A&W’s Alan Lulu gets stiff-armed by Christine Sinclair
Allen Lulu, the funny star of the A&W commercials, has been acting since he was seven years old. As a veteran of over 150 commercials. Allen is most recognized as the “A&W Guy” in Canada in the long running campaign. He is married to Beth Lulu and they have two children, Zoe & Zachary. His daughter, Elizabeth, passed away from Cystic Fibrosis in 2006 and he and Beth created and run a scholarship for college bound kids with CF called the Elizabeth Lulu Scholarship Foundation. Photo courtesy Rethink Canada.
Allen’s Story: How it Began
On May 12th, 2006, my daughter, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lulu lost her lifelong fight with Cystic Fibrosis.
Fight, however, is a difficult word to use when we think about Liz. While she did, indeed, fight against this horrible disease her entire life, she never let her nemesis get the best of her. In one televised interview, Liz commented about CF as something she “would just have to deal with” her entire life. For her, it was just a part of her day to day.
Because Elizabeth wasn’t defined by her disease, she was defined by her personality, her charm, her wisdom and her intelligence.
Elizabeth and I had talked a lot about college and education. I was concerned that, because of her setbacks and obstacles, she would have trouble when the time came to go to college. Cystic Fibrosis kids miss an awful lot of school and Liz was no exception; her 33 hospital stays over the last 8 years saw to that.
One day Elizabeth saw a poster in the Apple Store for a pink iPod Mini. Pink was her favorite color, and being such a fan of music, of course, Liz wanted one.
“Why do you deserve an iPod?” I asked. “It’s not your birthday, and it’s not Christmas. You tell me why I should spend $200 on an iPod for you. Because you are cute?”
Like the 11 year old she was, she said “yes.”
We made a deal. Liz had wanted to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and she was having some trouble. While she understood words, she had little knowledge of punctuation, and, therefore, comprehension was a hurdle. Since we had two copies of the book in our house, I gave her one and kept the other. I told her, “If you read this book and any other books, I will give you 10 cents a page.”
Within two weeks, Elizabeth called us to say that she had finished the first chapter. She gave us a detailed report on it. Within two months she finished the entire book. After a little more than a year, we dumped out her change bucket to discover that she had amassed 170 dollars.
“I put 20 dollars of my own in,” she said, sheepishly.
“I did, too,” I told her.
That couldn’t deny the fact that Elizabeth had read 1300 pages in a year and a half. We bought that iPod together that day and loaded it with music she loved. She took it with her everywhere she went.
The morning Elizabeth died, I happened to read a story about a 32-year-old man with Cystic Fibrosis who had said that he was told that he would be dead by 18. So, at 16, he gave up on school, figuring he would die in High School anyway. When he was in his 20′s, still alive and working dead end jobs, he realized that he might need to get a career. He got a degree in accounting, got married, and had a bunch of children.
Elizabeth wanted so very much to go to college. She was very determined in her desire to be a nurse. She figured that with the number of times she had been hospitalized, she was in a unique position to help other children who were sick.
This brings me to The Elizabeth Lulu Scholarship Foundation. Every year since 2007, two qualified teenage applicants with Cystic Fibrosis and dreams of college have been awarded $1000 each to help them with their first year of college. It’s our way to give them just one more reason to beat the odds, not give up, and continue to believe in themselves. With this scholarship we want to send a message to teenage kids living with Cystic Fibrosis: Don’t give up. We’re not giving up on you, so don’t give up on yourself. Liz didn’t.
If you know of any college bound teenagers with cystic fibrosis, please help us get the word out about our scholarship.
If you would like to help us with our endeavor please feel free to click Donate or send a check to The Elizabeth Lulu Scholarship Foundation, 11293 Patom Dr. Culver City, CA 90230. Your tax deductible donation will go a long way to help a dream become a reality.In this way, perhaps, Elizabeth Lulu can go to college every year.