…you either taste the bitter juice and let it twist your face into knots or you add a little sugar, find the sweetness and make one giant pitcher of lemonade…to share.
We were asked several times this week “why carry on? Why continue in the fight? Why not curl up in bed?” As Mike and I were asked this question by several people, we realized that our answer was always the same. “We have to. We just have to.” For us it is that simple and that “easy” of an answer, though the actual process of doing so is not always so easy. It’s never simple. It’s making a choice day in and day out to face the absolute horror of our lives, to CHOOSE to tell Kate’s story over and over, to hurt to our core each and every day because the only reason IT exists is because she no longer physically does. It’s the belly of the beast every day and I am constantly aware of childhood cancer and constantly wanting and longing to do more, limited by real life “things” and responsibilities, never knowing if we’re doing enough.
Liz & Jay Scott are no different from us. They are parents. They are Alex’s parents. And during the busiest time of year for their team of nearly 60 (!!) at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, they opened their office and their time to us and made us fee like we were important. They made us feel like we ARE doing enough. Like we are exactly where we are meant to be with our grant co-sponsorship with them, and it was never more apparent than this week.
Liz & Jay sat with us, talked with us about our goals, about what we hoped for Kate’s Cause. They asked us about our events, about our strategies, gave us amazing tips and advice and asked about Kate. We were interviewed by their PR team about why we chose to co-sponsor a grant with ALSF and about why working with them has been so beneficial for us, as a small organization.
I am thrilled beyond beleif to share that while there, Kate’s Cause awared another $50,000 to fund TWO grants in 2019, bringing our total funding to $75,000 in just one year.
The first will be an Innovation Grant, designed to provide critical and significant seed funding for experienced investigators with a novel and promising approach to finding causes and cures for childhood cancers. This will be awarded to a project of our choosing in July, followed by a Reach Grant, designed to move hypothesis-driven research into the clinic. The two year grant is intended to fund developmental therapeutic studies in the late stage of preclinical testing and will be awarded to a project of our choosing in November.
I don’t have any facny photos to share. I don’t have any pictures of us with the team or snapshots of, well, anything. All I have is this photo of our big check and a bag full of dinosaurs. And a full and grateful heart for our supporters and donors, allowing us the opportunity to be a part of something so inspiring and exciting as these grant opportunities with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.