Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Jay Scott discussing how to build awareness of childhood cancer.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer recently held our very first Symposium on childhood cancer. The day was a great success, and a learning experience for all involved. Below are two accounts from parents who attended the event.

Sue Levine, mother of Max Levine

I signed up for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Childhood Cancer Symposium with some trepidation. After all, I no longer had a child in treatment, as my son Max had died in April of 2008, after a six and a half year battle with neuroblastoma. What could I possibly learn at such an event?

As it turns out…I learned quite a lot. The speakers were truly wonderful and offered a lot of important information and support. The discussions were lively, and for me, empowering. It had been a long time since I was someplace where there were other parents dealing with the issues that I had dealt with for so long. It was the first time I was with other parents who had lost their children to cancer. I learned that a lot of what I had been feeling was normal and that the difficult situations that I still encounter were faced by other parents. Guided by some terrific professionals, we shared our experiences and talked about what worked and what didn’t. Even during lunch, we were able to share our stories with one another.

It was a day well-spent with wonderful people and outstanding professionals who were able to guide us through the unique situations faced by parents of children with cancer. I am VERY thankful to ALSF for planning and executing such a wonderful event. I look forward to next year’s symposium!

A. Kim Ritchey, MD, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
'Treatment of Childhood Cancer - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow'

Ellen Hanson, mother of Sean Hanson

We recently had the pleasure of attending the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Symposium on childhood cancer. We took the train from Providence, the conductor remembered us from previous trips to Sloan Kettering when Sean was little. The Alex’s Lemonade shirts and hats may have given us away! We thought we would do some advertising and advocate for childhood cancer awareness on the ride.

I thought the Symposium was fantastic, I really enjoyed it. I learned more about PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder), which I definitely have and lots more about cancer past, present and future. It is always interesting to hear questions from other parents after the lectures. It was great to meet families that we had talked to online for years, but had never met. I also met many new families with kids with other types of cancer.

The kid’s room was great. They had Wii set up, legos, crafts of all kinds and a magic show. My kids did not want to leave. Everyone got to know one another and the kids played so nicely together. We sat with different folks at each meal and got to just spend some time chatting with other families.

Everyone got to stay up late enjoying more lemon Rita’s water ice, which we don’t have at home. In the morning we had breakfast with our new friends. Thanks to everyone at Alex’s for putting on such a fantastic symposium. It was their first and I was very impressed!
Great news – thanks to all of our supporters, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer has been named the number 1 cause on Twitter! For a three week period beginning on June 15, thousands of people on twitter voted for their favorite cause. Out of 53 causes, ALSF won!

@Top10Causes will now work hard to promote, raise awareness and support the new Top 10 Causes on Twitter via Twitter, Facebook, Blog, and their website. Check it out here:

As you can tell, ALSF is well on our way to breaking into the social media world, but we still need your help. ALSF is also part of another contest - this one has an amazing reward – a $25,000 social media makeover! Will you help us win? Vote below!

Finally – we hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend, and if you aren’t following us on twitter, or our other social media outlets, make sure to join today!

Coming next week…Childhood Cancer Symposium – in the words of attendees!

As our biggest month of the year winds down (we are still looking forward to our very first Childhood Cancer Symposium this weekend, click here for information), we are anxiously awaiting the submission of grant applications for the 2009 Nursing Grants and a brand new and exciting addition. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is proud to announce a new grant category to our already prestigious line up, the “A” Award. You may be thinking this is a play on words, and why not, after all, “A” is for Alex.

Following in the footsteps of the Young Investigator Awards, the “A” Award is designed for young scientists to jump start their careers in pediatric oncology research. It is also intended to keep them there! It is no secret that childhood cancer needs more researchers to focus on finding cures and causes for the disease, and this grant’s purpose is to do just that, draw more researchers into the field.

One of the most exciting aspects of this grant is that the funding will cover three years of research. Currently, all other ALSF awards are given two years of funding. Additionally, the “A” Award will be the largest given the by the Foundation, totaling $375,000. Another bonus – the award will grant the researchers exclusive access to ALSF’s Scientific Advisory Board for periodic consultation, as well as reference books to enhance the researcher’s pediatric library.

ALSF is proud of the progress that has been made through our grant program since inception in 2005, and we are equally excited to continue taking leaps and bounds toward the cures we are so desperately seeking. The “A” Award is an important component in the continuation of this progress, and we can’t wait to accept applications and see where their work will lead.

For more information on the “A” Award and the current grant applications ALSF is accepting, click here.