April 13th, 2024

Easter weekend wish granted for six-year-old cancer survivor

By BRENDAN MILLER on April 3, 2024.

Six-year-old Alexa English (far right) takes a photo with her cousins and the Easter Bunny during an egg hunt in Kin Coulee Park on Saturday. English and her family were flown to Medicine Hat from Newfoundland by the Make-a-Wish foundation so English could visit her cousins she has been unable to see.--SUBMITTED PHOTO

bmiller@medicinehatnews.com

Six-year old Alexa English from Newfoundland had a wish to meet her cousins in Medicine Hat and participate in an Easter egg hunt with them after spending almost half her life battling cancer.

And over the Easter long weekend, the Make-a-Wish Foundation granted her that wish by flying her and family to Medicine Hat so English could visit family members she has been unable to see since she began her battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2020.

During her visit in Medicine Hat, English and her cousin were invited to an Easter egg hunt at a playground in Kin Coluee Park with an appearance from the Easter Bunny.

“These kids just had so much fun and they love the Easter Bunny,” said Donna Serr with Make-a-Wish. “I hid about 100 eggs and filled them with little candies. I also had gifts for the kids after, Alexa the wish child got a basket filled with a stuffed Easter Bunny.”

The trip also allowed members of the English family, including grandparents and siblings, to reunite after years of not being able to travel due to Alexa’s cancer treatment.

“It was really heartwarming for these families to be reunited again,” says Serr. “And for these little cousins to meet each other and be a part of all this.”

English is now considered cancer free since 2022. However she underwent a lengthy treatment for more than two and a half years at the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s and continues to visit the hospital every three months for blood work and to check in with her oncologist.

In September 2022 English rang the bell of hope just after starting kindergarten.

“They really have to be healthy before they can do a travel wish,” explains Serr. “And she was healthy … and this was her wish to do an Easter egg hunt.”

To complete English’s wish the family drove to Edmonton so she could experience the rides at West Edmonton Mall.

“To be able to bring some joy to family during a difficult time is truly heartwarming,” says Serr. “Filling this wish for Alexa is just so heartwarming and it’s special, moments like that take your breath away.”

According to the Make-a-Wish Canada website, research shows children who have wishes granted can build physical and emotional strength needed to fight critical illnesses.

In 2023 Make-a-Wish Canada granted more than 1,000 life-changing wishes for children with severe illnesses and conditions.

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