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A year and a half ago, my kids’ buddy Alex Smiley was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was 11 years old.alex_smiley

He went through a series of punishing Chemotherapy treatments and finally was pronounced cancer-free last fall.

A month ago the Leukemia came back.

Alex has chosen to stand up and FIGHT.

Since Alex is losing his hair, several of his friends, including Dylan Fancher, all decided to shave their heads as a sign of Solidarity with Alex during his healing and recovery process.

Below is a video of Alex shaving Dylan’s head in the restroom of Alex’s hospital room, a little over a week ago:

Alex Smiley shaves Dylan Fancher’s head:
Solidarity, and Friends Forever


Just the day before, Alex had begun his Chemo treatments. (The joy of shaving Dylan’s head sorta made up for the first day of chemo.)

This past Saturday night, Alex’s temperature soared to 105 degrees and he was rushed into Intensive Care.

Then, this Sunday morning, Alex began a six hour nose bleed – which can potentially be fatal, as he was losing a lot of blood.

This has happened before.

EVERY single time it happened, it was at the same time that his parents, who are worship leaders at our church, were scheduled to lead.

Every single time before, they had canceled and stayed by Alex’s side.

Jess sings anyway.

Jess sings anyway.

But not this time.

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This time Sam and Jess stuck to their guns. As I watched her sing that morning I knew it took a lot of guts to be two hours away from Milwaukee where her fragile son was in Intensive Care.

But Jess was putting first things first. She was placing her trust where it can always only be put: In the hands of Someone greater.

A resolution to embrace joy instead of defeat, victory instead of despair, to press forward instead of staying behind.

Yesterday Alex was released from Intensive Care and was hungry when he came out. (Good sign!)

My friend, understand this: Your dear son may not have Leukemia and your problems may be small compared to theirs.

Or… your challenges very well may be just as big or even greater.

But regardless of whatever battle you’re in right now, know this:

Whenever you are about to make the most important decisions, or act upon vital decisions already made, THAT IS WHEN YOUR RESOLVE WILL BE THE MOST SEVERELY TESTED.




Arm yourself for battle. Do not be un-prepared, or under-prepared. Ready yourself.

Expect that when you’re about to execute your plan attack, surprise counterattacks will strike. Be poised and ready for them.

When the shit hits the fan: Smile knowingly…. say to yourself, “I KNEW something might be coming, so I prepared myself for this moment.”

From the movie Braveheart, in the words of William Wallace:

“Strength and Honor!”

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

16 Comments on “Solidarity”

  1. this story is very touch me in the deepest part of my soul.may save his soul in paradise.
    all the best.
    the story of EZRA is very interesting.

  2. Hello Perry,
    I’m from Central Europe, Czech Republic. My name is Norbert Kujan.
    I will pray for Alex several times a day daily.
    I also donate your PayPal account.
    Can I add this donate link to my Facebook account so that to help Alex’s family and Alex ,too?
    I read about Alex on Perry Marshall blog.
    God bless you and Alex and Alex’s family!
    Norbert with family.

  3. Perry,

    This is a difficult email for me to write. Too many minefields… but here goes:

    I’ve just arranged with the Workers of Our Lady in Canada to send a special present to Alex via Vineyard of Oak Park.

    What is the present? A medal kissed by Our Lady at Garabandal (Spain).

    Why is it special? Because when the children (whom Mary was visiting at that time in the 60s) offered Her many objects to kiss, the Virgin made this promise:

    “Through the kiss I have bestowed on these objects, My Son will perform prodigies.”

    The proof: Numerous healings for Leukemia, cancer, tumors, paralysis and more.

    Look. I’m not making this up. Go to and read them for yourself. A lot of recent healings from the Ukraine too.

    Also check out Dr. Mike Rozeluk’s story. Before he and his wife became involved with the Garabandal ministry, he lived in constant pain for 8 years. But after Joey Lomangino ( put his medal on him and prayed, all that pain completely disappeared.

    Anyway, a kissed medal by Our Lady will be arriving at Vineyard of Oak Park for the Smileys.

    However, Dr. Mike told me (via email) that he and his wife will be away for 2 weeks (another healing ministry trip I believe) and won’t be able to prepare and send the medal right away.

