In 2000, Alex was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor three days before Christmas and to Alex’s response, he must have been on the naughty list as he would have much preferred coal in his stocking. Alex’s personality and humor kept him fighting what had seemed like a dent in the road.
After many surgeries, he thought he was done, then came the hard part; two years of chemotherapy and radiation. Due to the fact that his cancer was near the brain stem, his brain and spinal cord were targeted by the regimens. The effects of the straight hours of radiation and the long days of chemotherapy treatments resulted in a constant feeling of nausea and throwing up.
Alex was forced to take the road less traveled and that made a difference on his life. Through an experience I hope you will never face, I was given a great gift of perspective. In a time when I had no hair, double vision, poison in my veins, uncountable stitches and staples and barely mobile...I was scared...so scared...barely clutching to life. A wise friend told me, "there is always, always life in the fight," and truer, sweeter words have never been spoken.
Not many 17-year-old's think this way, but his positive outlook on life pushed him to pursue a college career. Soccer has always been a part of Alex’s life. He grew up playing, attempted to play in college, but due to his medical condition at the time, they could not allow him to play for his own safety. When he was asked what his one wish was, there was no hesitation; he wanted to go to the World Cup. Soccer was and still is his passion. In his own words, he is a die hard soccer fan!
As 2002 came around, Alex got ready for the trip of a life time. He was going to Seoul, South Korea for the 2002 World Cup and he could not be much happier. In the midst of his trip, he was not only able to see the games, he was able to sight see, meet lots of new people and go through local villages. He did not know what to expect but knew that his experience would be a story to tell, even 12 years later.
Alex is the PERFECT example of how a wish can change your life. It can give you hope, strength and joy in a time not so comforting. After the completion of his wish, Alex went on to attend Gonzaga University in Washington, where he is now an alumni. Today, Alex is a successful business man continuing to live out his dreams, one at a time.
Share the Power of a Wish®
Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada grants the wishes of eligible children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the Southern Nevada area. We believe that a wish experience can be a game changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires up to grant wishes that change the lives of the children we serve.