MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
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Saving Lives with Lemonade
The very word "cancer" is enough to make your heart stop for a moment. Almost everyone knows someone who has gotten very sick or died from cancer. While cancer affects adults most of the time, it can affect children, too. In fact, nationwide, cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death for children. The most common childhood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma and brain cancer.
Young Girl Inspires Thousands to Raise Funds for Childhood Cancer
All forms of cancer, including childhood cancer, share a common disease process - cells grow out of control and develop to abnormal sizes. As cancer cells grow, they demand more and more of the body's nutrition. Cancer takes a child's strength, destroys organs and bones, and weakens a child's defenses against other illnesses.
Fighting such a daunting enemy is a lot for a small child to handle, but not for Alex Scott. Alex showed people everywhere that a small act from a small person can make a huge difference in the world. Her battle against cancer showed that a little time and effort can spread help and good cheer faster than cancer ever spread its harmful cells.
Shortly before her first birthday, doctors in Connecticut discovered neuroblastoma in Alex's body. Neurobastoma is an aggressive form of childhood cancer that's fatal in about 40% of cases. Alex refused to give up, even when faced with such incredible odds. When she was only four years old, Alex came up with the idea of opening a lemonade stand to help the hospital that was treating her. Her father, Jay, is a salesman at heart and Alex wanted to follow in his footsteps. Her small lemonade stand gave birth to a movement across the country. Children everywhere began setting up lemonade stands to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.
The simple concept of "fighting childhood cancer, one cup at a time" became famous, with people all over the country pitching in to help. In August, 2002, Alex and her family created Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. The foundation is committed to raising money and awareness for childhood cancer research. It also encourages others, especially other children, to help raise money for Alex's foundation.
On August 1, 2004, Alex died peacefully at the age of 8 after battling cancer for 7 1Ú2 years. But her spirit lives on. Children and adults all over the world have been inspired by Alex and her incredible story. In 2005, 30,000 people worldwide set up 3,500 lemonade stands to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Through their efforts selling lemonade, children are contributing their time and efforts to fight against childhood cancer. The lesson that children and adults everywhere learn from their own lemonade stands is simple but powerful: every single person can make a difference in the world.
In order to share their daughter's story with even more people, Alex's parents, Liz and Jay Scott, wrote a children's book about Alex's courageous stand against cancer. The book, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand (Paje Publishing Company) tells Alex's inspirational story and is a living example of what the "power of one" can accomplish. The book is designed to entertain children and inspire them to make a difference in the world.
Alex Scott continues to be honored with numerous awards. Volvo Cars has created the Alex Scott Butterfly Award which will be given to a child who, like Alex, has shown extraordinary conscience, care, and character in helping others. The Philadelphia 76ers have renamed their community service award The Hometown Hero In The Spirit of Alex Scott award. Word of Alex's inspirational and courageous deeds continues to resonate with people of all ages. Maybe someday, the children and their lemonade stands will help to find a cure for pediatric cancer, once and for all.
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