Tom Burns, WBAY - Green Bay, Wis (WBAY) – A local stand out high school athlete is facing her toughest battle yet after being diagnosed with cancer. She's using her fight against the disease to spread a positive message for others.
Michelle Cumber says she can remember many stories of her daughter's lack of fear. According to Michelle Cumber, "The first time she ever ice-skated, I think she was about three, onto the ice, never fell, and just kept going because she wanted to learn how, and she just did it. She's always been very determined that way."
That competitive spirit has always been a big part of Alexis Cumber's life. Her twin sister Elizabeth was quick to acknowledge that they share a healthy sibling rivalry. As the twins grew up, their passion for soccer grew as well, and it got the attention of the varsity coach at Green Bay Southwest High School during a freshman training session. Coach Thomas explains, "You could tell right away they were going to be ready for varsity. As soon as they stepped on the pitch, they had tons of experience, they both had tons of confidence, and they carried themselves that way every single day at practice."
Then this past summer, after her second year on varsity, Alexis was dealing with nagging headaches. She recalls, "I had a week of headaches, and then I would take medicine and it would go away, and my parents were like, ‘we should probably get this checked out.' So then I went and got an MRI, and they found it."
Doctors discovered a nine millimeter mass behind her right ear. It was diagnosed as brain cancer. Alexis' mind went right to her favorite sport. "The first thought was, oh my gosh I'm never going to play soccer again, and then it went from not playing soccer to, oh my gosh, this is serious. I could possibly die."
Her mother Michelle explains how she felt after learning the news. "When that happens as a parent you just want to take it all away, but you can't, and she is the strongest child I've ever met."
Her twin and teammate saw the same thing. "She never really showed the fear, and when she found out she had cancer, she wasn't scared of it. She wanted to fight through it," Elizabeth Cumber said.
That fearlessness is now a message Alexis Cumber is sharing with others. She designed ‘FEARLESS' shirts that showcase her attitude while fighting the disease and her favorite bible verse along with ‘Cumber Strong' on the back. The family's church is selling the shirts for $20 each to raise money to help pay for medical bills.
Click HERE to buy a ‘FEARLESS' shirt.
Click HERE to donate to Alexis' GoFundMe page.
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