Lexi Flanders

Lexi Flanders, founder of “Pedals of Courage”, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of North Gwinnett on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at the Buford Community Center.

During her presentation, she asked, “Instead of asking for presents for my birthday, I asked to donate money and toys for children fighting cancer. My name is Lexi and I’m nine years old. Help me out by donating your riding toys such as plasma cars, scooters, and tricycles or money to my organization today.” Lexi is collecting toys and money for hospitals, such as M.D. Anderson in Texas and Children’s of Alabama, a pediatric hospital in Birmingham. 

Who was Lexi’s inspiration for developing this program? Her cousin named Melissa. 

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Lexi Flanders pictured with Barbara Bostwick, receives a $200 donation from the Kiwanis Club of North Georgia for Pedals of Courage.Lexi Flanders pictured with Barbara Bostwick receives a $200 donation from the Kiwanis Club of North Georgia for Pedals of Courage.Melissa was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 at the age of two years old. She passed away a year later after fighting her courageous battle. “Melissa loved riding the tricycle in the hospital. Unfortunately, there was only one bike in the place to play with. That’s when I got the idea to start collecting more active toys for the hospital for the sick children. I believe the toys help keep them healthy,” said Lexi. “Keeping active will help fight the cancer.” She founded “Pedals of Courage” in January 2017 and aspires to make it a non-profit organization. “Last year, we donated to the CURE Childhood Cancer Foundation in Melissa’s name. This year for my ninth birthday, I would like to make a donation to M.D. Anderson since that is where she passed away.”

According to Lexi’s father, she is a very focused and determined little girl. “Lexi first started out by proclaiming that she would become an oncologist, and would be the one to defeat this horrible disease. She has since procured a lab-grade microscope and constantly studies cellular structures and comes up with hypotheses about how cancer could be defeated (at least in her free time when she is not swimming on her competitive swim team). She has even gone as far as contacting some of the top cancer researchers and doctors in the world - one of whom, the lead Leukemia doctor at St. Jude, has spent a lot of time on the phone with her to develop her ideas,” said Joe Flanders. 

Lexi Flanders founded Pedals of Courage and collects active toys – such as tricycles –  and money to donate to pediatric hospitals.Lexi Flanders founded Pedals of Courage and collects active toys – such as tricycles – and money to donate to pediatric hospitals.“I think ‘Pedals of Courage’ is a great program. Lexi is inspiring. It’s her dream and desire to help others,” added Katerina Flanders, Lexi’s mother.

The rising fourth-grader at White Oak Elementary in Sugar Hill looks to the future. “I like doing this – helping other children. I want to be a research doctor when I grow up. I’m going to cure cancer.”

To learn more about Pedals of Courage or to make a donation, visit: www.pedalsofcourage.org.