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Taking a Lemonade Stand Against Childhood Cancer

When I was a boy I used to run a lemonade stand on the corner of dirt road and cotton field. I lived in a very rural part of Arizona, and I never made more than a couple of dollars, usually from a neighbor with more pity than thirst. I didn’t care. My lemonade was from a can and my motivation was purely monetary. I had dreams, and dreams cost money.

Those dreams consisted mainly of comic books and Atari 2600 games, and for the longest hours of the day, shade.

My boys have never had a lemonade stand. They’ve stopped at a few on this sidewalk or that, but despite my riding through an Arizona sunset to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, our neighborhood is only slightly less rural than the one I grew up in. Building a lemonade stand of our own has never seemed worth it. Until now.

Now we know about Alex Scott.

Alexandra “Alex” Scott was born in 1996 to Liz and Jay Scott, the second of four children. She lived in the Philadelphia area with her parents, her three brothers, a dog, and a kitten. She liked soccer, penguins, and french fries. She said that her favorite part of school was “everything.” Her story was one of strength, hope, and giving, and then in 2004, at just eight years of age, her life tragically ended. Her story is far from over.

Alex lived with a form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, and it was as cruel as only childhood cancer can be. Her life was a trial of hardships and hopes, those that proved all too false and those that will last forever. She lived her life by giving that hope, the kind that awes and inspires, to others, and that may be the best way that any of us can ever do anything.

In 2000, a day after her fourth birthday, Alex, fresh from a stem cell transplant, said to her mother, “When I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand.”

And she did.

With her older brother’s help she raised $2,000 at her lemonade stand, and then she donated all of it to the hospital that provided her treatment. She said it was to “help other kids, like they helped me.”

The Scott family made the lemonade stand a yearly tradition, and word spread. Soon, people from all over the world, inspired by what they heard, started contacting Alex with donations that they had raised at their own lemonade stands. It all went to the cause.

Life gave Alex Scott lemons. Tons of them. She did the rest.

Alex passed away knowing that her lemonade stand, and the generous help of others, had raised more than one million dollars to fight the disease that she no longer could. It is a fight that continues today, and you can be a part of it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJFonCkyps4&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a non-profit run by the Scott family and named in Alex’s honor, is hoping to make June 8 -10, which, in case you didn’t know, are the official National Lemonade Days, the biggest Lemonade Days ever. They are doing it with the help of LEGO.

LEGO, specifically their LEGO Friends line of building bricks, are inviting people to help create the world’s largest LEGO lemonade stand starting tomorrow (June 7) and Friday (June 8) in front of Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center. There will be a whole weekend of activities and fun for kids and families, and of course, plenty of lemonade.

The thing is, most of us don’t live in Philadelphia. That’s okay. People probably love lemonade in your town, too. You can support the cause by registering your own stand, held any day of the year, on the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s website. They will kindly send you a pack of materials to help you with your stand. They will help you help them.

This summer my boys will hold their first lemonade stand. Their dreams are for donations.

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For more about Alex Scott please read her bio which was the source for the information provided here.

To find building instructions for creating a LEGO lemonade stand to add to any LEGO town collection please visit the LEGO Build Together site.

Artist rendering provided by LEGO

Whit Honea can be found writing about whatever he feels like at his personal site Honea Express (Honea sounds like pony) and DadCentric. If you’re really bored you can follow him on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).

Also from Whit:

An Award by Any Other Name

Weekend Time is Relative

Do Your Kids Know How to be Popular?

There is a Monster at the End of This Video Game

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