Elkins Athlete Looking Forward After Cancer Battle

ELKINS (KFSM) -It's a spring afternoon and Alex Smith is right where he always is.

Jersey buttoned.

Elks hat on.

Laughing with his teammates pre-game.

" He's always smiling. Always has a smile on his face," head coach Jeff Eddleman noticed. "He's having a great time. He just - you look at him, you don't even have to talk to him, it's just uplifting to have him with us."

But just five years ago, it wasn't clear if Alex would be able to do any of the things he does today.

"He started having trouble with his eyesight, so we went and had his eyes checked, and then we went and had it done and they found that he had a tumor on his optic nerve," Alex's grandpa, Terry Stout, remembered. "Then the further MRI found the tumor on his brain and one on his brainstem."

As just a seventh grader, Alex was diagnosed with brain cancer.

But if there's anything anyone learned quickly - it's to never tell Alex he can't do something.

"Hospice said something's wrong here. You might want to check something out because he's already supposed to be passed away," Stout recalled. "So we went back and had the MRI and they called it an empty cavity, and he kept on living."

So Alex kept fighting.

And fighting.

And fighting.

Inspiring all those around him - he not only beat cancer, but became involved at Elkins High School managing the football, basketball, and baseball teams.

"I've never met a kid like him," Coach Eddleman explained "It's been a blessing to me and to all these boys."

"It makes you emotional and tears to your eyes, but it's exciting to see him still fighting," Stout added.

Not only fighting for himself - but cheering on others along the way.

"March 1st 2014, 5 years ago, I had a heart attack," Coach Eddleman remembered. "I went to the hospital. The night before surgery I got a phone call. It was Alex - which shocked me. He was actually at Little Rock Children's hospital and he was having brain surgery the next day, and to think of me, when he's going through that, showed me a lot."

Now, just weeks until graduation, Alex has overcome the impossible and left his mark on the community.

"He's pretty much leaving a legacy behind," Coach Eddleman mentioned. "Nobody will ever replace him. It's been an awesome, awesome time."

Alex laughed. "That's great. I live my dream. People keep praying for me and I believe I'm going to live my life to the fullest."

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.