Readfield teen battling cancer makes wish to renovate her school’s softball field

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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READFIELD, Maine (WABI) - Seventeen-year-old Alexis Michaud has a wish to play softball her senior year on a new field at Maranacook High school.

The wish was granted to her from the Make-A-Wish foundation after a rare cancer diagnosis.

”We thought for sure she would never be able to play softball again because that was what we were told,” said Jennifer Michaud, Alexis’ mother.

Alexis was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that would threaten her chances of playing the sport she loved so much.

“I have been playing since TB, and I’ve always wanted to go to college and play, said Alexis.

Alexis and her twin, Alissa, have been playing softball since they were kids. Their mother says they are the complete opposite.

“Lex definitely has more of an outgoing personality, and Alissa is more reserved, laid back,” said Jennifer.

The twins play on the Maranacook Community High School varsity softball team. Alexis is a pitcher, Alissa a catcher.

Last year, their mother noticed Alexis’s speech was off. She was diagnosed with a cancer so rare, it’s one in a million and even more rare in children.

“Called chordoma because it affects the spinal cord, and where hers was, was at the tip of her spine, and it wrapped around her spine,” said Jennifer.

“I didn’t know if I was ever gonna be able to play softball again, and then six months later, now, I’m out playing softball for my school team,” said Alexis.

Alexis underwent nearly 20 hours of surgeries within two days. Melissa O’Neal-Low says she’s one of the strongest people she knows.

“I guess that’s why it’s so important for me because she is my daughter’s best friend, and to see a young woman, 17 years old, have to go through what Alexis has been through,” said O’Neal-Low, fundraising organizer.

With her cancer now in remission, she has a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation that will not only benefit her, but students coming up behind her.

“Her vision was for lots of improvements to the field because it needs lots of improvement.,” said Harry Lanphear, fundraising organizer.

Improvements like new bleachers and fences and better drainage.

“We are sort of in a valley, and the field is at the bottom of the hill. From April to about the beginning of June, it’s just a big puddle, and the girls often can’t even play here until summer really hits,” said O’Neal-Low.

The goal is to raise the initial $50,000 to help cover the cost of the renovation. O’Neal-Low says anyone can help.

“We would take a $3-6 donation gladly. Imagine if everyone in Maine were able to contribute like that,” said O’Neal-Low.

With her final year of high school approaching, she hopes to leave something behind for the others.

“It’s just, it’d be nice to come back and play my senior year, like, looking at a brand new softball field pretty much, and coming back and watching the middle schoolers play on pretty much a brand new softball field, too,” said Alexis.

If you would like to contribute to the donations, please visit “Pitching in for Our Pitch” Go Fund Me page.

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