    By my calculations, the medal should arrive sometime in September… but if the Smileys are lucky… maybe late August.

    So let them know.

    BTW… there is another issue to address here.

    In a month or so… a present from the Mother of Our Lord will be entering their church.

    My concern: How will they be feeling when the medal arrives? Thankful and expectant? Indifferent? Antagonistic because someone is being a sneaky and opportunistic SOB in forcing his beliefs on them? Something else?

    Listen. In sending this present to Alex and his family, it is neither my hope nor intention that they leave their faith (or church) to join a Catholic one.

    Having said that, however (and I know that I am walking on eggshells here), would it be too much trouble for you to ask the Smileys to please start praying the Rosary?

    Why? Throughout the history of the Church it has been shown time and time again to be the most powerful and effective prayer ever.

    But don’t take my word for it. Nor the Popes who have praised and honored it.

    But listen to what Lucia (one of the children whom Mary appeared to at Fatima) said:

    “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given us a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there’s no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families… that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

    Is it any wonder that wherever Our Lady appears in the world — whether at Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal or Medjugorje — her emphasis is always on the Rosary.

    In fact, one of the 15 promises by Mary for those who do recite the Rosary is:

    “You shall obtain all you ask of Me.”

    With so much to gain… what have the Smileys got to lose by praying the Rosary for their son Alex?

    God Bless!


    1. Mark,

      Thanks for this note. I am really glad you wrote it. I am passing this along directly to Sam and Jess.

      Some thoughts, in no particular order:

      About 5 years ago, one of my close Christian friends hit the skids with his faith. He’d been to seminary for 4 years, had a master’s degree in theology, razor sharp guy.

      He said:

      “OK Perry I’ve read the New Testament in Greek and Aramaic, I know it inside and out, and even though the evangelical Christians say miracles disappeared after the apostles died out, I see NOTHING in the Bible to suggest such a thing. We SHOULD have miracles today.”

      And then he said:

      “So Perry, WHERE ARE THE MIRACLES???”

      Ooof. Talk about an UN comfortable question. It was like a punch in the gut.

      Because he was right. Many protestants insist miracles were only for 2000 years ago not now, and that’s what my parents always told me. But nothing in scripture supports that idea whatsoever.

      So… I started watching for miracles.

      (I had certainly HEARD of miracles happening to people, but it was always 2nd or 3rd hand, or maybe some email going around, or urban legend… you know how that is.)

      For awhile I was concerned I wouldn’t find any. If I couldn’t find any, then when push came to shove, I would have to seriously wonder of the whole of Christianity was some sort of hoax.

      Well little by little the miracles started showing up.

      The first one was a friend of mine Geri Keck in Tipp City Ohio who had lupus for YEARS. Then suddenly one day in her Bible study a lady suddenly stood up and said, “Gold told me to pray for you RIGHT NOW” so she did and Geri was healed. NO MORE LUPUS.

      I started finding books where miracles and healings were carefully documented. I started having healing experiences myself. One such experience happened in India 2 years ago, I was with my customer service manager Jeremy when it happened, it happened right before my eyes. You can read all about it, including information about some of these books etc., here:

      I have easily a dozen friends who can tell you stories of serious problems being healed, things like cancerous breast tumors and the like. One woman in our church just had this happen about 2 months ago. Her doctor was so shocked that he made her do a whole ‘nother set of tests just to be sure it was gone.

      And yes I go to a charismatic church, one in which gifts like this are honored and exercise. This is like a sex change operation compared to the church where I grew up. Oh, and by the way our faith community is STRONGLY believing God for a complete healing of Alex from his lukemia. We take this whole drama as an attack on our church family and we are fighting back.

      Another ‘sex change operation’ event is my view of the Catholic branch of Christianity, compared to where and when I grew up. I was brought up in an extremely strict protestant church that bordered on Menonite (think ULTRA conservative) and the party line there was that Catholics were BAD BAD BAD. That’s what I was taught.

      But I eventually grew up…. meanwhile my brother-in-law Alan got his PhD in Church History at Iowa State University.

      Alan and I would have conversations about things. Some philosophical, moral or theological question would come up (I love discussing stuff like that) and Alan would say things like, “Well the first people to seriously write and think about that issue were the such-and-such monks in Belgium in 800 AD and they said….”

