25-year-old Niskayuna man battling cancer gifted a lifetime of birthdays

Special Reports

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — We all have just one birthday a year. But not if you are Alex Duncan, of Niskayuna. He celebrates one every single day.

Twenty-five years ago, then-little Alex Duncan had to struggle just to make it to his first birthday.

Anya: “The warning was, what?”
Tonya Duncan: “That he would be like a vegetable. That he would never walk, never talk. We wanted God to choose what would be for Alex.”

Whatever it was that drove him, Tonya and Darrin Duncan say their son smashed all those doctor’s predictions.

Blind at birth, he grew up to become an avid runner, making friends and graduating from high school.

Darrin Duncan: “He always has this will and this determination.”
Tonya: “And he didn’t have a fear of it.”

They would need some of that fearlessness after a recent shocking diagnosis of testicular cancer, which had spread by the time it was detected.

Treatment did little to help.

It was around the holidays, and any other year, it would have been a happy time as Alex and his parents celebrate their birthdays in the month of January.

Tonya: “I did not want to celebrate turning 50 because it just didn’t seem right. I wanted Alex to have a 50th and was adamant. I turned to Darrin and said, ‘Why don’t we give our birthdays to him.'”

So, Alex’s dad posted a message on his Facebook page:

“So, what I am asking is anyone who is a friend of mine on Facebook who would normally send me a Happy Birthday wish or blessing, do not. Because I will not accept it. Because it is not my birthday; it is Alex’s birthday. If you would like to send him a message or send a message to me for Alex I will show it to him…”

Darrin’s Facebook message

The reaction to that one post was simply amazing.

Friends, family members, total strangers sent cards and birthday cakes. All gifting their birthdays to Alex. Each one adding up.

Anya: “So, with all these birthdays how old are you now?”
Alex: “49.”

Anya: “How does it feel to get all these cards and balloons?”
Alex: “It’s a little overwhelming. I didn’t think it was going to get that far. It was supposed to be a small thing, but I am just enjoying it.”

A huge anime fanatic, his room is a shrine to the show Dragon Ball Z.

Thanks to an introduction through a family friend in Hollywood, the voice actors from his favorite show sent him messages and even gifted their birthdays.

But Alex has a gift of his own.

He and his parents are setting up a foundation for other men with testicular cancer where the average age for diagnosis is between 15 and 35.

Ashley, Alex’s sister: “It just makes me really happy that he wants to help other people. Like, when he will not be able to help them physically, he will still be here to help people.”

Alex: “You can’t take things for granted, and there is going to be stuff that happens in life. You take the good with the bad and you make the most of it.”

For more on Alex and his family’s story as well as updates on their foundation, follow his dad on Facebook.

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