You are here

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

March Madness: More than the final score. ALSF founder Alex Scott receiving an award at a Sixers game.

 by Liz Scott, Alex’s Mom

I am always inspired when I watch basketball and, for me, March Madness is the best basketball time of the year!  I like watching basketball, especially youth basketball because kids play their hearts out.   

As a parent, I have grown to recognize the work and effort that these young men and women have had to put into this sport to play at the Division 1 level.  I appreciate all that their parents and families have done to give them this opportunity.  It can be grueling at times to watch your child make mistakes, have a bad game or just sit on the bench hoping for a chance to get in the game. I also know how great it can feel to see them succeed, make that big winning shot and contribute to the team as a player.  

I also know what a gift it is to be healthy. When I watch my own son play basketball, I will admit that at times I find myself shouting a little too loudly, or groaning out loud when he makes a turnover.  However, when I stop and pause to take it in, I am reminded of the fact that his participation is a gift—his ability to run, shoot and dribble is not something to take for granted.   

My daughter Alex had a lot of physical deficits due to her cancer—she could barely walk, (never mind run), her fine motor skills were challenged and she was often so tired from the treatment that physical exertion would quickly tire her out. If she had ever been able to get down a basketball court while dribbling a basketball, I literally would have cried tears over her accomplishment. That perspective is something that has stayed with me. 

When I need it most, especially during those moments when I find myself getting a little too caught up in a basketball game, this perspective seems to bubble up. It is a reminder that I need to cherish the moment and never take good health for granted. Then, I am able to enjoy every moment of watching my son just be on the team—and know that win or lose—participating is a gift that too many other children don’t get to enjoy. With that perspective, I am able to watch the sport I love with such an appreciation for everything that is happening because I know that basketball is so much more than the final score. It is about young men and women who are blessed to run up and down a basketball court and play their hearts out—all made possible by their fortune to have good health and their willingness to make the most of it. 

I wish you basketball lovers a thrilling March Madness and for those of you who don’t watch, give it a try, you might be surprised at how fulfilling it can be.

Liz Scott is the Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, but she is most proud of her title of "Mom" to her three sons, Patrick, Eddie, and Joey, and her daughter Alex. She is also proud of her days as #23 for the Windsor Warriors. 



Alex Scott
March is National Reading Month! All month long, students, teachers and families celebrate reading and the magic of books. At Alex’s Lemonade Stand , we have  lots of fun, unique ways you can celebrate National Reading Month and help children battling cancer!

by Trish Adkins

March is National Reading Month! All month long, students, teachers, and families celebrate reading and the magic of books. At Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, we have many fun, unique ways you can celebrate National Reading Month and help children battling cancer

Reading with children (whether yours or the ones you teach) sparks their imagination, expands their vocabulary, supports the development of critical thinking skills and opens their minds to a world of possibilities.

Our Foundation’s history begins with a story — the story of an amazing little girl named Alex who wanted to help her friends feel better. Alex Scott and her lemonade stand started what has become a national movement to find cures for all children! 

Want to read more? Here are five great ways you can celebrate National Reading Month and help ALSF find cures for childhood cancer:

1. Order and read Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand! 

Educators are eligible for a complimentary copy of the book. The book, written by Alex’s parents, tells the story of Alex Scott and how she turned her illness into hope for a cure for all children. Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand is a children’s book with a theme that students everywhere can latch onto — that people of all ages can make a difference. Request your copy here. Or if you are not a teacher, order a copy from the ALSF shop!

2. Download ALSF discussion guides.

Available for ages K-6, the ALSF discussion guides helps students think critically about what they read. Each of the two versions of the discussion guides provides ideas for before, during and after reading. The discussion guide includes conversation starters, vocabulary builders and other great ways to get your class engaged in reading. The guides are tailored for Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand; however, the discussion questions could work for any books you read with children!

3. Join The Great Lemonade War.

Join schools across the country and compete in the annual ALSF Great Lemonade War! Inspired by the book The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies, the contest inspires schools to compete to raise the most money for ALSF. Schools who compete receive a copy of the book and the winning school receives a visit from the author, Jacqueline Davies! Read the book with your class! Use the ALSF lesson plans to further lessons in literacy, critical thinking, math, and business. The 2017 Great Lemonade War ends April 7. Join now or plan for next year!

