Shelbyville boy battling cancer gets trip to Atlanta

Shelbyville boy battling cancer gets trip to Atlanta (Image 1)

A 12-year-old Shelbyville boy battling cancer is getting to live out one of his dreams this weekend.

Nashville's News 2 reported Tuesday that Alex Rodriguez had decided to end his cancer treatments to be with his family.

The story has garnered national attention, and the outpouring of support from all over the world has been overwhelming.

Generous donations have poured into the family and helped make a special trip to Atlanta's Coca Cola Museum possible for Alex this weekend.

Alex has been battling a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue sarcoma, since he was just seven-years old.

Since then, much of his life has consisted of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and experimental treatments that took him far away from home to Houston, Texas.

When doctors told Alex the treatments weren't working, he made a decision to stop them all together and instead, focus on the time he has left to be with his family.

“It's very humbling to see this young man, 12-years old, making decision that adults wouldn't want to make,” said Bobby McGee, pastor at Edgemont Baptist Church in Shelbyville.

McGee and others at the church have been handling the flood of donations and calls from all around the world, as far away as Iceland.

Friday afternoon, the biggest decision Alex had to make was what he wanted to pack for his Atlanta trip and where he wanted to sit in the limousine.

The trip, the limo and the VIP tour at the Coca Cola museum were all made possible by generous donations.

“I like tasting all the different cokes,” said Alex when we asked him why he wanted to tour Coca Cola. “In Disney, there's a mini one, but this is the big one.”

Before Alex and his family headed to Atlanta, the limo drove through Shelbyville with a police escort and wound its way over to Harris Middle School where Alex used to attend before he became ill.

The entire student body lined the streets cheering for him; it's something Alex had never experienced before.

The trip to Atlanta, the overwhelming show of support from the Shelbyville community and the community well beyond Bedford County reminded Alex of one very important message. “I know that I'm really supported by other people,” he said.

“We're so thankful it worked out, and we got to see what we did today,” added McGee, “It makes us feel good that he's getting such a happy time because he's had such a rough time with the treatments.”

There are also plans to send Alex to Gatlinburg, which was another one of his wishes.

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