ST. LOUIS —
A few weeks ago, we told you the amazing story of 11-year-old Alex Sims, who is battling a rare auto-immune disease called IPEX.
"His immune system over-responds when he’s sick. Not only does it attack germs and viruses, but it also attacks the healthy organs in his body," said Brandon Sims, Alex's father.
Without a miracle in the next few years, Alex's life could be cut short.
"Eventually it will attack so much of his healthy tissue, he won’t be able to survive," Brandon said.
While they wait for that miracle, Alex has to be careful. Keeping germs at bay means, often, he doesn't get to go out and play.
That's when Brandon delivered his best idea yet.
Sims asked his Facebook friends to write Alex a Christmas card for the 25th and Alex's birthday the 26th.
He expected to get a dozen or so.
Well, here's an update to our story. Alex had received about 200 when I did the story on December 3rd. He’s now up to 2,300! Here’s what his Dad, Brandon Sims, wrote me:
“Dear Chris: I promised you an update on our card writing campaign......well it looks like the courtroom scene from "Miracle on 34th Street" at our house. As of Saturday we've received over 2,300 cards and letters. There are also letters from more than 2 dozen schools and classrooms from around the country (i haven't counted how many of those individual notes we've received). We have cards from France, Australia, Canada, and Jamaica. Most of those cards and letters I give you the credit. Your story has been shared on numerous affiliates around the country. Not sure if they let you know what stations aired your story but I would be curious to find out. There's no way I can thank you for the perfect story and all the love and joy it has brought to Alex.”
And There's More
This Thursday, December 26th at noon – Show Me’s in Florissant is hosting a birthday party for Alex. https://www.facebook.com/events/460198247978487/
What is IPEX Syndrome
IPEX Syndrome has fewer than 500 documented cases worldwide. It can NOT be stopped. It can only be slowed down.
The only hope that Alex has for long-term survival is a DNA bone marrow transplant. Alex was placed on the transplant list in December 2016 and is still desperately waiting for that one-in-a-million donor to help save his life. In addition to Alex, there are currently 18,000 patients who need a bone marrow transplant and are waiting for their match.
None of us can take away the pain that Alex feels. None of us can take away the fear and uncertainty of his future. None of us can fix what's already happened to his body. What we can do is give him HOPE….And to keep searching for that hero bone marrow donor that can save his life!
For information about bone marrow donation and to register to be a bone marrow donor: www.BeTheMatch.org
So far, he's gotten 200.
"I was just shocked," says Alex.
That stack is only going to grow taller. Dozens of friends, family and complete strangers gathered Tuesday night at Show Me's Sports Bar and Grill in Florrisant for a letter-writing party.
A common theme in a lot of the letters — the author wishing they could do more to help Alex.
It turns out, there is.
"That one-in-a-million person is out there," Brandon said.
A bone marrow transplant could replace the gene that wreaks havoc on Alex's immune system.
"With that bone marrow donation, it’s his only chance of surviving," says Brandon.
So Alex hopes before you send, you'll swab by signing up with BeTheMatch.org.
For doing so, Alex has a note of sorts.
"I’d say, thank you so much, it’s so cool, I love it," says Alex.
Send Alex a Christmas or birthday card to the below address
1260 Fox Run Drive Florissant, MO 63033
There is also a fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of Alex’s medical expenses, click here for more information.