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Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Stuck with no idea what to get all the loved ones on your list? Don’t stress—we’ve got some great gifts that give back to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and help fund groundbreaking childhood cancer research

You can feel good and look good with our Gifts that Give Back Holiday Gift Guide! 

Chavez for Charity

Take a stand against childhood cancer this holiday season by purchasing jewelry from Chavez for Charity. For every yellow item sold, CFC donates 25% of their profit to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.  Chavez for Charity jewelry makes great gifts for all the women in your life—teachers, best friends, sisters and mothers! Check out the full line benefiting ALSF here


 

 

 

glassybaby

Beginning Friday, November 25 through December 31, glassybaby will donate 10% from the sale of ANY glassybaby to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation when you enter the giving code “alsf”.  Votives and drinkers from glassybaby are perfect for host/hostess gifts, teachers, neighbors and to spice up your home decor! Head to glassybaby (and don’t forget giving code “alsf”)!


 

 

ALEX AND ANI
We #CARRYLIGHT for all children with cancer this holiday season. Now through December 31, our partner, ALEX AND ANI, will be offering 10% off all e-commerce sales generated from this unique link. In addition, ALEX AND ANI will donate 20% of the purchase price from each Zest for Life Charm sold here. Gift your favorites with charmed arms this year! 

 

 

 

 

Looking for more gift ideas? Check our full list of partner products that benefit ALSF and visit our gift shop for amazing ALSF merchandise. 

Happy Shopping, one gift at a time!

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Gift Shop
Taylor was a cancer patient and now, she is studying to be a pediatric oncology nurse.

Taylor, a 21-year-old University of North Alabama student, is studying to become a pediatric oncology nurse. Although she’s only in her first year of nursing courses, Taylor knows exactly what nurses can mean to their patients. Taylor was once a cancer patient herself, relying on the nurses as a support system. 

“The nurses helped me. They were my family away from home,” says Taylor, who plans to help children battling childhood cancer in the same way she was helped. 

Her Cancer Journey
In 2006, Taylor was an active 11-year-old, swimming daily during the summer on her local swim team. She complained about soreness in her right arm, but she and her parents assumed it was from swimming.

When school started in September, the pain became so bad that Taylor was taken to the local bone and joint clinic. After an x-ray, the doctor sent them to Children’s of Birmingham but didn’t say why. Shortly after Labor Day in 2006, Taylor’s mom Tammy received a phone call: Taylor had osteosarcoma. It is the most common type of childhood bone cancer, but is more common in boys than in girls. 

Taylor started treatment right away which included chemotherapy, reconstructive surgery on the upper part of her right arm, a donor graft, metal plates and pins. When chemotherapy was complete in June 2007, Taylor was cancer-free. 

Desperate for a Cure
Taylor was cancer-free for 18 months until doctors found tumors in her lungs, which is typical of an osteosarcoma relapse. She would cycle through treatment – chemotherapy and a thoracotomy to remove the tumors in her lungs, over and over again--briefly being cancer-free and then relapsing twice more in 2010 and 2011.

During Taylor’s last relapse in 2011, she was receiving treatment from MD Anderson in Houston, over 700 miles away from her home in Alabama. Desperate for a cure, she was referred a trial at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, which was supported in part through an Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Infrastructure grant. 

HEROS Trial 
Dr. Nabil Ahmed (ALSF Young Investigator 2007 & Innovation grant 2013 recipient) was Taylor’s doctor during the Her2 Trial. He remembers Taylor’s amazing smile the first time they met – it was a stubborn, survivor’s smile. He told her she looked like a person who was going to live. 

The Her2 Trial – nicknamed the HEROS Trial for Her2 Osteosarcoma – was an immunotherapy trial.  Blood was drawn from Taylor and then doctors separated the immune cells, reprogrammed them to attack the cancer and reintroduced them into her body. The treatment was successful and shortly after the trial, Taylor had her right lung removed. She has been cancer-free since 2012.

“I honestly believe if we had not been at Texas Children’s and didn’t have this research from Dr. Ahmed, I don’t think she’d be here. I really don’t. I mean it kept coming back, until he did this.” said Tammy, Taylor's mom. 

Support Makes a Difference
“Without funding from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to participate in this. We wouldn’t have the opportunity to make this happen for Taylor and other patients like her,” said Dr. Ahmed. “Perhaps she wouldn’t have been able to survive and our work wouldn’t have been able to survive.” 

The Her2 Trial was supported by an ALSF Infrastructure grant. These grants are funded one cup at a time, by our generous supporters. There are over a dozen different types and countless subtypes of childhood cancer. By supporting the research into better and safer treatments and creating the infrastructure for trials to take place, we can make a difference in a child’s life that is battling cancer. 