      It became apparent to me that the Catholic church really is “the mother ship” of Christianity.

      Now depending on your point of view that ship may have a lot of barnacles on it and I personally think the Catholic church of today in the USA has a pretty serious Quality Control problem. But nonetheless if you delve into the core center of the Catholic church you have the church fathers – people like Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, St. Theresa, St. Francis and hundreds of others. They are SHARP thinkers, they have written at length about some of the most complex issues that human beings have ever faced, and frankly there probably has not been an original thought in Christianity in 500 years.

      Christians of all stripes ignore the church fathers at their peril.

      I am still a protestant but I have great respect for the Catholics; for their value of tradition and unity; for the great writing, thinking, art and music over the last 2000 years.

      And: then there are the miracles.

      There are books and books and books documenting these miracles. Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje and much more.

      A popular atheist jingoism is: “If God is real why doesn’t he heal amputees?”

      I have spent ZERO time investigating this specific question but I’m willing to bet you $100 there are at least a few dozen amputees out there saying “Dude, I was an amputee and I DID get healed, my arm literally grew back. Why don’t you friggin’ listen to me?” (If somebody is familiar with such a story I’d love to hear about it, of course.)

      I have a book “God and the Sun at Fatima” by Stanley Jaki who scrupulously documents the eyewitness testimony of the Fatima event that happened in 1913.

      I recently bought a book called “The Miracle Detective” by Randall Sullivan, in which an avowed skeptic begins investigating the miracles of the Catholic Church and to his great surprise finds himself converted to being a Christ-follower as a result of his research.

      I don’t know all that much about the Rosary but I don’t doubt that powerful things are being unleashed in the events and things that you are talking about.

      No doubt the Smileys will be grateful to receive this from you.

      God bless. Thanks, Mark-

      Perry Marshall

      1. Hi Perry,

        I really appreciate your respect for the Catholic faith. I like to call myself an Americanized Mexican (I was born and raised in Mexico for a significant part of my life) and a Protestantized Catholic. I surrendered my life to God (that is Catholicese) or born-again (Protestantese) at my Catholic Confirmation retreat. I spent a lot of time in YWAM (I’m guessing you are familiar with it) and met some Protestants who didn’t just ‘put up’ with my Catholic faith. What I found was that lingo is a bigger obstacle to understanding each other. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain to friends Catholic doctrine, especially when it comes to the saints and even more so Mary, and it was always most effective when I “entered the conversation in their head” as opposed to trying to adopt new terminology and phrasing.

        All this to make a comment about the Rosary. Many Protestants believe that Catholics’ prayers are like empty gongs, just repeating memorized words. Some Catholics also believe that. But the rosary is actually an incredible tool for a deeper level of meditation into the life of Jesus. There is great site that describes the purpose and history of the Rosary: My favorite line in describing it is “It can seem a repetitive prayer but instead it is like two sweethearts who many times say to one another the words: “I love you”…”

        Has Alex’s family been able to pay off his medical bills or are they still taking donations?

        1. I honestly do not know the exact status of Alex’ medical bills but if you’re interested in donating the worst thing that could possibly happen is they pay it forward and help someone else. If you’re so inclined, by all means give.

  4. Thank you for sharing Alex’s story. You are doing an amazing thing by helping him and showing support. We just launched a new website – – that is available to help in these type of circumstances.

    Again, thank you for introducing us to Alex and continuously providing great Google information!

  5. Perry,

    You don’t know me (yet), but some day it is my greatest ambitions to meet you. I have been deeply depressed lately over my current situation and it’s about to get worse. There is a very real possibility that I may lose my job and I don’t have much to fall back on with my current business. As bad as it is I ran across this story about Alex and realized that life just isn’t fair and why do bad things happen to good people.

    In this thing called life there are times you just want some sympathy from someone, but nobody is giving it. If you have taught me one thing Perry it’s that our own personal future and well being is entirely up to us and not the corporate Dilbert cube as you like to refer to. Like I mentioned before it is an ambition of mine to meet you some day, hopefully at a boot camp when I can afford it. I have several goals to accomplish and following your teachings is easily in the top 3. As bad as it is right now for me and as broke as I am I didn’t hesitate for 1 second and make a donation to Alex. You have that kind of power over people and one day I sincerely hope to pay you back for all you have done for me.

