Meet Alexandra “Alex” Scott. Joyous, strong, and confident, Alex was born on January 18, 1996, but her life was cut short on behalf of her diagnosis of neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. However, Alex did not go out without a fight- one that sent shockwaves through the cancer research community.
Throughout her life, she was known as a trooper, as her determination and courage never failed to run short. By the age of two, despite heavy treatments to combat this rare disease, Alex began to gain the strength to learn to walk, regardless of her previously equipped leg braces.
After receiving an urgent stem-cell transplant, she informed her mother that she wanted to open a lemonade stand, not only to raise money for the doctors that helped her, but also to raise awareness about childhood cancer- and that’s exactly what she did.
By the time of Alex’s passing in August of 2004, the Scott family had managed to raise $1 million for childhood cancer, numbers previously unheard of. Unfortunately, Alex lost her battle with cancer but her impact is lasting: through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, her spirit, strength, and belief in the cause are as strong as ever.
The effects are limitless - just ask 10-year-old Elizabeth Buell-Fleming: “Alex’s Lemonade is important to me because it may have been the one main reason that I am still here today, and that lots of kids are still here with us today because ALSF have donated so much to cancer research.”
A lover of animals and all things nature, Elizabeth was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just like Alex. As neuroblastoma is still considered an extremely rare and hard-to-treat form of cancer, things started to look bleak for the Buell-Fleming family, and her parents were left with virtually no hope. Due to the work of Alex Scott, the ALSF, and donations from companies like Power Home Remodeling Group (PHRG), Elizabeth was able to receive state of the art, off-study clinical anti-body treatments that inevitably led to her beating cancer.
“This research is not being funded by for-profit pharmaceutical companies because they’re not going to be able to recoup their investment and will not be able to get their investment back, and so when PHRG and their employees get together to make a large contribution, it has a real meaningful impact on the lives of children and their families,” said Elizabeth’s father. “I think my daughter is alive in part because of the work of PHRG and companies and people like that. I would just like to say thank you.”
Elizabeth and her family are certainly not alone in this either.
On December 6, 2007, young Swedesboro, NJ resident Mario Carpino was diagnosed with four inoperable brain tumors. Since then, Mario has been in and out of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) oncology floor, receiving chemotherapy. Just when he would seemed to be getting better, his recovery would take a step backward - but not his mentality.
Almost a perfect embodiment of Alexandra Scott, Mario is known as “Mario the Mayor” in CHOP’s oncology department. When he walks off the elevator, he lights up the room through his jokes, confidence, and easy-going demeanor, even when times are rough. He makes doctors, patients, and nurses a-like smile even when there is no reason to, and his drive to help raise awareness for children in similar situations is endless.
Through children like Elizabeth and Mario, young Alexandra Scott and her mission will always be present. When companies and good-willed people like PHRG step up to the plate and do their part, thousands and thousands of people benefit- but the fight is far from over. Just ask Mario.
“What’s most important is helping Alex’s. Anything is possible if you believe,” he said. As you can see in the video below, belief can take you a long way.
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