If ever there was an angel on Earth, you’d find her to be sweet Alexa Lee Hartenstein. She came into the world on March 16, 2009, with the most calm and peaceful personality, which grew with her into childhood. She always had a smile on her face, and she was so full of laughter and joy that it was contagious! Life with Alexa was as normal as life could be until the day her parents heard the words that no one ever dreams they will hear: “Your child has cancer.”
Team Alexa Fighting Back
In September 2011, after a month of unexplained vomiting, falling down with every few steps, and many other symptoms, Alexa was diagnosed with a brain tumor – an sPNET, and it was extremely aggressive. It was a parent’s worst nightmare, but somehow Alexa managed to keep a smile through it all! From needle pokes to MRIs, chemo treatments to stem cell transplant, brain surgeries to radiation, Alexa endured more in three and a half years than many of us will face in a lifetime. In December 2014, after learning of her fourth relapse which had taken over her brain and spine, Alexa was moved to hospice care. Even then, her laughter and positive attitude never faded, and she continued to entertain her family and friends with her jokes and endless giggles. Alexa Lee was a fighter, and she showed what fierce determination looked like, right up until the very end. On February 26, 2015, her journey with cancer came to an end, and she earned the most beautiful set of angel wings.
Although Alexa’s life was cut short by cancer, she taught everyone who knew her just what it meant to live. To laugh amidst the worst of storms, and to enjoy every moment, good or bad. To be kind and show compassion to each person you meet, no matter the circumstances. To never give up the fight, even when things get hard. To find joy in every day and give back to those who needed it most.
Purpose of the Fund
Alexa’s family hopes to keep her legacy alive by helping other families who are battling childhood cancer. The Team Alexa Fighting Back fund will support CURE’s ongoing patient and family support programs, such as the Open Arms meal program and Family Emergency Fund.