Meet Hero Ambassador Jonathan Nagrant. Jonathan was diagnosed with ependymoma (a type of brain cancer) at the age of 7. He is now a confident 11-year-old and a proud ambassador for ALSF telling his inspiring story of hope at events big and small.
|Jonathan after brain surgery to remove his tumor.|
|Jonathan one day after surgery learning how to walk again.|
|Jonathan today! Speaking at a golf outing on behalf of ALSF.|
Another on of our heroes, Brady Williams, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just before he turned 2, but is now a cancer free 7-year-old who recently spoke for the first time at a local school fundraising for ALSF.
|Brady and his mom Megan.|
Happy lemonade season!
|Alex and her mom, Liz Scott.|
This Mother’s Day, our partner Northwestern Mutual is celebrating all moms as heroes, by raising funds and awareness to fight childhood cancer with the #MyHeroMom campaign. Northwestern Mutual has already kicked off the campaign with a $25,000 donation, but from now through May 13, they’ll try to raise another $25,000 for ALSF and you can help. Honor a heroic mom or mother-figure in your life – whether a mom, daughter, aunt, sister or friend simply by uploading an image to Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook with the hashtag #myheromom. Photos can depict you and your mother figure or a symbolic image of your mom as a hero. For each use of the hashtag #MyHeroMom, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation will donate $5 to ALSF, up to $50,000.
Let’s face it, you can never go wrong with flowers. Brighten up your mom’s day by sending her an arrangement from Teleflora’s Sunny Day Pitcher bouquet collection at Teleflora.com and they will donate 10% of the revenue to ALSF. There are 5 fun bouquets' to choose from that all include a yellow ceramic pitcher (perfect for serving up some lemonade)!
Can you imagine the look on your mom’s face if she won a new car? It would be a hard gift to top, but you can provide her with the opportunity by purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to win a 2015 Volvo XC60. The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday, June 7 at You’ve been asking for it and it’s finally here – a new ALSF t-shirt made especially for ladies. The “smiling lemons” t-shirt is a navy blue v-neck and super soft. You can pre-order one now online (only $18), we expect them to ship mid-May. We also have more new t-shirts available for pre-order that Mom (or anyone) is sure to love including our official 2014 t-shirt , a new "One Cup at a Time" t-shirt and more! Check them all out at Alex’s Shop online.
Staring today (May 5) through May 26, donate $1 at your local Five Below store in exchange for a lemon-shaped pinup that you can dedicate to Mom and hang on the wall of the store. In addition, Five Below will be selling limited-edition, lemon-scented Funky Fingers brand nail polish and EOS lemon drop lip balm and donating a portion of the proceeds to ALSF.
March Madness may be over and let’s just say that I am one happy basketball fan with both the UConn men’s and women’s team winning national titles. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I am proud to be from Connecticut, and proud to be a UConn grad, but my love for the university and the town of Storrs goes much deeper than basketball.
Growing up in Connecticut, UConn was always the school to follow (are there any other schools in the state of Connecticut?). Throughout my childhood, I can remember staying up past my bedtime to listen to games on the radio, and once the Big East was introduced, I was always watching the UConn men's basketball games on TV. I can remember very vividly how the men's team struggled in those early years of the Big East against teams like Syracuse and Georgetown, but somehow we always knew that UConn had the heart of champions, it may just take a while for the skill level to match the heart.
When it was time for my wife, Liz, and I to decide where we would go to college, it is not surprising that there was only one choice, and it was UConn. As students, we were honored to be season ticket holders and in the years we attended the university, there wasn't a lottery for student season tickets, you just paid $50 and were granted access to a season's worth of games. We traveled to games in Hartford and the Big East Tournament in New York City in buses provided by the university, and what a time it was. I feel lucky to count myself among the early believers in Huskies basketball, and as I wear my UConn shirt proudly today; not much has changed.
Shortly after graduation from UConn, Liz and I would start our own business, opening a coffee shop, The Java Joint, at the UConn Co-op Bookstore. We were happy to provide students and faculty alike with a place to grab a good cup of coffee, and it was here that we continued our love for the basketball team. As avid basketball fans, we were pleased that many of the players and coaches frequented the Java Joint, and I can tell you from personal experience that Ray Allen was a hot chocolate drinker while Jim Calhoun preferred regular coffee.
It was during this time that Liz and I began a family, welcoming our first two children to our brood, Patrick and Alex, who spent their early years in Storrs on the UConn campus. In fact this was the place we called home when Alex was first diagnosed with childhood cancer. After her diagnosis and surgery, we returned to work at our coffee place, and found that the UConn community had rallied around our entire family. It's emotional to recall, but when they found out that we had sub-standard health insurance as self-employed people, the community supported us not only letting us know they were there for us physically, but in helping us to pay Alex's mounting medical bills. This is a gift that we will never be able to return, but it speaks to the character of the people at UConn, I don't believe they ever expected anything in return. I felt that it was a "we take care of our own" mentality from day one. I often tell my wife that when we retire I want to spend half the year in Storrs -- it means that much to me.
We will always root for the Huskies, not just because we love UConn basketball, but also because we love the UConn community and the great people behind it. Who knows, maybe some of that great UConn mentality rubbed off on Alex, causing her to come up with her lemonade stand idea in the first place. She may not have won the national title like UConn did, but she certainly was the champion of many people's hearts, and a champion for others who faced childhood cancer. Thank you to UConn and Alex, for teaching us what champions are really all about.
Originally posted on the Huffington Post, April 8, 2014.