• Young cancer survivor pushes for more awareness

    By: Elsa Gillis

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and a local family is sharing its personal experience in hopes of helping others.

    “So, I was playing basketball and then, I just got hit on the knee,” Alex Bogran, 12, said.

    [Cam Newton treats young patients to Panthers game, luxury suite]

    He didn't know playing the game when he was 11 years old could be what saved his life.

    His family didn't think it was a big deal at first, but the pain didn't go away. Doctors performed an MRI on Alex.

    "We found out he (had) osteosarcoma, which is a very aggressive, but (a) very silent cancer," the boy’s father said.

    Alex kept the faith after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

    "It was difficult,” Alex said. “But you know, there's light at the end of the tunnel."

    Dr. Javier Oesterheld was one of his doctors at Levine Children's Hospital. 

    "His spirit really was infectious for us," Oesterheld said.

    The cancer hadn't spread beyond that knee, but Oesterheld said Alex still had a tough battle ahead.

    He went through 18 chemo treatments and one major knee replacement surgery.

    "If you scale it one to 10, it's probably about a nine or 10,” Oesterheld said. “It's a big surgery. You're taking out a diseased bone."

    Alex is now cancer free and getting stronger every day.

    "I want to run and oh, oh, I want to get in the pool, (because) I can't do that yet,” Alex said. “I really want to do that."

    Oesterheld wants to see every patient have that outcome.

    "We need help in funding,” the doctor said. “We need more research trials. We need to be able to get in front of pediatric cancer. It destroys a family. It destroys a community."

    Alex and his family's mission is to make sure it doesn't.

    “Never give up, I guess, and just, you know, keep going through what you're doing even though it hurts,” Alex said. “Just keep persevering."

    To visit Alex's Story Foundation, click here. 

    Fortika Coffee was established to help benefit Alex's Story Foundation as well as help in the fight against childhood cancer. To visit their business website, click here

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