When Alexandra Scott was 4 years old, she decided to open a lemonade stand in the frontyard of her Pennsylvania home. All of her proceeds were to go toward helping children like her — those with pediatric cancer.
Alex, as she is known, is now 8 years old and her lemonade stand idea has flourished into a nationwide fundraiser for pediatric cancer research.
Aubrey Brooks, a 4-year-old from Coal City who is currently battling cancer herself, will host an “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” on Illinois Avenue in Morris with her family on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The Brooks family will be hosting their stand during the annual night-time 3 French Hens French Country Market Saturday afternoon.
Aubrey was diagnosed with High Risk Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on Jan. 16. Since then, she has been undergoing treatment phases at various intensities.
She just finished the hospitalization phase, in which she had chemotherapy for an extended amount of time and was then admitted to the hospital for several days following. Aubrey is now heading into a more-intensive part of her treatment.
“This intensive chemo part really decreases her immunity, so she can’t really be out in the normal world because there’s just too much bacteria. Any cold virus can put her in the hospital,” said Aubrey’s mom, Nichole. “It’s just really hard for her to fight infection.”
Because she is getting a break from chemo, however, Aubrey will be at the market Saturday.
Nichole said the fact her daughter has not been able to go out and be a “normal kid” has been one of the hardest aspects of Aubrey’s diagnosis. She wasn’t able to go to preschool, but may be able to start kindergarten next year.
The first part of Aubrey’s treatment was difficult, too, because Aubrey could not communicate how she was feeling. Now she can tell mom and dad when she feels sick, though.
“She knows she’s sick and kind of tells you what’s wrong with her,” Aubrey’s father, Matthew, said. “She knows more medical vocabulary than your normal 4-year-old.”
Aubrey also told her mom and dad recently that “it’s hard to be tough” when she’s in the hospital.
The Brooks family — Aubrey; her younger brother, Colin, 16 months; Nichole; and Matthew — will be on West Illinois Avenue from 2 to 8 p.m. Satursday selling lemonade and homemade baked goods. All of their proceeds will help fund pediatric cancer research.
NIchole said the family’s goal is to raise $1,000. As of Thursday, Aug. 9, they had raised $350.
Monetary donations can also be made to Aubrey’s Army at www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/83140.
About 120 other vendors will also be set up along the Illinois and Michigan Canal from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, offering farm-fresh produce; homemade jams, jellies, pies and baked goods; antiques and more.
Feeney’s Liquor will host a wine-tasting and the Morris Jazz Ensemble and other musicians will perform on the Canal Boat Stage from 2 to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.3frenchensmarket.blogspot.com or call (815) 941-0752.