Early Christmas morning 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 May 19, 1994 in Red Bank. 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 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.
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 résumé, he studied for the CFA, taught himself the material, and passed Level I, a test with less than a 40 percent 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 New York 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 Roger 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.
Visitation was Dec. 28 at Holmdel Funeral Home, Holmdel. A funeral mass was held Dec. 29 at St. Catharine’s Church, Holmdel.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Alex’s name to pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at giving.mskcc.org or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at give.chop.edu.