Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Alex's Eyes

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength." Maya Angelou

That's my nephew Alex pictured above, with his sister Amy. He's a 10-year-old kid with a rare cancer called VHL. When he was only 4, a huge tumor was removed from his brain and ear.

It was a horrendous experience and he battles the collateral damage daily. But as the years passed with no recurrence, we thought he was out of the woods. Then this November, just shy of the magic 5 year cancer-free mark, more tumors were found. This time in his eyes.

I mentioned that yesterday. And chronicled his two operations last November to remove those tumors in Cancer - Again and Update on Alex.

Two weeks ago, Alex had his 6-month appointment to check for tumor re growth. The family lives in Margate and comes to the experts at Wills Eye Hospital here in Philly. I picked up Alex's 7-year-old sister Amy there so she wouldn't have to hang around while Alex was having his check up. It takes hours.

Amy and I ran some errands and picked out a couple of small toys, a ritual offering at every visit to Aunt Sally's house. Then we came home and waited. We chatted cheerfully, but even little Amy was trying hard not to be too anxious about the outcome.

It was good. Fantastic in fact. Alex and his parents blew into our house bubbling over with relief. I got the news first hand. The rest of our extended network got the kind of email we all pray for:
Dear Friends and Family,

I am thrilled to tell you that Alex had his second eye check up today since the tumors in November and there is no tumor re growth! Dr. Shields said his eyes look great. Thanks for all your warm wishes and positive thoughts.

Karen and Bob
The best possible news. The operations were successful.

But success is relative with VHL -- just when we thought he was home free, another shoe dropped. And more shoes could drop at any time.

Add your positive thoughts--and a donation if you're so inclined--to help keep those shoes at bay.

A little kid's life could depend on it.

Firstgiving - Two Alex's, One Dream

And remember, if you live or go down the shore, drop by The Margate Firehouse Saturday, June 10, 10 am - 6 pm for Alex's Alex's Lemonade Stand in honor of Two Alex's, One Dream.

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