4. Plan a reading-themed fundraiser.

Use this month to encourage your students to read more books and raise money for ALSF. Have students donate a penny (or a dime or a quarter) for every book they read on their reading log. Set reading and corresponding fundraising goals with your class. Reward students with the most books read and most donations at the end of the month. Request Change Childhood 
coin banks for your students to make the collection easy and fun! 

5. Celebrate the month with lemonade!

Celebrate all your reading and fundraising accomplishments with a lemonade stand! Plan a school-wide lemonade stand and incorporate a special story time featuring Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand into your fundraiser. Ask students to plan, promote and share the event with their family and friends. 

Are you ready? Learn more about our founder (Alex’s favorite books were Junie B. Jones!), check out our great lesson plans or register your school’s lemonade stand here.

Trish Adkins is the web content writer for ALSF. She is also a Hero Mom to her daughter Lily, an ependymoma survivor. 

Kelby Wright survived four rounds of neuroblastoma and now raises money for childhood cancer research.

by Kelby Wright, a senior at Bozeman High School, Bozeman, Montana

December 4, 2000 was a terrible day for a particular family. Their toddler daughter was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. The cancer had already spread to various areas in her body. She was just 18-months-old. 

The tumor was noticeable in her left cheek. However, the parents of the child did not know that there was also a tumor in her right adrenal gland that would most likely result in having that organ removed.

She survived the round of cancer. But soon enough, about nine months after the treatment, her stage IV neuroblastoma returned in her jaw. Her parents, devastated once again, stayed with her through the harsh chemotherapy and radiation. Her mother was always feeling around in her jaw in order to check on the tumor. 

She was a happy little girl, minding her own business and playing with the hospital toys. She always had a smile on her face. The doctors had warned that she had a very low chance of surviving both the first and second time. Soon enough, the cancer in her jaw left for a second time. And then, as doctors predicted, it returned. 

That little girl was me, Kelby Wright.

When I was 3-years-old, I broke my arm after falling off a bike that was too big for me. My parents took me to the doctor, who discovered the third round of neuroblastoma. At the time, the side effects from chemotherapy were making me miserable. The neuroblastoma I was battling had an amplified gene, which gave me a slim chance of survival after my first relapse. Now I was on relapse number two. 

My parents decided to take me off chemotherapy, choosing radiation and pain management, so I could be happy for the rest of my life, instead of miserable. My parents and doctors did not expect me to live. 

But, as unexpected as it was, even without chemotherapy, I survived for a third time. 

You might think that was the end of it, but no, cancer returned for a fourth time. I was just 6-years-old and neuroblastoma was found in a lymph node under my arm. Once again, doctors gave me very little chance for survival.

But here I am, 12 years later and a senior in high school writing about neuroblastoma, fundraising for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for my senior project and full of hope for the future. 

Hope is not something to give up. 

My parents never gave up hope for me, even when they thought I might die. To give up hope is essentially to give up in general. With hope, one feels a sort of humble empowerment. You know you do not have control, but you can’t help feeling that things will eventually get better.

Hope makes life easier. Without it, we are helpless. We can’t function.

Kelby Wright is a senior at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana. She is a four-time neuroblastoma survivor. Kelby graduates in June and aspires to teach art to children. This year, she put her graphic design skills to work and hosted a fundraising event selling greeting cards to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, raising over $2,000. 

Guest Blogger
Tomorrow, February 17, is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Although we really shouldn’t need a day to remember to be kind to others, it is a good day to make sure you stop and do something kind for someone else – you never know when you will be the spark to inspire someone else to do the same!

by Liz Scott, Alex’s Mom

In 2000, the day after her fourth birthday, Alex received a stem cell transplant. Alex told me, “When I get out of the hospital, I want to have a lemonade stand.” It was winter, so I agreed that when it was warmer she could have one. I forgot about her request. The weather got warmer and Alex began asking to hold her lemonade stand again. 

I wondered what Alex could possibly want to buy with her lemonade money. I asked her: “Alex, what is it that you want?”

