Photo above left to right: Alex's mom Lisa, father Michael, brother Ethan, sister Maddie, her boyfriend Andrew, and the family dog Bali.
HOLMDEL, NJ: The holiday season can be very difficult for anyone grieving the loss of someone they love. The month of December is particularly difficult for the family of Alexander Ching. It was in the early morning hours of Christmas 2018, that 24-year-old Alex, a 2012 Holmdel High School graduate, peacefully passed away, with his loving family surrounding him.
Alex was a highly respected young man, who bravely battled pediatric cancer from the age of 7, and sadly succumbed to the illness 17 years later. His illness never defined his life.
Alex's zest for life, love for others and his passion for embracing adventure, lead him to life experiences and many successes in 24 years, that most people take many decades to achieve, if ever.
According to Alex's family, he never let his illness hold him back from living life to the fullest, every day.
The family gathered earlier this month on the morning of December 5th, at Holmdel's historic Bayonet Farm, 41 Middletown Road, for a bittersweet event to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the Alexander Ching Memorial Dog Park. The weather was cold and raining, but just like Alex Ching is remembered for living every day to the fullest, the groundbreaking successfully took place in spite of the weather.
Alex's mom Lisa commented, “The Ching Family is incredibly grateful for all the support we have received from family, friends, and members of our community as we begin the groundbreaking for the Alexander Ching Memorial Dog Park. We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful and ideal location.”
According to Ching's family, Alex found great joy in the simple things. One of them being the visiting of dog parks. Alex Ching's joy for life will continue to be shared, as countless new happy memories will be made in a park he inspired. He will be the force behind bringing many people and their beloved furry friends together. Alex's sister Maddie commented to TAPinto, "Alex and I were only 18 months apart, he was my little brother but I learned so much from him. We were very close and always shared everything with each other, even relationship advice. He was the first person I called when I needed advice... He was my close friend and I miss him so much."
The fenced dog park is set to be built on the farm formerly owned by Laura Harding. Harding was a gracious donor of property to Holmdel years ago. It will be called 'Alex's Paw Park'. The project is said to be fully funded through private donations, fundraisers and volunteers.
Joining Alex's family for the dedication were Holmdel Mayor Greg Buontempo, Township Committeeman Prakash Santhana, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, Twin Resources (a construction company headquartered in Wall, NJ, donating time and supplies towards creating the park), and a few tail-wagging furry friends.
“Once completed, this park will provide space for our pets and their owners to recreate and meet other dog-friendly neighbors,” said Mayor Greg Buontempo. “My hope is that this wonderful project will not only honor Alex’s memory but also provide a way for our local community to grow even stronger in the years to come.”
The fenced in park will be located on the township owned property, in front of Bayonet Farm's Star Barn.
According to Holmdel Township Public Information Officer, Brian O'Mally, in a press release stated, "Holmdel is excited to partner with the Ching family on this wonderful park project in honor of their son, Alexander. The Township will keep residents up-to-date on the construction and looks forward to the dog park’s anticipated opening in late spring/early summer 2021."
More information about Alex Ching from the obituary published by TAPinto in 2018:
Early Christmas morning, on December 25, 2018, Alexander Eng Ching, 24, of Holmdel peacefully slipped into eternal rest at home, with his loving family by his side, after heroically fighting his cancer diagnosis for 17 years. Alex was born on May 19, 1994 in Red Bank, NJ. He is survived by his parents Lisa and Michael; sister Maddie; brother Ethan; paternal grandparents, Yau Chau and Siu Ching; maternal grandparents, William and Dorothy Keeley; uncles and aunts, Joseph and Kathy, Billy and Laura, Jim and Fran, Doug and Angie; and cousins Christopher, Benjamin, Patrick, Leigh, Maggie, Brady, Bryn, Megan and Brent.
Alex was first diagnosed when he 7 years old. There were very few people who knew that Alex went to bat with this disease through the rest of his life. That was because he never let it define him. Not only incredibly bright and generous, he had a creative side that led to dabbling in photography, painting, drawing, and rapping. In middle-school, he joined the cross-country team and continued to play basketball, hockey, tennis, and flag football all while undergoing treatment. He excelled in school, became an EMT with the Holmdel First Aid Squad, and served as the Student Advisory Board President for Holmdel High School Class of 2012. During graduation, he delivered a “classic Alex” speech, opening with a joke: the punchline was that he was the smartest, funniest and best looking guy in his class.
At the end of his senior year, it looked like Alex would have to delay going to college to focus on his health. But not missing a beat, he was there for freshman orientation at his dream school, Duke University! He loved his ATO fraternity brothers and every minute of his Blue Devil experience (including setting up a full size hot tub in his frat house dining room). Alex studied Mechanical Engineering, but decided to pursue a career in finance instead. To boost his resume, he studied for the CFA (Charter Financial Analyst), self-taught himself the material, and passed Level I, a test with less than a 40% pass rate. In 2016 he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and accepted a job with Raymond James & Associates in Tampa, Florida.
Alex moved to Tampa in June and joked that he was going to live in the Bay area. He loved his work and quickly formed friendships with his fellow RJ associates. However, only two short months later, Alex relocated to the New York area to start yet another round of treatment. He absolutely loved living in the city, in his Kips Bay apartment, even though it did not allow corgis (much to his mother’s relief). He continued to work for Raymond James in the NY office, and most recently was promoted to Senior Equity Research Associate.
Alex lived every day, every moment, to the fullest. He never complained about the hand he was dealt. All who knew him know this. Everything was always “fine”, even when it wasn’t. Over the past two years, he skied at Solitude Mountain in Utah, traveled to Notre Dame to visit his brother at school, went to Houston to visit his friend (to which he said the humidity felt like being in a NYC subway), rented a drop-top Camaro and drove up the California coast with his best friend, drove an ATV through the Aruba landscape with his family, walked over a mile down Broad Street to soak in the celebration after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, traveled to Colombia with two of his best friends, sat front row at a Drake concert at Madison Square Garden and saw Federer play in the US Open with his dad and grandfather. Last week, he talked about going to the Catskills with his friends for New Years.
Alex was truly an inspiring son, brother, grandson, nephew, colleague, and friend. "We will never forget the lessons he taught us about perseverance, resilience, and the power of a positive outlook. He will be missed beyond words, but will always remain in our hearts. Forever."
Alex pictured below loved dogs. As a child fighting cancer he found joy in the therapy dogs, and he had a family dog growing up. When he was living and working in NYC, he was often too sick to take on the responsibility of having his own dog, but he loved to visit the dog parks in NYC. The picture below is of Alex visiting the dog park in NYC to enjoy watching the dogs who visited. Photo is courtesy of the Ching family.