A $53,000 gift from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation – an organization dedicated to raising funds for childhood cancer research – is helping an investigator at the Georgia Cancer Center advance his work in treating pediatric cancer.
According to a news release, the foundation awarded the grant to Dr. Ted Johnson, co-creator of the Pediatric Immunotherapy Program at the Georgia Cancer Center and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. A team of supporters of Dr. Johnson raised $28,000 for childhood cancer research during the organization’s 2016 Alex’s Million Mile event. The foundation matched the first $25,000 bringing the total to $53,000. It was the eight highest total raised by a physician’s team in the U.S. during the annual fundraiser.
“Drs. Ted Johnson and David Munn’s dedication to childhood cancer research is unwavering. Their participation in Alex’s Million Mile is an extension of the hard work they already do in their lab, researching better and safer cures and bringing hope to these kids and their families,” said Jay Scott, co-executive director of the foundation and Alex’s dad.
Johnson said the grant will be used for pediatric cancer research and to assist family needs such as the cost of travel to the clinic and paying for the first round of cancer treatment. The Foundation has been supporting Johnson’s research for many years.
“We are honored to have been a part of such an impactful event that changes lives; and the thing that is really striking to me is this event is largely driven by the patients, their families and those following the patients’ recovery on websites,” said Johnson, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Medical College of Georgia. “When we started taking part in the fundraiser three years ago, we never thought we’d see this big of an increase in donations. So, we will continue supporting the Alex’s Million Mile event as it is a great cause at finding innovative ways to treat pediatric cancer.”
Munn, Johnson’s partner in the Pediatric Immunotherapy Program, shared the same sentiments.
“The people donating this money to the Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation are family members and friends of those patients being treated by Ted,” said Munn, a member of the Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance Program at the Georgia Cancer Center. “It is a barometer of the kind of care we are delivering at the cancer center and children’s hospital.”
Alexandra “Alex” Scott started raising money for doctors at age 4 with a lemonade stand in her front yard. At her first stand, she was able to raise more than $2,000. At the time of her death, she had raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for childhood cancers, and her family continues her dream by keeping the fundraiser going.
Gifts can be made to support Dr. Johnson’s research through the 2017 Alex’s Million Mile fundraiser.