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11:06 AM

Kansas City Star: British boy marvels at KC's kindness as he battles bone cancer

Alex & Jeff Goodwin

Nine-year-old Alexander Goodwin, a nature lover from England, considers the bone cancer inside him a parasite. He’s the unwilling host who can’t shake the organism by himself.

After finishing chemotherapy this week at Children’s Mercy Hospital, he’ll head to the University of Kansas Hospital on Thursday to learn how doctors, and perhaps surgeons, here in America plan to attack it.

“We are in their hands, really,” Alex’s father, Jeff Goodwin, said Tuesday as he sat beside his son in a Children’s Mercy patient play room. “We just want Alex to get better.”

So do thousands of people around the world who’ve become Alex’s supporters on Facebook, Twitter and the crowd-funding site Just Giving. His supporters, especially those in the United Kingdom, raised tens of thousands of dollars for him to make this journey. They even cut a music video featuring singing and dancing constables, mounted officers, K-9s and motorcycle police from across his nation — and the United States. About 10 officers from the Kansas City, Kan., East Patrol station make a short appearance.

About this time last year, at Christmas, Alex noticed pain in his right hip and upper leg. It grew more and more severe. Unable to turn over in bed on his own at night because of the pain, he asked his father to move him around when necessary. During the days, his father had to carry him places. Eventually, Alex needed pain medication every two hours.

“It was so painful, I couldn’t even walk,” said Alex, who lives in the village of Dunton Bassett, near the border of Warwickshire and Leicestershire. “I was dragging this leg around. I couldn’t move at all.”

For months, doctors blamed “growing pains.”

Alex’s mother, Maria, knew better. She kept insisting on blood tests. In June, the family learned that Alex had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Chemotherapy treatments began.

Determined to give Alex the best chance for survival, his parents searched out advice in Europe and the United States. Multiple people kept telling them about Children’s Mercy and KU, said Goodwin. That gave them confidence to fly here last week. Police officers from across the region greeted them at Kansas City International Airport in what Alex calls “an absolutely outstanding” show of support.

Since then, Children’s Mercy staff have put Alex through a PET scan and MRI. His chemotherapy treatments in Kansas City mark his 12th cycle of chemo overall.

“We are just waiting to find our best course of action,” said Goodwin, who keeps Alex’s 7,000 Twitter followers informed of daily developments. “He’s got a massive battle ahead.”


Read the full story via the Kansas City Star.

Learn more about the Children's Mercy Cancer Center