By Syma Chowdhry, Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thousands took to Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park Sunday morning for the 6th annual Lemon Run — benefitting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s fight against pediatric cancer.
Among the 2,500 or so participating were families who take the battle against childhood cancer to heart.
“Great family event,” says co-executive director of the organization Liz Scott, better known as Alex’s mom. “We have a kids dash for younger kids where they just do an all out race, 100 yards, and then a lot of families run and walk together.”
Alex was diagnosed with cancer before her first birthday. She died at the age of eight in 2004 — leaving behind a legacy.
“Alex started this organization basically in our front yard as a lemonade stand and all she wanted to do was make a difference for kids with cancer,” explains Liz.
Gavin Morris was two-years-old when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. This past March, at four-and-a-half, he passed away. His mother, Tosha (yellow shirt in photo below), calls him a superhero:
“When Gavin’s journey ended I couldn’t stop because it’s not over.”
Team Gavin Strong is one of the many groups taking part in the Lemon Run, raising money for critical research. Bringing in around $4,000 is Team Payton — inspired by Payton Riggs, who was diagnosed at eight-months old.
“You work through with what life throws at you and in this case it’s a reminder every year of just how fortunate we are as a family,” her father, Brian, says.
Now, a few days shy of her 10th birthday, Payton, a survivor, spreads Alex Scott’s message of hope:
“She really is an inspiration to all kids and she’s just incredible.”
The Boerlin family lost their eldest son to a rare form of brain cancer.
“What we’ve learned from this is there is a great support system and they are here for us and it has made a big difference,” says mother Lauren Boerlin.
They also participate in events like the Lemon Run to raise awareness and funds.
“You kind of do it for all the kids who can’t do it,” says the brother, Miles Boerlin. “I’m fortunate enough that I can and it’s to take that kind of stuff for granted.”
Keren Fitzgerald is the mother of a cancer survivor and says it’s important to pay it forward:
“You come out to events like this and it’s happening to so many other families and just to come back and share that experience with folks and really unite together to give back to a fantastic cause like Alex’s Lemonade.”
The Lemon Run raises about $150,000.
If you couldn’t make it to the event but would like to donate, CLICK HERE.
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