SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco 49ers upcoming season will open in a touching way for the family of one fallen fan. Nearly two weeks ago, Alex Fernandez lost his years-long battle with brain cancer at the age of 20. Among the things included on his bucket list, Fernandez stated that he wanted to attend a 49ers game this season, but died before that could happen.
Team defensive end Quinton Dial was touched by Fernandez’s story. Back in June, Dial took it upon himself to help make Fernandez’s dream come true. Through his non-profit organization, QD’s Kids Foundation, Dial sent the fan a bag of 49ers merchandise, including a poster, hat, blanket, and jerseys from several of the players that included Colin Kaepernick, Patrick Willis and Dial himself. Dial also intended to have Fernandez and his family at the 49ers’ season opening game against the Texans.
After Fernandez passed, Dial was determined to keep his promise as best he could and plans to have the family of the young man attend the opening game as his guests, while also dedicating the game to Alex.
According to AL.com, Dial spoke of the lasting impression Fernandez left on him and his intent to honor him: “I want Alex Fernandez to know that he has made a difference in my life by sharing his story… My first game is going to be dedicated to him for being a brave hero and for making a difference in the lives of others.”
Memorial services for Alex were held on Tuesday, July 21. His family members are said to have draped a #92 Dial jersey from a semi truck for the ceremony.
Fernandez’s family is hoping to carry on his legacy by raising money for the “Team Alex Fundraiser.” In an attempt to ‘pay it forward,’ the donations are meant to go to other families who are going through what Alex and his family went through and help them achieve everything on their loved one’s bucket list.
Donations for the “Team Alex Fundraiser” can be made through Fernandez’ stepmother Angie Fernandez at (559) 804-8736.