Friday, June 04, 2004

"Aloha from the Land of Sunny Beaches, Warm Sands, and .... wait ... what am I talking about? We're vacationing in Oklahoma!"

Week #9 (extended a week for vacation)of IM #2

Yep, we're still hanging out with friends and family in OKC for our vacation, which has consisted primarily of swimming, whining, staying up too late, whining, drinking gallons of caffeine and sugar-loaded pop, whining ... and of course that's just the way the KIDS are behaving! You should see the grownups! I'll regale with you with full details and pictures next week after we return to Georgia; I'm sure you can hardly wait.

In the meantime, however, I want to let as many people as possible know about an incredibly worthy event taking place next Saturday, June 12th, all over the country, and how each of you can help. Let me back up a little:

Last April, our family attended a weekend family cancer camp at Camp Sunshine in Georgia. We met lots of wonderful families there, all with children stricken with some form of cancer. One family we really enjoyed meeting and visiting with was the Connor family, whose young son Brandon had been afflicted with neuroblastoma. You can go to his web page for the complete story of his miracle. Brandon's mom Kristin and I have kept in touch via e-mail and Caringbridge, and she recently let me know about a touching, inspiring, amazing thing that will be happening around the country on June 12th, which she will be helping with right here in Georgia. Here are some background details:

Alexandra “Alex” Scott is the 8 year old founder of Alex's Lemonade Stand For Pediatric Cancer Research. Two days before her first birthday she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. Since that time Alex has continually fought her cancer, with doctors and researchers still trying to achieve a cure. At the age of four, Alex decided to do something to make that cure more likely. She opened her first lemonade stand in July of 2000 with the idea of donating the proceeds to “her hospital.” Each year since, Alex has held an annual lemonade stand in her front yard. As word has spread, donations have poured in from around the world, and she has raised over $200,000 for pediatric cancer.

Alex's goal for 2004 is to raise $1 million for pediatric cancer research. To help her acheive this, lemonade stands are being held in every state in the country. Kristin is organizing one in Atlanta, on the outskirts of Centennial Park. You can go to Alex's Lemonade for more information on lemonade stand locations, or how to donate, if there is not a stand near you. Alex also has a new book out; information on the site. I'm more than a little humbled by an 8-yr old who has the vision and tenacity to raise so much money for pediatric cancer research. I'm happy with myself if I get a load of laundry finished and dinner on the table each night ... and this 2nd grader is aiming to raise a MILLION dollars in one day, all to help other kids with cancer, just like her.

Personally, I'm toying with the idea of driving all the way to Atlanta just to buy some lemonade. Kendrie starts DI #2 on Monday, so we'll wait to see how she's feeling (hmmmm, Saturday will be day 6 of steroids..... is spending two hours with her in a minivan a wise idea???) Even if we can't go, I'm inspired, hearing about kids like Alex, who have such wonderful goals, dreams and stories, and the adults like Kristin who help make those dreams a reality. I know at the minimum, I'll send in a donation to help Alex reach her $1 million goal. I hope all of you who are able, will too.

Thanks, Kristie

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