Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Alex's Birthday

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A. A. Milne

This is Alex's Week on Daily Sally. Alex is my nephew. Last year I shared my feelings about his 9th birthday in Another Glorious Birthday.

Alex turned 10 this May, a much bigger milestone than just the fun of achieving double digits. A triumph, in fact. Because Alex has cancer. A horrible form of the disease, called VHL.

Cancer, kids, birthdays. Words that shouldn't be used in the same sentence. But in this case, we'll make an exception. Because to a kid with cancer, every birthday is a gift.

By the way, shortly after his birthday this year, Alex had a checkup to determine if the surgery for the VHL tumors that had invaded his eyes was still a success. More on that tomorrow.

For Alex, and far too many kids like him, each birthday is a genuine celebration of life. Alex takes that responsibility seriously. He's an amazing kid. In spite of everything he's had to endure, he keeps his focus on other kids in the same boat.

When he was 6, Alex raised over $800 for the Donny Fund of South Jersey's "Field of Dreams" with his own lemonade stand.

Just before his 9th birthday he grew his hair extra long so he could donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for kids who've lost their hair to chemotherapy.

This year, he's joined the big time. Alex and our family are hosting our own official Alex's Lemonade Stand, the national endeavor started by Alex Scott of Merion, PA who created a local lemonade stand to raise money for pediatric cancer.

Alex Scott lost her battle with the disease 6 years ago at age 8. Our Alex is carrying on the fight this year with Alex's Alex's Lemonade Stand under the banner Two Alex's, One Dream.

The Margate Firehouse is pitching in this weekend. Margate police and firefighters will help us sell lemonade and wristbands on Saturday, June 10 from 10 am to 6 pm at the firehouse, Ventnor and Washington Avenues.

Then on Sunday, June 11, Alex is hosting another lemonade stand for The Donny Fund from 8 to noon at the Yacht Club of Pleasantville in Pleasantville, NJ

If you have a kid--or know one--who's celebrating a birthday this year, don't take it for granted.

And if you're down the shore this weekend, come meet Alex.

Wherever you are, buy some lemonade. Make a donation. It's the best gift you can possibly give.

Firstgiving - Two Alex's, One Dream

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