A friendship - at Friendship Christian School - formed to inspire.
Greg Armstrong is a high school teacher at FCS. He teaches Biology, Bible, Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology. He is an ultra-marathon runner and iron-man triathlete.He said, I recall a few years ago my first impression of Alex. He would come walking down on his walker saying Coach Armstrong, I'm going to race you one of these days.
Well, one of those days is approaching quickly Sept. 8. Alex, along with Michael and Armstrong, decided to participate in the Ninth Annual Sherrys Run. Not to run against each other but to run for each other. They all said they are doing it to inspire others.
Alex has been an inspiration to me and so many others over the last few years, Armstrong said. As a result of his disease progression Alex is walking less and less. So with the help of big brother Michael we are training Alex for Sherry's Run! I will push Alex the first 3 miles and he will walk to the finish. We have been training most days after school and Alex is getting stronger and stronger each day. Just two weeks ago Alex could hardly walk 5 yards and yesterday he walked more than 31 yards!
Alexs attitude is one found in scripture, "doing everything without complaining" from Philippians 2:14. Your hero doesnt have to be a famous person. It can come, as it does for the Friendship Christian School family, in the contagious smile of an upbeat first grader with not a disability; but an ABILITY to make a difference, the spokesperson said, adding the FCS family embraces Alexs spirit.
FCS President Jon Shoulders said, Alex is amazing. He has the most outgoing personality with extremely high self-confidence; the respect of those around him comes easily.He has a connection with so many of our students and our teachers. He received the FCS Ignite award last year from the student body for inspiring everyone, especially the football team as they celebrated their state championship. They actually presented Alex the championship trophy on behalf of the school.
The Johnson family along with the Friendship family is fully behind Alex and his goals. Nathan said, Ive learned to get out of Alexs way and help him to accomplish what he sets his mind to do. Danna seconded that and added, Our son possesses a special spirit and I am truly blessed to have been chosen as his mother.
Michael has formed Team Alex for Sherry's Run and the team of more than 400 people thus far, will be donning Team Alex T-shirts that have the We got this! slogan on them.
I got this! An expression that's short for: I got this covered; I got this handled; I got this under control, is a motto for Alex and mirrors his determinationeach and every minute of the day. The spokesperson noted that he participates in everything at school and shows his parents and friends over and over that his true abilities do not equate to the disability. Ability is what matters. With Gods help, and a contagious positive attitude, Alex will not leave his dreams unfulfilled. He is taking his best shot at life and inspiring others whether they have skeletal dysplasia, cancer or something else hindering their ability to succeed to do the same.
Armstrong noted, Alex always has a smile on his face. He does not take for granted what he is doing. He works hard, doesnt complain. Were doing Sherrys Run!
I know I am helping people and I think thats cool, Alex said.
Nathan added, Alex has appreciated the support and care he receives through the Shriners Hospital for Children and wants to help others gain the support they need through a caring network of people affected by the disease.
I'm so proud of my brother, I've learned that every day is a gift. Im asking for everyones support. Were doing this to make people aware of dysplasia and to help Sherrys Run, Michael said.
To sign up for Team Alex, register online at www.sherrysrun.org under Team Alex or for more information, call the school at 449-1573.
Shoulders added, The FCS family has been a part of the Sherrys Run organization from the beginning. Sherrys children, Matthew and Tyler, attended FCS and she was an active parent always with a giving spirit. When she was diagnosed, and throughout her courageous battle with cancer the school family was there. Many of our teachers volunteer annually. Our director of admissions serves on the board. It is fitting that Alex chose Sherrys Run. Alex shows us the power, the possibilities and through raw determination the persistence to accomplish much. He sets an example and inspires hope, just as Sherry continues to inspire a community and the organization formed after her death to make a positive difference.
(Sherrys Run is named in honor of Sherry Whitaker who was 44 when she lost her battle with colon cancer. Family and friends formed Sherrys Run as a way to fund research and awareness regarding cancer and to also provided assistance to families.)
When everyone else says you can't, determination says "YES YOU CAN." Its courage to continue that counts, the spokesperson said. So join Alex at the ninth annual Sherrys Run scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8 a.m., in Lebanon, beside the main office of Wilson Bank & Trust, 623 West Main Street. Log on to www.SherrysRun.org to sign up.
The mission of Sherrys Run: Through faith and love create an environment for all those affected by cancer, which provides hope, knowledge, assistance, support and compassion. To learn more about Sherrys Run, call 925-2592 or to refer someone who might qualify for assistance, call 925-9932 or visit www.sherrysrun.org.