8-Year-old Alex Carico has overcome more in the last two years than many of us will overcome in a lifetime. Following an incident in late 2018 where he hit his stomach on a table at school, the intensity and duration of the pain caused his parents to take him to the doctor. Rather than the injury they expected, Alex’s parents learned that their young son had a large tumor.
Shortly after the MRI that changed their lives, doctors informed the Carico family that Alex had stage 4 neuroblastoma, a heartbreaking diagnosis that came with a 28% chance of survival. His determined parents, Michael and Bill, uprooted their lives and moved from Las Vegas to North Ridgeville, Ohio so Alex could get the treatment he needed.
Now, Alex is two years out from his initial diagnosis and incredibly, the 8-year-old warrior is cancer-free after aggressive chemotherapy and stem cell treatment. Through his painful therapies and nearly two years of battling cancer, Alex held onto his dream – one day, Alex wants to become a dentist.
“I want to make everyone have a beautiful smile,” Alex told News 5 Cleveland. “Smiles bring hope to the world.”
Thanks to Special Wish Cleveland and Crest’s “12 Days of Smiles” campaign which grants 12 wishes each holiday season, Alex’s dream came true for a day. The young dentist-in-training was taken to a dentist’s office and given the proper uniform. Before long, it was time to pay his first patient a visit – and after all those cookies, as it turns out, Santa Clause was desperately in need of a good cleaning.
Alex revealed some concerning news after Santa’s visit, the jolly old man did in fact have several cavities. After his appointment, the tiny dentist bid farewell to his first patient, urging him to brush twice a day.
The 8-year-old dentist-to-be also had a suggestion for those of us expecting a visit from Santa this year. “Maybe what everyone should do is put toothpaste and a toothbrush right by the cookies and the milk so that he can brush afterward when he eats it.”
I don’t know if there’s some kind of waitlist or something, but as soon as Alex has his degree in hand, I’m going to need an appointment ASAP.