In addition to funding high-impact research projects, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is committed to providing emotional, financial and logistical support to childhood cancer families to help make their challenges more manageable. The programs offered by ALSF have an immediate impact on families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Your donations help fuel these critical programs that remain essential for so many families that are fighting this disease.
Potentially lifesaving treatment is not always available locally to a family facing a childhood cancer diagnosis. The Travel for Care program can provide financial assistance including gas, lodging and airfare for children battling childhood cancer to travel to clinical trials, experimental therapeutics, or treatment innovations not currently available at their local hospital. For families like the Malicki's, that trip meant traveling across the country, from Wisconsin to New York, for the proper treatment to help Julia with her retinoblastoma. That only brought further stresses to a family already dealing with the difficulties of a childhood cancer diagnosis.
Thankfully, ALSF was able to ease some of their burden by finding them a hotel room in New York City near Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. That allowed them to ensure Julia could get her scan and continue with the most effective treatment to beat her disease.
"ALSF is giving families lifesaving help. Their support helped keep our family going, even when it seemed like the world was ending all around us,” said Jessica, Julia's mom. Every year, ALSF helps hundreds of families with hotel rooms and facilitating flights and gas cards. Your gift can ensure more families like Julia's don't have to worry about whether they can get their child to treatment.
ALSF recognizes that childhood cancer affects the whole family, not only the child who receives the diagnosis. SuperSibs is dedicated to comforting, encouraging and empowering siblings of children with cancer, so they can face the future with courage and hope. Our Comfort and Care mailing program sends age-appropriate mailings over a two-year period that include coping skills and encouragement for siblings as their brother or sister fights cancer. This program can go a long way towards helping siblings find their footing in a new normal and thrive in the future, like Cara.
Heading into eighth grade, she found out that her older sister Cait was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The news was a shock to the whole family, but especially Cara, who had to find her way through this difficult period. SuperSibs helped her get through her sister's fight, and today Cara draws upon her experiences in her work as a pediatric oncology nurse. She's elated to be a support system for the pediatric cancer community and give back to families facing the same fears she did.
"The SuperSibs program was a literal lifeline for me when I felt so alone. I can’t wait to share the program with my hospital when the time comes!" SuperSibs provides mailings to several thousand children every year, and you can help give some encouragement to these siblings year-round with your donation.
A picture is worth a thousand memories. Flashes of Hope provides childhood cancer families with free photography packages in local hospitals around the country as keepsakes for families to honor the unique life and memory of their hero. Read recollections from Flashes of Hope photographers about what this program has meant to them and the kids they've photographed.
Other Resources for Families
Treatment Journal: For families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis they have a lot of treatment information to keep track of and manage. The ALSF Treatment Journal helps families stay organized and is provided for free to families and hospitals. "When my daughter was diagnosed on March 13, 2009, I didn't know how I was going to keep track of everything thrust upon me. I stumbled upon the ALSF website, and found the Treatment Journal. That thing was a 'sanity-keeper' for me. I couldn't believe that they just send it to you-free of charge!" - Jaime B., childhood cancer mom
Clinical Trials Navigation: Finding and understanding pediatric cancer clinical trial options can be challenging for families. The Clinical Trial Navigator can help by conducting a search to provide a list of pediatric oncology clinical trial options within the United States for families and their care team to consider. This service is available for free to families looking for clinical trials. That meant so much to Dylan's parents, Christina and Burt, who needed more options after his osteosarcoma relapsed. Thankfully, they found the Clinical Trials Navigation program and were able to get a personalized, easy-to-use list they could utilize.
"It was nice to know that someone who really knows how to use the system is filtering it down to actionable trials that we may be interested in. They also let us submit as much health information as we could to narrow down the clinical trial list. I thought that was great because it felt more personal and less generic," said Christina. You can continue helping ALSF fill these critical gaps for families in need.