Alex did not want anything for herself.  She wanted to give the money to doctors to allow them to “help other kids, like they helped me.” True to her word, Alex, with the help of her brother, held her first lemonade stand in June of that year and raised an amazing $2,000 for “her hospital.” 

Alex continued to amaze me with her selflessness. When Alex asked where exactly the money she was raising was going, I told her it was going to research for neuroblastoma at “her hospital” — in my mind there was a chance that we could find a cure for her with the money raised. 

Alex was clearly not pleased with my answer. I was confused at why she wasn’t happy about where we were donating the money. She then turned to me and said “that is so selfish.” I tried to explain to her again why we were donating the money to research for neuroblastoma when she finally answered, “all kids with cancer want a cure.”

That was a huge moment for me. 

In that moment, the truly kind intentions behind her lemonade stand were made clear and her legacy of helping all children and funding all types of childhood cancer research at hospitals across the country was born. 

Through her kindness, Alex inspired acts of kindness from others. So many people showed up at her lemonade stands and as word of the Lemonade Girl grew, so did the number of lemonade stand hosts across the country. When Alex boldly set a goal of raising $1 million dollars, supporters everywhere, of every age, stepped in with their donations — her kindness inspired the kindness of others. Today, more than 12 years after Alex left us, Alex’s Lemonade Stand has now raised over $140 million and funded over 690 research grants.

Alex’s legacy continues to show that everyone can make a difference, one cup and one act of kindness at a time. It is incredible how her one kind action – holding a lemonade stand to help other kids – was a spark that ignited tens of thousands of others to do the same.  

Tomorrow, February 17, is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Although we really shouldn’t need a day to remember to be kind to others, it is a good day to make sure you stop and do something kind for someone else – you never know when you will be the spark to inspire someone else to do the same! 

Need some simple ways to get started? Here are eight great ways to show some kindness:

  1. When you are in line for your morning cup of coffee, offer to pay for the person behind you or in front of you. 
  2. Check out the ALSF Stand Finder on our website and search for a Lemonade Stand in your zip code. Make a random  $5 or $10 donation to a stand. 
  3. Bring a neighbor a cup of hot chocolate, some homemade cookies or a glass of lemonade! 
  4. Grab a stack of sticky notes and write kind messages for your colleagues at work. Leave the notes on their desk.
  5. Tape quarters to the washing machines at the laundromat, on parking meters or on gum ball machines. 
  6. Donate your used books to your local library, school, senior center or nursing home. 
  7. Make your social media kind! Share positive stories and leave your friends kind comments! 
  8. Smile and say hello to everyone you encounter all day long!

Share your Random Acts of Kindness with us on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Liz Scott is the Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, but she is most proud of her title of "Mom" to her three sons, Patrick, Eddie, and Joey, and her daughter Alex.

Social Media
Happy Valentine's Day! Squeeze your loved ones extra tight today!

Happy Valentine's Day! We love all the amazing support and inspiration you share with us at Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Thank you for sharing the love and helping us find a cure, one squeeze at a time! 

About Shareables:

You can help Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation raise awareness of the need for childhood cancer research and cures for all children! Each month, we will share a new "shareable," an image for you to share with your social media network. Every time we start a conversation about childhood cancer, we bring ourselves closer to cures.

How To Share:
Sharing is easy! Links to the shareable on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are on the tabs below. Simply click on each tab and share, like and favorite! Thank you for helping ALSF fund innovative, cutting-edge childhood cancer research. 

Social embeds

Social Media
Neuroblastoma, the type of cancer our founder Alex Scott battled, is the most-common extra-cranial solid tumor in childhood.  Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has helped power research that is getting us closer to cures every day.

Neuroblastoma, the type of cancer our founder Alex Scott battled, is the most-common extra-cranial solid tumor in childhood. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has helped power research that is getting us closer to cures every day. Researchers like Dr. John Maris from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Dr. Katherine Matthay from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, who sit on the ALSF Scientific Advisory Board, are working to study what makes neuroblastoma tick — to find its Achilles heel and then go after it. 

“Your child has neuroblastoma.”

Thirty years ago, those four words came with dismal survival rates (only 10-30%). Thanks to intense research and scientific collaboration, long-term survival rates have increased to 50-60%  for children diagnosed over the age of 18 months.

