BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — The Bartlesville community is helping a family say goodbye as a loved one battles cancer.
Alex and Tori Meijer got married six years ago. When they met, Tori was living in Bartlesville while Alex was living in the Netherlands. They’re now the proud parents of their daughter, Ember, who turns two in March.
“It’s so fun to see them together," said Rene Burns, Tori's boss and principal at Hoover Elementary in Bartlesville. "And then I’ve had just the joy of having him with Ember. And it warms your heart, him being the caregiver and her connection to her daddy.”
Their world was turned upside down last June when Alex was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Just two months later, doctors found it spread to his liver and lungs. He’s been getting chemo every two weeks but received more bad news this week. At just 33 years old, he doesn’t have much longer to live.
“They realized that the cancer has grown and spread," said Amanda Daniels, Tori's coworker and friend. "The blockage is so large that he’s not able to eat.”
Tori’s a third grade teacher at Hoover Elementary. Alex stayed home and took care of Ember. Following Alex's diagnosis, Tori's school family wanted to do something to help her and Alex. They started by raising money to pay for Ember to go to daycare. Then, once Alex's condition worsened, they decided to fly his family from the Netherlands to Oklahoma to say goodbye.
“I just can’t imagine them not getting to see him at least one more time," Daniels said. "A kid is sick, whether we’re three or 43, we want to be with our parents. We want to be able to see mom and dad, those that comforted us when we were little.”
They created a GoFundMe to raise money to bring Alex's parents and brother here. So far, they have been able to book a flight for his dad. Any extra money raised will go to Tori and Ember in their biggest time of need.
“It breaks my heart to think of that little girl raised, having to grow up without her daddy," Burns said. "And Tori, having to continue the journey of life without her soulmate.”
If you'd like to donate to the GoFundMe, you can do so here.
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