Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Every year, over 250,000 new cases of cancer affect children around the world. Every day, 250 of these children will die from cancer, making cancer the leading cause of death by disease for children. Childhood cancer research is consistently and vastly underfunded. There are dozens of types and hundreds of subtypes of childhood cancer—and many of these types have no known cures.

by Trish Adkins

Every year, over 250,000 new cases of cancer affect children around the world. Every day, 250 of these children will die from cancer. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States.  Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is consistently and vastly underfunded. There are dozens of types and hundreds of subtypes of childhood cancer—and many of these types have no known cures. 

Despite all these facts, there is so much hope for children battling cancer. Childhood cancer families, researchers, friends and communities have joined together with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to find cures for all types of childhood cancer. ALSF began with one little girl’s dream and has now grown into a worldwide movement to find safer, more effective treatments. Since 2005, ALSF has funded over 690 research grants, powering breakthroughs and getting closer to cures for all. 

Here are five videos that tell the story of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and will change the way you think about childhood cancer forever:

1. ALSF Founder and Original Lemonade Girl: Alex Scott

Alex Scott was just 3-years-old when she held her first lemonade stand in her front yard. It seemed to be just a lemonade stand, but it started a movement to cure childhood cancer. 

Before Alex died in 2005, she raised over $1 million for childhood cancer research. She left all of us with a legacy and a directive to continue the fight for cures, one cup at a time. 

2. Survivor Turned Oncology Nurse: Taylor

When Taylor was 11-years-old, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. After nine months of treatment, Taylor was declared cancer-free. Eighteen months later, she relapsed. 

Her family was desperate for a cure. Taylor enrolled in a clinical trial at Texas Children’s Hospital. The trial was possible due to an infrastructure grant funded by ALSF. The trial worked. Today, Taylor is cancer-free and studying to become a pediatric oncology nurse. 

3. Breakthrough Treatment Leading to Cures: Edie 

When Edie was just 5-months-old, she started having a severe upset stomach and trouble sleeping. Edie’s parents had a gut feeling this was not just a typical bug or stage of infancy. 

Edie was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. Despite an aggressive treatment plan, Edie’s cancer continued to grow.  Testing showed that Edie carried the oncogene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). ALSF funded-researcher Dr. Yael Mosse had a clinical trial for children with the ALK gene. The trial worked and today, Edie is cancer-free. 

4.  Living Proof that Research Works: Zach

Zach is a 12-year-old who loves playing baseball. 

When Zach was 5-years-old, he was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. While still in treatment, Zach relapsed. His condition worsened. Zach was getting sicker and sicker. It was a race against time to save his life. Since standard treatment was not working, Zach’s doctors told his parents about a clinical trial funded by ALSF. His parents took the risk. Within a few days, Zach was running down the halls of the hospital. His cancer disappeared. 

5. From Cups to Cures: What Lemonade Can Do 

ALSF-funded researcher Dr. Jeffrey Huo knows firsthand that cups of lemonade can add up to cures for childhood cancer. 

When you donate and supporters all around the world donate, your cups of lemonade add up to enough funding for an experiment in a pediatric oncology. Those experiments give scientists pieces of data which they analyze and eventually use to publish a journal article with their findings. Several journal articles lead researchers to breakthroughs and those breakthroughs become cures for childhood cancer.

Want to get involved in the fight against childhood cancer? Check out Alex's Million Mile, the largest Childhood Cancer Awareness Challenge! We are going 1 million miles and raising $1 million for childhood cancer research! Start or join a team, fundraise for a cure and help us go the distance for kids with cancer!

Subscribe to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation YouTube channel for more inspiration. 

4 childhood cancer heroes that will inspire you during AMM

by Trish Adkins

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. 

Every September during Childhood Cancer Awareness month, people everywhere join Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation 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. 

Even though childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children, 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. Below, you can meet four very important reasons why you should join AMM this September:

1. Tillery and Luke

Three-year-old Tillery was diagnosed at 15 months old with a brain tumor. 

