UPDATE: January 18th, 2020. Please read the update section of the Go Fund Me page for updates that Ali's father Mike has provided. Given the nature of the turn of events, the "Ali's Army - 2nd Tour Of Duty" page has now become the "Ali's Army - Making Memories" page. Please note that $18000 of the total you see was raised during Alexander's second round of chemo and his bone marrow transplant and was of course much appreciated. All money raised since then are now going to be used to make memories for Alexander and especially to keep the family afloat as they continue to take time off work to be at Ali's side. During the hardest thing imaginable for any parent, the last thing they need to worry about is finances. Thank you for your continued support. I can not express how thankful I am for each donation that comes through. In support of the McKeown family, Leslie Mountjoy.
Initial Posting: Alexander “Ali” McKeown has always been a joy to be around. A much-loved son to Mike and Sheri and a little brother to Mackenzie, their family was happy-go-lucky until Alex began not feeling well and showing symptoms of what doctors first believed was a viral infection. On Christmas Eve 2018, Mike and Sheri refused to accept that as their sweet son was seeming to get sicker and sicker. They took him into Sick Kids Hospital and within hours he was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) and chemotherapy was started immediately.
Alex completed four rounds of chemo over the course of several months, staying in Sick Kids all but a handful of days from December 24th to May 14th. His Mom and Dad were faithfully by his side all along, taking time off work and balancing time at home with their daughter, and even bringing her in to Sick Kids as often as possible.
Alex turned 7 at Sick Kids. He has already earned countless bravery beads and undergone many procedures. He struggled with each round but made incredible responses and kept that beautiful smile he’s always had through everything. He came home, and began to regain his strength, exuberating more energy than anyone could match, and even gained some weight and grew his hair back.
His parents noticed a small bump on his side, but hoped it was simply a bug bite. Alex went off to Camp Ooch for ten days and had a great time. The cover photo is from his return home after camp, he had a blast! Upon his return though, his parents were troubled to see the bump still there, along with another on his eye.
The bump (a tumour type lesion) was biopsied Thursday July 25th and revealed that Alex’s AML had sadly returned much to the devastation of everyone who knows the McKeown’s. Alex was ordered to return to Sick Kids Monday, July 29th, 2019 for his second tour of duty into this incredibly challenging war against cancer.
Since his relapse happened so quickly, his AML has shown to be very aggressive. As such, this treatment plan will be different from the first and will be more invasive. He is facing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant over the coming months. There is also the possibility of a clinical trial in the United States.
Alex’s family needs our support more now than ever to cover the cost of gas and parking as they travel back and forth, to make up the difference for them being off work with their financial obligations, and to help with food costs, and even costs to stay in the city when needed. The costs add up so quickly and both parents have been off work for so long already that this round is going to be even harder for them financially. During the first round of Alex's treatment, the unexpected costs totalled over $30,000. This would have been much more devastating to the family had it not been for the incredible support they received from Ali's army.
Because Mike and Sheri already have more than enough to worry about, let’s ease this part of the burden from them once again. Every gift adds up and will help so much, and this is such a practical way for us all to feel like we are a little less helpless as they battle in the front lines.
If you prefer to send money directly, please forward e-transfers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any additional funds left over after treatment will be donated back to Sick Kids Hospital, and all money collected will go directly to the McKeown's within 2 to 3 days.
Thank you for your generosity for the McKeown family, and thank you for being a part of Ali’s army as he takes on Leukemia again!
- Kayla Nicholson
- Jen Medeiros
- Amanda McConkey