However, survival rates do not tell the whole story. Stage of disease, age at diagnosis and several other factors can affect outcome. In addition, some current treatments can leave children with long-term side effects impacting their quality of life and the long-term health of survivors. 

There is still more work to be done. ALSF-funded researchers are working to better understand neuroblastoma and learn its true Achilles heel — the very thing that cause and power the disease, so doctors can stop it. 

Understanding Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor childhood. The disease arises in the peripheral sympathetic nervous system — the part of the nervous system outside of the central nervous system (the brain and spine) which  releases adrenaline. It is most commonly diagnosed in young children and infants; although it can arise in older children and adults. 

No two neuroblastoma stories are the same — just ask some of our neuroblastoma heroes. It can range from very benign to very malignant, with about half of the cases of neuroblastoma falling in the  malignant range. The disease spreads through the sympathetic nervous system leaving solid tumors in the abdomen, adrenal gland, the sympathetic nerves next to the spine and anywhere it can.

Ten years ago, the standard of care included surgery, chemotherapy, stem cell rescue, radiation and Accutane at the end of therapy to prevent relapse. Five years ago, the standard of care changed only by increasing the intensity of these treatments. Fast forward to today, and treatment is becoming more targeted with the inclusion of immunotherapy for high-risk neuroblastoma once the disease is in remission.

Immunotherapy brings the most promise for cures. Dr. John Maris, an oncologist from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and a member of the ALSF Scientific Advisory Board says the current immunotherapy protocols prove it can work, but there is more to be done to improve effectiveness and decrease side effects, which can range from flu-like symptoms to severe pain throughout the body. 

Accelerating Towards Breakthrough Treatments

Research, says Dr. Maris is now focusing itself on finding the Achilles heel of neuroblastoma.

“We are working to figure out the genetics of why neuroblastoma happens. And then we ask the question: once it arises why do some become more malignant?” said Dr. Maris.

The current research builds on past discoveries and breakthroughs, such as the discovery of the MYCN amplification, which occurs in lower risk neuroblastoma. Dr. Katherine Matthay, from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and member of the ALSF Scientific Advisory Board, explained that this discovery has enabled children battling lower risk neuroblastoma to avoid intense treatments with severe side effects, while still realizing a 95-percent long term survival rate. This same discovery has also allowed doctors to intensify treatments for high-risk neuroblastoma. 

The discovery of ALK-gene driven neuroblastoma has also led to cures for some patients who are given ALK inhibitors

Dr. Matthay says efforts are ongoing in the U.S. and Europe to further improve immunotherapy with CAR-T cell, vaccine or natural cell therapy.  

Dr. Maris says that more hope lies in continuing to sequence the neuroblastoma genome, studying and finding all the genetic mutations and using this information to create personalized treatment approaches.

“We have several important new clues to personalized treatment approaches being tested in the clinic through some of the projects that ALSF funds,” said Dr. Maris

Since 2005, ALSF has funded over 690 multi-year research grants in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about ALSF funded research, including the breakthrough ALK-gene therapy that saved Edie Geiger’s life here

Meet Caroline, Neuroblastoma Survivor.

by Lisa Metzger, Hero Mom

Lisa Metzger, Hero Mom to Caroline, shared her story with us. When Caroline was just 6-months-old, she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer that often occurs in infancy. Caroline is now a wild and fun loving 3-year-old and a big sister to her little brother "Super Sib" Stephen.  Keep reading to learn more about Lisa, her daughter and how your support of ALSF is truly helping get us closer to cures for childhood cancer. 

It wasn’t until October 2013, that Alex Lemonade Stand entered “my reality.”  It seemed to be a typical Monday afternoon.  I was getting ready to lie down to sleep before my overnight shift at 7pm.  I was working as a nurse at a local hospital at the time.  My six month old daughter, Caroline, was napping beside me in her pack and play when she began to cough.  I didn’t think much of it because she had been congested for a few days, but it started getting worse.  I attempted to clear her nose with a bulb syringe, but it didn’t seem to work.  Then, suddenly, she stopped breathing completely.