She’s endured 14 surgeries and 64 doses of chemotherapy. Tillery is currently off treatment, but her entire tumor could not be removed. She will have treatment on and off her entire life.

Treatment took her family six hours from home to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. While waiting for a room at the Ronald McDonald House, ALSF’s Travel for Care program paid for the family’s hotel nights. One of those nights, the family thought about going home but opted to stay because of ALSF’s support. It was that night that Tillery had a major medical emergency. She had to be rushed to the ER for a very serious blood clot in her brain. 

“That hotel room saved our daughter. Being that close to the hospital made a huge difference in her life,” said Alana, Tillery’s mom. 

Her family began fundraising for ALSF while she was in treatment by holding lemonade stands and hosting a 5k. This September, Tillery’s 6-year-old brother Luke is joining Alex’s Million Mile and aiming to rack up 10 miles. Her entire family is going the distance too. 

“We are all a small drop in the mile bucket. But when we add them all up, they will make something really impressive,“ said Alana. 

2. Julianna and Kaylee

About one year ago, 13-year-old Julianna developed a serious fungal infection that attacked her brain. She was already battling acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). 

Her breathing became worse. Her medical team suggested one last bone marrow aspiration and MRI. Everyone expected Julianna to go home on hospice. But then the test results came back and Julianna’s cancer was actually in remission and the fungal infection showed signs of healing. After three weeks of recovery, Julianna started chemotherapy to prepare for a bone marrow transplant. She spent six months in the hospital and became wheelchair bound. 

Now, 13 months after her diagnosis Juliana is back in school and is able to walk a mile on her own without stopping. This September, Julianna, her SuperSib Kaydee and her mother Elizabeth will log 100 miles during Alex’s Million Mile

3. Leo

When Leo was just 4 years old, his world completely turned upside down.

In a matter of minutes, Leo went from a healthy preschooler to a childhood cancer warrior battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Leo began treatment within 12 hours of his diagnosis. On day 29 of treatment, Leo went into remission and moved from the induction stage of treatment to frontline treatment. His next step will be three years of maintenance chemotherapy.

His family and friends formed #LeoStrong to support Alex’s Million Mile this year and to continue to support childhood cancer research. His mom, Stephanie, knows that childhood cancer research is underfunded and she also knows that every donation and every mile counts towards cures. 

“Everything makes a difference and because of all the people who decided to do this before me, I know my child will beat this,” said Stephanie.

4. Noah
On July 24, 2014, Noah was just a regular 14-year-old. 

On July 25, everything changed. Noah was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer that presented itself wrapped around Noah’s cervical spine. He endured harsh chemotherapy and a rigorous radiation schedule which included treatment on Christmas morning. In March 2015, scans showed that the cancer metastasized to Noah’s lungs. There were no more options and Noah died on April 9, 2015. 

Noah’s mother Tanya is keeping Noah’s fight and legacy alive. In September, Tanya, together with her family and friends, will join Alex’s Million Mile with the aim of making critical improvements to childhood cancer treatment. 

“No child is exempt from the possibility of cancer. Tomorrow it could be a child you care about. When Noah was diagnosed I had no idea just how common childhood cancer is. We have to make improvements. By supporting Alex's Lemonade Stand, you support all children and the hope for a cure,” said Tanya.  

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.



Alex's Million Mile
Go gold in September with Alex's Million Mile.

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children. Every day, there are almost 700 new cases of childhood cancer around the world—adding up to over 250,000 new cases of cancer in children under the age of 20. Cures are needed and they are needed now! 

Each September, people everywhere “Go Gold” and raise awareness of the need for more research that leads to safer treatments and cures. September is the month when most children are heading back to school and parents are breathing a sigh of relief as the chaotic summer days end. But for thousands of children battling cancer, September is another month of treatment and hospital visits. For their parents, it is a month when there is no sigh of relief, but instead, a time to rally for their children as they fight. 

At Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, we honor the month with Alex’s Million Mile—a month long awareness and fundraising challenge when we go one million miles and raise $1 million.

You can join the movement, too!  Here are eight ways you can be bold and go gold all September long: 

1. Learn about the Gold Ribbon.

In 1997, a group of parents picked gold as the official color for the childhood cancer awareness ribbon. The color gold symbolizes how precious children are and the resiliency of childhood cancer heroes. Unlike other awareness ribbons which symbolize one specific disease, the childhood cancer ribbon stands for dozens of diseases. You can learn more about the different types of childhood cancer, including brain tumors, leukemia and other solid tumors like neuroblastoma here. 

2. Be Bold and Share!

Leading up to September and all month long, share childhood cancer facts, inspirational hero stories and our blog posts on your social media pages. Tag everything with #GoGold2017 and #AlexsMillionMile. Here are some of our favorite posts to share:

  • Hero Stories—Head to our Hero Hub for stories about children fighting childhood cancer. 
  • Research Stories—Read through our blog and learn more about the innovative research that is getting us closer to cures. 
  • All About Childhood Cancer—share our infographic, read more about childhood cancer and raise awareness. 

3. Turn Your Social Media Gold!

Turning your Facebook profile gold is easy! Check out this handy video that has all the tips you need to show your support for childhood cancer research and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  

4. Make Your Miles Count

Join Alex’s Million Mile and make your miles count all September long. From the casual walker to the active cyclist, anyone can participate in this month-long, grassroots challenge by tracking miles and raising money to help kids fight cancer. You can join a team or create your own (it just takes a couple minutes!). Then in September, track your miles and raise funds! 

Bonus: Now through August 31, Volvo will donate $10 for every team member you recruit—imagine how far this amazing donation could go! 

5.  Gold Your Gear.  

Put your DIY hat on and grab a gold permanent marker, some gold ribbon stickers and gold ribbons. Then, decorate your sneakers, your bike helmet, t-shirts and other gear. When the world sees that you are going gold, they will be inspired to join the cause too! 

6. Dress The Part.

If DIY is not your style, head to Alex’s Shop for all the best Go Gold and Childhood Cancer Awareness gear. From t-shirts to car magnets to super adorable tote bags, we’ve got everything you need to Go Gold in style!  

7. Read the Book!

One great way to raise awareness is to share the story of our founder Alex Scott. Alex was just 4-years-old when she held her first lemonade stand and created a movement to cure childhood cancer. Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand tells her story and is the perfect book to share with everyone in your life! Donate a book to your school library or offer to read at story time!

8. Donate!

Want a super easy way to make an impact? Make a donation and sign up for our One Cup At A Time Club! Whether it is $5, $50 or $500, every donation adds up to a cure for childhood cancer. 

Thank you for your support all year long. Thank you for being bold and going gold with us, one cup at a time! 


Alex's Million Mile

Pictured here: Patrick, age 8 and Alex, age 7 outside their home in Wynnewood, PA in the fall of 2003.

Our founder, Alex Scott, was fortunate in her life to have her older brother Patrick, and two younger brothers, Eddie and Joey – her 3 SuperSibs. Alex’s brothers remain involved and committed to helping other childhood cancer families.

The following letter is a heartfelt tribute from Alex’s older brother Patrick who helped her set up and run her front yard lemonade stand. Patrick is now 22 and graduated from Harvard University in 2016. He currently lives and works in Arkansas.

To my sister Alex,

Today marks 13 years since your death on August 1, 2004. At the time, you were 8 and I was 9. Had you lived, you would be 21 now. It’s difficult to imagine, because you will always be fixed in my memory, and in the memories of Mom, Dad, Eddie and Joey, as an 8-year-old girl. It’s even more difficult to think of all the things you’ve missed in the 13 years since you died; our family has had 65 birthdays, nine graduations and two new dogs.

