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1,000 Cards For Alex – From Liz

1,000 Cards For Alex – From Liz

This is Chapter 8 in the on-going story of Alex Kip, 23, and his battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Type B) cancer.

“I’m so happy Liz is here,” Cindy Kip said as she gave her daughter a hug.

This is where Liz spent many hours - and a night - while visiting Alex

Alex’s little sister is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, and Liz drove up from Lexington on Thursday afternoon to spend some time with her big brother. She came straight to the hospital and spent the night with Alex, sleeping on a chair in his hospital room at The James.

“It’s so hard to leave and it was getting late,” Liz explained. “Maybe if he was sleeping I would have left, but he was up and he was feeling nauseous (and throwing up) and I didn’t want to leave him alone and then it was late and I didn’t want to go home and come right back, so I stayed. He won’t admit it, but I know he’s scared and if it was me I know I’d want someone here with me.”

Liz and Alex are very close, but it wasn’t always this way.

“He was a typical big brother and he picked on me when we were little all the time,” Liz said, adding all this began to change by the time she got to high school. Alex was a senior and a big man on campus at Lincoln High School in Gahanna. He was the star of the school’s drama department and various choirs and was quite popular and perhaps even a bit of a lady’s man. These were big footsteps to follow in.

Liz's visit was a boost for Alex

“Even back then when someone asked me who my role model was or who I looked up to, I said Alex,” Liz said. “It was because everything he did, he did 100 percent.”

Liz and Alex spent hours talking during her visit, covering all the bases: music and movies, mutual friends, their parents (of course), school and, of course, cancer.

“We also talk about our relationships,” Liz said. “Sometimes he even asks me for advice. I guess I have the girl’s perspective. And he’s very reassuring whenever I’m scared or nervous about something. He tells me it will be fine and just do your best.”

Liz’s visit couldn’t have come at a better time: three days into Alex’s very difficult six-day barrage of intense chemo, which has left him constantly sick to his stomach, vomiting, tired – and a little frustrated and impatient.

Here are a few of the hundreds of cards Alex has received - and is still opening

Sensing this was coming, Liz had something up her sleeve: a 1,000 Cards For Alex Campaign she put together to help cheer up her brother. The cards started coming on Saturday … and are still coming … and coming … and coming.

“This is so amazing; I can’t believe she put this all together,” Alex said as he opened cards. “But it’s kind of weird, like part of me feels it’s selfish in a way to be getting all these cards. What does a person do to deserve all this amazingness?”

Many of the hand-written messages in the cards call Alex an inspiration, which he says is also a bit strange.

“These cards really inspire me. There have been times I’ve been down since I got here, but this really changes my outlook.”

Liz had to head back to school on Sunday … and it was a tearful, difficult goodbye. Even Alex shed a tear or two.

The biggest card of all was from Liz

“I feel sort of bad that she has to spend all this time driving back and forth, away from school,” Alex said. “But I know she wants to be here, so I need to get over that.”

“There’s no place I’d rather be,” Liz said.

Alex’s six-days of chemo were completed yesterday. This morning, starting at about 9 a.m., the actual stem cell transplant begins. He will receive 7.74 million of his own stem cells, which were removed a few weeks ago and frozen – and will be thawed out and pumped back into him through the line in his chest.

Click here to check out the video Alex did in Chapter 7 of this series.

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