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.
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
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
more information on the disease ALD, visit www.stopald.org. 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.