After three attempts to call 911, I was finally able to feel my fingers enough to dial. An ambulance was on the way.  I began CPR and was able to revive her, but it was only a matter of time before she would stop breathing again.  I was in a shock.  Why would Caroline stop breathing?  It couldn’t really be happening.  EMTs arrived and transported Caroline to the closest children’s hospital. Once a breathing tube was secured, I was able to take what seemed like my own first breath since I made the phone call to paramedics. 

In the emergency department, Caroline had blood work, x-rays, a CT scan and was quickly transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Doctors ordered an MRI and within a few hours, on what started out as a typical day, my husband and I were delivered the worst news of our lives. Our daughter had cancer— a mass in her chest and neck that compressed her airway.

We decided to transfer Caroline’s care to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). We waited 16 hours for the transfer and at 4:30 am, we began our journey.  

It wasn’t until our daughter was admitted to the PICU at CHOP, that she was formally diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Within four hours of transfer, Caroline was in the operating room for a port placement, bone marrow biopsy and tumor biopsy. She received her first dose of chemotherapy later that evening; just 48 hours after we first heard the word “cancer.”  

Caroline spent a little over four weeks in the PICU. She received her first two rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor just enough for the team to remove her breathing tube. She received a total of eight rounds of chemotherapy, the last one finishing around the week of her first birthday. I cannot remember every detail during that time. There were ups and downs and ins and outs. I will never forget how I felt when I heard the news she had cancer. And I will never forget how I felt when I heard the words, “but we have a treatment for it.” The darkest hours of my life had a spark.

We were beyond pumped and ready to fight. Caroline had a team of physicians who continued to reassure our hopes for Caroline’s recovery.

While my husband and I spent every moment focused on Caroline’s recovery and treatment plan, both of our families were researching Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). 

Our extended family felt helpless in a situation that was completely out of their hands. ALSF offered them information on her type of cancer as well as a way to come together and rally their bottled up emotion and energy towards the benefit of childhood cancer research. They created a team in honor of Caroline for the 2013 Lemon Run, and managed to raise $8,000 in just a few short weeks.  

It took me a while—until Caroline was done treatment—to be able to fully understand the magnitude of ALSF and its impact on Caroline’s experience.  

When I was delivered the news of her diagnosis, the first thing I thought was that she was going to die. But then the doctors sat down with my husband and I and informed us they had a roadmap of chemotherapy to treat her type of cancer.  They were passionate. We were fortunate for her team. After further genetic testing of the tumor, they assured me that she would beat it.  She would beat it and they were confident of it.  

Their confidence was contagious, but I wondered what made them so confident? Their answer was: “research.” I believe 13 years after her first lemonade stand, Alex Scott was somewhere close watching this interaction and smiling, knowing her legacy was growing strong. 

Alex’s vision was to live in world without pediatric cancer. Her mission is thriving today thanks to her parents and the amazing staff of ALSF. The Foundation is an educational and financial resource for families as well as a social support for siblings affected by cancer. They not only deal with the logistics of finding cures and treatments for childhood cancer, but they have also developed a positive culture between hero families (those on the front lines) that is deeply compassionate and encouraging.

Today’s pediatric cancer treatment is always improving because of Alex’s legacy: my own daughter, Caroline, is living proof. 


Guest Blogger
Meet your running goals and help cure childhood cancer with Team Lemon.

We are one month into the new year and perhaps you made a lofty goal to run and exercise more.

And perhaps, like over 50% of resolution makers you’ve fallen off the wagon a little. Well, here is the motivation you need to just keep running!  

While you are racing to the finish line, you can help fund cutting-edge childhood cancer research! Join Team Lemon—the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Charity Racing Team! While you run, walk, ride or swim, you can help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. Team Lemon is an amazing way to reach your athletic goals and feel super good—inside and out! 

Ready to race to the finish line with Team Lemon? Here are 6 great ways you can volunteer your time, fulfill your New Year’s resolutions  and help find a cure for childhood cancer, one race at a time!

1. Pick Your Race! Sign up for an available race slot (our current list is here) and ALSF covers the registration fee, while you commit to a fundraising minimum. These minimums  vary per race (usually $500-$1500, depending on race length). Or choose to Bring Your Own Bib! BYOB Team Lemon members register for events directly and have no fundraising minimum. Whichever option you choose, ALSF still gives you access to a race coach, Team Lemon race events, a t-shirt and a useful fundraising website!

