BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – Alex Arrieta may have lost his battle, but his legacy and spirit are remembered, and live on.
Alex died back in 2017 after a 14-month-long battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Before he passed away he helped create “Lambs for Life” campaign to support other children with cancer.
That charity is making a difference in the Lowcountry, throughout South Carolina and beyond.
On Monday, Alex was given a monument to recognize his life, work and spirit: a 5 foot tall, 500-pound carbon fiber soccer ball placed in front of Hilton Head Elementary School for the Creative Arts.
Alex’s father Brandon says the support he has gotten for the charity, and in-memory of Alex has been amazing.
“The support has been overwhelming,” explained Brandon Arrieta. “We are together with a lot of people we are going to make a difference because that’s what Alex wanted to do, change the world.”
The soccer ball has the Lambs For Life name, pictures of some of Alex’s favorite things, like R2D2 and chameleons, along with words of support, like “hope.”
Alex’s best friend, Kristian Field, said this ceremony and this monument was a great way to remember him.
“He wanted to give credit, to honor to everybody else, all the kids who have cancer,” said Kristian. “Seeing the great ceremony for that because he really deserved it he was really all smiles all day 24/7.”
Arrietta says its an honor his son would have been proud of, even if he never wanted the spotlight.
“Alex never wanted recognition. His name is on there but so is Lamby’s,” he explained. “Every time I left to go somewhere and meet with some political leader or someone high profile, I’d come back and say ‘look, buddy.'”
Congressman Joe Cunningham delivered a speech at the event and letters were read from Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, as well as South Carolina Governor Henry Mcmaster.
The soccer ball was created and welded by students from May River High School.
They say it took almost a year of work from design to completion to finish, and every minute was well worth it to honor Alex.