Nine-year-old brain cancer survivor inspires community and manifests hope


courtesy of the Trout family

NC freshman Abigail Trout’s younger sister, Lexy, suffered months of pain, doctor visits and surgeries before officially beating brain cancer on April 16th. With only months of chemotherapy ahead and a Florida vacation just around the corner, the Trout family’s life begins to return back to normal after overcoming a terrifying obstacle.

Amber Roldan, Staff

Freshman year imposes innumerable challenges, ranging from entering a new school with new people to trying to fit in. Juxtaposing the struggle of having a sister fighting brain cancer alongside these already difficult tasks imposes one with a whole new realm of anxiety and obstacles. NC freshmen Abigail Trout experienced these stressors first hand beginning on January 3 when her younger sister, Alexandria Trout, became diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of nine years old. Instead of celebrating a new year full of happiness and new opportunities, the Trout family experienced the new year in a gloomy hospital room where they learned that a beloved member of their tribe, Lexy, had a far more challenging year ahead of her than anticipated.

“This has been a really hard time for Lexy and my family, but she has been a rockstar and fighter through her cancer,” NC freshman Abigail Trout said.

In the first of the year, Lexy’s parents rushed her to the emergency room after a recurrence of extreme frequent migraines. After three anxiety-filled days, Lexy’s doctors revealed that her migraines appeared due to a tiny cyst that they foresaw easily removable. However, despite initial thoughts and plans of action, further examination revealed the cyst as a brain tumor the following day. Surgery to remove Lexy’s tumor occurred on January 8th after a stress-filled week of anticipation in the Trout Family. 

What set out to constitute a simple procedure quickly escalated during surgery when Lexy’s surgeons discovered three cancerous brain tumors in Lexy’s cerebellum amid surgery. The surgeons acted in a proactive manner and successfully removed all cancerous tumors excluding one minuscule speck of a single tumor. 

Following the surgery, Abigail, alongside her anxious family members, visited her beloved sister in the pediatric intensive care unit. While relieved to see her family, Lexy experienced profound pain during her stay in the PICU. Exhausted from surgery, her tiny body experienced more than the majority of society does throughout their lifetime in her brief nine years on earth. Attached to an intimidating tube that delivered brain fluid lost during surgery back into her brain, Lexy suffered through several days in the PICU. As if surgery and seemingly endless pain for Lexy didn’t create enough anguish for the Trout family, the esteemed doctors announced Lexy needed to endure months of intense chemotherapy and radiation to kill the remainder of cancerous cells in Lexy’s brain. 

“Our family has received overwhelming support and prayers during this tough time on social media from friends and family which has really motivated us to keep going and acted as hope,” Trout said.

Chemotherapy and radiation created a new normal for Lexy and her family. It introduced new battles for Lexy including the loss of her hair and the increase in the difficulty of ordinary activities such as walking. Although radiation therapy imposed innumerable new challenges, it presented Lexy’s brain with a chance to get rid of all preceding cancerous tumors.

Despite a rather rough start to 2020 in the Trout household, the family refused to surrender in the face of opposition. After three exasperating months of doctor visits, radiation therapy and surgeries Lexy’s MRI revealed that all previous indications of cancerous tumors disappeared and that as of April 16th Lexi prevailed cancer-free. Lexy will continue chemotherapy and radiation in the following months to ensure that her cancer will not return. 

Lexy still has an uphill battle ahead of her, but her situation evolved into a brighter one that inspired innumerable people along the way. With only six months of radiation left Lexy begins to regain her strength and has received a Make A Wish request. She plans on using her request to send her and her entire family on a seven day all-inclusive trip to Florida.

“Lexy’s cancer completely changed our lives, but not only in negative ways. It has given us so much more family time and has taught us how to produce a safer cleaner environment in order to aid Lexy’s immune system,” Trout said.