• 75°

Hope on Wheels gives hope to local boy

Alex Morgan kind of shrugs off questions about his illness. He’s not too interested in talking about brain tumors.

He would much rather talk about school, his best buddy Trevor Bryan and being a soldier when he grows up.

But the seven-year-old was obviously proud of his new “Hyundai Hope on Wheels” tee shirt and cap and still excited about being a part of Hyundai’s check presentation ceremony Monday in Montgomery.

Hyundai Hope on Wheels is the united effort of all Hyundai dealers across the United States to raise awareness about childhood cancer and celebrate the lives of children battling the disease.

U.S. Hyundai dealers gathered at the company’s manufacturing plant in Montgomery for their annual national dealers’ meeting and presented a hospital donation in the amount of $40,000 to Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

“Hyundai gives a lot of money to help kids fight cancer,” Alex said. And, Alex knows more about the fight against cancer than any kid should ever know.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008.

“It was on September 13, 2008,” Alex said without hesitation. “I finished my treatments in June and I’ve got one more operation.”

But the operation will have to wait until the final school bell rings for the year.

“I don’t want to miss school,” Alex said, with a broad smile.

However, he did miss Monday to take part Hyundai’s check presentation ceremony “because that was important.”

Alex’s mom, Kim Morgan, knows that every dollar and every dime donated to cancer research is making a difference.

“All of the test results from Alex’s last MRI were good and his balance and mobility have improved greatly,” she said.

“He has one more surgery that will, hopefully, correct an eye problem. We owe so much to cancer research. When Alex was invited to be a part of the Hyundai donation ceremony, we wanted to be there.”

Hyundai Motor America and its dealers launched the 2010 Hyundai Hope on Wheels tour on April 1 at the New York International Auto Show and introduced its National Youth Ambassador Brianna Commerford, age 12.

“Brianna was in Montgomery for the ceremony and she is an absolutely beautiful little girl,” Morgan said.

“She battled Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was just 10 years old. Now, she is healthy and in remission.”

Morgan said Brianna is an inspiration to all of those who are battling cancer but especially to children.

The Hyundai Hope on Wheels tour van was a part of the ceremony and Alex got to put his handprint on the van.

“Blue is my favorite color and I got to paint my left hand blue and put my handprint on the van,” Alex said. “It was fun.”

But, the most fun is being back in school this year with his friends and learning new things. Alex’s favorite subject is science but he works hard in all subjects because when he grows up he’s going to be a soldier, “the kind that flies airplanes.”

And, Alex has all the right stuff to do just that.