Lexi had the tumor removed at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California, where they performed a complete re-section of her left upper thigh - the tumor was actually scraped from her femur bone. She began physical therapy on Day 2 and was "lightly" jogging again by October 2014. After the pathology was performed and despite clear margins, the UCLA Sarcoma Tumor Board felt she should also complete 6 weeks of radiation therapy during chemotherapy sessions over a span of 7 months. (Each session occurred while being admitted to the hospital for 3-4 days at a time at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.)
She was given the "all clear" scan early 2015 with continued physical therapy and periodic scans as the next steps of her journey continued. Unfortunately, with the harsh chemotherapy medication and radiation completed, Lexi was unable to play at her previous level of soccer and horseback riding became more of a past time than a passion. Despite her physical weaknesses, her mental outlook and spirit remained strong and her personality soared.
In the summer of 2015, and after her Make-A-Wish trip to watch the Women's US National Team compete and WIN at the World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada, Lexi's scan showed additional tumors had formed. The cancer had metastasized to both lungs. Lexi was ready to fight again!
Lexi Brown, a 10 year-old from Santa Maria, California, was a regular little girl who loved riding horses, playing club soccer, listening to music and spending time with family and friends. She was vibrant, sassy, silly and full of life! In the summer of 2013, Lexi's mom felt a bump on the outside of her thigh after playing a double header of soccer games. She was never in pain and after her well-exam the pediatrician thought it may be a hematoma from playing soccer or getting thrown from a horse. We were told to monitor the area and if it got any bigger or started to hurt, to call immediately. In June of 2014, Lexi had her next appointment and since the mass could still be felt, he ordered a battery of tests. Within 10 days, we were given the diagnosis that Lexi had a Fibroblastic Sarcoma - cancer of the soft tissue.
Fight Like a Girl
She was given an oral chemotherapy drug which turned her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes white and the first set of scans were promising. Regrettably, within weeks, she was flown to Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA due to acute heart failure. She spent 14 days in the PICU and worked her charms on the SAE Fraternity across the street, the hospital staff, and numerous athletes & students from UCLA. She was visited by the ENTIRE UCLA Men's Soccer Team, Head Baseball Coach John Savage, and Josh Rosen - starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins. The Fraternity put her name 'LEXI" in Christmas lights on the roof of their house that included a blinking red heart - she became an instant celebrity and loved every single minute of it. Her sassy personality was obvious to all who visited and forever friendships were made!
Lexi came home for the holidays with a permanent IV pump to keep her heart strong, but additional scans showed the cancer was continuing to progress. She began additional chemotherapy drugs early 2016, because her zest to keep fighting like a girl raged on, but they proved ineffective. Doctors told family the tumors were growing and Lexi and family decided to LIVE LIFE head on and promised no opportunities would be missed!
Within the next few months, Lexi had traveled to Disneyland, had a meet & greet with the Dodgers Baseball Team, spent a fabulous week in New York City and was even asked to attend the local high school prom by her best boy-friend. She was also looking forward to leave on a Catholic pilgrimage to Lourdes, France to visit the place where Mary visited St. Bernadette - her favorite saint and one she wrote two school reports about during her younger elementary grades.
While on the trip, Lexi said she wanted to drink the water at the grotto and visit the baths where she could actually dip her entire body within the sacred waters. On the trip, and just after completing both of those wishes, her health waned. She had stays in two hospitals before being flown, via emergency, home to the United States. While making her fourth stop on the trip to switch planes and obtain full oxygen tanks, the medical staff rushed her by ambulance to the local children's hospital. After a very brief stay of less than 24 hours, Lexi passed away peacefully on May 4, 2016.
Her journey has been filled with strength, laughter, perseverance and heart. It is OUR honor to make a difference & "fight like a girl" and continue the awe-inspiring legacy she started!