BANGOR, Maine — Sam Alexander made a big impression on those lucky enough to have met him during his 15 years of life before cancer cut it short.
Joellyn Alexander, Sam’s mother, said her son’s bright outlook on life was unmatched, despite the hardships he faced during his long, difficult trials with cancer. His disposition had an effect on many, she said.
With the help of a fundraiser held Saturday on the Bangor Waterfront behind Tim Hortons on Main Street, Sam’s legacy could provide support to other families struggling with cancer.
The Jam “Fore” Sam raised raised money for completing a room named after Sam at Brewer’s Lafayette Family Cancer Center, which is building a third floor for children who are undergoing cancer treatment and their families.
The avid golfer from Hudson lost his battle with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in October 2011. He played several times per week, even after he lost his right leg and part of his right shoulder to cancer.
If he couldn’t make it out on the course, he played Tiger Woods video games.
When people asked Sam how he was doing, he would often chuckle and reply, “Pretty good, except for this cancer thing,” his mother said.
More than 60 volunteers staffed the event, each wearing a shirt with Sam’s picture and the words “Forever missed, never forgotten.” Members of the Queen City Club, a Bangor High School service organization and the Children’s Miracle Network put on the event.
Chevaughn Kacer, president of the Queen City Club, said she first met Sam about two years ago and “fell in love.” Thanks in part to her interactions with Sam, Kacer said she has decided to study communications at the University of Maine with the goal of working in philanthropy.
Bands who signed on for the event included Alex Tappen & Crew, When Particles Collide, John Burlock, Axiom, Down to Funk and Rotating Taps. They each volunteered their time.
Sam was named Junior Golfer of the Year by the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in September 2011. On the day he received his award, Sam was scheduled to play a round with other golfers at the event. Rain was falling on the drive to the ceremony, but that didn’t faze Sam.
Joellyn asked her son that morning if he really wanted to play through the storm.
“Mom, real golfers golf in the rain — unless it’s lightning,” Sam responded.
Despite the pain his cancer was inflicting on him that day, Sam went on to play golf for five hours.