Leukemia Has Won

Despite my best efforts over the past two and a half years, the leukemia has won. Due to liver inflammation and GvHD, the liver is too damaged to continue with treatment and there are no further options. I don’t want to spend the rest of my time in the hospital so I am choosing to remain at home where I can be comfortable with family and friends. If you want to read more about my journey through all of this, here are all of my posts with the cancer tag.

Since all of my plugins are open-source, they are free to be forked by reputable authors in the WordPress community. It would mean a lot to have my legacy go on.

I want to thank everyone who has given me moral support through these difficult times. It has meant a lot hearing all of the love and support pour in from my friends and colleagues from around the world. I have been so grateful for all of the opportunities that have been given to me in my life, professionally and personally. Automatticians have really helped me grow professionally by giving me an amazing career for the past nine years. My car friends have helped me grow socially and provided me so many good memories and life experiences. The people that I have gotten to know in the WordPress community have been very supportive as well. I am amazed by how many friends I have made and how much they have been there for me. They all have enriched my life and helped me grow as a person.

Thank you, everyone.

305 thoughts on “Leukemia Has Won

  1. Thank you so much Alex. I host and maintain several websites for non-profits in my spare time, and I use your regenerate thumbnails plugin on every one. Your work has helped my community collect food, clothing, and diapers for the most needy. It has helped give free music lessons to kids in areas with no funding for music education. It has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars at silent auctions and fundraising events. Your work will continue to help people forever.

  2. Hi Alex,

    Fellow Automattician here. We never worked on a project together or got a chance to hang out much in person, but I’ve always admired you for the sheer number of plugins and code you gave the WordPress community. As I followed your battle with cancer, I admired you even more.

    Thank you for what you’ve given us, in legacy and spirit.

  3. You don’t know me either, but I’ve been a beneficiary of your work for the longest time. I wanted to simply say, thank you. I know how hard it is to build and maintain WordPress plugins and you have supported so many with your contributions. When we use these tools for WordPress, it sometimes comes to mind, what would happen if…

    Well, that’s happened a few times and will happen again. It’s the mystery of life and all we can do is give thanks to you four putting your generous heart and mind into the community and doing for everyone what others may not have have the drive and intellect to do.

    Your legacy will live on. I’m sure of it. Peace be with you. I’m sure your family will cherish every moment they get to spend with you for the days you remain with us.

  4. Hey Alex. I’ve been using WordPress since 2005 and remember using your plugins right away. The project you contributed to has allowed me to work as a developer since then and websites I have created have been used during public emergencies here in Santa Barbara County; real lives were impacted in serious ways and I appreciate the part you played in that. Thank you Viper!

  5. Alex, thank you for everything you’ve done for the WordPress community. I can’t count the number of times I’ve used your plugins. I hope that the time you have left is filled with peace, love, and the joy of being surrounded by your loved ones.

  6. Alex, sorry to hear this. Thanks for all your work on WordPress.

    You’ve probably had lots of people telling you to try all sorts of “alternative” therapies. I don’t want to be one of them. Dignity is important.

    In 2015, the University of Manitoba released some really interesting results with dandelion root. You can get it from any health food store. A pound should cost $20. Two heaping tablespoons per day will end up costing you 40 cents or so. Web search will pull up much more info. A lot of people are having extremely good results for leukemia and certain types of cancer.

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  8. The number of people you’ve impacted is truly monumental, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be counted among that multitude.

    Thank you for your generosity, your curiosity, your interest, your heart, and, most of all, for being you <3

    PS: I no longer recall if Quebec is where we first met in person, but I do remember convincing you there to autograph something so I could take it back home to my girlfriend Michelle, a big FinalGear.com fan. All I could find was an old receipt 🙂 She still has it somewhere!

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  10. Hi Alex! I’m also one of the thousands of people who used your plugins and I want to thank you for that. Plugins and WordPress aside you are a real hero and a humble person who I admire and will remember as a great human being.

  11. Alex, we have never met in person, neither online, nor IRL, but I’d like for you to know that your name and your WordPress plugins have been known and dear to—I guess—hundreds of thousands of people over here in Germany for the past decade or so. Regenerate Thumbnails was and is part of the ‘must-have’ bundle of every WordPress service provider I know, and your story painfully reminds me I must let more open-source contributors know more often, and in tangible fashion, what their work and passion means to me. Thank you for everything! I’m sorry I didn’t thank you earlier; I shall do better in the future.

    As for ‘best wishes’, ‘good vibes’ and the like, I have to confess I’m genuinely unable to produce anything word-like that feels even remotely appropriate. I sure hope you’ll be able to enjoy this life of yours, however long or not it’s going to last! <3 Your family is in my heart, whom I don't know, but still. I’m asking the God I pray to to watch over you and your loved ones, Alex. Travel gently, be safe, and as Jeff said, leave the light on for the rest of us.

  12. Alex,
    Thank you for your work and contributions in the various communities. I used a ViperBond007 WordPress plugin of yours for years.

    I can only imagine your state of mind right now, and the same for the people closest to you… I pray that you’re able to enjoy everyone and everything you like and that you have much more time than you think to do so

  13. Pingback: WPTavern: Alex Mills Ends His Battle With Leukemia | wpRandy Sewall's Point - WordPress and WooCommerce Expert

  14. My dad was just diagnosed with leukemia this past week and this showed up on Hacker News. Pretty serendipitous. Thanks for sharing your experiences so I know what to expect. I really appreciate your openness and sincerity through your journey and wish you and your family the best. Godspeed, Alex.

  15. I trust that you are sure it has won, but as a person who does computational work for cancer research, I’m often saddened to find that most oncologists who view some treatments that are in fact available as “possibilities in the future”, and never try them with their patients. So, just in case You’ve tried “targeted molecular therapy”, where they sequence the genome of your tumor, and cross-correlate with existing drugs based on the genes affected. Many companies do this, like Foundation Medicine. Several years ago Google would buy this test by default for employees whot got cancer. I worked with colleagues who treated Lucas here specifically for leukemia: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/health/in-gene-sequencing-treatment-for-leukemia-glimpses-of-the-future.html), who is still alive today, when before the treatment was on his death bed. Just yesterday I met a guy getting a similar treatment at OHSU in Portland for leukemia, based on that work, for a mutation in the same gene. Be aware that >90% of oncologists even have patients tested for this stuff.

    And there is also even more recent immunotherapy, which has had stunning success with some cancer types, I though don’t know if it has worked with leukemia like the targeted molecular stuff.

    Take care.

  16. Also a very thankful plugin user of yours. Praying for your full healing and recovery, as where there is no way, Miracles do happen.

  17. You’ve fought like a warrior. You’re brave, Alex! I have never used any plugin or even wordpress, but all your posts made me realize, what a warrior you are! You will stay happy and contented at home. Enjoy the warmth it gives you!

  18. One of the greatest privileges that ever came from working at Automattic was being able to hang out with you and chat. You’re a badass, Alex, and you’re someone who will never (and I mean never!) be forgotten. Thank you for everything that you’ve ever done for the open source ecosystem and also just for being a great guy. We never had a bad conversation and I always learned from you. You rock. You’re always in my prayers and thoughts.

  19. Thanks for Regenerate Thumbnails.
    Once I heard your (internet) name I never forgot it because it reminds me of a car showroom with a Dodge Viper that was across the road from my office in Cupertino, CA. I’d just moved from Ireland where I only owned a bike. Yeah, a bizarre memory association.

    Be with your family and absorb their love and support.

    Damien, Dublin, Ireland

  20. I localized your Regenerate Thumbnails completely yesterday, including plugin description page.

    I think this will help more people getting benefit from this plugin you developed, and your developer work makes this world bright.

    Sending lots of prayers and love from Taipei, Taiwan.

  21. Thank you for all your help and the work you did in the WordPress community. I wish I can just 10% of what you did.

    Rest my friend knowing there are people who is continuing your efforts.

    Thanks again for my heart

  22. Thank you for everything you’ve done for WP and the open source community… I’m not good at these things but… I hope you enjoy every last minute of life with your family and loved ones. You’ve made quite a legacy in the WordPress world and it won’t go anywhere. Thanks man. Cheers.

  23. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for all what you have did to make this world better. We have never met , but like any other WP user, your plugins made us smile. Now with this post , you had shown your strength and also showed a lot of others how they should be strong enough to fight. At times Miracles happen and hope to have one for you as well.

  24. To Alex Mills

    Thank you for the wonderful WordPress plugins.
    I live in Japan, but you have been very helpful.

    I hope your life is wonderful to the end.

  25. Hi Alex,

    I guess the only thing I can say now is “thank you”.

    Your work changed a lot of lives.

    People don’t use to think about who helped or made something to help their work or personal projects. But if we stop a second we’ll be able to see you are responsible to help so many people and change so many lives.

    So forever thank you.

  26. You’re amazing, Alex and an inspiration to so many, for so many things. For me it’s your contributions to the WordPress community and also, your fight against cancer. I’ve always enjoyed the chats on Windows, WSL and Surface Laptops.

    Best wishes and prayers from another part of the world!

  27. I’m so sorry to read this and I want to thank you for getting me more involved in WordPress. You see, it was your Weathericon widget that really made me look at and appreciate coding.

    I had a problem with IE and how it rendered the weather, This was 2007 and looking at the code, looking at how it worked was why I really started with this community. After that I jumped in and started providing support. I’ve been doing it ever since and you’re really the reason why.

    You’ve touched many people’s lives and may not be fully aware of it. Thank you for that, thanks for all of it.

  28. Hi Alex. I’m saddened to read this update but you’ve fought hard and deserve dignity. I thank you for sharing your journey as this will help others I am sure. Thank you too for everything you’ve done for the WP community too. Regenerate thumbnails was one of the first plugins I ever used and has been installed on many sites I’ve worked on formany yeara. You are a wonderful person and many peoples lives are better because of yours. God bless.

  29. Alex, when I started out in WordPress you were one of the developers who inspired me and I learned a lot from your work. Thank you for your valuable and generous contribution to our community. You have created a legacy you can and should be proud of. God bless you and your family.

  30. As so many others here have said: you’ve been with me since the beginning. I’ve installed & built literally *hundreds* of WP sites, and you contributed to all of them with your work. Thank you for absolutely everything you’ve done. ❤️

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