Well, where do you begin, how do you capture it all, to describe who Alex was and what he accomplished in the short 19 years he was with us. Here is how I remember him.
"The day Alex was born, we barely made it to the hospital and he made his entrance an hour later. The early years were memorable, to say the least. A slow starter, he always had a way of charming you with his smile. He learned how to ride a skate board before he could ride a bicycle and was quite the daredevil. Grade school was an academic challenge, but he was developing a knack for computers and gaming.
Sports and Alex were never a priority, except for watching the Cubs and the Bears with Dad. He tried baseball, football, wrestling, track and finally, basketball. It wasn't until high school that he tried basketball, but because of his size and a determined coach, he played. His coach said, "He's not the most talented player, but he has heart and he is going to be my special project for the next four years." How little did he know how true that would be.
One weekend in November of 2000, Alex said, "Hey Dad, can you feel this bump on the back of my leg?" It was only the size of a quarter and it seemed to be free floating. I told him to have his Mom get it checked out soon and figure out what to do next. In two weeks it had grown by 3 times the size and he was scheduled for a biopsy at UMass Memorial in Worcester. And then the results, a very rare form of cancer called Ewings Sarcoma was present. So, two days before Christmas, he started his first chemo therapy and the race was on.
The next year flew by and with it, so many experiences, stories of courage, lessons in life, and a family of love. This kid of 18 years was wise beyond all of us, as if he knew the eventual outcome, and orchestrated his remaining days to make sure all of his friends and family understood what he wanted. He wanted to graduate high school, he wanted to be there for his sister's graduation from Northeastern, and he never wanted to complain about himself and what he was going through. A quiet strength that made us all feel OK when the end came.