A United States airman gave his Leukemia-battling sister a moment she will never forget when he returned home to surprise her before heading overseas for three years.
Alex Crider, 19, from Missouri, joined the Air Force in April 2023 and has been in training ever since.
His sister, Maddie, who he is extremely close to, was diagnosed with T-cell acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in October 2021 and has been in remission for around two years.
The family was aware Alex could return home before being based in the United Kingdom – but they weren’t sure when and only expected his visit to be a couple of days.
In a touch of good fortune, though, Alex discovered that he could return home for a week, and so he started to plan a surprise for Maddie, 16.
On November 4, at the family’s home in Missouri, Maddie waited for her mom, Katie, and younger sister to return from the store, as they had told her they were heading out to get cold medicine.
Secretly, though, Katie, 37, had collected her son from the airport, and after she entered the house, Maddie was called into the living room.
There, she discovered her older brother – a moment that left her speechless – before the pair headed in for an embrace that had been more than six months coming.
Maddie is scheduled to finish her chemotherapy on her brother’s 20th birthday in February 2024, by which point Alex will be overseas.
Katie said: “I felt moved to tears. Seeing Maddie unable to form words because she was so happy made it 100 percent worth it.
“She and her older brother are close – they game online together weekly.
“Everyone has been very supportive.
“Alex is third-generation Air Force in my family, and we are super proud of him.”