Alex's Wish book cover
WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES
A Teen's Inspiring Journey and Living Legacy
By Susie and Bill Graham
with H. Thomas Saylor
Publisher: Three Dot L.L.C.
Publication date: August 1, 2008
Retail Price: $24.95
US ISBN: 978-0-9762012-1-2
LCCN: 2008900651
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Alex's Wish

the graham childrenSusie and Bill Graham met in college. They fell in love and were married in 1967 when she was 20 and Bill was 23. They were living out their dreams in a fashionable suburb of Detroit, and were blessed with three loving children—two sons and a daughter. Life was good, but life had its share of chaotic moments and unique challenges.

As the saying goes, "boys will be boys," and in their youth sons David and Robbie were a handful. In contrast, Susie and Bill's youngest, Alexandra, was a very easy child to parent. That's not to say she didn't have her devilish moments, but Alex, as they called her, was very social, enjoyed school and did well academically. She liked sports and was an intense competitor. She loved her family, cherished her friends, and often took on the role of peacemaker. Alexandra loved life and gave meaning to the expression, "living every day to the fullest."

By 1997 the boys had grown into young men and were increasingly independent. Alex was also an independent spirit, but remained very close with her parents. With the children older, Susie took steps to open her own gift, card and stationery shop, while Bill maintained a hectic pace with his computer leasing business.

alex in hoodieAlex was the epitome of health. Amazingly she never contracted the typical childhood illnesses, but in 1997 all that was to change. One early fall day Alex came home from the mall complaining of pain in her knee. Three months later, at the age of 16, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Her world and the world of those she loved would never be the same.

Over the course of the next year, Alex did not get the miracle she wanted most, but her life and her selfless wish left the world a better place.