By Liz Scott
Alex’s Mom/Co-Executive Director
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Anyone else wonder where the summer went? I know we say it every year, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that the month of August is getting shorter. So here we are in September – the kids are back to school (we just dropped our oldest at college recently for the first time), the laissez-faire attitude of summer is over and we are busier than ever. The first day of school is always a special day, a day to get into the routines, to be excited and hopeful for a new year of growth and new friends, and a day to reflect and appreciate our children and their fleeting youth!
For me, of course, it also brings thoughts of Alex, my beautiful “forever 8” daughter, who should be 16 years old and beginning 11th grade. For all she accomplished in her too short life, I am so grateful and proud, for all she continues to inspire, I am so appreciative. Although, I recognize how selfish this is going to sound, I have to be honest about something…. I would trade it all to have her here, healthy, and heading off to the high school bus stop this morning with her younger brother. Yes, I truly wish I could turn back the clock; I’d have to turn it way back to a time when her little body did not yet know cancer. Was there something I could have done to prevent it? Maybe, but no one has that answer yet. Was there more I could have done to cure her? Maybe, but we did the best we could with what was available to treat her. Was there a time when I had a chance to help raise awareness and funds for this disease that had yet to take over my child’s life and my family’s life? The sad truth is yes, I could have done something to help this cause long before my child was ever diagnosed but I didn’t. What if I had? What if the millions of people that Alex inspired had been inspired to do something long ago, long before she even had cancer? I am sure that things could have been different for her, perhaps her cancer could have been cured, or even prevented. Think about that – it is powerful.. it tells us that we have the chance now to do something to make things better for another child in the future, another mom, another family.
So, as you all get your kids off to school and get settled into a new routine, please count your blessings, cherish their health, and finally, think of doing something now that will ensure a future for kids that is cancer free. It only takes a few minutes to honor our heroes….the kids currently fighting cancer and the ones who have lost their life to the terrible disease, like my sweet Alex. You may be aware of this already, but September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we want to spread the word far and wide to educate people about this disease that continues to be the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S, yet research projects looking for better treatments and cures remain considerably underfunded.
Here are a few simple ways for you to help out!
Share the story of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with one person. We’re all on Facebook, Twitter and a slew of other social media sites, so this is as easy as a click of a button. You can send them to the “Meet Alex” page on our website or simply forward the approximately 3 minute video below about my daughter and her inspiring vision of a world without childhood cancer. Want to do more? We’ve started a “30 ways in 30 days” social media campaign at ALSF where we provide simple tips daily of how to show your support. Follow us!
Wear yellow! For those of you who know me and how often I integrate our signature color into my wardrobe, you probably knew this was coming! Showcase your yellow attire from shirts to socks and when people comment on it – tell them the reason behind your choice in clothing. I’d love for you to do this all month long, but particularly on Thursday, September 13 – National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day – as we look to create a wave of yellow signifying a noticeable show of support for the cause. This is a great way to engage your entire family, colleagues and friends in the fight against childhood cancer.
Please consider taking a few minutes out of your busy schedules by helping me spread the word and making awareness an important part of our mission this month. By doing so, you become part of the community of supporters dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for all kids with cancer. Wouldn’t it be great if some September the only thing we would need to be aware of is that childhood cancer was a distant memory?
On behalf of everyone at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, especially my daughter and our founder, Alex, thank you for lending your voice and your support to eradicate this disease once and for all.