Alex Hunter hasn’t had it easy.
At age 4, he was diagnosed with stage four Rhabodomyosarcoma. With both chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he beat it. By 13 years old, a new type of cancer plagued the Delano, California, teen: Hurthle cell carcinoma. He beat this too.
But as an effect of his treatments, Alex’s teeth were loose and hurt him. Due to the pain, he decided to have 19 teeth removed this year, hoping to get a set of dentures and a new smile, the 16-year-old’s family wrote.
“Unfortunately, while insurance did agree to pay a portion of the initial oral surgery, they have denied to pay any portion for dentures,” the Hunter family wrote on a Go Fund Me site two days ago.
“[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.
The family was hoping to raise $11,000 to give Alex a new set of pearly whites that wouldn’t cause him pain before the school year started. In less than 24 hours, the Internet stepped up and exceeded the family’s goal. At the time of this posting, nearly $19,000 has been raised for Alex’s cause.
“From friends, to family, to my community and everyone else that has been beyond generous to help me in meeting and surpassing my goal….THANK YOU!” Alex wrote on the Go Fund Me site.
The teen, who hopes to be a contestant on the talent show “The Voice” someday, told KERO he also wants to go to college, major in psychology and sociology, and become a counselor to “help others the way I do at school.”
Watch KERO-TV’s report about the family’s fundraising effort:
Alex’s mother, Lisbeth Hunter, told the U.K.’s Daily Mail she expects her son to celebrate his new dentures “with a smile and also a good meal.”
“It’s a bit overwhelming,” Lisbeth Hunter told the Daily Mail. “It’s amazing. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that this would happen.”