Alan, also known as Mister Cheeks because of his face-busting smile, was an impish monkey with a lot of personality.
Keeping such an active boy entertained during treatment was a huge challenge and he liked to boss us around just to keep us on our toes. Alan loved letters, monochromatic animals like Pandas, Zebras, and Penguins, Sponge Bob Square Pants, the games (and tickets) at Chuck E. Cheese, playing at Morgan’s Wonderland, watching donuts being made at Kripsy Kreme (and then eating them). But most of all he loved numbers. Reading them, counting with them, typing them, adding them. He was so brilliant with numbers that when we knew we would most probably lose him, we ached knowing that he would never be able to reach his full potential. Alan slipped away from us on January 17, 2013 at the age of five, after almost four years of fighting a sarcoma tumor in his hip.
We lost Alan because our doctors, despite every effort, simply didn’t have enough answers. While Alan was in treatment, we had the motto “Fight’s on!”. Alan fought for so long, from such an early age, that fighting cancer was virtually all he knew.
Alan's spirit was 'supernova bright'. A supernova is a very large star (which typically shines brighter with a much shorter life span) that comes to the end of its life cycle and explodes with an intensity that can exceed an entire galaxy of stars. And that explosion of light forms the building blocks for new stars and new planetary systems. We think of Alan’s life, his spirit, and all the people he had touched with his joy. Now that he is gone, we have to continue to fight childhood cancer in his name. The end of one life, sowing the seeds for other lives to shine.
So even though Alan is gone, we still rally behind the cry “Fight’s on!”. Continue Alan’s fight with us.
For more about Alan, please visit his blog, Mister Cheeks Goes to the Hospital.
Donations given to the Alan Sanders Memorial Fund for Sarcoma Research Hero Fund go directly to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund lifesaving childhood cancer research around the world. The Foundation is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of leading experts in the childhood cancer community, to ensure that every dollar makes the greatest impact for kids with cancer.
These people make us smile - they’re the doers and money-raisers on behalf of the Alan Sanders Memorial Fund for Sarcoma Research. They’re shaving their heads, hosting events, starting fundraisers and more to make childhood cancer research possible.
Organize your own St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event to raise money on behalf of our Hero Fund! You’ll be paired with a staff member who will walk you through every step of the process, and you’ll have fun knowing you’re doing a great thing for kids with cancer.
Register to shave your head and raise money for our Hero Fund at any St. Baldrick’s event happening around the world! Not finding an event near you? Register as a virtual shavee and shave your head anytime, anywhere.