Alexis understands the power of a good story and its ability to make sense of the world and create empathy in others. For many children, their imaginations are made up of characters who experience danger, heartache, suspense and adventure, but their own lives remain relatively normal. Alexis’s life has been much more like that of a character battling for her existence against evil forces.
Fighting the Dragon
The first sign that something was wrong came with a fever.
Alexis’s mother Angela remembers, “She was very pale and more tired than usual.”
With this strange occurrence in Alexis’s health came an even more frightening one. Petechiae, small red dots that signal bleeding in the skin, began to show up. Doctors became concerned about the larger indications of Alexis’s health issues and decided to test for illness. What they found started Alexis and her family on a treacherous path not unlike that of a heroine’s quest to thwart villains.
“It was a complete shock to us and still is,” Angela said.
Alexis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a disease that necessitated her immediate stay at Seattle Children’s Hospital and over two and a half years of treatment.
The Princess Returns to the Castle
Now, Alexis has come out on the other side of cancer. She is almost done with debilitating chemo sessions. She can look forward to days when a collection of pills don’t need to be taken and she can avoid the pain of needles to test her health.
She’ll be able to put hospital visits in her past and experience a normal childhood.
Angela reflects on the joy of making it through leukemia treatments: “We finally feel like our lives are becoming normal and [we’re] enjoying not having to check Alexis’s temperature twice a day.”
Her One True Wish
In some stories, the princess has a fairy godmother, a wizened warlock or a half-human half-horse friend to guide them in their quest. With the help of her family and the Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington chapter, Alexis decided she wanted to raise awareness about leukemia by turning her journey with cancer into an entertaining cartoon.
Her inspiration came from another well-known story, “Charlie Brown.” In one episode, “Why, Charlie Brown, Why,” Janice, a friend of the protagonist Charlie, gets sick with cancer. Seeing a story similar to her own, Alexis decided that she wanted to have her story told, too.
A top-notch creative agency, World Famous, took on the role of giving Alexis her one true wish. They put together a team of creative professionals and started working on an animated version of Alexis’s battle with cancer.
World Famous made sure that Alexis was involved in many of the critical decisions for the cartoon, from conception to development of the completed video. They had her decide what her animated character would be wearing and even developed 3D versions of magic wands so she could test them out. Using cutouts of an artist’s rendering of “Princess Alexis,” the World Famous team showed Alexis how her story would be told.
The finished video will depict Alexis’s battle with leukemia in the form of a menacing dragon. In it, she’ll get to see her struggle turned into a meaningful tale. It’s the happily-ever-after of a triumphant princess.
Thanks to the Seattle Sounders FC for adopting Alexis’s wish.