PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A young cancer patient who started a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research, sparking a nationwide fund-raising campaign that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, has died at her home. She was 8.
Alexandra Scott, of Wynnewood, whose battle with pediatric cancer captured hearts nationwide, "passed on peacefully with us holding her hands," her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, said in an e-mail, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.
"She just slipped away," Liz Scott told the paper Sunday. "You could see when she was ready. She let off a big sigh, and went off to sleep. She was very calm. For that, we're grateful. You're always fearful it's going to be scary."
A call and an e-mail sent to the family Sunday night were not immediately returned to The Associated Press.
Alexandra, diagnosed just before her first birthday with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for treatment. She took in $2,000 that first year, and a series of stands had raised a total of $200,000 after four years.
In June, lemonade stand fund-raisers were set up in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and France, and Alexandra and her family appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV program and the "Today" show.
Alex hoped that her Alex's Lemonade Stand charity would raise $1 million this year for cancer research. The effort has passed the $700,000 mark, and Volvo of North America had pledged to hold a fall fund-raising event to assure that the $1 million goal would be reached, Liz Scott said.
Since June, Alex's quality of life had dropped off, and her health had severely deteriorated in the last few days, her mother said. Still, her daughter was determined to push forward even as her condition worsened, she said.
"She had a lot of faith and faith in research and trying the newest things," Liz Scott said.
Copyright © 2004 The Associated Press