Six year old Izzy Rita crossed the finish line in October at the ALSF End Chidlhood Cancer Walk/Run.
By: Trish Adkins
Two weeks after Izzy celebrated her first birthday, her parents noticed unusual stiffness in her neck.
They never imagined the cause would be a spinal cord tumor called ganglioglioma.
Surgery, chemotherapy and rehabilitative therapies followed. The tumor and surgery left Izzy without the ability to walk on her own. Then, when Izzy was 2 years old, she participated in the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Lemon Run for the first time. She crossed the finish line of the 5K, with her dad and hundreds of cheering fans.
Today, Izzy is 6 years old. She loves music, singing and getting a laugh out of her family.
“Over the years Izzy has struggled physically, but grown incredibly strong in who she is as a person,” said Sonia, Izzy's mom. “She is brave and strong. She is humble and kind. And I think that comes from feeling the support of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.”
Every day, 800 children around the world are diagnosed with childhood cancer. And every day, families and supporters are leading the movement to fight childhood cancer. Here's how you can help fight childhood cancer, every day:
1. Raise Awareness
Whether you’ve experienced childhood cancer firsthand, like Izzy’s family, or you’ve become aware through a friend or family member, sharing the awareness and need for more research is a critical step towards finding cures. Share the facts about childhood cancer, share your story and keep talking about the desperate need for more research.
2. Host a Lemonade Stand
Hosting a lemonade stand (or hot chocolate stand!) is an amazing way to get your family involved with a service project. Children can be involved and lead every step of the process from picking a date, spreading the word, mixing the lemonade, manning the stand and collecting donations that will be used for childhood cancer research. Businesses can also host lemonade stands and use it as a great opportunity for team building.
3. Cross the Finish Line
Be like Izzy and cross the finish line while raising money for childhood cancer research. Team Lemon, the ALSF charity racing team, is a great way to raise awareness and funds! Whether you run, walk, bike or swim, you can be part of Team Lemon. Learn more and check out the list of open races here.
4. Say “I Do,” to Doing Good
Getting married? Bring a little love and lemonade to your wedding reception! Whether you make a donation in lieu of favors or ask your guests to make donations on your behalf, ALSF has tools to help you share your wedding wishes. For couples that make donations on behalf of your guests, ALSF even has complimentary place cards that you can use to inform your guests of the donation. Want some lemonade wedding inspiration? Check out these three weddings!
5. Kick-It (or dunk it or pin it)
Turn your season’s stats into real money for childhood cancer research. By being a Champion for Kids with Cancer, you can demonstrate your dedication to being the best person you can be every day. Whether you are a basketball player scoring points, a goalie making saves, a baseball player stealing home or a cyclist riding miles, when you sign up to be a Champion you are committed to making a difference! Are you ready to take on a new challenge? Learn more here.