14 year old Alex is a die hard San Francisco 49r fan, whose favorite player is Jimmy Garoppolo. Alex loves anything Marvel. He watches all the movies, reads the comics, collects the figures, and even wrote Marvel and received an honorary avenger badge. Alex loves the band Fall Out Boy, and heâ€™s looking forward to seeing them in concert. The Perkins live in Vader, WA and Alex will start 9th grade in the Fall. Alex plays clarinet in the band, and is interested in the Amazon River.Â
Last summer Alex started getting sick. After several appointments, the doctor finally forced him to do blood work. On July 26th 2020 he was Diagnosed with Immature B CELL Leukemia, which affects cells in the immune system called B Cells. This type of cancer can make it easier for a child more likely to get infections, because they don’t have the protection of those B cells. After a very long year,Â Alex is finally in the maintenance phase.
The Perkins Family
Alexâ€™s mom,Nicole, loves photography, hiking and dolphins, she is a Seahawk fan and served in the Navy, stationed on the ARDM-1 Oak Ridge in Groton Connecticut. Dad is Jason, he also served in the Navy all over the world. Dad is a raiders fan and enjoys fishing, hiking, photography, video games and, like Alex, Marvel movies. Olivia is Alex’s 13 year old sister. She loves horses, dinosaurs and whichever team is winning. She enjoys watching Paw Patrol, Spirit Riding Free, and Jurassic World movies.Â In addition to the 4 humans, the family also includes a large collection of animals. Olivia has a Hamster named Eevee and Alex has Oscar the fish. The family has 51 snakes, and are snake breeders. Most of them are ball pythons, but they also have King snakes, corn snakes, a milk snake and a Sumatran Short tailed python. They have a bearded dragon named Jazz and a kitten named Litten.Â They spend a lot of time at aÂ friend’s barn, helping out and in return they get to play with the horses.Â
Since Alex was diagnosed last summer during COVID, the family hasnâ€™t had many opportunities to attend in-person activities. But Nicole says they are thankful for the Emergency Financial assistance, â€œCandlelighters financial help was a life saver. It kept us from falling too far behind on bills, and aided in gas cards for going to and from his appointments.â€ She also appreciate the Luminaries, and a chance for Alex to interact with other kids with cancer in his age group, â€œAlex is part of the Luminaries, Candlelighters youth group. Right now they meet online over zoom and chat on discord. I see his attitude change – he really enjoys it.â€
â€œOur familyâ€™s journey with childhood cancer has been long and hard, but the support of people and organizations like Candlelighters helps us not feel so alone.â€ –Nicole Perkins