2. Set Up Your Fundraising Page! All Team Lemon athletes get an exclusive fundraising page that can be customized with photos, fundraising goals and personal stories. Update your page to include why you are running and personal photos. Then, share your page on your social media channels and with your friends, family and co-workers. Let everyone know you are running for childhood cancer and ask them to help support you! 

3. Meet the Team! All Team Lemon runners can join our private Team Lemon group on Facebook! In the group, you can virtually meet other team members, connect for training and fundraising tips and enjoy camaraderie with other athletes. 

4. Train for the Big Day! Start now! Coach Mary Kelley, the official Team Lemon coach, says that preparation time varies by each individual. However, the general rule: if you are a newer runner, the longer your preparation should be. Sign up for a Couch to 5K (or 10K or Half-marathon program). Bring some consistency to your training, take a look at your diet and talk to your doctor for any health concerns you have. 

5. Keep Racing Towards Your Fundraising Goals! Think outside of your fundraising page and get creative with fundraising events! Ask a local restaurant to designate a fundraising night at their business and donate the proceeds to you. Get your local runner friends involved and host a lemonade stand at the end of a training run — with all proceeds to benefit ALSF. Host a beef-n-beer with ticket and raffle sales. Ask friends to sponsor you per-mile you run. Or come up with your own unique fundraiser. 

6. Get Inspired! Meet childhood cancer Heroes, Super Sibs and Researchers who are all working together to fight cancer, one cup at a time! 

Want to learn more about Team Lemon and the Bring Your Own Bib program? Head here or drop an email to our Team Lemon coordinator, Jennifer Kelly. Thanks for helping us get closer to cures for all children, one race at a time!


Team Lemon
Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation funds breakthrough childhood cancer research. Join us and donate today.

Twelve years ago, in 2005, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation gave its first grant to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As we continue Alex's legacy, ALSF continues to raise funds for cutting-edge research, moving the world closer and closer to cures and more effective, less toxic treatments for childhood cancer. 

Recently, we introduced you to future pediatric oncology nurse Taylor, who is alive today because of a breakthrough treatment funded by ALSF. Treatment after treatment failed Taylor, until she met Dr. Nabil Ahmed who gave her an immunology treatment that finally stopped the osteosarcoma that Taylor had battled since she was 11-years-old. Today, Taylor is 20 and in nursing school. 

This year, we hope to introduce you to more children and young adults thriving because of the breakthrough treatments they’ve received which were funded in part by ALSF. And here’s how we hope to get there, continuing Alex's legacy, one cup and one research grant at a time. 

1. Commitment to Cutting-Edge Research
In 2016, ALSF granted 121 multi-year research grants (meaning we’ve funded over 690 grants since 2005!). As we move into 2017, ALSF will continue to rally behind the scientific community, review grants for all types of childhood cancer and award the best and brightest scientists with funding that will potentially lead to breakthroughs.  Our Scientific Advisory Board thoughtfully reviews every project to ensure we fund the most promising research conducted by top scientists. From funding young researchers and helping nurses study quality of life issues to accelerating research towards new standards of care, the ALSF childhood cancer research grant program is bringing us closer to cures than ever before.

2. Accelerating New Treatments
As our funded projects continue, we know we will see more clinical trials for childhood cancer types. The Bio-Therapeutics Impact Award accelerates the development of clinical trials for promising biologic approaches to treating childhood cancer. These approaches include cutting-edge treatment like immunotherapy and gene therapy. The award is intended for investigators who are initiating clinical trials or undertaking the pre-clinical work necessary to move into the IND (investigational new drug) phase.

3. Getting Families To Treatment
Families often have to travel long distances several times to access the most promising treatment for their child. Sometimes, these families are forced to make treatment decisions based on personal finances to purchase airfare, hotel, gas cards and meal gift cards. Our Travel For Care program expanded in 2016 to help families traveling to any medical facility in the United States for treatment. We helped 419 families travel nearly 250,000 miles for treatment in 2016. This year, Travel For Care will continue to help families get to the promising treatments that can offer hope for their children. 

