Inspired by an Old Friend
August 5, 2016
We all have experiences that shape us. Whether that is something as simple as a brief childhood experience, or a significant relationship from our past, these moments can determine a great deal about our future.
Charles Goldring, ’17, an ACE student, is no different. He attributes his desire to become a nurse to his relationship with a childhood friend by the name Alexandra “Alex” Scott. “She had a bubbly personality, and was a lot of fun to get along with,” said Goldring. “She was just an overall interesting person to know.”
Alex Scott was the founder and creator of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation that is dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer. Alex herself was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just before her first birthday, and tragically passed away in the August of 2004 at the age of 8. However, this did not stop Alex from leaving a lasting legacy and impact that even to this day motivates those who were lucky enough to know her to continue spreading her positive message and inspiring story.
Goldring first met Alex when he was in fifth grade, and she was in first grade. They both attended Penn Wynne Elementary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and were assigned to each other as pen pals. “When I first met Alex I was a little scared as a child because she was different from me,” said Goldring. “It took a little bit of encouragement from teachers and my parents and my friends, but as soon as I got to know her I quickly realized that she was a fantastic person.”
Goldring and Alex began seeing a lot of each other; they would meet up every week and spend time together in school, on the playground, and in various after school activities. “We got to know each other really well, and over that process I became aware of her condition.” said Goldring.
Part of Alex’s brave battle with childhood cancer included her founding of Alex’s Lemonade Stand on the day after her fourth birthday. After receiving a stem cell transplant, she informed her mother that she wanted to make a lemonade stand when she got out of the hospital, with the hopes of giving the proceeds to doctors who were helping to fight against childhood cancer.
After raising an amazing $2,000 to donate to “her hospital” from the first lemonade stand, she was able to inspire people from all over the world who heard her story to continue the fight even to this day. Since Alex set up her first lemonade the foundation has raised more than $120 million towards funding research projects, travel programs, and developing resources to fight for people everywhere who are affected by childhood cancer.
Goldring, who is now studying to work in cardiac ICU or pediatrics, is one of the many people who use Alex’s amazing story and journey as inspiration to truly make a difference.
“Retrospectively I realized that she inspired me to help others both while she was alive and after she passed away,” said Goldring. “The combination of knowing her as a person, having a fun loving personality, and also seeing the amazing work that has been done by her foundation, Alex has inspired me to always want to help those who are in need.”
As he enters the field of nursing, Goldring will continue to be inspired and driven by his relationship with Alex, and will continue carrying the mentality that Alex always personified into his own work. “Her sense of justice, her sense of wanting to help people inspired me to get into nursing,” said Goldring. “Being able to combine science which is my passion, and helping others which is her passion, has given me a great deal of satisfaction.”
By Jacob Cushing ‘19