One of my friends I have known for the longest time is Tom. He is a phenomenal person – a father to two wonderful children, that I am privileged to know. A husband to a wonderful woman who I am lucky enough to call a friend. Tom is an entrepreneur, a musician, a surfer. And more than anything he is the most supportive friend I could hope to have. I could write a whole post about him.
But this is not about Tom. This is about his sister Alex.
Now I have to admit that I did not know Alex all that well. Tom and his older brother had three step-siblings and Alex was one of them. They are younger, so that is probably why I didn’t get to know them well. But I have been to many of Tom’s family occasions to have met Alex quite a few times.
She immediately struck me as a quiet, shy and yet hugely friendly girl. She was – like all of her siblings – talented and creative. But modest and humble with it.
So it was a real shock when Tom told me one day that Alex was sick. She had cancer. I guess when he told me that, Alex would have been 20 or 21 years old.
As the years went on, Tom would update me on how Alex was doing. I seem to remember there being some better times. And some times when the news was bad.
And then suddenly last year the news got a lot worse. Tom and all of his extended family were coming to London where Alex was in hospital. She was sick and getting sicker. Eventually Tom told me that the doctors were of the opinion that there was nothing more they could do for Alex.
She was 27 years old and she decided that there was no more treatment that she wanted to go through. She would just face what was coming.
Alex passed away last year, in December.
There really isn’t much that can be said about the death of someone so young, talented and loved. There isn’t anything that can sugar-coat the loss that her family feel. But perhaps there is a little something that a few of us can do to try to help ensure that future Alexs have a better chance of beating this disease.
That is why three of my closest friends – including Tom – and I are cycling to Paris and hoping to raise some money for our efforts along the way. So I am unashamed in asking you to consider a donation – anything at all that you can – for the charity that Alex herself supported. Click here and please support the fundraising effort.