatments for all children. 

There are a million reasons why everyone should join the fight against childhood cancer. Last week, we shared four childhood cancer heroes, who are going the distance this September. Below, you can meet four more reasons why you should join AMM this September:

1.  Morgan and Meg
Six-year-old Morgan and her sister Meg are super heroes. 

Diagnosed at 2-years-old with stage IV neuroblastoma, Morgan had six rounds of chemotherapy, one round of high dose chemotherapy, a stem cell rescue, proton radiation therapy and immunotherapy. Morgan’s sister Meg, who was just in kindergarten at the time, struggled with her fears that she would lose her sister. She began her treatment at home in Arkansas, but then traveled to Philadelphia to access the treatment that has kept Morgan “NED” (no evidence of disease). 

During treatment, Morgan made it her goal to beat cancer. And Meg made it her goal to help her sister and other children get cures. Besides participating in AMM, Meg, together with her family, runs in 5ks, hosts lemonade stands and works to raise money to support ALSF. 

2. Abigail 
Abigail loved her family more than anything in the world. She was extraordinary in every way—beautiful, athletic, a talented preschooler and above all, the kindest person her mother ever knew.

Abigail was brave too.

When Abigail was 3-years-old, she began experiencing stomach pains. It seemed like she had a stomach bug that just would not go away. But it was not a bug, it was bilateral Wilms' tumor in Abigail’s kidneys and lungs. Treatment was intense and included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Abigail never once complained during her year in and out of the hospital, at doctor’s appointments and in treatment. She never let sickness change the love she shared with others. 

Sadly, her cancer returned. Abigail died when she was just 4-years-old. 

Her family participates in AMM each September in Abigail’s memory. Racking up the miles has given Abigail’s mom, Christine, a way to grieve while fighting childhood cancer. The physical act of exercise gives Christine a way to fight the physical and mental effects of losing Abigail. 

“Abigail put others first. She thought and acted unselfishly. We are always hearing about how we need to be a little selfish. Abigail never would have agreed to that, and I agree with Abigail,” said Christine. 

3. Evie
Little Evie is battling childhood cancer for the second time in a year. 


 
Evie’s diagnosis in June 2016 with unilateral retinoblastoma felt like a sucker punch.

“Before Evie was diagnosed, childhood cancer was something that happened to someone else,” said Carla, Evie’s mom. 

Evie endured chemotherapy and dozens of scans, surgeries and other treatments. She had her central line removed nine months after diagnosis, a move that signaled the end of treatment. Her family thought they were finished with cancer. But then in early August, just about a year after Evie’s initial diagnosis, a scan revealed the cancer had returned at the original site. Evie is now battling again. 

Nothing can prepare a family for childhood cancer.

However, Carla has found positivity in her family’s participation in AMM. The family takes walks together to rack up the miles and uses the time walking to talk about Evie’s treatment and about how cancer is affecting their lives. 

“Alex’s Million Mile helped us see the light in a time of darkness and we would encourage any person, family or business to help raise money for this noble cause. In today’s world, positivity can go a long way,” said Carla. 

4. Lexie
Lexie is 11-years-old. 

Lexie was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma at 9-months-old, a type of liver cancer. She spent the rest of her first year of life in and out of the hospital. Two days before Lexie turned 1, her father donated part of his liver to her. She celebrated her 1st birthday in the ICU, as the recipient of the best gift ever: a second chance at life.

Now, 10 years later Lexie lives a perfectly normal life as a big sister to two. Her family supports ALSF by hosting lemonade stands and participating in Alex’s Million Mile.

“Although our legs may burn and our lungs may hurt, the pain we feel is nothing compared to hearing your child has cancer,” said Lexie’s mom, Jessica. 

Be Bold & Go Gold this September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Turn awareness into action, by joining Alex’s Million Mile, the largest childhood cancer awareness challenge that funds researchers so they can find better treatments and more cures for kids battling cancer.  Sign up to start your own Alex’s Million Mile team, or join an existing team, raise awareness and help us help kids fight cancer.

 

Categories: 
Alex's Million Mile
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 10 facts

by Trish Adkins

Dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis can be one of the most devastating and frightening experiences for a family to face. Every day, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation strives to raise awareness and funds for much-needed research for better treatments and more cures for all childhood cancers.  

