In 2015, 16-year-old Alyssa Elkins was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndromes, a group of rare bone marrow disorders, which quickly turned into leukemia. After 2 years of fighting the cancer, Alyssa finally went into remission last year thanks to a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived. Earlier this month, Alyssa got the news… the cancer is back. After a night of mourning with her family, Alyssa made a decision no child should ever have to make: she decided to forgo treatment.
“The first time, she didn’t want to do treatment either,” said Alyssa’s mom, Tiffany. “She now wants to let the Lord provide a miracle or live out her life doing the things she loves.”
Doctors are saying Alyssa has between 1 and 6 months to live. And Alyssa plans to take advantage of every minute! At the suggestion of her sister, Alyssa developed a bucket list. Thanks to the help of her family, friends, and even compassionate strangers, Alyssa has already checked several items off the list…
She was gifted with a mini pig.
Touring a mansion was on the list, so Alyssa visited the Ohio Governor’s Mansion.
She also checked “have a spa day” off the list…
Alyssa’s spa day #theanchorchurch, #kynetyc A photo posted by Alyssa Elkins (@stormingheavenforalyssa) on
And, like most girls, Alyssa dreamed of finding the perfect wedding gown. She got to check “wedding dress shopping” off her list.
When a local pilot heard that Alyssa had “send message in a bottle to ocean” on her list, he offered to help her out. He took a note in a bottle from Alyssa and dropped it in the ocean for her during flight.
Other people have helped out, too, like the local park that’s opening early just for Alyssa so that she can cross “zip line” off her list! And the Make-A-Wish foundation is helping Alyssa fulfill her dream of visiting an amusement park by sending her and her family to Disney World!
One of the more unusual things Alyssa has on her list is to “taze someone.” Her uncle Josh is a State Highway Patrol trooper, and she’d once seen a video of him taking a taser blast during trainer. She’d never forgotten the look on her uncle’s face, so she jokingly added “taze someone” to her bucket list. Both her uncle and Sergeant Doug Bline stepped up to give her the experience.
“All she wants is to do everything as a family,” says Alyssa’s mom. She explained that Alyssa’s desire to be with her family is part of why she decided not to return to the hospital. “She didn’t want to be alone. She didn’t want to be away from her family for months.”
Shout-out to all the kind-hearted volunteers who have given Alyssa and her family so much to be grateful for during such a difficult time.
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