ALSF’s research grants program selects the most promising, innovative programs to fund. Every hour of research costs $50 and brings us closer to cures for all children. Every donation, every dollar counts in our battle to find breakthroughs for all children. ​

Inspired to join the fight? Donate here to fund innovative research, so more kids like Taylor can realize their dreams. 

While playing goalie for her soccer team this April, Chloe Cox, a super bright 12-year-old from Texarkana, Texas, was kicked in the head. She stood up holding her head; but seemed okay. 

In the weeks that followed, Chloe began to have horrible headaches. Her family doctor diagnosed her with a mild concussion, with instructions to return if the headaches continued or got worse. The headaches continued and her doctor sent her to the ER for CT scan. 

Within one 1 hour, the family had a diagnosis: there was a tumor the size of a walnut near her pineal gland—a gland deep inside the brain tucked between the two hemispheres that produces melatonin which the body uses to regulate sleep cycles.  Doctors told Chloe’s parents that they were lucky they found the tumor now—all thanks to that kick in the head during soccer which led them to fear a concussion. Any further delay in treatment and Chloe could have died. 

Chloe had surgery that evening to relieve the pressure in her brain and to biopsy the tumor. While the family waited on results and for the next steps, Chloe’s oldest sister got married with Chloe right by her side.  The biopsy revealed that Chloe had glioblastoma multiforme, with rare histone mutations. This already rare, fast growing tumor was now classified as even rarer.

The next week, Chloe had a tumor resection removing 75-80% of the tumor. Then, Chloe was sent 300 miles away to M.D. Anderson, in Houston, Texas for radiation treatment. Chloe finished 7 1/2 weeks of radiation and now is continuing treatment in a clinical trial at M.D. Anderson in an effort to eradicate the disease and give Chloe her childhood back.

Chloe’s mom, Michelle, left her business and her job of 30 years to be with her daughter during treatment. It was a clear choice; the family had health insurance through Michelle’s husband and Michelle needed to be there for her daughter, in a way she never expected. 

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to be by her side every day. I have truly enjoyed our one on one time and we have laughed a lot together and cried a little, too,” says Michelle. 

The void left by Michelle’s income in the family finances was large.  Even as their local community rallied around the Cox family, the expense of travel was looming. Chloe and her family have made several trips, sometimes for weeks at a time or multiple times during a month, to M.D. Anderson in Houston, 300 miles from their home. Michelle knew they needed more support to ensure they could afford to get to the critical treatment that Chloe needed. 

“The ALSF Travel for Care team stepped up immediately with funding for our hotel expenses. Providing our family with the support we needed to stay together during Chloe’s treatment,” said Michelle. 

Chloe’s family is much like many childhood cancer families—who have to travel great distances, multiple times a year and even multiple times in one week for treatment, consultations, medications and surgeries.  Pediatric oncology care is so specialized—and even families close to a major cancer center, still may have to travel a distance to reach the most promising treatments.  ALSF’s Travel for Care program provides qualifying families with travel grants that help children and their families get to the most promising treatments at facilities across the United States.

Chloe’s cancer—glioblastoma multiforme—typically occurs in adults and is a fast growing tumor. Chloe’s tumor tripled in size between brain surgeries.  There are not known cures; but Chloe is determined to beat the disease and pave the way for breakthroughs for other children battling rare brain tumors.

“She is a survivor and a conqueror. Chloe is a force to be reckoned with. Her amazing strength and faith is something that many adults, including me, wish they had,” says Chloe’s mom.

Chloe continues to battle cancer and be an active 12-year-old. She loves her family. She loves to draw. She is funny. She is happy and when Chloe sees someone in need, she goes out of her way to do whatever she can to help.

There have been times in Chloe’s treatment when the family has traveled to the hospital for treatment; only to be turned away because insurance had not yet approved the treatment. They have no choice but to leave and then make the long trip again as soon as insurance approval came through. 

“My husband and I have been married 20 years and once we had children, we decided to never spend a night apart from each other and the children. This experience has challenged our family —and it has divided us in ways that are not always pleasant. We are so grateful for the support of ALSF for our travel and for their dedication to funding childhood cancer research” said Michelle. 

Tomorrow on #GivingTuesday, Chloe will take over the ALSF Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the day and share more of her story. You can help us help more families like the Cox family travel to treatment by making a Giving Tuesday donation. In one day, ALSF hopes to raise $10,000, enough to help 20 families with travel expenses associated with treatment for childhood cancer.  Donate here. 

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