by Liz Scott, Alex's Mom
Earlier this week, we sat in our Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation office to look through photos of Alex that we hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a conscious walk down memory lane—one that took us through Alex’s eight birthday parties and her now-famous-lemonade stands and regular family moments with Alex and her three brothers, Patrick, Eddie and Joey.
Taking this stroll down memory lane is overwhelming. It’s not that we don’t want to remember everything about Alex; it is just when we do, this act of having to remember is bittersweet.
We wish Alex was here, now.
Alex was born in 1996—before everything was digital. We have stacks of pictures in albums, frames and boxes. We often find random rolls of film in a drawer that we never developed. We send the film off and it comes back with photos we never knew existed—treasures for our family.
When we looked at photos of Alex, like the one before she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, just a baby who was trying to crawl, you can see it all on her little face—that determined, knowing smile.
What you can’t always see in the photos is the backstory—like the picture of Alex at her 4th birthday party. Alex, in her typical fashion, told us how she wanted to celebrate. She wanted a surprise party—so we planned her “surprise party,” together. The next day, Alex went into the hospital for a month to have a stem cell transplant. During those 30 nights, Jay would have to play Pretty Pretty Princess—a board game in which the winner was always the player with the most jewelry and a tiara on—every single night. In 30 nights, Jay won just once; Alex was the clear winner 29 times out of 30.
It was that hospital stay when Alex first started talking about hosting a lemonade stand. We did not know why. Of course, we now know what Alex was setting the stage for—a legacy of hope.
We also found a photo of students and teachers at Penn Wynne Elementary School. It was taken in June of 2004 —when Alex was really sick. The students and teachers are standing together on the school lawn to spell out "Alex." Alex was discharged the day this photo was taken and as we drove towards home, we got close to the school and could hear chanting. The entire school was outside waiting and saying “We love you Alex.”
That moment meant so much to our family. It meant so much to Alex. Alex loved you all, too.
Alex loved being silly (check out the photo of her balancing a pretzel on her nose). Alex loved meeting characters (the Rugrats were her favorite) and hearing stories. Alex loved going to school because on the days she was well enough to go, it was such a gift to just be a kid. She loved her American Girl doll. She loved Halloween. I remember her last Halloween when she dressed as a garden fairy (with her doll in a matching outfit). I loved that costume—all its sweet, little girl qualities and pretty ruffles.
Alex loved, loved, loved her brothers. She adored being a little sister to Patrick and a big sister to Eddie and Joey. She loved time with her cousins. She loved her birthdays.
We love you Alex. It is a tremendous honor to be your parents. We are so grateful for your life.
Alex Scott's dream to find cures for childhood cancer has lived on for 15 birthdays past her last. It grows bigger every year as more and more people have taken this dream into their hearts. Don't miss a special Facebook video premiere featuring personal family photos, provided by Liz and Jay, of the little girl who set out to change the world, one cup at time. You can also help that dream continue to grow by supporting the search for cures today. In honor of Alex’s 23rd birthday, consider making a donation to help continue Alex’s fight for a cure for all kids with cancer.