I think that, if you were alive, even you would be surprised to see what your lemonade stand has become (or, maybe not, you always had a way of knowing things). Tens of thousands of events each year and over $140 million raised - quite a far cry from the table you set up in our front yard not too many years ago.

When I think of you on this day, the word that comes to mind is “bittersweet.” It is impossible to recollect the joy of your life without also bringing to mind the tragedy of your death and the tragedy of pediatric cancer. Should I feel happy to have known you or sad to have lost you? Should I think of the thousands of lives that your dream saved or your life that ended too soon? Should I remember the fullness of your years or the shortness of your life? Do I remember days sitting in our backyard, you drawing and me reading, or your final days, when your illness had progressed beyond the point of no return?

I could remember you as a lot of things: the lemonade girl, a childhood cancer victim, my close friend, my little sister. But none of them do you justice; you would not be you if they were not all true.

More than anything else, I remember you for what you taught me. When asked about your cancer, you once said, “I am grateful for what I have, not ungrateful for what I don’t have.” You, as a terminally ill child, were still appreciative of the blessings that you had. To me, that describes you better than any label, encapsulates your image better than any picture--it reminds me that even though you were never old in age, in some ways, you were old in wisdom. For the lessons that you taught me, I will always remember you and I will always be grateful.

With love, your brother,


Patrick Scott, far right, with Eddie, Joey, Liz and Jay Scott at The 2017 Lemon Ball

Alex Scott
Teachers, here are six great ways to make community service part of your lesson planning!

by Trish Adkins, ALSF

The first day of school is almost here! And while summer days are winding down, the fall is the perfect time to join Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in the fight against childhood cancer. We know firsthand how amazing kids are at helping kids. Our founder, Alex Scott, was just a young girl when she held her first lemonade stand. Kids everywhere joined her call-to-action and now, ALSF is more than an organization, it’s a global movement to cure childhood cancer! 

Here are some great ways you can bring some lemonade back to school with you this fall!

1. Be Bold and Go Gold! During September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, join ALSF for Alex’s Million Mile, a month long fundraising and awareness-raising challenge! Students, teachers and their families log miles that they run, walk and ride throughout the month of September helping ALSF get to 1 million miles. Schools can also host lemonade stands and fundraise to help ALSF raise $1 million! Alex’s Million Mile is a great way to boost your school’s physical education program while helping other kids!  

2. Kick-It! New this year, Kick-It is a program that helps kick cancer out of children's lives! Your school district or school can plan a kickball tournament to benefit ALSF. Or encourage your student athletes to become Kick-It Champions and dedicate their season's stats to finding cures for childhood cancer. Learn more about Kick-It here.

3. Sweeten Your Lesson Plans. ALSF has several lesson plans for students of all ages. Plans include lessons in math, literacy and science. One of our favorites—the Lemon Juice Properties Lab—is a fun lesson plan for art or science classes! Check out all of our lesson plans here

4. Plan a Lemonade Stand. There is never a bad time of year to plan a lemonade stand! Parent-Teacher organizations can plan lemonade stands for Back-to-School night. Students can host a lemonade stand at your high school’s football games! Now is a great time to plan lemonade stands for later in the year and get your big event on the school calendar! 

5. Declare a Lemonade War. This contest, inspired by the book The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies, challenges schools to compete against each other to determine who can raise the most money through a lemonade stand project or another type of event. Sign up now for the start of the spring 2018 lemonade war!

6. Ask-a-Researcher. Plan a school-wide lemonade stand and use it as an opportunity to have your students explore careers as scientists and researchers. Schools who host lemonade stands have the opportunity to submit questions to a childhood cancer researcher and have a special video chat or recording made with a researcher!

Want more fun ideas to get your school engaged in kid-driven community service? Head over to our Schools section of the website for more great printable activities, lesson plans and ideas for students of all ages. Have specific questions, contact Ellie Paparone.