The Uplift: Young cancer patient raises money to help others in the fight

Peachtree Corners teen has strategy to encourage businesses and consumers to help

Credit: Special to The Atlanta Journal-C

Credit: Special to The Atlanta Journal-C

In what seems to many to be an increasingly negative world, 14-year-old Lex Stolle of Peachtree Corners says he wants to “B positive,” just like his blood type.

For the past several months, he has been developing a fundraising strategy that he hopes can benefit businesses, consumers, and, most importantly, fellow cancer patients.

“I love advocating for other kids with cancer,” Lex said. “I’ve been in their shoes.”

Credit: Special to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Special to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At age 10, Lex had symptoms of appetite and weight loss, fluid in his lungs, and temporary loss of the use of an arm. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

He ended roughly three years of intensive chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in January 2022.

Now, he’s launching the sale of “Cancer Cards,” which are about the size of a credit card and provide discounts at food establishments, ranging from 15% off a meal to a free appetizer. The cards — selling for $25 each — are good at 9 to 12 local businesses in Peachtree Corners, Milton/Alpharetta, Marietta, Buckhead, and Athens.

The cards are effective starting in September, designated National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and can be used over and over at the participating businesses until their expiration on May 25, 2024, Lex said.

All proceeds go to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where Lex was treated.

If all 5,000 of the Cancer Cards are sold, that could raise $90,000 for the hospital, Lex said.

“I think the goal is not impossible,” he said. “I think it’s actually possible.”

Credit: Special to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Special to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

He said he hopes the card sales will help businesses attract new customers, allow diners to save some money, and help kids with cancer.

“So it’s a win, win, win for everybody, really,” Lex said.

Getting the Cancer Cards campaign off the ground was no small feat for Lex, a freshman at William & Reed Academy in Johns Creek.

“I emailed over 350 places,” he said. “I spent a lot of hours getting these places to make a commitment.”

Lex said he considered it a coup to have convinced Walt Ehmer, president of Waffle House, to participate.

Today, Lex said he is feeling great and happily keeping a hectic schedule that includes school, public speaking for Aflac and Children’s, and his fundraiser.

“I want to make a difference,” he said. “To be treated in Atlanta, to have had the care I did and the resources I had is incredible. There are kids from all over the country who fly here, and for me to say it is in my backyard is a blessing.”

To learn more about Lex’s fundraiser or to purchase a Cancer Card, go to Cancer Cards