Glen Mills Mom Launches Lemon Shot Challenge for Childhood Cancer

Brielle Barber

Brielle Barber

Like many of us, Glen Mills mom Kelly Barber spent much of her summer marveling at how the Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the world by storm. From pro athletes to celebrities to former heads of state, people have been happily dumping buckets of ice water on their heads in the name of awareness and fundraising for ALS. And it’s worked: The ALS Association says the challenge has raised $94 million in needed funds.

Which, of course, is awesome, except that the cause close to Barber’s heart isn’t ALS but childhood cancer—specifically, childhood brain cancer. See, her four-year-old daughter, Brielle, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called Analplastic Glioma Astrocytoma just about a month ago. This, after little Brielle battled a malignant tumor on her spine earlier this year.


"There's not a lot of funding for research and trials for childhood cancer, and particularly brain tumors," says Barber. "So I thought, 'Hey, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been a huge success. Why not come up with something to bring awareness to childhood cancer?'"

The "something" is this: The Lemon Shot Challenge, which, like its ice bucket predecessor, has participants doing something sort of uncomfortable (in this case, taking a shot of straight lemon juice) and challenging other people to do the same sort-of-uncomfortable thing. Barber has teamed up with Wynnewood-based Alex's Lemonade Stand to give legs to the cause.

Brielle, of course, was one of the first challenge takers. The rules are as follows: You shoot a video of yourself taking a shot of lemon juice, then challenge three people to do the same. They have 24 hours to complete the challenge or donate $100 to Alex's Lemonade Stand.

So far, lots of locals have already jumped aboard, including Brielle's doctors and nurses at CHOP, family friends, staffers at area elementary schools, and more. Their videos are being shared on the Brielle's Buddies Facebook page.

Barber says funds raised from the initiative will support work of Alex's Lemonade Stand. You can donate here, or send a snail-mail check to the Alex's Lemonade Stand, with the memo marked "Lemon Shot Challenge."

And remember: No mixers allowed.

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