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When life hands you lemons....

— Alexandra “Alex” Scott was just a baby when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumor that develops from nerve tissue common in infants and children. She defied all odds and learned to walk, battling one obstacle after another, beating doctors’ predictions. At the age of 4, after yet another hospital stay, little Alex decided she wanted to help others the way the doctors and nurses were helping her. She wanted to host a lemonade stand so that she could raise money for other kids fighting cancer. With that first lemonade stand, Alex raised more than $2,000.

Even as she battled her own illness, Alex continued to host lemonade stands year after year, raising more than $1 million by 2004. That year, she succumbed to the cancer at the age of 8. But her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, and her brothers, Patrick, Eddie and Joey, decided to carry on her legacy, creating the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. To date, the foundation which encourages others to host lemonade stands, collects the proceeds and distributes them for research and supports families of children with cancer, has collected a total of $55 million.

This weekend, three kids from Cicero helped contribute to that total. Madison King and Owen Greco, both 8, and Nadia Greco, 6, hosted a lemonade stand for the foundation, raising $1,157.08 on their own; Carrier Corp. pitched in an additional $100.

Even at such a young age, the kids’ recognition of the importance of the cause was striking, as was their dedication to what they were doing.

“This is for childhood cancer, and Alex died at our age,” Owen said. “We’re children. Lots of people are affected by it.”

We were highly impressed by these three youths and their willingness to give their time and energy to such a worthy cause, as well as their understanding and maturity — well beyond their years — toward a subject that can be so terrifying for such young minds. We hope that Madison, Owen and Nadia can serve as an example to other kids in the community to take a stand — lemonade or otherwise — and help out, as Alex did, and prove that age is irrelevant when it comes to making a difference.

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