MAGNA, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - It is Homecoming Weekend at Cyprus High School, and a 16 year-old student battling advanced nerve cancer is making new memories.
It was last year at this time that Alexis Gould received her stage 3 neuroblastoma diagnosis. Since then, the disease has taken a lot from her, but Friday, the resilient teen is refusing to let cancer stop her from doing what she loves.
Alexis is pulling on her dancing shoes for the first time in months.
"I'm nervous, but I'm really excited to be back with my team," she told Good 4 Utah's Ali Monsen during an exclusive interview at her school.
A true class act, the Cyprus High Spinnakers dancer has handled her hardships with with grace for a year now.
"The last time Lexi [Alexis] danced as herself before she was diagnosed was the homecoming game last year... I met her over there, and I took her to [Primary Children's Hospital]," Alexis's mom Emily Gould said, gesturing to a gate at the end of Cyprus High's football field.
That was also the night doctors found a large tumor and soon after diagnosed Alexis with cancer. The then 15 year-old went right into intensive treatment, as experts tried desperately to save her life.
Since that time, "I've learned that miracles are real, I've learned that God is real, I've learned family is so important, and that happiness is a choice, always," Alexis says.
Despite losing her hair, weight, and physical strength, the resilient young lady is not losing her hope, and this Homecoming Weekend, she is dancing for the friends she has met, and in some cases, lost during treatment at the hospital this year. Alexis and her mom wrote those kids' names on the inside of her dance shoes.
"She has just a little bit of their strength with her dancing. It gives her heart a little bit extra boost. It allows her a little bit of extra strength to be able to do what her body says she can't right now," Emily Gould said.
And the excitement is just beginning. The Cyprus Spinnakers will perform again Friday night on the football field at the big homecoming game against the Hillcrest Huskies.
Alexis has had several surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, two stemcell transplants, and just started antibody therapy. The good news is that lately her scans have come back showing no evidence of disease.
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