Pender community comes together to help teen with life-threateni - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Pender community comes together to help teen with life-threatening condition

Alexis rides a pirate ship, crossing one item off of her list Alexis rides a pirate ship, crossing one item off of her list

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Surf City community came together on Sunday to make sure the wishes come true for a teen they don't even know. 16-year-old Alexis has a rare and deadly form of epilepsy, and doctors say it's going to get worse fast.

"The doctors tell us it will progressively continue to get worse," explained her mom, Laurie Howard. "There is no cure for it, nothing we can do, they say we have to be prepared." Alexis started having seizures when she was 15 and doctors explained the severity of her diagnosis in March.

"In two years she went from being a regular teen to one with a life-threatening disease," explained family friend, Anna Cencelli. 
"It takes away everything," said Howard. "Her memory is already going and she seizes every day now."

Even though he had never met Alexis, when the owner of the Belle of Topsail, Cpt. David Luther found out, he decided to do everything in his power to help out.

"It tug at my heart, when I was a young man I was epileptic," said Luther. That's why he held a benefit on Sunday, hoping to raise money so she can cross at least one thing off of her list, seeing her favorite band live in concert.

Another thing on her wish list, was to ride on a pirate ship. She was able to cross that off Sunday, as she rode by on The Raven, also owned by Luther.

"If we can make good memories now, then when things get difficult, there will be good memories to think about," explained Cencelli, who told Luther about Alexis. With medical bills and trips to Chapel Hill, Howard says it isn't easy.

"Make a Wish said they would try to help, but their funds are tight," said Howard. She says it's hard to believe so many strangers care and are helping to make her daughter's dreams come true.

"Anything we can do means the world for us," said Howard.

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