The Childhood Cancer Blog

It began with Alex and it will end with cures: Introducing our Formula for Cures

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  • Alexandra “Alex” Scott said it best: “I think if we all work together, we can do it.”
  • This is ALSF’s Formula for Cures. It starts and ends with the inspiration of supporters, heroes and researchers.
  • Alex Scott inspired supporters everywhere to make a difference—from stand hosts to corporate partners to children to adults to researchers—each of us has a contribution to make towards cures.
  • To maintain our dedication to rigorous scientific review, the Crazy 8 Initiative will create a roadmap to tackle the most pressing problems facing researchers.
  • Each year, ALSF-funded Young Investigators gather to share their research, network and collaborate on ways to innovate their research.
  • Accelerating breakthrough research for hard to treat cancers like DIPG is critical. ALSF-funded researcher, Dr. Michelle Monje, recently discovered that a type of immunotherapy shows promise in the treatment of this deadly brain tumor.
  • Willow’s family needed to make a 1,000 mile road trip every three months for her treatment for a rare brain tumor. The ALSF Travel for Care program was able to provide her with immediate financial support to receive her treatment at a facility far from home.
  • There is enough publicly available disease data at the National Institute of Health to fill up several hundred Libraries of Congress and through ALSF’s investment in technology, the Childhood Cancer Data Lab is translating that data into one consistent format for researchers to access and use.
  • Supporters, like the Lemonettes, take a stand every day for cures. The sister duo has raised more than $15,000 since 2012.
  • The inspiration for all the work we do begins and ends with our supporters. Dr. Glen Samuels and his patient, Malina, worked together to identify a biomarker for Ewing sarcoma. Dr. Samuels used Malina’s donated blood sample in the lab to study what happens in the blood when a child has Ewing sarcoma.

by Trish Adkins

Starting with her very first lemonade stand, Alexandra “Alex” Scott, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) founder, sparked a movement—a movement not only to help sick kids get better and find cures for childhood cancer; but one that would inspire and call on each one of us to work together.

Over the last 13 years, childhood cancer heroes and their families, donors, volunteers, and of course, researchers have come together for one goal: cures for childhood cancer.

At ALSF, we have learned that curing childhood cancer is not just a product of fundraising or volunteering or even the result of a breakthrough that happens in a lab. It is not just one successful treatment for one child or one donation that makes cures possible.

Curing childhood cancer is a combination of all of these elements and the people working together for one purpose that will save generations of children. At ALSF, our mission began with Alex’s front yard lemonade stand and has driven us on the path toward cures.

To accomplish this enormous mission of helping all children have access to safe, more effective treatments and cures, we need a formula. This is our Formula for Cures:

Our Formula for Cures begins and ends with the inspiration of people everywhere and in-between it requires an approach that empowers each one of us to make a difference. We work together to:

  • Select the most promising projects through a rigorous scientific review process conducted by ALSF’s Scientific Advisory and Review Boards, comprised of more than 70 scientists that review every grant application received.
  • Encourage innovative collaboration between researchers that speeds up the rate of breakthroughs—ensuring that researchers are engaged throughout all stages of their careers to share information and work together.
  • Accelerate breakthrough research by cutting down the time it takes for projects to go from bench to bedside, bringing safer treatments to children every single day.
  • Provide immediate impact to families through ALSF’s Family Services program that helps families travel to clinical trials and provides support to heroes, siblings and parents.
  • Invest in technology that gives researchers access to cutting-edge tools and decades of data available through ALSF’s Childhood Cancer Data Lab.
  • Encourage supporters to take a stand against childhood cancer by offering ways to support the families impacted by this disease as well as the research community who continues to search for cures.
  • Draw on the inspiration of supporters, researchers and the children battling childhood cancer to do all these things, one cup at a time.

This is ALSF’s Formula for Cures.

Click through the slideshow, above, to see this Formula in action. Want to be part of the movement to find cures for childhood cancer? Find out more here.