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Liz Scott's daughter, Alex died of childhood cancer and she continues Alexís Lemonade Stand to raising funds for pediatric cancer research.
Liz Scott is the president of Alexís Lemonade Stand, an organization committed to raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer research. It was founded in July of 2000 by Lizís daughter Alex, who battled the disease.
Liz- From the time she was 9 months to 12 months she would get low-grade fevers throughout the week, she would eat a lot but she was losing weight, she was diagnosed 2 days before her first birthday. When she was 4 she had already been through about 6 major surgeries.
It was an experimental treatment which made Alex feel better that triggered her idea to sell lemonade to raise money for cancer research. She was just four years old.
Liz-And she said, Iím going to give the money to my hospital to help kids with cancer. But I mostly thought it was pretty funny that she could think that she could have a lemonade stand and donate the money to the hospital. Because I thought it would be 5 or 10 dollars.
So the Scott family set up Alexís 1st lemonade stand on their front lawn for that first 5 dollars and other stands began to pop up everywhere.
Liz- This is a scrapbook. (Looking at the scrapbook) This was in 2004 Alex really did it that year She set a million dollar goal and said if everybody had stands in every state we could reach it
Alex successfully reached her million dollar goal with lemonade stands across the country right before she died on August 1st 2004.
Today Alexís Lemonade has raised almost 20million dollars, selling one cup at a time with over 3500 lemonade stands participating in 2007.
Liz- She was super smart, very determined, very giving person. And she was so honest so thatís what I really miss. It took me a long time to go shopping by myself she would say, oh you know, that doesnít look good and usually she was right.
Linda- By the way you look nice today.
Liz- Well, she picked out this skirt.
Linda- A lot of marriages take a toll when a child is ill. And then of course the child dies, how do you and your husband stay so close?
Liz-Weíve always been very close. I mean we met in high school, we went to the same college. We got married right after college opened a coffee business together.
Always by her side, Lizís husband Jay left his career in sales to become executive director of Alexís Lemonade Stand
Jay Scott- Liz told me I was going to be doing that. (Liz and Jay laugh)
Linda- You went through 7 years of Alex going in and out of hospitals. How did you manage to keep the rest of your family going through all of that stress with Alex?Liz- You know as much as we both wanted to be at the hospital sometimes, it wasnít really fair to the boys to not be there for them. So we would take turns.
Lizís 3 boys are also champions for the cause.
Liz Scottís oldest son Patrick- I may be able to help people. The lemonade stand all sort of rubbed off on me made me want to do research.
Liz-Theyíre good kids and understood that we needed to be there for Alex and I think they mostly just felt bad for her.
Linda- How do you handle Alexís death with them now?
Liz- It changes all the time. Obviously we are very lucky we talk about her in a very positive way all the time because of Alexís Lemonade Stand. I told them after Alex died that I just didnít want them to say that they hated me. That I wasnít there when I started working more. And my oldest son said, mom I was there from the beginning too I know how important this is. So I feel very lucky for that.
Liz- Weíve given out millions of dollars in research at hospitals all across the country and were seeing results from it from the kids who are the sickest like Alex. Were speeding up that whole process.
And contributions from companies like Tastycake who made Alexs Lemonade pies and Elyse Ryan who created Lemonade jewelry, and the sale of the new Lemonade Mike and Ikes are speeding up the process. Liz and Jay and Alex even wrote a book together called the Alexís Amazing lemonade stand.Liz-We published it ourselves so she could see it and she did get to see it in itís final printed form and she was very happy with it.
Linda- Thatís wonderful.
Liz also attends countless fundraising events where children take the helm
Jay Scott- Not only are we raising money for childhood cancer but weíre also teaching people especially kids how to give back and it is a life lesson that they can carry for life.
Jay and Liz in the office
Linda-How do you handle telling Alexís story day after day?Liz- Well I feel like itís an honor to tell her story and I know as a parent as any parent who has lost a child I think one of the hard things is that people forget and you feel like nobody understands. But I have the opportunity to talk about her and is remembered by so many people so I feel feel very, very lucky for that.
Linda- When I ask you how many children do you have what do you say? I say I have 3 boys and I had a daughter who passed away.
Linda- What makes you continue?
Liz- Lifeís all about showing up.
Linda- It is, yeah.
Liz- And you know that that Alex definitely taught me.
Liz- She really set it up to continue without her. And in that way she left me this great gift.
Liz- You will always have that terrible feeling inside and sometime it will come out and life is that thereís nothing left to live for and but if you really open your eyes thereís a lot left to live for.
Liz and three boys hug