High School Choir Sings Touching Tribute To Classmate With Cancer

DELANO, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s a big week in the city of Delano — the boys hockey team is going to the state tournament for the first time.

Alex Weed used to drive the team’s Zamboni, but he likely won’t be at the big game Wednesday. He got some tough news in September — he has cancer. Alex’s English teacher decided he could use some cheering on, too.

A.J. Ragan is a fellow sophomore and close friend of Alex.

“We miss him in concert choir, definitely,” A.J. said. “We miss him in church, we miss him everywhere we go. We just want him back.”

Alex Weed was diagnosed with lymphoma in September, but he took it in stride.

“He always makes jokes about his cancer, about how it’s his excuse to get out of class,” Alex’s friend Hailey Skogman said. “He writes on the sign-up sheet reasons why he’s leaving school, he writes ‘cancer.'”

Despite his optimism, his family says it’s been a rough two weeks as he’s battling a fever. The news devastated English teacher Joe Lawrence.

“I don’t know, I just felt like doing something more,” he said. “I wrote the poem and then quickly turned it into a song 20 minutes later, and then I brought it to the choir teacher and said, ‘Hey, can you make this a bigger thing? We can send it to him, make him feel like he’s being supported.'”

John Guidry is the Director of Choral Activities at Delano High School

“We took it as a teaching moment for the kids, both as compassion for Alex, but also it’s what we do in music as well,” Guidry said.

What they learned was how to use their voices with their hearts.

The lyrics encourage Alex Weed’s spirit. Ragan says it’s tailored perfectly.

“Just like the one line in the song, ‘You’re a tiger, you’ll win it,'” he said.

The lyrics also honor Alex’s name: “Weeds are strong, but you are stronger.”

Alex woke up to spend a few minutes with WCCO Monday afternoon. He’s been watching the video and delivered his classmates a message:

“Thanks for rallying behind me, guys. It meant a lot to see Delano all band together to help me out,” he said. “Thanks for singing the song, meant a lot to me.”

He is hoping to make a statement about lymphoma and he and his family have already raised thousands of dollars.

Here are the full lyrics to the song:

Weeds are strong, but you are stronger.
We know you’re hurting everyday.
We’re with you now, and we’ll stay longer.
While you fight this we will pray.

That you feel better with every minute,
Stronger by the hour.
You’re a tiger man you will win it,.
God’s grace will give you power.

So stay strong.
Keep your head up.
We’re here beside you.
Hope you feel our love.

Stay strong.
Hang tough.
For God is with you,
and that’s enough.

More from Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
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