This is a guest post from Liz Scott, mom to Alex, Patrick, Eddie and Joey. She’s looking for support and in doing so she is sharing her story. She talks about instincts and love, commitment and courage. Here’s more on how you may be able to help:
Some of you may be familiar with my place of work, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer, where I am the Co-Executive Director alongside my husband Jay. If you are still reading this, you may be wondering why exactly I’m telling you all of this? The reason is simple, because like your very own Seattle Mama Doc, I too am a mother, and my daughter Alexandra “Alex” Scott battled childhood cancer from before her first birthday until the time of her death at the age of 8 in 2004.
I am hoping that through sharing her story with you, and my part in it, that you will join me in an initiative, The Million Mile Run, this September to raise the profile of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Alex was my second child, born only a few short years after my husband Jay and I welcomed our first child, a son, Patrick. To say that we were experienced parents during Alex’s first year of life would be a gross overstatement, but something I learned quickly was to trust my instincts.
Alex was born a few weeks before her due date, but was a healthy weight and was home from the hospital in what seemed like no time at all. It would be in the months that followed however that something would begin to feel off. Alex was not a happy baby, or at least that was a message that was repeatedly conveyed to us during several trips to the doctor in those first few months. The diagnosis was that there was nothing wrong with her, that I would need to accept that she was an unhappy baby and to stop bringing her in. I was not satisfied with this, and on one visit to the emergency room, it was discovered that not only was Alex sick, but that she had neuroblastoma, a form of cancer.
My mother’s intuition was right, but I wish it wasn’t.
While it was a relief to learn that I was in fact not crazy for thinking something was wrong with my daughter, this was just the beginning of what would be a 7 ½ year battle to save Alex’s life. From that point on there was never a time when Alex was cancer free, but if this experience taught us anything, it was to live each moment as it came and enjoy what we could. Alex taught us this time and time again, and when she received a treatment that made her feel better, her first request was to set up a lemonade stand to raise money to help doctors help other kids, just like they had helped her. Alex’s front yard lemonade stand would turn into a national volunteer movement, with supporters hosting stands from coast to coast. In her lifetime, Alex’s stands, along with the help of many supporters would raise over $1 million, and now continues through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
While it is an honor to continue what Alex started, as any parent could attest, I would do anything to have her here with us instead. I would walk a million miles, to the end of the earth and back to make that happen. Having said that, something else that Alex taught us is that if you put your mind to something and enlist the support of friends and family, that together you can accomplish anything. So, following in Alex’s footsteps, we are challenging supporters everywhere to join us in The Million Mile Run this September, which represents National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Collectively, we will all work together to run/walk 1 million miles throughout the month in an effort to raise the profile of the awareness month.
It may sound complicated, but really, it’s simple! As an individual you can log 100 miles throughout the month, or you can form a team and split up the mileage. Just to break it down a bit more, if you grab three friends and walk a mile at lunch every day, you’ll easily accomplish your goal! I hope that you will consider joining us in this initiative as we work toward achieving my daughter’s goal of curing all kids with cancer one mile at a time.
Mix. Pour. Find A Cure. Make a difference for kids with cancer by hosting an Alex’s Lemonade Stand this summer. For more information, visit www.AlexsLemonade.org.
Have any of you done a “Alex’s Lemonade” stand? Please share your experience