Cancer is scary at any age. But when you're three-years-old and the doctors tell you that the disease inside your body will require lots of intense treatments, it can be just terrifying. Alexis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was three after doctors noticed red spots on her skin and decided she needed chemotherapy and medication to keep the disease in which bone marrow makes too many white blood cells at bay.
Three years later, Alexis' cancer is being held in check and so when the Make-A-Wish foundation came calling asking if Alexis had any requests, the first-grader said what she really wanted was a cartoon that would inspire other pediatric cancer patients to be strong, even when they're afraid. She was inspired by a "Charlie Brown" episode in which Chuck's friend gets leukemia and "she knew she wanted to do something to help others suffering with cancer," says the Make-A-Wish site on Alexis' story.
Make-A-Wish hooked Alexis' family up with the creative team at World Famous, who worked with her on how her character would look.
And then they made a badass 3:40 cartoon, "Princess Alexis's Wish Comes True," that tells her story in anime style.
The short film recounts the epic battle between Princess Alexis and dark dragon Kemia of the Marrow Wood, who snatches Alexis away and locks her in a dark tower "a million feet high." And, like a lot of pediatric cancer patients, Alexis' friends in the 'toon stay away, afraid that Kemia will get them too and lock them away in the tower.
"Hope seemed all but lost, but Alexis believed that one day she would escape the tower and be free," says the narrator. But, as an angelic nurse tells her, she can't run away or hide from Kemia, she must fight, and so the nurse presents the "What is Leukemia" pamphlet, which tells the legend of a magic wand that will defeat Kemia, but drain Alexis of her strength... and her hair.
And guess what? She was brave, and she was strong, even though she was afraid, and the magic wand sent Kemia away. (According to Cancer.net, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common form of childhood leukemia -- affection about 2,670 children under 14 in 205 -- and has a five-year survival rate above 85%.)
Also, there was a red carpet premiere and Alexis was really a princess for a night. She pulled up to the theater, where tons of fans were shouting her name and she was escorted to her seat by Prince Charming.
"Help us make Alexis's wish gain worldwide attention to raise awareness of pediatric cancer by forwarding the link to her video via social media," requests the Make-A-Wish website.