Pediatric oncology foundation sees fruits of funding

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation awardees Rebecca Gardner, Scott Diede and Julie Park show progress made thanks to grants received in recent years
Dr. Scott Diede, Lisa Towry, Dr. Julie Park and
From left, Dr. Scott Diede, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation awardee from 2010, is pictured with Lisa Towry, ALSF operations director. Dr. Julie Park received her award from the foundation in 2008.

Earlier this fall, three pediatric oncologists in the Clinical Research Division received a visit from a representative of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which has provided critical support to their research.

Lisa Towry, ALSF's operations director, visited Drs. Rebecca Gardner, Scott Diede, and Julie Park to tour their labs and get updates on their research.

  • In July Gardner won a two-year $80,000 Young Investigator Award from the foundation. The award funded her study "Engineering a Graft Vs.-Leukemia Effect into Cord Blood Transplant for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia."
  • Diede received a two-year, $80,000 award in 2010 for his study "The Role of DNA Methylation in Pediatric Cancer."
  • Park, whose primary appointment is at Seattle Children's, shared a $625,000 Program Infrastructure Award in 2008 for her studies on "Advanced Therapeutics for Pediatric Cancer."
Dr. Rebecca Gardner
Dr. Rebecca Gardner received a Young Investigator Award from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation last July. Center News file photo

"It was great to get to meet the researchers, get a sense of how the funding helped in the broader picture and identify what further or new gaps they are experiencing when obtaining funding for childhood cancer research," said Towry. "The feedback will help ALSF improve the current grant program and create additional timely programs for childhood cancer research."

Alex dreamed of curing all children with cancer

ALSF emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of 4-year-old Alexandra "Alex" Scott. In 2000, after receiving a stem cell transplant for neuroblastoma, she wanted to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Alex's first stand generated $2,000. Before she died at age 8, Alex's annual lemonade stands had raised more than $1 million. To date, the nonprofit has raised more than $40 million and funded more than 200 research projects in the U.S. and Canada.

Visit the ALSF website for more information on the foundation's grant programs. More about Towry's visit to Seattle is available at

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