Alex was 30 when he died in December, he had suffered a brain haemorrhage on 7th August that year and we had no previous symptoms to warn us that he had a tumour, the type was later idenitified as an anaplastic oligodendroglioma.
He was on holiday with our parents and grandma at the time in France near the Swiss borders and he was rushed to Geneva where they performed miracles to remove most of the tumour and the blockage and save Alex’s life for a while. Although the Alex we knew never returned and he could not communicate with us as he had done before, there were some improvements and most importantly it gave us time and the multitude of people whose lives Alex touched to get used to the idea that our “super shining star” would not be with us much longer.
“He had all the qualities we should have, enthusiasm, drive, love, he didn’t judge people, he never held a grudge, he was perfect.”
Alex was my older brother, I had not known life without him. He had special needs, the disorder he had was not identified but it didn’t matter. Alex had a natural ability to charm anyone, he somehow knew whether people needed a little comforting, a bit of banter, flirtation or to play. His open and genuinely loving personality won him many friends. Indeed, when he finally passed away in the local hospice after 4 months of struggling so bravely, we got cards and visits from people we never met who all knew and loved Alex in different ways. The church, which holds over 1000 people, had more people there for Alex’s funeral than they did at Christmas! He had many interests and he loved going to work and would not take a day of. He was part of the team at Lisieux Hall in Chorley where he worked as a gardener, cultivating various plants, doing people’s gardens and working in the local parks. There he met his girlfiend, Emma, and they were inseparable. Alex was the social leader at work, wandering round the various departments, chatting away and having a brew where offered. Outside of work he loved football and made many friends at his local club, Bamber Bridge, where he was made an honourary member and was mascot several times. He loved going to the pub with me and our younger brother and generally he loved every minute.
People at first sight would see his special needs but within a few minutes they realised he was just special. He had all the qualities we should have, enthusiasm, drive, love, he didn’t judge people, he never held a grudge, he was perfect. He was a proper brother too, he teased and tormented me and our younger brother and we argued too, OK he may never have had the ability to pass a GCSE but he could talk and listen! His favourite thing was his bike, we got him a custom made 3-wheeler and he loved it as it gave him independence and off he went around the estate where we lived making numerous friends, having banter with the blokes and charming the ladies, telling them they were gorgeous!! Two weeks before he died, I got married, he was so, so, so excited. I had made him a little calendar so at night he put on his pyjamas, took out his hearing aids and then crossed the day off before removing his glasses and going to bed. He would ring me the next day to tell me how many days there were to go. The day was wonderful, Alex in essence was a social person, he loved being around people so the day was great from his point of view. In retrospect it was good for everyone else because it meant that those friends and family who we do not see regularly for whatever reason were all there and they all got to see the Alex they knew and loved at least one last time.
I will never get over losing Alex, I am trying to get used to it and I set up this Fund so that I can channel all of the love that so many people had for my brother into a constructive force. We can make a difference for other people and other families and I know that Alex would do anything to help someone who was suffering so I cannot think of a better project to set up in his memory.