CHICKASHA, Oklahoma (KFOR) — Fifteen-year-old Alexus Campbell loves TikTok, so it’s no surprise that she shares her cancer journey with her followers.
“This is a day in the life of someone with stage 3 cancer,” she tells the camera, holding up her outfit for the day. “These are my clothes and my pills. Some days I feel sick and some days I feel great.”
Alexus once had a full head of thick brown hair and should be given a chance to regrow next summer. The chemotherapy that caused her hair to fall out was preceded by puzzling, stabbing stomach pains last spring.
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Her mother, Alisa Tune, recalls, “They thought she had an infection in the kidney, and we did more testing and found that it was actually cancer.” Justin Tune nods his head, “I was speechless. I had no words for it, couldn’t believe it.”
The diagnosis was astonishing for this busy family of five children. It also upset doctors. Wilm’s tumor is a type of kidney cancer that is rarely seen in children over the age of six.
Justin Tune recalls, “When they came in and told us she had cancer, they operated on her the next day and completely removed the kidney.”
That happened in May 2021, and now OU’s Children’s Hospital and Jimmy Everest Cancer Center are at the center of Alexus’s life.
She has weekly treatments or appointments with chemo and radiation. Her best friend, Lindsey, is often by her side. Alexus says, “She’s really been helped. We all talk about how it feels and how blessed we are to be alive.”
Alexus’ mother says, “Everyone at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center has been very helpful. The nurses are great. Alexus has been very brave throughout the process.”
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Alexus says that weakness and exhaustion often come into play. She sometimes uses a walker and sleeps a lot.
“I just went home and slept 10 to 15 hours. I really did,” she says during a Tiktok recording.
This large family now cherishes Alexus’ time at home, playing bingo and corn-hole. “We hang out as a family and that’s the most important thing,” says Justin Tune. Alexus agrees: “I definitely think it brought us closer together. I just look at it day by day.”
This teen’s life is interrupted, but she has the promise of a full recovery for a full life ahead of her.
If you want to help kids like Alexus, consider donating to JECFriends.org.
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