10 years ago Alex began cheering the Atlanta Falcons on because he liked their team colors. And as he got older, he continued to watch them because of their teamwork. He really likes how they work together as a team, rather than relying on individual talents, and he especially loves their motto of brotherhood. Diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease and other medical conditions, Alex watches his friends get to have fun and do typical teenage things while he can only observe.
When he was deciding on his wish, it was absolutely a no-brainer. His mom said that, “he instantly knew what he wanted for his wish, it was a lifelong dream come true!”
In Atlanta, not only did Alex get to meet his favorite football player, Matt Ryan, but he also played football with him and they watched game film together as Matt explained all the calls and signals, which Alex thought that was so cool.
“He did not know he was actually going to get to meet him and was so surprised. He told me that it made him feel so special that Matt Ryan would take time out of his busy schedule and not only just meet him but actually spend quality time with him. He really made Alex feel good about himself,” Alex’s mom told us about this time.
Then Coach Dan Quinn showed up and Alex’s jaw dropped. Coach Quinn inducted Alex into their Brotherhood and let him give the Breakdown speech at the end of practice.
“I feel at home in this stadium!” Alex exclaimed.
At the game, Alex got to walk out of the tunnel that the players run out of at the beginning of the game and fly the flag with the Freddie the Falcon, which he was so overjoyed to do that he talked about how he got to wave the flag the whole way to their seats. The team made Alex an Honorary Captain, giving him a special jersey and inviting him to do the coin toss on the field.
According to his mom, “this wish has impacted Alex in a positive, life long way. It wasn't just a once in a lifetime trip, it is a forever memory to help him cope with everything else. Any time he has a tough medical battle, he will have all these special memories from the trip to keep his spirits up and to stay positive. He will always remember that there is more to life than hospitals and illnesses, there is hope for a bright future and to an ill child, hope is EVERYTHING, it is all he has.”
Currently, Alex is waiting on some new test results.
“He talks about this wish all the time and it definitely makes him happy to talk about it,” his mom said. “He shows pictures to his doctors, nurses, and anybody willing to stop and look at them. I think this trip was the best medicine ever for him.”
“This was more than just a trip, this was an outlet for him to be a "normal" kid and enjoy life. This renewed his spirit and strengthened his determination to keep fighting. This provided a new coping mechanism through such awesome memories that even in his toughest medical battles he will still have something to smile about and positive to focus on. This was such a needed break from his dreary reality,” reflected his mom.
Since meeting the Falcons, Alex now has the dream to work for them someday. This goal will keep him moving forward and remind him to never give up!