Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Aah, The Lemon Run…temperatures in the mid 80’s, tropical views, the smell of the ocean…it doesn’t quite sound like a November day in Philadelphia does it? That’s because this is what virtual Lemon Run participant Danielle Cococcia will be experiencing on November 10 in her hometown of George Town in the Cayman Islands. Although more than 2,000 of us will be pounding the pavement around beautiful Fairmount Park on November 10 in Philadelphia, we have several virtual participants that have joined the effort and are completing their own 5K (3.1 mile) run or walk where they live on November 10. In addition to Danielle and her team, Team Cayman, we also have international participation in Greece and across the U.S. from Connecticut to California!

Danielle and her family.
Danielle decided to get involved with ALSF after realizing how little awareness there is for childhood cancer research and how it’s vital to finding better treatments and cures for our heroes. By bringing The Lemon Run to her sunny island on November 10, Danielle is not only increasing awareness but she’s also doing an amazing job of raising funds – she’s already raised $300 and has set a goal to raise $1,000. Considering $50 funds one hour of childhood cancer research, this translates into much needed support for some of the best and brightest pediatric cancer researchers.

L Cpl. Tim Sullivan
Last year we had Lance Corporal Tim Sullivan, who at the time was stationed in Afghanistan, participate virtually in The Lemon Run. According to Tim..."I attended the first Lemon Run in the fall of 2009 and had a great time. I thought running virtually while serving abroad would be a cool way to still participate, fight childhood cancer and get other troops involved in something fun here in Afghanistan." 

So don’t let the geographic location of The Lemon Run deter you from participating – sign up as a virtual participant and be an integral member of Team Alex at our largest one day event to help kids with cancer everywhere.

Thanks to another amazing L.A.Loves Alex’s Lemonade event, more than $530,000 was raised for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the fight against childhood cancer – in just one afternoon! 
The event at Culver Studios Mansion on Sept. 28 sold out with more than 1,700 supporters attending including over 30 chefs who donated their time to prepare and serve their delicious dishes; celebrity supporters such as Jimmy Kimmel, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Kirsten Vangsness and Bailee Madison (just to name a few); as well as childhood cancer heroes Elijah Herman and Jordan Vincent.
David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris
Jimmy Kimmel and Giada De Laurentiis

Kirsten Vangsness

ALSF Youth Spokesperson Bailee Madison

From the aromatic smells of barbeque emanating from Adam Perry Lang’s station to the delicious pizza served by Chris Bianco – guests enjoyed tastings as well as refreshing drinks from participating mixologists. The warm weather kept the lemonade stand busy where a number of kids in attendance helped to serve up icy glasses of our signature drink.

Chris Bianco
Adam Perry Lang
Kids from the show "Parenthood" manning the lemonade stand
Amidst the fun, childhood cancer hero Elijah Herman (on what happened to be the day before his sixth birthday) spoke of his personal battle with childhood cancer, which he has been fighting since he was 3, and why it’s so important to support research to find cures. His message resonated with everyone as just minutes later; $50,000 was raised to fund a research grant in Elijah’s name- awesome!

Elijah Herman (and his mom)
Lively auctions and poignant words from Liz and Jay Scott as well as hosts Suzanne Goin, David Lentz and Caroline Styne rounded out the afternoon that showcased the love that L.A. truly has for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and all children with cancer. 

Suzanne Goin, David Lentz, Caroline Styne, Liz and Jay Scott
Check out all of the photos from the event on our L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade album on Facebook.

Want to go to next year's event? Sign up to be notified when tickets go on sale.

Don’t worry – I’m not going to get all political in this blog post, but as you’ve probably heard from some news sources, in addition to the bevy of other issues resulting from the government shutdown, access to childhood cancer clinical trials is on center stage. Ironically, we’ve just come off of the month of September – National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – where Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation  and other childhood cancer charities did all that we could (e.g. our
What if that had been the case for kids like Edie Gilger or Stephanie Lipscomb, who we mentioned in last week’s blog. Little Edie had been diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma and despite an aggressive treatment plan – nothing was working. Edie entered a clinical trial that was testing a drug already being used to treat lung cancer in adults and experienced amazing results. There is no trace of her cancer. 
Stephanie Lipscomb was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer, which recurred shortly after her first round of treatment. Her treatment options after recurrence were extremely limited and so she enrolled as the first patient in a Another one of our childhood cancer heroes, Emily Siddell, was diagnosed with leukemia and was able to take a relatively new therapy (made possible through a clinical trial) that has given her a 90 percent chance of survival. Without it, she would only have a 20 percent chance of being cured.

On a personal note, clinical trials helped to prolong Alex’s life giving us
more precious time with our daughter, allowing her the chance to experience school, friends and all of the wonderful things associated with being a kid (including setting up that first lemonade stand).

You know, we use the word hope a lot here at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to describe the intangible gift that your support provides to all children with cancer, or families like ours who have lost a child to cancer, that someday – cures for all types of childhood cancer will be found. But by denying access to these clinical trials that researchers have worked so hard on and that children so desperately need, the government isn’t just being shut down – the very concept of hope is.

The research projects funded by ALSF (those without any support from the NIH) are proceeding during the shutdown. We actually have a number of research grants open for application and several others that we’re going to award by the end of 2013. By funding pediatric cancer research projects through ALSF, you're not only helping to fill the incredible gap of funding allocated to childhood cancer research by the federal government (which is only 5% of their entire cancer research budget) you’re also keeping hope alive.

Thank you for your incredible support that allows us to keep the door to hope wide open.