Throughout two bouts of cancer that involved rigorous treatments and losing all of his teeth, Alex Hunter managed to keep a smile planted on his face. But it was the kindness of strangers that will allow his grin to look like any other teen’s.
When Alex was 4, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumor of the muscles, which he fought with chemotherapy and radiation, according to his fundraising page. The resilient kid was then stuck with Hurthle cell carcinoma at 13, a rare form of cancer that affects the thyroid gland.
While the Delano, California, teen beat that cancer too, due to the treatment, his teeth became loose and he eventually had them all removed.
Alex, who loves to sing and hopes to one day become a professional counselor for people in need, was desperate for dentures, but didn’t want to burden his already overwhelmed parents with the estimated $11,000 cost, KERO-TV reported.
Insurance had paid to have his dead teeth removed, but wouldn’t cover the new ones.
"[The insurance] said it wasn't a medical issue and of course it's from a medical issue," Roberta Hunter, Alex’s grandmother, told KERO-TV.
Eager to find a solution, the Hunters turned to the Internet and set up a campaign through GoFundMe. Within a day, the initiative raised more than $16,000 from donors spanning the globe.
"Your spirit shows us there's still good in this world," one donor wrote on his fundraising page. "Go get 'em!"
Find out more about Alex's online campaign here.