Morgans celebrate their own ‘Christmas miracle’

Published 9:09 am Saturday, December 24, 2011

Three years ago, Kim Morgan’s Christmas wish was not a wish at all. It was a prayer.

Her 6-year-old son, Alex, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in September and had undergone surgery and radiation. He was scheduled to begin chemotherapy after the New Year.

“What I remember most about Christmas 2008 were the prayers, the love and the caring of so many people, Morgan said. “There is no way that we can ever repay the community for all the love and support and we’ll never forget it.”

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The Morgans know more about “community care” than most families. Morgan’s husband, Ron Morgan, was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2003 and family, friends and community were there for him.

“Because of Ron’s battle with cancer, we knew that prayers are answered,” Morgan said. “So when Alex was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Ron and I didn’t wish for anything at Christmas, we prayed. I guess Santa Claus came because he always does. But I don’t remember that.”

When an active and spirited child is suddenly so very sick, it puts things into perspective.

“You look at Christmas – at everything – in a different way,” Morgan said. “You never expect to have cancer in your family and, for us, it came when Ron was young and, then, Alex was so young. It was difficult. It’s just hard to put into words what we felt, what Christmas was like that year.”

But Christmas for the Morgans has been different ever since.

Rather than focusing on their wants and wishes, Morgan said they offer prayers and support for others who are going through illnesses and hardships.

“What we went through with Alex has opened our eyes to what other families are going through,” she said. “We don’t think so much about Santa Claus coming with a bunch of presents. We try to do what we can to help others who are going through hard times. We understand what they are going through.”

The Morgans also know that the spirit of Christmas doesn’t just emerge in December. It can be experienced any time of year.

“Alex has been cancer free for almost three years now but people still remember what he went through and do so many nice things for him,” Morgan said.

For Alex, who wants to grow up to be a soldier, his Christmas came on Veterans Day this year. A teacher at Troy Elementary School gave him a soldier’s uniform and boots and he was treated to a ride around the school grounds in a Hummer as his classmate cheered him on.

Later, he was made an honorary soldier by the soldiers at the Troy National Guard Armory.

Such recognitions are appreciated by Alex and his family but they are also ways to keep up the spirits of others who are facing serious illnesses.

“It’s encouraging for others to see Alex and to know that he is doing well and that others do really care,” Morgan said. “It gives others hope.”

Morgan said she and her family have been richly blessed. They have two cancer survivors and what a great blessing that is.

“Alex is a miracle child,” Morgan said. “His doctor told him that. ‘You are a miracle child.’”

Whether Alex fully comprehends what it means to be a “miracle child” his mother isn’t sure. But he’ll never forget the kindnesses shown to him during his illness.

“Like when Alex lost his hair and had to wear a knit cap, his friend, Trevor Bryan, wore one, too,” Morgan said. “Those are the things that you don’t ever forget. Those are the real things of Christmas.”