CaringBridge Is Funded by People Like You

Make a donation to CaringBridge

Honor Alexa with a tax-deductible contribution to CaringBridge today.

Click here to make your donation.

Alexa’s Story

Alexa earned her angel wings on August 6, 2009. 

If you haven't already be sure to check out "Alexa's Journey" with our personal videos.

Alexa’s Brave Journey with Brain Cancer

In early May 2006 eight year old Alexa from Clyde, Ohio started showing several odd medical symptoms, but nothing that seemed too alarming. She had several headaches, double and blurry vision, and some dizziness. Alexa's parents Warren and Wendy figured she might be having eye problems. On May 11, 2006 Alexa saw the family doctor, Jonathan Diller. After a general exam all appeared okay except for her inability to perform a heel to toe, staight line walk. Dr. Diller immediately ordered a MRI. The MRI showed a tumor in Alexa's brain. Alexa’s surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo was scheduled for May 12, 2006.  The tumor was in the cerebellum and it is called medulloblastoma. The tumor was removed after 4 hours of surgery and was found to be malignant.

Alexa developed delayed onset loss of speech, unsteadiness, and irritability. This syndrome is called cerebellar mutism. Alexa underwent speech, physical, and occupational therapy. She began radiation therapy on 06/12/06. On June 19 she began a small weekly dose of chemotherapy. Chemo was increased when the 6-week radiation period stopped. Radiation was completed in early Aug '06. Alexa went through 9 cycles of chemo. which ended in July 2007.

Clear MRI’s post surgery until May 2008

May 2008 MRI- The cancer is back. As Alexa calls it, this stupid cancer, will be dealt w/ via some form of chemo in combination w/ stem cell therapy. There are “drops” on her spine along with a frosting like coating of cancer cells.

August 2008 Alexa will begin her third cycle of high dose chemo soon. Stem cell harvesting will take place when cycle is complete. Stem cell harvesting and transplant will take place in Columbus.

Feb. 2009 Alexa completed the high dose chemo followed by a stem cell transplant. She was in isolation for 3 weeks in Columbus. In December Alexa had 2 & 1/2 more weeks of radiation to her spine. Next MRI is scheduled for first week in March.

March 2009 MRI- Stable

April/May 2009 Alexa had been experiencing severe leg pain and was no longer able to use her legs.  MRI- The cancer was now worsening in her spine.  There are more tumors and the coating is thicker. We search for more options.

June 2009 Alexa goes to Vermont in hopes to begin an experimental trial.  The MRI results DISQUALIFIED Alexa and we are sent home.  The MRI showed the cancer in her spine is growing and that the cancer is back in her brain.  There is one tumor in the 4th ventricle, and other spots on the brain as well as the brain stem.  No surgery, No radiation, No chemo, no answers.

June 2009 Alexa was put on an aggressive nutritional supplement plan. We continue to search for more options.

July 3rd, 2009 Alexa was very sick and complaining of an excruciating headache.  She was taken to the hospital. In the middle of the night something happened in her brain leaving her unable to communicate.

July 5th 2009 Alexa is home with Hospice care. We have been blessed with days or maybe weeks of extra time with our little hero.

August 6th, 2009 Alexa flew to Heaven on the wings of angels.

Latest Journal Update


Dad here:

I feel compelled to make an entry today as it seems that it has been forever that I have made any entry in Alexa's journal and notably a year has almost passed since we addressed anything. Also, I am just missing Alexa a little more than usual. I don't think there a superlative for "missing until your heart aches".

The most recent news is that Alexa's Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing will be held on the 28th of June at Sleepy Hollow Golf Course in Clyde. Along the same line the Alexa Brown 5K committee is putting the race together for Sept. 21 during the Clyde Fair.

If you are Facebook followers you that Alexa is the "angel aunt" to our 2 yr. old grandson Hayden and in October '14 will be the "angel aunt" to Hayden's new little sister.

Just a couple of months ago my oldest cousin Charles "Chuck" Leeds passed away. Chuck fell in love with Alexa and was able to visit us and her while she fought her fight. It is comforting for me to know that Chuck (who was 6'6" tall) is holding Alexa's hand and guarding her as his own while they both look down on the Leeds and Brown clans. 

We continue to pursue why the cancer cluster came to be even though it seems as though it may be a question that may never be answered.

Blessings to all.