Trussville, AL (WIAT)-Alex Thompson shares the same middle name with her mother.
We'll get back to that name in a moment.
Whether out on the field or inside the gym at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, Alex is always cheering for her team. But last November her team began cheering for her.
Alex was diagnosed with a vascular Brain Tumor. Despite being non cancerous, her parents Ross and Ingrid, both registered nurses, knew the high risks involved.
"Your world comes crashing down at that point," said Ross Thompson. "A very emotional time. Little did I know through the whole ordeal that she was going to be the one that showed all the strength. I drew strength from her. My wife drew strength from her."
As soon as Alex came out of not one, not two, but three surgeries at Children's Hospital of Alabama, she quickly started down the road to recovery. Fortunately, she wasn't alone.
"It just meant a lot, all the support I had from all my friends and family and church and school teams and everybody," said Alex Thompson.
"When people heard her circumstance and what was going on here at school we started taking up money and donations and people started selling shirts and wristbands just to help the family," said Alex's cheerleading coach Kayla Pigg.
Alex also got plenty of phone calls while in the hospital, one that came as a very big surprise.
"He put AJ McCarron on the phone and I was hooked up to all the machines and my heart rate starts going up and my heart was beating. I was so nervous."
Alex later got an invitation to "meet" the Alabama football team just before their trip to Miami for the National Championship game.
"It really meant a lot for them to take time out of their weekend and out of them hanging out and for them to talk to me and encourage me and tell me everything was going to be okay. Then they told me they would be thinking about me for their game and playing for me."
Then it was Alex's turn to begin preparing for her debut on the national stage.
"We took it day by day. I just started out walking to the mailbox and back, then to the stop sign and back and then in January I started going back to cheer practice because I wanted to be there for Nationals. I did do some tumbling at Nationals, and that was three months after surgery."
Now 7 months has passed as Alex continues to live her life of hope. Hope, is also the middle name given to her at birth, which has taken on a much deeper meaning for Alex and the many lives she has touched with her spirit.
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