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Generous Strangers Help Bay Area Teen With Cancer Cross Items Off Bucket List

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A Bay Area teenager has been working through his bucket list as fast as he can, because he doesn't have much time left. Alex Matlosz-Cox is living out his dreams, thanks to generous support from complete strangers.

Alex put on a brand new uniform and picked up a few martial arts moves outside his San Jose home.

The 17-year-old earned an honorary black belt after the hour-long lesson, but Alex has been fighting for a long time.

"Where I find my strength is from a period of time where being strong is the only thing that I could be," Alex said. "I could not afford to be weak."

He has been battling an aggressive bone cancer since he was 15. The cancer has now spread to his lungs, and doctors have given him less than two weeks to live.

"I'm not so much afraid of it, because I understand that death is a part of life," Alex said.

Alex has chosen an adventurous life, and with the help of donors on, he's checked off most of his 12-item bucket list. The teen has ridden in a Ferrari, sailed on a private boat, learned how to fence and flown in a police helicopter.

"It's completely unfair what's happening to Alex, I just felt like we had to do something," said Elizabeth Lavass, co-owner of Bamboo Village Martial Arts.

Lavassa brought her martial arts school from Brentwood to his front yard.

"It was pretty awesome. I enjoyed seeing students demonstrate their skills," Alex said.

These days, Alex enjoys reading through thousands of cards and emails from people he's inspired.

When asked what the hardest part was for Alex, he said, "Leaving everyone else behind."

"I know I'll be fine because this is what's going to happen to me, I am going to pass on," Alex said. "But the main problem is I don't know what's going to happen after I'm gone here...with mom..."

Alex is determined to celebrate his 18th birthday this Saturday with his mom Bobbie, and even make it to next year's Christmas.

"I'm going to fight my hardest. And if I lose, that's okay, because at least I can say I tried," he said.

Since March of 2012, Alex has had 16 surgeries and 14 months of chemo. His mom told KPIX 5 that she's working on taking him skydiving, and to see the Northern Lights if he is well enough.

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