East Tennessee family turns lemons into lemonade

Family with a Pediatric Brain Tumor Diagnosis Partners with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

September marks the 5-year anniversary of six-year-old Tillery Phillips’ cancer diagnosis. Now, her family is partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Diagnosed at 15 months old with a low grade glioma brain tumor, Tillery’s parents were told she would always have a portion of her tumor in her brain and would never be considered “in remission”.

“To hear that your child can never be healed is unacceptable.” said Alana Phillips, Tillery’s mother. “Tillery’s tumor is not terminal and has remained stable for over 3 years and for those reasons we are thankful. Those are also the reasons we are fighting back. We want the success story for a pediatric brain tumor family to be much better than living their whole life as a cancer patient.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) started with a front yard lemonade stand by a little girl who was close to Phillips’ age. Alexandra “Alex” Scott was diagnosed with cancer right before her first birthday and at age 4 decided to hold a lemonade stand to help her doctors find a cure for cancer. In 4 years, Alex raised $1 million and after she passed away, her parents began the foundation in her memory. ALSF has raised over $130 million to help families through research, travel assistance, and other awareness resources.

In 2014, when Tillery was first diagnosed, her family travelled to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where she began her treatments. ALSF paid for a hotel room for the Phillips family following her first surgery while she was waiting to begin chemotherapy.

“We planned to travel home to Tennessee after Tillery’s first surgery but her medical team advised we stay close to the hospital. Her social worker coordinated with Alex’s Lemonade Stand to have our hotel room covered.” said Joe Phillips, Tillery’s father. “Three days after being discharged from the hospital, Tillery developed a blood clot from surgery and had to be readmitted to the hospital. Being close to the hospital played a huge role in saving our daughter. We wanted to partner with the organization that made such a huge impact on our family.”

In August 2015, Tillery’s big brother Luke held a lemonade stand in honor of his sister and raised $3700. Since that time, the family has done other fundraising efforts in honor of their daughter and formed an official partnership with ALSF through a Hero Fund named in her honor. The TIL Fund specifically funds pediatric brain tumor research.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Phillips family will have various events going on around town.

September 7th – Lemonade Stand at Norwood UMC, 2110 Merchant Drive 11:00 – 3:00 pm

September 13th – Lemonade Stand at Bearden High School football game*

September 19th – Dine to Donate at Salsarita’s on Clinton Hwy

Donations to the TIL Fund to support the Phillips family’s September fundraising efforts can be made online here: https://alsf.me/1683934 or can be mailed to TIL Fund, PO Box 12052, Knoxville, TN 37912.

 

*Bearden High School Senior Connor Cross is the kicker for the Bearden Bulldogs and is part of the Kick-It Program through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Connor invites people to pledge a dollar amount per point he scores throughout the season to ALSF. This is Connor’s 2nd year with the program and last year, he invited Tillery Phillips to join him as an honorary team captain at one of the games. Since then, the two have formed a special friendship. On September 13, Tillery will again be an honorary team captain and will go on the field before the game for the coin toss. Once the game starts, Tillery will be serving up lemonade and cheering on her favorite Bulldog!

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