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Serving up lemonade and hope

By Bailee Madison, Special to CNN
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bailee Madison shows kids how to fight childhood cancer by selling lemonade
  • Madison says you're never too young to make a difference
  • Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $80 million since 2005

Editor's note: Bailee Madison is a 14-year-old actress who younger audiences may know from Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place." The Florida native is also a national ambassador for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research. The views expressed are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- My name is Bailee Madison and I am blessed to be the youth spokesperson for Alex's Lemonade Stand, a foundation that is very dear to my heart.

Few people have the opportunity to impact the lives of thousands, even over an entire lifetime. Alex Scott accomplished more in much less time. Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, shortly before her first birthday.

Bailee Madison and friends pose at a lemonade stand at an event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Bailee Madison and friends pose at a lemonade stand at an event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Around 2000, at age 4, Alex asked her mom if she could start a lemonade stand to raise money for pediatric cancer research. She wanted to help the doctors find a way to make other children like her feel better. She continued to put up lemonade stands until she lost her battle with cancer four years later in 2004, at the age of 8.

By that time Alex had raised over a million dollars for pediatric cancer research. I was so inspired by Alex's story that I always say "You are never too young to make a difference." Alex Scott has proven that to be true.

Today, Alex's parents, Liz and Jay Scott, have continued her mission to find a cure for pediatric cancer. Since 2005, Alex's Lemonade Stand has raised over $80 million for cancer research.

Madison serves up lemonade to customers.
Madison serves up lemonade to customers.

In addition to research, last year alone, ALSF provided over 100 flights, 440 nights of lodging, and 300 gas cards to help families travel for a child's treatment. These are all results of people like you and me holding lemonade stands. Every dollar we raise brings us one step closer to finding a cure.

Last week, I had the opportunity to join the annual Alex's "Original" Lemonade Stand at Alex's elementary school in Philadelphia to help kick off National Lemonade Days. It was an amazing day. The stand brought over 3,000 people and raised nearly $100,000.

It\'s a family affair! Madison\'s mom, sister and niece lend a hand at an event for Alex\'s Lemonade Stand in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It's a family affair! Madison's mom, sister and niece lend a hand at an event for Alex's Lemonade Stand in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The following day, I had a lemonade stand of my own with my 10-year-old friend, Charlotte, in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although we didn't raise nearly as much money, it was equally as exciting to see my friends and family join together for the same cause, knowing that it it could be ANY one of the dollars raised by ANY of us that will lead to a cure.

Alex's dream is still very much alive. I hope that you will join me and the many others who are continuing Alex's dream to find a cure for childhood cancer, one cup at a time.

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