Honoree Spotlight

Alex Scott: When Life Gives You Lemons…

Even at the young age of four, Alexandra Scott’s parents knew that she was something special. Alex, stricken with cancer, already expressed a deep and heartfelt desire to help other sick children. This strong sympathy for others led to a simple idea that has since grown into a national movement, raising millions of dollars for childhood cancer research and funding breakthroughs in the field.

On the Ground
Alex’s Lemonade Stand – 2004 Youth Award

Impact to date:

$55 million has funded 250 research projects, a travel program for children receiving treatment and resources to support families.


To raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily new treatments and cures.

Words of Wisdom:

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Born in 1996, Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma shortly before her first birthday and was told not only that cancer would eventually take her life, but that she would never be able to walk. However, her parents soon found out that their daughter was not one to give up easily. Two weeks after this diagnosis, Alex could move her leg. By age two, she was crawling and standing up with leg braces. As she continued to progress, her family was hopeful that she would have a shot at a long, happy childhood.

Despite this wonderful progress, Alex was soon met with more hardship. The next year she and her family received a devastating discovery: her cancer had come back. In order to find the best treatment for their four-year-old, the Scotts relocated to Philadelphia where Alex spent many hours undergoing surgery, radiation therapy and other treatment.

Throughout her ongoing battles with cancer, Alex expressed a deep desire to help others. Her dream was to start a lemonade stand and donate the profits to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she was receiving treatment. As soon as she recovered enough to leave the hospital, she and her older brother turned her idea into a reality, setting up a lemonade stand in their front yard. They raised $2,000.

Setting up a lemonade stand became an annual tradition for Alex and her family, donating their profits from lemonade sales to childhood cancer research every year. Soon, word began to spread about this one little girl who was single-handedly raising thousands of dollars to benefit other sick children. Moved by Alex’s unstoppable determination, people across the nation began setting up their own lemonade stands and donating their profits to Alex and her cause.

By the time she turned eight, Alex and her supporters had raised more than $1 million for cancer research. Though she passed away shortly after reaching this milestone, Alex’s mission to find a cure for childhood cancer lives on through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF).

In 2004, the World of Children honored Alex’s dedication to other children with their annual Youth Award. Since then, ALSF – still based in Philadelphia and run by Alex’s parents, Jay and Liz – has greatly expanded from selling lemonade, having come up with a number of innovative fundraising ideas. The organization now hosts events like the Lemon Run, The Lemon Society Speakeasy and a Camp In for Kids’ Cancer, giving guests the chance to spend the night on Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field and meet the players from the Eagles.

Today, ALSF is one of the foremost contributors to cutting-edge childhood cancer research, having raised more than $55 million and funded over 250 research projects. Just last May scientists announced a breakthrough in the development of a pill designed to target abnormal genes that lead to rare forms of cancer. Without funding from ALSF, researchers would not have been able to so quickly develop a safe therapeutic strategy and move into clinical trials.

As ALSF continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of children suffering from cancer, Alex’s big heart lives on, hoping that one day, we will find a cure.

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