Even on a good day, Smith says, Alex looked frail. The outward signs of her illness were always visible on her tiny frame. But looks can be deceiving.
Alex had cancer for most of her eight years. Her battle began a week short of her first birthday, when doctors found a malignant tumor on her spine. Her parents were told she would never walk, that she was paralyzed from the chest down.
But Alex kept trying to get up. And eventually, she willed herself to walk.
With that battle won, she decided to take on cancer itself — with a lemonade stand.
When asked why, Alex said simply, "Because it's helping people.
Her first stand, in 2000, netted $2,000. By 2003, the total was ten times that. And this year, Smith says, her hopes were even higher: $1 million.
As Alex visited her last lemonade stand, Smith observes, she seemed to know it was possible. But she wouldn't live to see it: On Aug. 1, Alex died at home, with her family at her side.
Three months later, on Wednesday, her mother, Liz Scott, made an announcement. "The foundation has reached the $1 million mark," she said.
If you wonder how a very brave, very sick little girl could manage such an incredible feat, the explanation is simple, Smith says: Alex Scott sold hope. At 50 cents a glass.
On Thursday, Scott told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm she feels "lucky that (Alex) did touch so many people and that I can be here today talking about her. That's really special and unique for our family."
Scott admits that when Alex, then at age 4, first approached her with her lemonade stand idea, "I was very thrilled and very proud, but honestly, I laughed a little bit and thought, 'That's great.'"
"But I warned her it would be hard to make a difference selling lemonade at 50 cents a cup.
"She said, 'I don't care, I'm going to do it anyway.'"
Scott says Volvo Cars of North America called shortly before Alex died to assure her that her $1 million goal would be reached. And it was, through a series of fundraisers the company held, including setting up lemonade stands at dealerships for one day.
Since, Scott says, the response has been "incredible. We have schools doing lemonade stands. Every day we get letters from children who've done lemonade stands. We have a lot of corporations interested in coming on to help us."
Why, Storm asked, does Scott think Alex's story has had such an impact? "I think it's just the fact that she was so young and she dealt with so so much in her life, but still managed to dream big and, you know, she had a purpose. She really had a purpose, and I think, today, especially, people need to see that there is a lot of good in this world and she brings that out in people," Scott says.
Alex told her brother Patrick her goal for this year would be $5 million. And Scott says her family will work feverishly, "like Alex," to see that it happens."