Local St. Jude patient has NFL experience of a lifetime

A local St. Jude patient is extra pumped up about football season, after he had an incredible NFL experience.

FOX23 met Alexander Bolding in 2018 when he was the middle of his brain cancer fight at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

“One of the things that he had to do after brain surgery was relearn how to walk and how to run,” said Jillian Bolding, Alexander’s mother.

In late April, two days after doctors told the Boldings that Alexander’s scans were clear, he’s still cancer-free, three and a half years after treatment.

St. Jude gave him the opportunity to celebrate in a big way with a trip to the Rose Bowl to participate in the “Run Rich Run” event, as part of the NFL draft.

At the 18th annual event, sports journalist Rich Eisen and others ran a 40-yard dash to raise awareness and support for St. Jude. Alexander served as the official time and motivator for the participating runners.

“He said ‘no way, no way, are you serious?” and just got like super hyper so he was pumped,” said Jillian. “Alexander gets really excited, and when he’s super excited he’ll like shake his arms and just start running around.”

Five years ago after brain surgery, doctors put a plate in his skull, which means he can never play contact sports, like football.

“The fact that he was part of the NFL draft, I mean and he can’t play contact sports, including football ... what a mic drop,” Jillian said.

The trip included a dinner in Los Angeles with CEOs and NFL legends.

“We had 30 minutes to get ready and Alexander did it, he was in his little blazer with his St. Jude lapel pin to match Rich, and it was super fun that night,” said Jillian.

Then that weekend, they hit the field. Jillian said Alexander was the life of the party.

“He’s just eleven and he’s just such a people person, and that makes me proud,” Jillian said.

Jillian said Alexander doesn’t know a stranger. At the fancy dinner Friday night, he was pulling out his phone and sharing pictures of the fish he’d just caught.

You can help kids like Alexander by supporting the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

$100 gives you the chance to win a beautiful, brand new home in the Stone Canyon neighborhood in Owasso.

Tickets are on sale now and if you purchase yours before May 27, you’ll also be entered for a chance to win a 2022 Jeep Wrangler Sport, from Bob Moore Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Tulsa.

Call 1-800-853-1470 or click here to reserve your ticket before they sell out.