DELANO, Minn. (WCCO) — For more than a year, we’ve followed the journey of a Delano teenager diagnosed with cancer.
Wednesday night, we have an update of the best kind.
One year ago, Delano High School students wrote a song for Alex Weed, who was fighting Lymphoma. After a tough recovery, his bone marrow transplant was a success.
And as WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield shows us, after more than a year, Alex is back in school.
Out of all the kids at the basketball pep rally, he’s glad to just be one in the crowd. Not one in 800 who are diagnosed with Lymphoma. Not one of the teens who has to live in Masonic Children’s Hospital. Just one out of 800 students who goes to Delano High School.
“I would always say when am I going to be better? I just want to be normal. I wasn’t to go out with friends or even get up and walk most of the time,” Alex Weed said.
But times have changed. After a brutal bone marrow transplant and a year hiatus from school, he is back.
“He wasn’t Alex in the hospital. For a part of it, I would leave the hospital crying because it wasn’t who I knew Alex to be and it now is just so much better, he’s Alex again,” Sophia Pappas, Alex’s friend, said.
“I’ll turn around after writing on the board and he’s got his feet on the desk, and he’s drinking my coffee, back to normal pretty much,” Joe Lawrence, Alex’s teacher, said.
Despite the 20 pills a day and all the weight he lost, he insists he maintained one thing.
“I never stopped laughing. And I’ve always been able to make people laugh,” Weed said.
“Yeah, I’ve been known to be kind of a chick magnet obviously, it’s true,” Weed said with a laugh.
“He says he’s a chick magnet, is that true? Yeah especially after all that, he is,” Brennen Meyer, Alex’s friend, said.
Same sense of humor, Alex has a different sense of depth.
“There are some kids, some kids live in the bubble until it breaks and his broke a little too early , much too early,” Lawrence said said.
“I didn’t think in the hospital ‘Oh this could be my last day’ but now I do think about it quite a bit. Wow, something could happen or I could die tomorrow so I kind of do what I can when I can and just enjoy it,” Weed said.
And clearly he is. Alex Weed, a grateful teenager.
“I would like to say thanks for not giving up on me and the gifts and all the really good food they got me. Thank you for the 23 boxes of peanut butter girl scout cookies, those helped a lot, I ate all of them. Thank you,” Weed said.
Alex’s next big hurdle comes in April, when he goes to prom. And you guessed it, he already has a date.
To add to Alex’s recent good fortune, he had a Make-a-Wish request, granted. He got to fly to California and meet George Lucas, the man who created his great love – Star Wars. Alex’s Mom Kim was so moved, she’s become a volunteer herself for Make-a-Wish.