Girl Trades Birthday Gifts to Help Kids with Cancer

There were many children at Mairead Thiery’s 8th birthday party, lots of laughs and lots of games, but missing were the presents.

Instead of gifts, the West Hartford birthday girl asked for donations to Alex's Lemonade Stand, a foundation started right here in Connecticut that raises money to fight childhood cancer.

"When my mom and dad first heard I wanted to have that party, they were like, huh? Because they were so confused," Mairead said. 

The "Alex" of Alex’s Lemonade Stand is Alexandra Scott of Manchester who held the first lemonade stand while she was fighting a losing battle against the disease back in 2000. Alex died in 2004 at the age of 8, the same age Mairead is now.
If you're wondering what sparked Mairead to honor a little girl she never met, the second grader said it was something she saw at a Rock Cats game.

"I pretty much cried my head off,” Mairead said. 

During intermission, a video about Alex's Lemonade Stand played. Mairead says it shook her, and it's still hard to talk about.

"Let’s just say the girl that made the first Alex's Lemonade Stand, I don't even want to say it. She died," Mairead said.

It was a tough fate for young Mairead to absorb. And she started holding lemonade stands ever since. So, at a time when most girls are raking in the Barbies, this birthday girl wants her friends to buy someone else a gift, someone young who is fighting fate.

Mairead raised more than $250 for the cause by trading presents for donations. It seems there's one gift she doesn't need -- humility.

"I don't think it's that much of a huge deal but I guess it's a good thing to do though," she said.

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