When I was 23 years old and just finishing up my final year of college, I was told I had a 4 inch tumor in my right kidney. One operation and one less kidney later, I was suddenly a cancer survivor. It was a life changing experience for me, and it crystallized my desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. That desire for a healthier lifestyle is a big reason why I started SkinnySteep.
I was lucky. I survived. I was also very lucky that I never had to endure the excruciatingly difficult experience of chemotherapy. Not all cancer patients are so lucky on either front.
Many of us have been touched by cancer in our lives, whether it was ourselves, a family member, or a friend that was afflicted by the disease. It has unfortunately become a common experience in many people's lives. And what is hardest of all for me to deal with is when I see children afflicted by cancer.
I made a promise to myself that I would contribute to beating cancer in my life as much as I could, and to be honest I feel like I could have done more by now. I vowed that if and when I had a successful business, I would donate a portion of profits towards the fight against cancer. That starts with SkinnySteep.
Let me tell you about a charity called Alex's Lemonade Stand (check it out at http://www.alexslemonade.org/). It was started by a courageous little girl named Alexandra "Alex" Scott who dealt with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, for most of her life. In the year 2000, the day after her fourth birthday and while bravely battling her disease, Alex received a stem cell transplant and informed her mother, "when I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand." She said she wanted to give the money to doctors to allow them to "help other kids, like they helped me." True to her word, she held her first lemonade stand later that year with the help of her older brother and raised an amazing $2,000 for "her hospital." While bravely battling her own cancer, Alex and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands in her front yard to benefit childhood cancer research. Soon, news had spread and others around the world, moved by her story, held their own lemonade stands and donated the proceeds to Alex and her cause. Sadly, Alex passed away at the age of 8, but her cause continues to go strong. Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has become one of the most effective charities at battling childhood cancer in the world, directly donating millions of dollars towards life saving research grants for cancer research.
We've started our own lemonade stand here at SkinnySteep - 5% of our total profits will be donated every year to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. We encourage you to donate to Alex's Foundation as well, or if not towards this cause, then towards a cause you are passionate about. Use your life experiences and the strength you've gained from the tough times to make a positive change. I hope I can do that.
All the best,