A Milwaukie family affected by childhood cancer joined many around the country this weekend selling lemonade to support a foundation that raises millions of dollars each year for cancer research.
Amanda and Kenneth MacPherson set up a stand in Max Patterson Park in Gladstone in support of their son Ewan, 5. Doctor's found a brain tumor when he was only 20 months old. After an operation and radiation, Ewan MacPherson had three years of clean scans until October 2012, when doctors found that the cancer had come back.
"It's a feeling you can't put into words," said Kenneth MacPherson. "You can deal with anything that's wrong with you, easy. When it comes to your children it's a whole different world and the helplessness is unbelievable."
To cope with the helplessness, the MacPhersons took action and supported the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. They joined people across the country selling the beverage this weekend to help fund a cure.
"It truly is a worthy cause," said Dr. Charles Keller, a cancer researcher at OHSU's Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. The foundation funded his study that grew tumor cells and observed the pattern of growth, Keller said. His findings will help doctors pick good drugs to stop the spread of certain cells, Keller said.
It's progress in treatment thanks to the compassion of Alex Scott – a little girl from Connecticut who got cancer as an infant and died when she was only eight years old.
"So when she turned four, she told her parents, I'd like to set up a lemonade stand. They had no idea why," said Keller. "She put it out in the front yard and she said I'm going to raise money to find cures for childhood cancer to help others."
The money isn't the only thing making a difference. The foundation also gives those dealing with the disease a role in saving their loved ones.
"It makes in empowering in a situation that you have no power in whatsoever," Amanda MacPherson said.
To donate to the MacPherson's lemonade fund click here.
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