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Thursday, May 5, 2016

World embraces Alex

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Alex holds a set of rosary beads gifted to him by a local supporter before he left with his family on a trip to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta on Friday.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler) [Order this photo]
A local story about a local boy has captured international attention this week.

Cancer patient Alex Rodriguez, 12, was profiled in last Sunday's Times-Gazette as his local middle school sold blue ribbons to show their support for he and his family.

After a Nashville television station captured the story on video, Alex's dimpled smile was featured on ABC News, in the UK's Daily Mail, and in online news and blog sites throughout the country.

Jeffrey McGee wheels Alex from Edgemont Baptist Church to the waiting limousine.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
'Bravest 12-year-old'

"We have officially found the world's bravest 12-year-old," claimed blog site Mamaslatinas.

"May the love of God and his peace be on you Alex also on your family in abundance. You are a braver man than me," posted one reader from Scotland.

"Brought tears to my eyes. Now this is what "brave" is all about. (that word is misused too much nowadays) God bless, and do whatever you want to do with your time left on Earth," said Patrick of Chicago, Ill.

From a gentleman who stopped by the T-G office on Tuesday to anonymously leave a $100 bill, to the dozens who offered to pay for the family to take trips to Atlanta and Gatlinburg, the outpouring of care for Alex's family has been overwhelming.

Local organizers

Jeffrey McGee and Linda Dye at Edgemont Baptist Church have been primary in fielding the phone calls coming in from around the country. The phone lines at Harris Middle -- and even at the T-G -- have been flooded with calls, the inboxes full of emails from those offering their support.

Some have offered healing advice -- from recommending a particular hospital, to a brand of baking soda with curative powers. An energy healer has offered his gift at no charge, and by phone.

All the recommendations and offers are being logged at Edgemont Baptist, and shared with the family. Thousands of dollars have been donated to the family and to an account set up in Alex's name at Peoples Bank.

Special trip

At noon on Friday Alex and his family left Shelbyville in a limousine, with expenses donated by a Murfreesboro businessman.

With a police escort, the limo drove by Harris Middle School where Alex's classmates lined the street to cheer him on.

Alex Rodriguez, inside the limousine, is driven past cheering Harris Middle School students Friday morning.
(Submitted photo)
The family spent the night in Atlanta, and was to experience a VIP tour of the World of Coca-Cola, sponsored by the attraction itself, where personnel were also affected by his story.

"We are excited to welcome Alex and his family to the World of Coca-Cola tomorrow. It will be a very special day," stated a post Friday on the official World Of Coca-Cola Twitter feed.

Soon the family will will travel to Gatlinburg to the Wilderness indoor water park, which is also sponsoring the trip.

Grateful family

"We're so thankful, we're just thankful," said Alex's grandmother, Carolyn Comacho, who admits the public response has been overwhelming.

Funds raised will assist the family with their day-to-day needs, including any medical expenses not covered by TennCare.

Comacho, who has worked as a custodian for the school system since 2000, has taken time off to care for the young boy -- and to be with him during the time he has remaining.

How to help

For questions or donations:

Jeffery McGee (or Linda Dye)

Edgemont Baptist Church

150 Fairfield Pike

Shelbyville, TN 37160

Phone: (931) 684-7676

Fax: (931) 684-0005

Email: mcgeemusic@att.net

Donations may be made to:

(If a card is mailed with donation, this will be passed along to the family)

Alex Rodriguez Benefit Account

Peoples Bank of Bedford County

1122 North Main St.

Shelbyville, TN 37160

Phone: (931) 684-7222

Letters and cards only:

Carolyn Camacho or Alex Rodriguez

c/o Harris Middle School

570 Eagle Blvd.

Shelbyville, TN 37160

Phone: (931) 684-5195

Fax: (931) 685-9455

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