Caitlin Van Ermen
Alex Powell had a goal to join the elite and become a Michigan State Spartan. When most of Alex’s senior year classmates were debating what their plans were after college, the Powell family was balancing a severe cancer diagnosis. Alex Powell had a tough year of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments ahead of him, but that did not stop him from pursuing his ultimate goal of having the true MSU experience.
“We are here when life happens”, said Director of the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, Michael Hudson.
The Powell family found the support they need to make Alex’s goal a reality at the RCPD. His specialist, Shani Feyen helped place him in a dorm room close to his classes, assist him with class accommodations, and give him and his family support throughout their MSU experience.
Kate DuHadway from the Lansing State Journal wrote, “In spite of his fight with cancer, Alex was able to have the full Spartan experience, Feyen said. He attended classes, tailgated with his friends and camped out in the Breslin Center during Midnight Madness.”
Alex’s cancer diagnosis advanced and he moved back home during his freshman year. At the age of 19, Alex passed away Mother’s Day.
Alex never lost his zest for life. He faced its end with courage, humor and a resilience that amazed and inspired all who had come to know him. He also shared the ultimate dream that lives inside each of us: to create a legacy, to leave the world in better shape than he found it.
That legacy lives on through “Alex’s Great State Race.”
On the Friday before MSU/UofM game day, ROTC cadets from both schools will departing at 3:30am at MSU’s beloved “Sparty” in East Lansing, ending the 64 mile ending at University of Michigan’s historical “Diag”. ESPN’s College GameDay will be welcoming us at the finish line. Alex’s Great State Race is a living legacy to a heroic young man and supports the organizations that made it possible for him to become a Spartan.
Join us at the finish line to celebrate student acheievement at MSU or UofM and Alex's legacy.
To help bring your school to victory, please consider visiting: alexsgreatstaterace.org and making a contribution.
Read more about Alex’s Great State Race in the Lansing State Journal.