The Childhood Cancer Blog

Remembering My Daughter on Her 27th Birthday

Home » Blog

By: Liz Scott, Alex's Mom

My daughter, Alex, would be turning 27 years old today. 

As I reflect on her birthday it's always a time of “what if?” What if she had survived? What would she be like today? So much about her was yet to be known. But I know with certainty the legacy she left and I'm grateful for it. I consider myself very lucky to remember Alex in such a positive and inspiring way through “her lemonade stand,” one cup at a time!

Also wrapped in my memories of Alex is how hard her life was with childhood cancer.  

For Alex, childhood cancer meant a lifetime of hardships—endless medical procedures and uncertainty, pain, the lack of any sort of childhood normalcy and, for Alex, childhood cancer meant ultimately missing the opportunity to grow up. Childhood cancer has had a huge effect on our entire family; we still feel the absence of Alex in our lives, the lingering anxieties from what we all went through and the sadness from the loss of her presence in our lives today.  

Despite all the awful hard stuff, Alex's life was a gift, and remembering her beautiful life is a gift, too. Alex certainly gave me a multitude of wonderful memories and a lifetime of joy. Even beyond her legacy of hope for other children, she gave me so many shared moments and a huge personality that left her mark on my soul forever. I'm forever grateful to her and for her life--a life that has given the opportunity at life to other kids like Edie, Zack, Philip, and countless other kids who have fought their battles and won thanks to research funded by the legacy Alex created. 

We celebrated 19 birthdays without Alex. I miss her so much; and I know others do, too. 

I feel fortunate that Alex is remembered by others, people who knew her and people who never met her but whose lives she has forever left a mark on. In anticipation of writing this blog, I was seeking inspiration and I suppose some affirmation that Alex’s legacy is still strong. 

I posted on my personal social media to gather thoughts from others on Alex’s life. The responses were heartfelt and made me cry and smile. They were yet another gift, which I suppose is fitting since it is Alex’s birthday and she was all about the gifts. I thought I would share a few of those sweet notes today in memory and celebration of Alex:

“I have a favorite memory of Alex that actually involves her birthday—I remember that we were both scheduled to have treatment on Alex’s birthday, and before I arrived at the hospital I was feeling so sad that she had to spend her birthday getting chemo. But when I walked into the playroom that day, Alex was wearing a party dress, a tiara, and (most impressively) a huge smile. She was playing at the craft table and soaking up all of the birthday love. It felt like a party in the playroom that day, and it brought so much joy to the entire floor of patients to have something to celebrate. Her joy was contagious. She had every right to be upset at her circumstances, like a birthday in the hospital, and yet always found the beauty and joy in the life around her instead. Her ability to seek out life’s joy rather than its negativity is something I try to remember on a daily basis. It's incredible to see how ALSF continues to embody the positivity and joyful spirit she brought to the world, and how powerful and empowering that reclamation of joy can be for patients and families in moments of hardship.”
“Your daughter, Alex, was a very inspiring, determined little girl. She became very famous for her compassion, her generosity and consideration for others. I watched her on many tv shows as she touched my heart...she became a sweet hero, an unforgettable Angel.”
"Hi! I have so many thoughts about Alex and I very much think about her and her legacy in many of the things I do. Sharing a birthday with her was always such a joy, while a lot of kids would like the attention on themselves I remember from a young age it giving me inspiration and something to strive for on my birthday. Even after she passed and every year I have another birthday I hope to be more like Alex and embody Alex’s spirit because I know how lucky I am to be able to still celebrate my January 18 birthday."
"To me, Alex’s legacy is, of course, one that will eventually find a cure for cancer—that I am sure of. But what’s more (and I think will last long behind that day we find a cure), is that she taught thousands (if not millions) of kids that when something bad happens, you can stand up, do something and make a difference. Losing a friend to cancer when I was 12 was the worst and most helpless thing that happened to me, but Alex provided an avenue for me to actually “stand” up and do something about it. When I look at my life today, 15 years later, and I see all I’ve accomplished and done since then, I know with my heart of hearts that the “do something” mentality she taught me, is what has got me here. There’s absolutely no question about it."
"What Alex and other childhood cancer heroes have taught me and so many others is: no matter how hard life is, you can’t leave it to chance. You have to take charge and take action. That’s the goal of, and the mantra of, so many families who are experiencing challenges as they fight childhood cancer. We can join them by transforming the pain and worry of these challenges into longer, healthy lives for children with cancer."
"Not surprisingly, I think of Alex all the time, especially during each Lemonade Stand season when bright yellow stands pop up all over like a happy field of daisies. I know in my heart her spirit is here among us, still guiding us to continue the fruitful journey she started."
"Alex, thank you for the lessons and life gifts you have given me. I’m grateful for your kind and beautiful soul."

I hope today, if you knew Alex or were inspired by her, you will share your comments on our social media posts. This mom’s heart can always use some happy thoughts on this difficult day. And to Alex, my sweet girl, I say happy birthday. I miss you and love you. You were a treasure.

Xoxo, Mom

Become a monthly donor in honor of Alex and you can continue her legacy of cures or give a one time gift. 

Give Monthly in Honor of Alex