Meet Alex 'Smiles' Arrieta. He founded Lambs for Life while battling AML at age 10.
When Alex was told by his parents that his cancer had returned, he did not shed a tear. Instead, Alex looked at his parents then smiled and said, "At least I already know what it's like". That is Alex 'Smiles' Arrieta.
Alex then told his parents he wanted to do things different this time - mo more gifts, no more toys. This time, if people wanted to do something for him, he wanted them to only give lambs - thousands of them. When asked why so many and where he would put them all, Alex said the lambs were not for him. He wanted his dad to find other kids with cancer and give it to them. Then he asked his parents if he could name it Lambs for Life and that's how it all began. Alex wanted the kids to know them they are not alone and there is always hope, to never ever stop fighting and to make them as comfortable as possible. The hospital stays can be long ones and Alex's Lamby Pack is there to help.
Alex was in the hospital for six months battling AML in 2015 and was in remission for 5 months and was able to go to Sea World and play with a Beluga Whale, go to all the other parks and then the Florida Keys! While in the hospital he was visited by musicians Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi and was given a signed jersey from the 2015 Argentina National Soccer team including Lionel Messi. He also got a birthday present from Mike Myers and he became friends with none other than Mr. T. ! Many other wonderful celebrities and politicians also supported Alex and his mission.
When the cancer came back, it was unresponsive to treatment. He then had the choice of enjoying a few days of life or fight again with a very powerful and only slightly tested combination of adult drugs. It worked but just as the toxic drugs killed the cancer, they also took Alex on April 27, 2016 - TWO days after being told the cancer was finally gone. He fought with smiles and with lamby, his stuffed animal lamb buddy.
Meanwhile, Lambs for Life will advocate and educate on behalf of children about the fundamental reform needed so childhood cancer drugs and solutions may be developed. Kids are not small adults and their cancers are different than adults. They must be addressed separately.
"My dad said he was going to cross, like chase down kids that have cancer in hospitals and give them a lamb stuffed animal…because I have my own and I had him when I went through cancer…because it’s the lamb of God, it’s holy!"
- Alex Arrieta, 10 yr old battling relapsed AML when asked by a reporter why he feels the lambs can help other kids going through chemo and how he is going to get the lambs to them.
Changing the World
of childhood cancer
Did You Know?
Childhood Cancer receives
ONLY 4% of
ALL Federal Cancer Funds
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