4. One Cup At A Time
We will get there like we always do: One Cup At A Time. This year our founder, Alex Scott, would have celebrated her 21st birthday. As we celebrate her legacy, our annual Alex Lemonade Days celebration will expand to include two weekends and be held June 3-June 11. In September, we will host our 5th annual Alex’s Million Mile event — encouraging people everywhere to go the distance for childhood cancer. Alex’s Lemonade Days and Alex’s Million Mile are perfect ways to rally your community towards funding for critical childhood cancer research.

Want to help year round? Join our One Cup At A Time Club and help us find cures for all children battling childhood cancer. 

Alex's dream was a cure for all children battling cancer. Her legacy is the amazing work of our supporters, hero families, volunteers, partners and researchers. Together, we will find breakthrough treatments. 


by Liz Scott, Alex's mother

Today marks what would have been a big birthday for Alex—she would be turning 21!  

It is hard to picture Alex as a healthy 21-year-old. Cancer was such a part of her life that I can’t imagine her without it — maybe it is because even if she had survived, the cost to her health would have been significant. Or maybe it is just too painful to try to create the 12-plus years of living Alex missed. But, I think it is really because I don’t want to think of her as anything but exactly who she was – my daughter, a sister to her three brothers, a friend. Alex was a girl who faced more adversity in her short life than most of us will face in a lifetime, but still dared to dream of a better future for other children. She is forever 8 in my heart.

In trying to put my thoughts together as we mark Alex’s birthday, I decided to go back to an old online journal I used to keep. I thought I could get some inspiration from reading about 8-year-old Alex. I couldn’t bring myself to read most of it because it was so tough, but I did come across a poem that was written for Alex that I hadn’t read in quite a while. It was written by her Aunt Lisa on her 8th birthday. It says so beautifully what Alex’s life was about, so I thought I would share it with you:


When you face one more day where you’re too tired to play,
And that same awful pain just won’t go away,
Close your eyes and dream.

When each second of the hour feels way too long,
And all of your choices just seem wrong,
Close your eyes and dream.

Dream that warm, safe arms are hugging you,
Just like Mom’s and Daddy’s do.
Dream of all the people you’ve touched, who smile,
And say you’ve made their life worthwhile.

Dream of all the kids you’ve helped to say,
“I’m feeling better every day!”
Dream of shining power deep within,
To face the darkness and scream “I win!”

For in dreams we make our hopes come true;
We shade the glass we’re looking through,
And despite how it can often seem,
Nothing can take away your dreams.

Everyone who knows you is dreaming for you,
That your days will get sunny and your skies be clear blue,
That you’ll get all you need and then so much more,
That you’ll never feel sick and your spirit will soar!

See, we don’t have to dream, the way some people do,
About strength, love or courage, for we know they are true.
You’ve shown them to us by the way that you live,
Through all that you go through, your one wish: To give.

So dream really BIG of all you wish for,
Close your eyes tight and look forward to more,
And remember with every fight you go through,
We love you and know all your dreams will come true.

It was written with so much love. At the time, it represented that little tiny bit of hope we still had that some miracle cure might come along for Alex. Now, looking at this poem today, the words take on a different meaning to me. It speaks to something much bigger than Alex, and in so many ways the words are truer today than they were when they were written 13 years ago. 

Obviously, Alex did not get to live all of her dreams for herself. She had a lot of them that she would be old enough now to have accomplished – family vacations to places like the Grand Canyon, shopping and sightseeing in Paris, designing and creating clothing, going to college and so many more. Cancer stole those dreams from her and I wish I could tell her how sorry I am for that. 

She would probably say as tough as cancer was, she was tougher. We all know that was true, because Alex was strong enough to dream a dream so big that cancer couldn’t take it away: the dream that all children with cancer could be cured someday. 

That dream has not only lived 13 birthdays past her last birthday, but it has grown even bigger as more and more people have taken this dream into their hearts and have worked to keep it going. Most importantly, this dream IS coming true for more and more children every day. We are seeing the progress made, the lives saved and the difference it is making. It is such a gift in so many ways. I am grateful for it and it inspires me to keep going and doing more, until the day when we can mark her birthday in true celebration, knowing that her dream finally came true.

Alex Scott