HILTON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - A student who lost his battle with cancer is being remembered in a big way.
On Monday morning, a Lowcountry school will be filled with politicians, community members, and students - and even though the person bringing them together won’t be there - the memorial they’re unveiling will make sure his spirit is never forgotten.
Three years ago when Alex Arrieta’s father started a nonprofit to fight childhood cancer, Alex didn’t want his name to be the one in lights. Instead, Alex wanted Lamie, his favorite stuffed animal, to be the face. Even though he has gotten his wish, a memorial and his name will be installed at Hilton Head Elementary School next week.
The memorial, which weighs 500 pounds, was built by Hilton Head high school students and celebrates all of the things Alex loved. Music, movies, and his pet gecko are now not only the things that kept him company in the hospital, but will also be the things that other children will remember him by.
“Alex was big on helping others. We wanted to demonstrate that to folks by celebrating his life and memorializing and paying tribute. Seeing it now, three years later, what his vision is and where it’s going...and as Alex has said, he wrote it. 'Everyone can change the world," said Alex’s father, Brandon Arrieta.
Alex’s father has used Lamie’s nonprofit to raise awareness of childhood cancer in DC, and has faced overwhelming support. As a result, the event will be attended by Governor McMaster and Representative Cunningham.
The event will be public and open to anyone in the community who wants to honor Alex.