21-year-old Alexa Score is a pro wakeboarder from Spicer, Minnesota now living in Orlando, Florida. 2011 was her first year competing in the pro division and she’s currently ranked ninth on the Queen Of Wake tour. She is passionate about being on the water and also supporting cancer survivors and those affected by the disease. Alexa was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in 2006 at age 16 and is still being treated with oral chemotherapy, although there is only a trace of cancer still in her blood. She will always continue to push herself on the water while gaining support for cancer awareness.
Alexa Score is throwing a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres party on December 1st at the Amway Center in Orlando. The location is the state-of-the-art 180 Lounge on the rooftop of the arena, overlooking the Orlando skyline. Dozens of today’s top pro wakeboarders will be there giving support as well as many business owners in Orlando and throughout the wakeboard industry. Alexa’s sponsors will donate top of the line gear and accessories for a silent auction and there will be other fund-raising ideas to be determined. Cover charge will be $25 a head and includes food and drinks. Venue, food and drinks will all be provided at no charge as a sponsorship. For more information please email Alexa directly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexascore.
photos by Aaron Katen
Written by Alexa Score:
Growing up on a lake in a small, Minnesota town, I fell in love with watersports at a young age. My family spent our short summers on the water wakeboarding, waterskiing, barefooting and enjoying the lake. The rest of the year I participated in numerous school sports, excelling in gymnastics, as well as spending time hunting, fishing, and watching the seasons change. During the summer of 2005, at age 15, I started focusing primarily on wakeboarding. I absolutely loved it and dreamed of someday becoming professional.
That dream was nearly cut short in December of 2006 when I was diagnosed with leukemia at age 16 just before the start of my junior year high school gymnastics season. I had been experiencing severe bone pain and after several unsuccessful trips to the doctor, they finally ran a simple blood test showing my white blood cell count was alarmingly high. Shortly after, they discovered the cause was Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, cancer of the blood/bone marrow. I began oral chemotherapy treatment immediately and started the brutal fight for life that so many of us cancer patients know all too well.
While not as gruesome as traditional chemotherapy treatment, the side affects from the oral treatment were still brutal – nausea, unbearable bone pain, loss of appetite, and extreme fatigue being the worst of them. I tried to attend school a couple hours each day, but even when I did go I was so drugged up that I was merely a zombie moping through the halls. At certain times I was too weak to sit up in bed, in too much pain to walk up the stairs, and I can even remember having to sit down in the shower every morning, being too weak to stand. Despite having a good response to the oral treatment, I was told I would have to undergo a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible in an effort to completely wipe out the disease. This was devastating news, so with the help ad support of my family and community I continued to remain as positive and optimistic about the oral chemotherapy as possible.
My blood counts continued to improve and nearly two months after diagnosis my counts were close to normal. The bone marrow transplant was no longer necessary. Today, my blood counts are at healthy levels and while there is still a trace of cancer in my blood, it is at a controlled level. I am still taking the oral chemotherapy treatment, but thankfully many of the side affects have lessened, if not completely subsided.
My experience with cancer gave me a new appreciation for many things in life, including being able to wakeboard, and it’s given me the motivation and determination to progress my riding to the level it’s at today. 2011 was my first year wakeboarding on the professional level, and I?m currently in ninth place on the Queen Of Wake series standings.
I am extremely passionate not only about my sport but also spreading awareness about this deadly disease. I look forward to pushing my riding to new levels while gaining support for cancer awareness! Nearly everyone is affected by cancer in some way, shape or form, but no one is ever alone in this fight. Together, we can beat this disease and LIVESTRONG!