I know the feeling…

I’m sitting watching “A Life Fast Forward” and I felt compelled to do a search for Alex. I’m so sorry to see that he has passed away.

I was a regular 28 year old in 2003 when I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a heart condition which causes the heart to grow larger than is usual and it cannot therefore pump properly. The doctors think I contacted a virus whilst in Africa which attacked my heart. Unlucky me. However I was graced with a heart transplant after only a few weeks on the transplant list in September 2003, but my life has radically changed since that time. I take a lot of drugs to stop my body rejecting my new heart, and unfortunately one of the side effects of these intensive drug courses is an increased susceptibility to cancer. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 2005, and had an operation and radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

So I can fully understand how Alex must have felt. The cancer treatment is tough. My life is limited as with any transplant, it is not a cure, but a prolonging of the inevitable. I am glad Alex and Ali found love before the end. I married in 2004 and have since had two children, with another one due next week. So I have been blessed, due to the thoughtful actions of a family who let their son or father or brother lend me their heart for a few years. Thank you.

I live life to the full. I’ve traveled the world; had many experiences; met so many amazing people. I have some wonderful friends and family that support me, and I can see the positivity that surrounded Alex. I hope people will see this positive attitude and apply it to their lives. Life is so precious, and we should all try to live the best life we can. Remember the good times, and celebrate a life that was lived.

If there is a heaven, I look forward to meeting you, Alex; I think we could have a good chat. 🙂

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Inpirational young man

I hope you don’t mind me posting to this site,I did not know Alex but randomly caught the documentary on his life late last night. He was the same age as my daughter…I cried and laughed the whole way through…he had such amazing courage…I know saying I laughed sounds wrong…but he seemed to be such fun and what a beautiful boy with such a lovely smile and so full of life.I felt so angry that all this could be taken away from him and his wife and family..that’s why we must keep working to kick the crap out this awful disease.x

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A year ago today, Alex asked me and Alastair for Ali’s hand in marriage. I will never forget the day – Alex had asked Alastair at home that morning but wanted to also speak to me, so I had a call from Alastair saying that Alex wanted to speak to us. I guessed what this might be about because I knew by then how strongly he and Ali felt about each other. I was at work, so the two of them into town and met me at a cafe nearby where there is a lovely, bright courtyard space which I thought would be a quiet place for us to talk. Alex had written the most thoughtful and caring words which moved us both very much Phone calls to Angela and Andy followed and it was very hard to return to work without showing something very exciting was happening! There followed a week of secret texts and phone calls to and from Alex while he worked out a plan to ask Ali. This was one of the most exciting weeks ever and one I will never forget. I have been back to the place Alex asked us today to think back quietly and to remember. We will never forget the excitement of those days with you Alex and the joy you brought us. Linda

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Hard to believe that it has been a whole 6 months. Desperately missing you and your cheeky smile but no matter how many days pass by, you keep managing to brighten up each one with another amazing memory. Sending you so much love as always, Em xxxxxxxx

Fulham equaliser in the 89th minute!

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6 months ago today Alex and I got married and it really was the perfect wedding. Although Alex wasn’t feeling his best, he somehow managed to keep a smile on his face for the entire day. I will never forget seeing his face smiling back at me as I walked down the aisle and that incredible feeling when Jeremy announced we were husband and wife. Our favourite part of the day was walking out the church hand in hand and greeting all our amazing family and friends who had all worked so hard to make our special day so perfect

Alex’s speech was definitely a tear jerker and I am so grateful to Emma for recording it with him before the wedding and for Duncan who sorted out the speakers so we could all listen to it. And for Jamie to follow with such an inspirational speech was truly incredible.

