Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Orleans VooDoo Answer Young Boy's Dream

Last Saturday, when the New Orleans VooDoo played the Jacksonville Sharks in The Graveyard, 21 players ran out of the tunnel. But, there was no one more special than 8-year-old Alex Oxford.
Alex was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) in May 2012. ALD is an incurable disease that affects the brain in boys and men. This disease destroys the myelin, which is a protective layer that surrounds the brains' neurons. Without this layer, the brain cannot function properly. Those diagnosed with ALD also have a 98 percent chance to have Addison-Schilder's disease.
"There are no words to describe this situation," Carissa Oxford, Alex's mother, said. "Your entire world is flipped upside down, and I just need to stay strong and have faith in God."
Before Alex was diagnosed with ALD, he was misdiagnosed for ADHD back in 2010. Doctors prescribed Alex every ADHD medication, but nothing worked. The Oxford family realized something was wrong when Alex suddenly got sick while he and his dad went to go get baseball equipment.
"Alex normally gets real car sick," Carissa said. "But, this time, he got sick a second time and couldn't talk or walk so we knew something was wrong."
Two weeks later, Alex got sick again at school and Alex and his family went straight to Children's Hospital in New Orleans. Results stated that he had a seizure, and the white matter of this brain was inflamed. Alex had a discharged diagnosis on April 23 and had pending blood work with ADEM vs. ALD. Alex was diagnosed with ALD on May 9, 2012.
Although Alex may be diagnosed with ALD, it doesn't stop him from being the 8-year-old boy who loves sports. Alex got the opportunity to go out on the field and be a part of the coin toss for the VooDoo and the Sharks game in The Graveyard.
"I picked tales and the VooDoo won the toss," Alex said. "Whenever I walked on the field I thought it was going to be real grass! Throwing the coin was awesome, but my favorite part was when I got to go in the suites."
Not only did Alex flip the coin before the game, but he also got to go in the locker room and meet some of the VooDoo players and the coach, play on the field, and run out of the tunnel and out onto the field with JLB Alvin Ray Jackson.
"I enjoyed spending time with him," Jackson said. "We got to throw the football before the game, and I took him to meet some of the guys. I wanted to do whatever I could for him to enjoy himself, and I think I had more fun than he did."
Alex's family was very grateful for the opportunity for Alex to be part of the VooDoo family for last week's game.
"It really meant a lot to him," Gene Oxford, Alex's father, said. "It was our first game, and it made Alex feel personal and warm inside."
Alex and his family also got the chance to go to Disney World for the first time thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation. Alex's dream of playing football with quarterback Drew Brees also came true this year.
"Alex's dream was to throw a football with Drew Brees," Carissa said. "It was amazing to watch that dream come true. I don't think I've ever seen his face that bright, and nothing could take that glory away."
For the Oxford family, their main focus is to spend as much time as they can with Alex. Alex and his family will travel to Minnesota this week because Alex is a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, which will do one of two things. It will either halt the disease or speed up the disease by two years. This will be the third trip to Minnesota for Alex and his parents, and they will be there for three to six months.
For more information on the disease ALD, visit Donations for research on ALD can also be made on the website. For more information on Alex, visit his page Alex's Angels on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment