Make-A-Wish sends Caldwell girl to Hawaii

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jan 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 05:33:56-05

Supporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation plunged into frigid water New Year's Day as part of an annual tradition that raises money for local children who are facing life-threatening conditions.

Six On Your Side sat down with the Treasure Valley's most recent recipient.

What we found was that while most of us were busy preparing for the holiday season in December, the Pisca family left behind the single-digit temperatures and landed in Hawaii for some much needed "R and R."

Alexis has been battling leukemia for two years now.

The New Plymouth Elementary student was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 8-years-old.

"Out of all the leukemias, her's is the most curable," said her mother, Debbie.

The condition allows for white blood cells to multiply too quickly, overtaking all other blood cells.

Alexis had a fever and runny nose prior to the diagnosis but it wasn't until her behavior drastically changed that her mother started to worry it wasn't just a cold.

"She's always very active... never sat still, hopping, jumping running around the house," Debbie explained. "Then, she just started becoming very lethargic."

After the initial platelet transfusion, Alexis moved into what is called the maintenance stage. This requires that she takes a chemotherapy pill on a daily basis, is hooked to an IV to receive chemotherapy every 30 days and receives spinal treatments every three months.

With the treatments set to end in July, the Make-A-Wish trip served as an early reward.

Alexis chose Hawaii because she loves to swim. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation, all of their vacation activities and flights were arranged for them.

"I got to swim with the dolphins and got a belly ride from it and I couldn't really kick or anything like that or else it would scare them," Alexis said. "So, it was kind of hard to swim."

"You get caught up in your every day life and the responsibilities and it's kind of nice to get away with the whole family and enjoy spending time together," Debbie said.

The foundation relies on donations to make wishes come true.

You can send money through the mail or at the Make-A-Wish Idaho website: If you have airline miles to spare, those can be donated as well.