Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has helped countless families make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons that come with a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis, but it all started with one family.
Alexandra (Alex) Scott inspired the foundation—the young girl set up a lemonade stand with the intention of raising funds for children with cancer. On August 1, 2004, the same disease took her life.
Alex's brother, Patrick, penned an emotional letter to his little sister to commemorate the anniversary of her death. Alex was just eight years old when she passed, and we can't imagine how difficult it is for the family to reflect on her too short life. At the same time, Alex made a bigger impact in those eight years than most people do in 80, and that's worth celebrating.
Patrick touched on that in his letter, which was shared on Alex's Lemonade Stand's blog.
To my sister Alex,
"Today marks 13 years since your death on August 1, 2004. At the time, you were 8 and I was 9. Had you lived, you would be 21 now. It’s difficult to imagine, because you will always be fixed in my memory, and in the memories of Mom, Dad, Eddie and Joey, as an 8-year-old girl. It’s even more difficult to think of all the things you’ve missed in the 13 years since you died; our family has had 65 birthdays, nine graduations and two new dogs," Patrick wrote in the letter. "More than anything else, I remember you for what you taught me. When asked about your cancer, you once said, 'I am grateful for what I have, not ungrateful for what I don’t have.' You, as a terminally ill child, were still appreciative of the blessings that you had. To me, that describes you better than any label, encapsulates your image better than any picture--it reminds me that even though you were never old in age, in some ways, you were old in wisdom. For the lessons that you taught me, I will always remember you and I will always be grateful."
Patrick also touched on Alex's legacy—he mentioned that if she were alive today, she'd probably be surprised by how much the foundation has grown.
Alex's mother, Liz Scott, weighed in on her daughter's legacy as well. “It‘s hard to believe that it has been 13 years since our beautiful daughter Alex left us," Liz, the foundation's co-executive director, said in an emailed statement. "Today, her dream of curing all kids with cancer is very much alive through the work of ALSF’s supporters all over the world. It is such a gift to see how her front yard lemonade stand is literally saving the lives of children just like her, supporting their families with travel, and providing comfort and care to siblings.”
You can read Patrick's whole letter to his sister here, but we'll warn you: You're going to need tissues for this one.