Alex has survived the trauma of so many defining generational moments—Vietnam, Stonewall, AIDS crisis. Last week, Harrington Park Press, LLC made it possible for Alex, an MJHS Hospice patient with a love-filled, but failing heart, to attend Sunday’s Pride Parade. But it almost wasn't so!
50 years ago, Alex participated in the Stonewall uprising. He was tired of being marginalized for who he is and who he loves. Prior to that, he had honorably served as a stateside medic with a MASH unit during Vietnam.
After the Army, Alex worked in serology, clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry. He also traveled the world, enjoyed the opera and watched PBS. Even when surrounded by beauty, he was haunted by PTSD—memories of friends dying in war, friends dying at the hands of hate, friends dying from a frightening disease.
Years ago, Alex was diagnosed with an advancing illness and a failing heart that led to nearly 50 hospitalizations and numerous surgical interventions. His baby sister, Carol, became his primary caregiver.
About a month ago, Alex chose MJHS Hospice for his comfort care. Now, our hospice nurse and social worker care for him at home. Necessary medical equipment gets delivered to his home. And, painful medical treatments are over.The focus is on peace and joy.
And joy is exactly what Alex and Carol felt when we called to say a donor was making it possible for them to attend the parade in person, “it was like the heavens opened up. It was a wonderful extension of kindness,” said Carol. She added, “Parade goers cleared a path for us, and so many people came over to shake Alex’s hand. None of that would’ve been possible without the discreet, portable oxygen tank. We spent an 4 exhilarating hours with family, friends and a supportive city.”
For us, Alex is an American hero. Being part of his history is truly an honor. And having special donors who help us make patient dreams come true makes us feel over the rainbow 🌈
If you would like to become a donor, please visit mjhsfoundation.org