I will be thinking of this wedding all day today and how special it was. It wouldn’t have been possible without all the help from our incredible family and friends. Love you so much Alex, I will never forget how happy you made me

xxx

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To Alex, Love Melissa <3

I’ve watched this inspiring story 3 times now and since the first time i watched it there hasn’t been a day since that I’ve not thought of Alex and his amazing life. It was fascinating to see such a positive outlook on life in the face of something so scary & its definitely inspired me to be positive. Such fantastic times crammed into 60 mins i can only imagine how enriched Alex’s last few years had been. I hope his family, his wife and friends are finding peace in his memories. RIP Alex you’ve taught a lot of people an important lesson; To love every day, live every moment and laugh along the way ♥

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I watched the programme on Thursday and ever since I’ve watched it I’ve been thinking about it since. Last year I lost a friend to cancer she was only 18! Watching Alex programme did bring back a few of the emotions but it has made me look at life in a total different way. I can totally understand what Alex’s family and friends have been through my going through it myself. Even though it is the hardest thing to go through it does get better in time. I can’t imagine the impact it has had on many people who knew Alex. Although watching the programme has made me feel so much empathy towards people who have the illness and may have lost their fight towards cancer. It definitely has made me want to support families and help other sufferers of this cancer.

It is such an emotional documentary it brought me to tears at the end. It shows you how someone who is terminally ill can make the most out of life and it sometimes makes you wonder how we sometimes don’t realise how some of us are lucky in life. Alex is a total inspiration towards others and people can learn and begin to cherish life! We should all take on board Alex’s positivity towards life he has truly made me realise how precious life is and that we should follow his attitude towards life. Although it is very sad that the outcome is upsetting watching the programme has made me become more aware of cancer as a whole. All my condolences go to Alex’s family and friends and his wife Ali! What an inspiration family I wish all the best to family and friends who knew Alex although I didn’t know Alex he seemed like a lovely person and im sure he will be truly missed by family and friends. Rest in peace Alex x

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To Alex’s Family and Friends

I was alerted to the TV programme about Alex by the article in the Abingdon Herald. I have to say it was one of the most moving and inspiring programmes I can ever recall watching. Having reached the age when the impermanence of life has suddenly hit me, it was an astounding lesson in living for the moment and accepting whatever the future may hold. I send you all, and especially Ali, warm wishes for your own futures, whatever may be in store. May your memories of Alex enrich your lives.

I am closely associated with the Earth Trust and recognised the barn where you held the wedding, and your walks over Wittenham Clumps. I don’t think I will visit this lovely place again without thinking of Alex. Maybe I will see some of you there one day. If I do, I will smile as I walk by.

Michael

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An inspirational draw!

Although sadly I didn’t know Alex for very long and didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with him as I would have liked, his magnetic personality and incredibly positive outlook on life really touched me and made me view life in a very different way. I’ve never met anybody who was able to smile in the face of adversity the way he was.

He kindly invited me to watch Fulham v Aston Villa at Craven Cottage with him in November which turned out to be my happiest memory of him. Despite being in the depths of his illness by now he remained completely chirpy and happy for the entire day, not even thinking about complaining about the incredible pain he must have been in. In fact until he produced the multi–faceted pill box filled with an array of coloured pills, you could have had no idea that he was so unwell. We drove down from London together and chatted and laughed the whole way down. We did not know each other particularly well, but his kind nature and willingness to ask questions and show an interest in other people meant that it was a really easy going and enjoyable journey.

Fulham did not play particularly well and were being completely outplayed by a far superior Aston Villa side (I’m sure Alex would agree). Alex spent the majority of the game berating his team, with particular attention being paid to the faults of the right back Stephen Kelly, whom Alex seemed to have taken a particular dislike! Despite not playing very well, a last minute equaliser for Fulham put the smile back on Alex’s face and left me fuming with our inept defensive capabilities. Not an ideal result for either team but it didn’t matter, for me I just felt so lucky to have been able to spend some quality time with him and to really get to know him while he seemed on the outside so well. Not once during the entire day driving from Birmingham to London, during the game or on the way home did I hear him complain which I think really reflects his whole attitude and outlook on life. His only vice – a stop at the first shop on the way home to load up his coat pockets with sweets to satisfy his craving for sugar!

He was a true inspiration to me and everyone he knew and I feel very honoured to be able to call him my brother in law.

Duncan

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The Boy Who Lived

I too live in Brightwell and I knew of Alex’s story

I was so moved by the programme I felt that I had to write down some brief thoughts off my own. You can read them here

Best wishes to all the family,
Roy

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