By Holly Bristow
FOX 35 News
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – “I’m so thankful for friends and family and just to be here on this water, the sunshine, awesome day. I’m happy to be alive!” said 21-year old Alexa Score as she pushed her boat away from her dock on Clear Lake in Orlando Thursday morning.
Score truly has a lot to be thankful for, and seeing her soar across the wake, you’d likely never guess that she has been battling cancer for 5 years.
“I’m in 2 of the 3 phases of remission. There’s just a touch of Leukemia still in my blood. I’m being treated every day. I take oral chemo. At this point Ill probably take it the rest of my life,” said Alexa.
When she was sixteen, she went to the doctor in her hometown in Minnesota complaining of extreme pain in her bones. “The next day I was told I had Leukemia. It was really tough going through that as well as all the normal things a teen girl goes through. I was thinking about all the plans for the future everything is going to change,” said Alexa.
This active young woman who loved spending summers on the lake was suddenly sedentary. “I was too sick to go to school, get out of bed. I was sleeping 18 hours a day and just too weak to do anything. The bone pain was beyond what I could handle.”
But she wasn’t going to let it keep her down for long. “I said I’m going to move to Florida. I’d always wanted to move to Florida. I graduated early, came here and went for it,” said Alexa.
She moved to Orlando and started getting back to what she loved. “After I got sick, I just was really motivated. And, that pushed me to be the best I can be.” This year Alexa competed in the women’s wakeboarding division pro tour. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of for a long time.”
She just finished the season ranked ninth in the world. “Staying positive was the main thing for me. Its all about your attitude,” said Alexa.
Her positive winning attitude that caught the attention of Livestrong, fellow cancer survivor cyclist Lance Armstrong’s organization that raises money for cancer research. She’s now featured on the Livestrong website. “Livestrong is staying positive and staying tough through difficult times, keeping your head up not being afraid to reach out for support and getting the help you need to get through that.”
Now living stronger and feeling better, Alexa is giving back. Next week she is hosting a fundraiser for Livestrong. “It falls on the 5 year anniversary of my diagnosis. December 1st. It’ll be a big day for me. I’m looking forward to spending that time with family and friends and raising money for an organization I believe in. I’m really proud to be part of Livestrong,” said Alexa.
And, she’s proud to be setting an example by not be letting cancer hold her back from what she loves. “Being on the water is just refreshing. You can be stressed out…you can be upset. You go out on the water and it just brings you back, gives you that perspective some things seem tough at the time, you’ve just got to see through it. Keep doing what you love. Being on the water does that for me.”
Alexa Score’s Charity Cocktail Party Celebrating 5 Year Anniversary of Leukemia Diagnosis is December 1st from 8pm-11pm at The Other Bar in downtown Orlando’s wall street plaza. All Proceeds Benefiting the Livestrong Organization
You can check out Alexa Score’s athlete page on Facebook.