Ridgeview is full of students with a story and a past worth hearing about, some come here from different states, followed by their pain. Alex Byrd is a sophomore at Ridgeview who enjoys playing sports to get away from his pain filled life. He uses his ability to make others laugh as a way to make himself smile, giving others happiness is how he feels the happiness for himself. He’s been through the pain of watching his mom dwindle away from cancer and lupus attacking her from the inside out. Although she is fading away, Byrd holds tightly onto their relationship filled with love and happiness. Their relationship is strongly built from having only each other for so long, through thick and thin. His dad was in jail until Byrd was five years old and when he came back, fear settled in as his dad would take his anger out on him and his mom. But through it all, Byrd has always had his mom by his side even while she was sick and scared.
Byrd’s dad used to strike terror through him and his mom each time he would be released from jail. A constant fear was how he would treat them this time although they knew the pain that was coming. Byrd’s dad would physically attack his mom while he was only able to sit and watch in fear, frozen in his spot. “I was seven, I was at my grandparents house waiting for my mom to come pick me up and he came. As I was coming outside, I watched him beat up my mom and scrape her against the concrete, drag her, and hit on her. He threw her phone and shattered it, then rode off on his bike.” Growing up in this horror of watching his mom being taken down by his father, was rough for Byrd to watch. His father’s abuse towards him and his mom brought Byrd to hate his father from the bottom of his heart. Now, his father is no longer in the picture and Byrd’s mom found a new man who she married and found a new love with someone who can treat her two sons and her right.
Byrd’s mom also suffers from lupus on top of her cervical cancer. Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. The symptoms can be inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs. There is no cure for this disease and it will affect his mom for a lifetime filled with pain. The only current treatments focus on improving the quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups and these will become lifestyle modifications. This isn’t the first time cervical cancer has attacked Byrd’s mom, but a year ago when it infested her body, she recovered and the cancer left her body.
Now that she is suffering from cancer again, Byrd and his family are going back to Michigan again this January to get there family’s support. Their pain and suffering will be easier around their families help and love. Through everything he has been through he keeps a smile on his face and laughs coming from everyone around him.