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Utah high schools rally around dancer with cancer

Utah high schools rally around dancer with cancer

(Courtesy Russ Peterson)

8 photos

Estimated read time: 8-9 minutes

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MAGNA β€” Cyprus High School dancer Alexis Gould was recently diagnosed with a childhood cancer, and residents in her community and across the state are proving she is not alone.

A member of the high school's drill team, 15-year-old Alexis was experiencing back pain before her diagnosis, but her dad, Kris, said they figured she was just overpracticing for the drill team's homecoming routines.

But after she performed at the homecoming football game, her parents drove her to Primary Children's Hospital, where doctors found a malignant tumor.

Alexis is now being treated for stage 3 neuroblastoma, which is typically diagnosed in children ages 5 years and younger, according to the Mayo Clinic.

When a family friend heard of the diagnosis, she created the hashtag #AlexisStrong on social media, Alexis' mom, Emily Gould, said.

Now, students from high schools all over Utah are supporting #AlexisStrong, some sporting T-shirts and bracelets. Kris Gould said the campaign has taken off like a rocket.

[Got to love the dance world too!! Thank you for spreading awareness and showing support! #AlexisStrong]( A photo posted by Cyprus Spinnakers (@chs\_spinnakers) on


[These little muchkins are sending hugs your way @alexis\_gould1 @sarawalkersmith81 #alexisstrong 😍😍😍😍]( > > A photo posted by Elite Academy (@eliteacademy) on > >


[πŸ’›πŸ’œ|| Blood Alley Is A Sacred Tradition At Cyprus That The Spinnakers Do To Honor People/Students Who Have Accomplished Amazing Things.... So Being Able To Do Blood Alley For One Of Our Own Teammates As She Got Home From The Hospital Today Was An Honor That I Know No One On Our Team Will Ever Forget|| Lex You Are Our Inspiration And We Promise To Be There Every Step Of This Journey|| One Dream|| One Vibe|| One Team|| One Tribe || We Aspire To Be.....#AlexisStrong|| πŸ’›πŸ’œ #cancersucks #ourtribeisstrongerthananyother #myloveforthemisendless #lexyourourhero #xoxo]( > > A photo posted by Natalie Christensen (@nchristensen13) on > >


[More thank you's to our own school! We appreciate the love that's been sent toward Alexis! Keep it strong! #AlexisStrong]( > > A photo posted by Cyprus Spinnakers (@chs\_spinnakers) on > >


[Our football teams are pretty great! Thank you boys!! #AlexisStrong]( > > A photo posted by Cyprus Spinnakers (@chs\_spinnakers) on > >

People have donated money for the T-shirts and bracelets, which will be sold at Friday's football game at Cyprus High School. The proceeds are going to the Gould family to help with medical bills, according to drill team coach Natalie Christensen.

Competing drill teams have also reached out to help, some sending cards or making blankets, Christensen said.

"The drill team world … it's a very competitive world, but it's also a very unique, loving, supporting world, so it's just been so great to see all the support and love come from other teams that you compete against," Christensen said.

HHS DRILL supports Alexis! β€” Herrimandrill (@herrimandrill) September 24, 2015

Friday, the Cyprus High School stadium will be filled with attendees wearing gold in a "Gould out" game dedicated to Alexis.

The color gold stands for childhood cancer awareness, is one of Cyprus' school colors and is coincidentally similar to Alexis' last name.

At the game, which starts at 7 p.m., football players will wear helmets with #AlexisStrong on them and the drill team will perform a routine choreographed for Alexis.

During the first and second quarter of the game, there will be a "miracle minute" where student body officers and dancers will walk through the stands and gather any loose change or cash people feel they can donate.

#alexisstrong Love you girl!!! πŸ’œπŸ’š β€” Britt (@Brittbritt_58) September 15, 2015

A [GoFundMe account\*]( was set up in Alexis' name to help with medical bills. Emily Gould said that any excess funds would be donated to families in the same situation.

When she couldn't sleep at night, Emily Gould would look at the #AlexisStrong posts on social media, she said.

"It's humbling to live among such amazing people, such caring and giving and loving people," Emily Gould said.

Kris Gould said her first round of chemotherapy went very well.

[Alexis is one of the sweetest girls I know! She always finds a way to brighten your day!πŸ’– she is very talented and has a strong passion for dancing! You can win this fight Lex we all know you can do it!πŸ’›πŸ’™ #alexisstrong]( A photo posted by 🌸LynTessa. MartinezπŸ’– (@tessa\_leonardi) on

"She's a very tough kid," Kris Gould said. "She did awesome."

Alexis said it's been "so amazing" seeing all the support she has.

* does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.


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Megan Marsden Christensen


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