Loving Lexi!

4-year-old Lexi Gurka

Lexi is a bright and beautiful girl who loves to get right in the middle of a party, whether it’s dancing, walking across the stage at a fashion show or meeting her favorite princesses at Disney.

I first met her parents Tom and Jodie back in January at the Purple Tie Affair Fundraiser. They were out for a night together, but lurking in the back of their minds was the health of their baby girl who had been diagnosed with cancer. I know that being away from their daughter was very difficult.

According to Jodie, Lexi is in the maintenance phase of treatment.  They will be done with 2 1/2 years of treatment in May (yay!!) Lexi gets oral chemo every night, once a month she gets chemo and antibiotics through her port and is on steroids once a month.  She also takes anti-seizure medicine because she had seizures due to the methotrexate toxicity that she was taking. 
I asked Jodie and Tom what they struggled most with concerning their daughter. Jodie says, “When thinking about what I struggle with the most I would have to say just knowing that although now she looks healthy (hair all back, weight back on, good coloring) that at the drop of a hat she could become sick and we could end up in the hospital.  As “normal” as these kids seem, they are different.  I constantly worry about Lexi becoming sick.  I also hate that she thinks that  this is what all kids her age go through.  She explains her hair loss due to the chemotherapy.  No 4-year-old should have to know that.  She has missed playdates, school, parties, playtime at the park, vacationing and they were replaced with transfusions, a breathing tube, port accesses, spinal taps, cat scans, X-rays, etc… .”

Thankfully Lexi is doing great right now, but once a child is diagnosed with cancer, even years after treatment, the fear of reoccurrence or a new cancer developing as a result of all the chemotherapy can create a high level of anxiety amongst the entire family. Every illness, whether it’s a cold, fever, bruise or stomachache sends the parents onto that non-stop spiral of “what if” roller coaster of fear.

As parents we try to shield our children so they aren’t aware of the possibilities, but these kids are smart and they have been forced to mature beyond what a child should have to know. Their childhood has been taken away from them.
As Lexi and her family continue to battle her cancer and hopefully get back to a new “normal” we continue to support them any way we can. It’s a long journey, but Lexi’s smile gives us hope.

To follow Lexi’s story, go to:

Raise awareness and Go Gold for September–Remember our children with cancer.

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