Children’s Harbor of special significance to UAB’s Timothy Alexander

By Evan Dudley, special to AL.comĀ 

It was a routine visit for Timothy Alexander.

The former Birmingham prep star and UAB director of character development was asked to make a quick trip to Children’s Hospital and meet with a young patient who had asked for him by name. Although not unusual, this meeting felt different than previous visits.

In a room with dim lighting and a sterile aroma — the hum of medical equipment drowning out all other distractions — Alexander met Emmy Nichols.

The young patient was set to have a brain tumor removed the next day and Alexander was informed moments before laying eyes on the young patient who would become his daily inspiration. His motivation. His friend.

“I wanted to meet him because of his story,” she said. “And I’m very happy he’s in my life.”

And that friendship has blossomed into an unbreakable bond. Two people who could not have been further apart have faced and overcame life-threating trials together and it’s through that that bond of friendship that Alexander has motivated his team to think of others before themselves.

The team regularly visits Children’s Harbor, a unique medical center – with an additional campus on Lake Martin in Alexander City – just a block from the UAB campus that provides nurturing environments for survivors of childhood illnesses. It offers a second chance in the face of impossible odds and Alexander is paramount in his advocacy of the hospital and its services.

“We go into rooms and spend time with the kids at Children’s Harbor,” Alexander said. “We put on our lab coats, tell the nurses to get out and speak with these kids one-on-one. Our guys are always asking when we can go back.”

It’s because his teammates are appreciative for a second chance at the game they love, and in turn, they appreciate a second chance at life for many of the children they encounter through their work with Children’s Harbor.

The work has taken on new levels of commitment in recent days as UAB announced that the football team will wear the names of patients on the back of their jerseys for its homecoming game against Louisiana Tech.

Additionally, a block section at Legion Field will be provided during the game for Children’s Harbor patients and their families to support the team that has continued to support them and the community.

“That’s what we do here at UAB,” Alexander said. “Get out and inspire people beyond their tragedies, adversities and hardships that they’re going through.”

It all…

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