Alex Klein was diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma after finding a bump on the arch of his foot in June 2008. He was about to enter 3rd grade and his life got turned upside down. After Chemotherapy failed his lower leg was amputated and he had a new challenge. Make-A-Wish sent him and his parents to Disney World. Alex’s favorite part of his wish was the Dueling Dragons roller coaster in Universal Studios and the Fantasia Gardens and Fairways minigolf course in Disney World. His parents said that the trip did just as much for them as it did for him because they did not have to make a decision for an entire week.
Alex did not let his new prosthetic leg keep him from enjoying life. His dad took him to a Cub Scout camping trip, and Alex did every single challenge over the course of the weekend. While his dad carried him to the car to head back home he told his dad, ”Dad, I can do anything”. His leg was so blistered from the weekend that he could not wear his prosthetic for a week.
Now, Alex is actually even more active then that weekend. He is a sophomore at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. For five years he has participated in the GUMBO (Games Uniting Mind and Body) Games, a Louisiana organization that organizes track meets for children ages 5-18 with disabilities. He runs the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter dash and throws the javelin. Even more impressive he has set the state record for his age and disability class in discus (33 meters) and shotput (9 meters). He has been chosen to represent Louisiana in national meets. While competing in Oklahoma City he met the Amputee Blade Runners, A non-profit organization whose goal is to provide running prosthetics to at least one athlete in every state. Alex became the Louisiana representative of the Amputee Blade Runners. Now he is preparing for his first year competing in the LHSAA because the Jesuit Track and Field coach convinced him to join the team.
Alex wants to compete for the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. After track he wants to become an athletic trainer.
CLICK HERE to check out this exclusive interview with Alex by WGNO in New Orleans, LA. Thank you WGNO for capturing his inspiring story.