    Your e-mails are literally all that keeps me going and one day I promise to break through and let you know how much I appreciate the effort you put out in helping people achieve their goals. Give Alex my best and once I’m through this I hope to be able to do even more for people just like him. Thanks again Perry, Steve

  6. $100.00 worth of Perry Marshall internet marketing educational material is worth $100.00. The amount in the cart can be changed to $100.00 instead of $30.00. That’s what I did (and I am self un-employed!) and challenge each of you to do the same. ;)

    One of my projects is a breast cancer information site for alternative and complimentary medicine (any cancer really). Much like that above but I envision it as being larger someday (no ads). There are many people with cancer that have zero healthcare. Heck, there are people in the world that have internet access, but live on $.50 a week. For many, alternative medicine is the only hope they have.

    For the lucky ones in the US, cancer is a disease that effects not just the physical body of those battling it, but the mental, emotional, spiritual and financial parts of their lives AND their family and friend’s lives as well!

    My ‘inheritance’ went to create this: . (That’s my Mom & Dad at the beginning of the about page…Dad is 88 and in (much) better shape than I am in. Lol.) PS-I shaved my head yesterday. Some times the knowlege that strangers care has a more healing effect than a team of doctors.

    So give generously

  7. Dear Perry,

    Be prepared indeed!

    Having recently encountered ongoing episodes of cancer in my family and also in close friends of my family, I’ve been doing just that, getting prepared by reading up on cancers and cures, conventional and non-conventional, for the last few months.

    Unfortunately, What I found is that there is a LOT of misinformation out there… and just thinking that a quick google will give oneself all the information needed if ever the big C was diagnosed is quite unlikely. What is more likely is that most of us would simply go into shock, and just blindly go along with the (potentially expensive) approaches recommended by the “experts”.

    Whilst I am not conventionally “religious”, I do have a growing faith in God and the miracles of life that He designed for us. (and yes I did serendipitously stumble across one of your other websites recently which further reinforced my faith)

    It shouldn’t be a huge leap in one’s faith to expect that as part of His design, that there are ways to cure oneself through what He has provided to us.

    Genesis 1:29
    Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

    Yes I am referring to nutrition and using anti-cancer foods as a way of both curing and preventing many (but not all) cancers or even just as an adjunct to the conventional treatments.
    Combining this with de-stressing through prayer or meditation is another important part of the healing process.

    Out of the many sites that I’ve come across this one stands out as one of the most informative and also as a great stepping off point to other sources of information to better inform oneself (with no hard sell on any products… in fact I haven’t yet come across any products that they actually sell). And please everyone be very sceptical of what you read online but do be open to the possibility.

    So why have I written all this up? Well whilst I contributed financially yesterday, I actually felt strongly guided to share some of what I’ve found. I believe that this nutritional information has the potential to really help Alex recover and to also help keep the cancer at bay once Alex goes into remission again after his chemotherapy.
    (btw comments unfortunately weren’t working at the time so I’m back again this morning [Melbourne time] such is the strength of that guidance!).

    Perry, thank you so much for what you’re doing for Alex and his family. You truly demonstrate that there is much more to business than just making money. If you would help me by passing this on to Alex’s parents I would be most appreciative.


  8. Perry,

    Thanks for writing this. I needed this reminder about testing (it’s been a hell of a week, and it’s only Wednesday!).

    My band is playing what could turn out to be a “breakthrough” gig tonight in Duluth, GA (NE Atlanta) tonight, and, frankly, with all the life “stuff” that’s happened this week, I was getting discouraged. I needed this “heads up!”

    Thanks, Perry. If you were in Atlanta, I’d invite you out to the show tonight at Wild Bill’s. :-)

    Take care,

    – John

  9. Sir,
    I write a daily devotional series and with your permission I will include this story in the next few days.
    You and the family have my prayers and I trust that God will bless you all richly

  10. God Bless Alex and his family. I just worked on my 101 goals for myself in this short lifetime and one of my goals was to help children with Leukemia since I lost a dear friend Sheri-Lee Malizia to the disease. She was doing Art Therapy for children with Leukemia in Canada. This is my little way to say thanks for all the love I received from Sheri-Lee. Keep on fighting Smiley! Love and Blessings, Michael Craig

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