Poconos Coal

A Christmas wish from one family to many others

Olsen Family Christmas Wish spreading cheer.

VIDEO: The Voelker family

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - At the age of five, Alex Voelker has been through more than most.

"It's painful to watch it as a parent, but it's amazing because he's a really tough kid," said Robert Voelker, Alex's father.

Alex was born with a rare liver disease and at just 9 months old he needed a transplant; the donor was his own mother.

"My wife, Christie, she actually donated half of her liver, saved Alex's life," said Voelker.

The procedure was a success, but not without some serious scares.

"He actually passed away during his transplant," said Voelker.

Alex also suffered a moderate stroke, causing him brain damage.

After the transplant, he was placed on anti-rejection medication known for causing cancer.

As if their baby hadn't been through enough, a few years late, Christie and Robert's worst fear became a reality.

"In that ultrasound they saw a mass in his stomach," said Voelker.

The mass was stage 3B of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

"It's kind of a blur, the last couple of months, and it's almost surreal," said Christie Voelker, Alex's mother.

Since his diagnosis in July, Alex has undergone aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

"That was probably one of the hardest parts because he loved his hair," said Voelker.

The battle had its high and lows but the Voelkers are overjoyed to announce Alex won the fight and is officially cancer free.

"He's inspiring. He inspires us. He's a tough kid," said Voelker.

And this tough kid is starting Kindergarten on Monday.

His future is as bright as the colorful Christmas lights hanging in the Voelker's home; they say it's the perfect season to count their blessings.

"It's such a good time for this to end, right now and then Santa is going to visit and we'll be around our family," says Christie Voelker.

The Voelkers are originally from Monroe County, but now live in Montgomery County.

 They are among eight other families receiving gifts and money this Christmas from the Olsen Family Christmas Wish List, a fundraiser set up in honor of fallen officer Jeff Olsen.

If you'd like to donate, head to the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/the-olsen-christmas-wish

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