While September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, childhood cancer is an everyday reality for thousands of families around the world. We’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know (and can share!) about childhood cancer:

1. Childhood cancer is not one disease, but several.

Childhood cancer is made up of over a dozen different types and countless subtypes. Cancer in children can begin virtually anywhere in the body. The causes of most types of childhood cancer are not known and are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors, unlike many adult cancers. Researchers are beginning to understand some of the genetic mutations that might cause certain types of childhood cancer and use that information to search for cures. You can learn more about the different types of childhood cancer, including brain tumors, leukemia and other solid tumors like neuroblastoma here. 
    
2.  Every day, there are almost 700 new cases of childhood cancer around the world.

This is equivalent to an entire elementary school of children. This adds up to over 250,000 new cases of cancer each year in children under the age of 20. 
 
3. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children in the United States.

Every day, 250 children around the world die from cancer. Each year, 91,250 children lose their lives to cancer. Last year, brain tumors overtook leukemia as the deadliest cause of death by cancer. Long term survival rates continue to increase, but not fast enough to save the thousands of children who will die at the hands of cancer.

4. Childhood cancer treatment is no longer just chemotherapy and radiation.

Cancer treatments are always changing and becoming more targeted. Precise therapies, like Car T cell immunotherapy, that attack the genetic components and drivers of cancer are offering more hope than ever before. 

5. A cure is not enough. Surviving childhood cancer brings its own set of complications.

Two-thirds of all childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment. Advancements in treatment have increased survival rates. However, the treatment can lead to late term effects including chronic health conditions or struggles with learning and cognitive impairment. Researchers continue to search for safer, effective treatments, like the growing study of immunotherapy that harnesses the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells, leaving healthy cells, healthy. 
 
6. Data and collaboration will lead to cures.

ALSF has funded over 800 research grants—bringing together the innovative and brilliant minds of childhood cancer researchers. This year, ALSF opened the Childhood Cancer Data Lab (CCDL). The CCDL team will collect and analyze the vast wealth of data already available while integrating discoveries from ALSF-funded researchers and many others. By pulling from previous research and analyzing findings from contemporary projects, the CCDL is accelerating the path to better treatments and cures for kids fighting cancer everywhere. 

7. Families often have to travel for cancer treatment.

While childhood cancer treatments are available across the United States, not every town has access to those treatments. Families often have to travel —whether it is for frontline treatment or a clinical trial following a relapse. Treatment brings a financial and psychological burden on families who have to juggle cancer treatment with distance, lost days at work, separation from family, lack of local support systems and the financial cost of flights, hotels and gas. The ALSF Travel for Care program helps families when they need it. Learn more about the program here. 

8. Children, like gold, are precious and strong.

Ever wonder why the Childhood Cancer Awareness ribbon is gold? In 1997, a group of parents picked gold as the official color because it symbolizes how precious children are and their resiliency.

9. There is hope.

While childhood cancer is consistently underfunded at the government level, your support of research projects for all types of childhood cancer is bringing us closer to cures than ever before. There are children alive today that would not be because of our supporters' dedication to finding cures for all children, one cup at a time.

10. Cups, miles and donations lead to cures.

Our founder, Alex Scott, started Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with one front yard lemonade stand. Today, ALSF has raised over $150 million and has funded over 800 research grants at 135 institutions. It all started with one cup of lemonade. In September, you can make your miles count during Alex’s Million Mile, the world’s largest childhood cancer awareness campaign. Sign up here

                     

The official song list for Alex's Million Mile and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Good music always makes the miles go faster. Our founder, Alexandra “Alex” Scott loved music, too. Back when Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was just beginning, a neighbor of the Scott family wanted to support ALSF. He owned a record company and donated a whole bunch of CDs. Alex’s Greatest Hits, which contained 12 feel-good songs, were included in early Lemonade Stand kits.

Now, ALSF has grown to include more than lemonade stands. Each September, during childhood cancer awareness month, ALSF hosts Alex’s Million Mile. Alex’s Million Mile is the largest childhood cancer awareness and fundraising event. As participants rack up miles and donations, we get closer and closer to cures for childhood cancer. 

To make the miles go faster and to motivate you to go even further, we brought out the original ALSF playlist. The playlist is available on Spotify (embedded below) and also on iTunes (just click here). 

 

Haven’t signed up for AMM, yet? It is never too late to start logging miles and raising awareness. Just head here.

Categories: 
Alex's Million Mile

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