What’s up, guys!? It’s The Myriad here and today I’m going to be bringing everyone something special. But first, I need to tell a short story.
Back in mid-January, I was on a plane headed for home. I had just finished up some skiing with my grandfather in the beautiful mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah. While I was on this trip I brought along a book to read. The book was written by TobyMac and was entitled “City on our Knees.”
This book is a compilation of true stories that tell of ordinary people stepping out and doing something courageous. A few of these stories are incredible while others are a bit smaller in scope. But how magnificent or petite the stories may seem, every one of them started with one person taking a step across a line. Choosing to think about others, showing kindness to the person that hates them, peacefully protesting racial segregation, etc. An entry that I found at the beginning of the book was about Alexandra Scott. A young girl whose life inspired me to start this blog. I hope you enjoy her story.
Before the mere age of one, Alexandra Scott was already facing a struggle that has cracked the mind and body of an adult. You see, Alexandra had been diagnosed with cancer named Neuroblastoma. To have this cancer removed, Alexandra spent twelve hours in a surgery that hoped to remove the literal death from her body. Unfortunately, the surgery left her paralyzed from the chest down. The doctors said that she wouldn’t even be able to crawl when she came of age.
But not too long after the surgery, Alex was able to move her legs and by the age of two, she was crawling around as any toddler would. She even acquired knee braces to help her stand up, and of course, she eventually didn’t even need those. The problem began when her cancerous cells started growing again. In just three months, she had three surgeries to try and stop the cancer. By age four, she was receiving heavy doses of chemotherapy in an attempt to combat the cancer.
Alex’s mind, on the other hand, was alive and well. While all of the treatments were going on, Alexandra had an idea: What if she started a summer lemonade stand? Most people have done this to earn some money when they are kids, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But Alex wanted any money she earned to go to her doctors so that they could find a cure for others who had Neuroblastoma. So that summer, she and her family set up (on their front lawn) Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer. At the end of that summer, she had raised $2,000.
For the next few years, Alex raised more and more money. Her venture was even featured on many television channels and news networks. In 2002, she raised $12,000. In 2003, she raised $18,000. Finally, in 2004, she was able to raise approximately 1.4 million dollars. People worldwide had found out about Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s and were encouraged to make a difference right where they were at. Everyone, from senior citizens to kids, to teenagers’s and young adults, and even homeless people, became inspired to take part in what Alex was doing and make a difference.
As with many stories that are real, happy endings are hard to come by. On August 1st, 2004, Alex passed away. Alex accomplished more in eight years than most people do in a single lifetime. However, she simply took one step forward and tried something new. She was held back by the cancer, but she didn’t choose to allow it to hold her down.
What was once a young girls’ summer idea, has since then flourished into a fundraising (and annual summer) event for cancer research. As of now, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, or ALSF, has raised over 120 million dollars for research in cancer. The money collected, is distributed to children who are seriously ill. The organization continues to grow, with over a hundred hospitals being supplied with the funds raised by ALSF. You know? I think if Alexandra was alive today, she would disagree with the idea that the end had come. For her, maybe…but for what she left behind, it was only the beginning.
I believe that everyone can make an impact is some way or another every day. Learn from Alex. Don’t let life slip away. Alex only lived eight years. Did you know, eight years ago I was ten? Did you know that eight years ago was 2008 and the U.S. went through a recession? Did you know that eight years ago, our country received a new president? The core value is: So much can happen in just eight years. Don’t waste your life. Sure, you may never be recognized like Alex was, but that doesn’t matter. What matter’s is making a positive impact in people’s lives. As you go, remember Alex. She was just four years old when she made her first lemonade stand. She didn’t set out to be famous or create an organization, she simply wanted to help other kids who were suffering from cancer.
I hope this story inspires you the same way it did for me. Like, comment, and follow the blog (if you want) and I will hopefully be around in the next one if the Lord wills. Be sure to check out ALSF! That is it!