Five-year- old Lexi has faced challenge after challenge since birth, but dad Kris says she is the strongest and happiest little girl. In April 2018, her wish to go on holiday was granted as she travelled to Spain with her family to enjoy quality time in the sun, away from the daily worries and trauma.
It was like our world had ended
An MRI at ten-months-old revealed that the middle of Lexi’s brain is missing, meaning the two halves don’t communicate properly. Kris says, “At that moment, we just broke down crying. It felt like our world had ended.. Now aged five, Lexi’s developmental age is about the same as when she was diagnosed. Although she can’t walk, she is learning a few words and has such a strong personality.
She’s the boss!
“Lexi loves to crawl around after her older brothers and have little nonsense arguments with them over nothing at all - she’s definitely the boss! Last Christmas she sat up all on her own – it was an incredible moment for our family. That’s what makes me so proud of Lexi. She never gives up, even when she gets upset because she can’t do something , she still perseveres.”
The second diagnosis
Aged two, Lexi was diagnosed with a type of cancer called leukaemia. After the first few months of chemotherapy, the family were told it wasn’t working, and she needed more intensive treatment. Kris says, “She was having 7-10 treatments every week, but she had a smile on her face all the way through and that kept the rest of us going. It was tough on the whole family. Her brothers have missed out on a lot – birthdays, Easter, quality time with their mum and I.”
A sealed envelope
Lexi is now in remission, but not out of the woods. Kris explains, “We turned to Make-A-Wish for the chance to get away from all the chaos that’s eaten up the last three and a half years of our lives, and for the chance to simply enjoy each others’ company. It almost brought my wife to tears when I told her Lexi’s wish could be granted.”
Before the holiday, we were too excited to sleep. On the flight to Spain, we handed an envelope our Wishgranter had given us to the crew. I don’t know what was inside but they took us straight to meet the pilot, then they gave us free food, drinks, sweets, a card signed by the whole crew and a certificate and a teddy for Lexi.
A rocky start
Unfortunately, when we arrived in Spain, Lexi became sick. We had to call a doctor out to the hotel and stayed in for the first part of the holiday. Lexi can’t communicate how she’s feeling when she’s ill so it’s really difficult. Thankfully, the illness passed and we made up for the lost time!
The hotel was phenomenal, and the food and service was the best we’ve ever had. Lexi was screaming with happiness as we played in the pool together – she is a real water child! It was amazing seeing her and her brothers smiling and looking at their mum and I with so much joy. To get away from the cold weather and the stresses of home was amazing. We didn’t have to worry about anything - bills, hospital appointments, food, nothing! It lifted so much pressure off our shoulders. We just felt like we were building these happy memories that we will cherish forever. Thanks to Wishgranter Steph, the whole trip was so far beyond anything we could do for Lexi ourselves.
If Lexi can smile, everyone should!
One day, we ventured out to the beach where we had a photoshoot. Another day, we explored the other side of the island and went to some shops. Our Wishgranter Steph booked tickets to a pirate show which was phenomenal! Lexi and her brothers loved the lights, the noise and everyone flying around on stage.
Lexi’s wish means the world to us. You can’t put a price on what Make-A-Wish does. Unless you’ve been through it, it’s hard to truly understand what it’s meant to our family. We celebrated our eldest boy’s birthday when we were out in Spain. The boys have been a bit neglected the last few years so it was amazing to shift some attention back on to them. At the same time last year, Lexi was in hospital for a month, but this year we were together as a family. Lexi is in remission, but she still has quite a few hospital appointments and ongoing treatment. Her illness means that her spine is becoming more arched, so that needs correcting and she has issues with her ankles, but she is taking it day-by-day. If she can smile, there is no reason for us not to smile too. She is the strongest little girl I know. The smile on her face is because of everyone at Make-A-Wish and everyone who supported us and donated to her wish, so thank you. You have made our year with your generosity.”