Elexis was the classic "life of the party" type of little girl. She loved to dance and sing. From her television set, to her bed spread, to her fingernails, it was simple to see that pink was her favorite color. Her smile was infectious and left a lasting impression on anyone who came in contact with her.
In May of 2008, Elexis' Kindergarten teacher noticed that when asked to stand for any activity Elexis would sit after five minutes while complaining that her leg was hurting, she also noticed that at lunch Elexis was not eating like she used to. Ms. Audrey was very concerned as Elexis was one of her star students and it was just not like her, so she called us in to find out what was causing these changes. We had already noticed that Elexis' appetite has changed drastically and she was losing weight very quickly and had already taken Elexis to her pediatrician who prescribed an appetite enhancer she was currently on.
In June 2008, before the appointment with the gastroenterologist Elexis was at dance rehearsal for the biggest show of the year. She was starting to feel sick and we all thought she was just getting nervous since this was supposed to be her first big show. Her instructor sat her out and gave her something ice cold to drink. She sat out the rest of the rehearsal saying she didn't feel well. By the end of that day Elexis had a fever and was throwing up everything she ate or drank.
After trips to the pediatrician, bloodwork and receiving a ct scan, our world fell apart when Elexis was "loosely" diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, called Neuroblastoma. Her mom was instructed to have a biopsy done to be sure. Elexis was transferred to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center per mom's request and after a biopsy, it was confirmed that Elexis had stage IV neuroblastoma, just two days before her 6th birthday. She spent her 6th birthday in the hospital getting her first round of chemotherapy.
Elexis went through 15 more rounds of chemotherapy (high and low doses - a total of 16 rounds), 1 round of hot antibodies (3F8 and radioactive iodine), mibg therapy, 6 surgeries, radiation (twice a day for 10 days) 3 stem cell rescues and was still fighting until the day she left us at 12:01am on July 15, 2010, less than a week after her 8th birthday.
Elexis fought for two years with a smile on her face, she laughed, she played and she kept a positive attitude. She was full of life and didn't let being hooked up to an iv pole, being bald, not being able to live a normal life stop her from living. She lived, laughed and loved despite of her circumstances. Elexis loved school and while at the hospital even while receiving chemotherapy her nurses knew Elexis would not be in her room but knew where to find her, at the table with Ms. Ann-Marie her teacher learning. Elexis was known as "Warrior Princess Elexis" to her family and friends as she fought like a warrior but remained a princess with fashion and attitude.
Elexis' life was cut short and her dream of becoming a nurse died with her simply because she exhausted all the available treatments. Our kids are our future but how much are they worth? Should a lack of funding be the reason for our children's death? Our kids are priceless and funding should not be the reason for their lives to be cut short. If we work together we can make a difference in a child's life. I believe there is a cure out there and the only thing between that cure and children like Elexis is funding. You can make a difference by hosting a bake sale or making a donation. We are all in this together so be a Good Cookie by giving another family hope.