Los Gatos - Cupertino - Saratoga Girls Softball Association (LGCS) provides an exciting and enjoyable environment, helping kids gain confidence, build character and enhance self-esteem as they master the dynamic game of fastpitch softball. LGCS is an all-volunteer based non-profit and tax-exempt entity under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS code.
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My name is Kael Briski, Alexis' father. For many years I've written welcome letters to all of the participants in this tournament. Most of them focus on stories of Alexis, her disease, how she handled it, and her amazing attitude. Those stories are all true — I wish they weren't. At the age of 10 years, Alexis was told the words nobody wants to hear — "I'm sorry, but you have cancer."
Alexis was diagnosed in May of 2008, and she immediately started chemotherapy. All her hair fell out. She was sick much of the time. To have any hope of cure, the cancer had to be removed. That meant taking out her arm bone from the shoulder socket all the way down to her elbow and replacing it with a donor bone. This was very painful. She had lung surgery to take out the cancer from there, but there was so much in her lungs that it was not operable. She had 13 surgeries in a year. Alexis was a softball player, and a pretty darn good one. She pitched and played the infield for the most part and played in our league from 2005 through 2008.
At the time of Alexis' diagnosis, our family consisted of my wife Kay, me, Alexis (10), Annika (7), Matthew (5), and Emily (10 months old). While I can't begin to explain the havoc that cancer can cause to a family, suffice it to say that all of our lives were turned upside down and changed forever. I'd like to focus a little bit now on my oldest daughter Annika.
As a seven and eight year old, she witnessed everything Alexis had to go through, including having her arm amputated and ultimately passing away on May 23, 2009. Annika saw it all. She visited her sister in the hospital. She supported Alexis at home. She was still the pesky little sister when Alexis was home, and became the stoic rock of our family when Alexis was in the hospital.
As I said, while most of my prior letters have focused largely on Alexis, this one focuses on her sister Annika, who is a 17-year-old senior at Los Gatos High School, and a softball player as well. She will serve as co-captain of the varsity this spring.......
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