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Alex’s Army helps young athlete live life to the fullest

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 8:40 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Alex Powderly always loved sports from a young age.

He played baseball and soccer growing up before developing a deep love for baseball.

A power hitter with a love for the game but also a love for spending time with friends on the field and in the dugout.

Although he was nervous, Alex made the Cape Central baseball team and quickly became an integral part of the team.

“He brought a lot of fire. And, you know, just the integral part as far as being one of the guys with the team, great teammate, always willing to help out. You know, just just one of those guys that you love having around,” said Justin Leiser, head baseball coach at Cape Central.

It was during his time preparing for his junior season that Alex began to feel pain in his back.

“He would go hit and practice two or three days a week and he’d say, ‘my back hurts a little bit, dad.’ I said, ‘How are you?’ ‘I’m okay, my back hurts,’ he was always like, ‘I’ll work through it,’” Alex’s dad Tim Powderly said.

Alex’s pain continued to get worse leading to the family having to take Alex to the hospital.

“He came down the steps and came into our room,” his dad said. “It was hurting so bad, you know, he put his arms around me like that. And we went out to the, to the vehicle and we took him to the emergency room.”

There an MRI revealing a diffuse midline glioma, a rare form of spinal cancer. Alex underwent a biopsy and surgery to try and the remove the tumor but doctors told his parents the tumor was inoperable.

“We’re on our way back. Then we came back and told Alex the news. And we just cried together, and started praying,” his dad said.

Alex set a goal for himself then, to get out of the hospital and back home to his friends and family.

Outside of the hospital an army was building. With prayers, support, wristbands and t-shirts Alex’s Army was ready to help him.

“Random people, you know, I’ve never met wear them and it means a lot to me. It’s crazy to see how all the people actually ended up buying and having shirts on you know, just represent me it’s just crazy,” Alex said.

Once back home Alex made a new goal, to go on a trip of a lifetime.

“He said, ‘I want to go on Route 66,’″ his dad recalled.

“We’re going to go here and here and there, I’m so excited,” Alex said about the trip.

A three-week long trip in an RV where Alex will go see the Grand Canyon and the West Coast.

Alex said no diagnosis is going to keep him from living his life to fullest.

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