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Saturday, April 14, 2012
I treasure having the ability to share such touching, inspirational stories of love and courage. Life is about being there for others, helping in times of need and sharing the love that is like no other, God's love. Trent Richardson will be making a much greater impact tonight than he ever has in football, he's touching the life of a beautiful teenage girl that has fought a battle for her life, and with God's help she's winning!
Cancer survivor Courtney Alvis had considered not attending her senior prom.
"I had doubts about it just because I have gained weight since starting medicine and stuff," the Hueytown senior said. "I wasn't comfortable with my body and then I didn't have a date."
Courtney's second concern -- the lack of a date -- was more than fulfilled when Alabama running back Trent Richardson agreed to be her escort. Now the girl who wasn't going to the prom will be the belle of the ball.
ESPN will have a crew on hand to give the world a glimpse into Courtney's Cinderella experience.
"I'm very, very excited," she said in the Hueytown lunchroom. "I'm a little nervous to be with Trent. Of course, he's famous. That's a little nerve-racking but I think it'll be really fun."
Courtney will hardly be anonymous as she makes her way into Boutwell Auditorium tonight with the Tide football player. Not since her story went viral via the Internet.
Stephanie Alvis said she would like to think the attention that has had her phones ringing off the hook is more because of her daughter's courageous struggle than the football star who will accompany her to the prom.
"I'm going to sound conceited, but my daughter has fought a battle for her life," the mother said. "So why shouldn't it be a big deal?"
Chris Alvis, Courtney's uncle, set the wheels in motion. He was frustrated that his niece had no one to take her to the prom.
"I just asked some people for some ideas," he said.
Agnew Hall, the owner of Ezell's Catfish Cabin in Bessemer, heard the call for a prom date.
"He's good friends with Trent Richardson," Stephanie Alvis said. "This has been at least three months in the making."
While football players pride themselves on being tough, Courtney has displayed a toughness beyond any measure.
The Hueytown senior was diagnosed Nov. 2, 2010, with acute T cell leukemia. What she thought was a chest cold turned out to be a mass that had crushed her right lung.
"There was a point where it even hurt to hold her hand," said Stephanie Alvis, who more than once wondered if her daughter would make it.
As Courtney battled cancer, she found that her body wasn't always a willing ally. She frequently had adverse reactions to the medicines that were prescribed to save her life.
"I was the one in a million chance that could always happen," she said. "I would get allergic to stuff real easily and they would, of course, have to stop medicine and put me in the hospital. I would catch fevers all the time and if I got sick, it would be multiple sicknesses on top of that one. It was a constant struggle."
The Hueytown senior has no cancer in her bone marrow today. She is in the maintenance period of her treatment, going once a month for chemotherapy directly into a port and daily taking chemo pills.
Courtney said she usually figures out when her parents are trying to surprise her. "They did keep that secret pretty well," the senior said of her prom date. "They didn't tell me until about two weeks ago, and it was kind of a maybe thing. It wasn't for sure yet. I didn't know it was a for-sure thing until two days ago."
Because so much had to be coordinated with university officials, Courtney didn't receive the usual invitation to the prom.
"I talked to him (Thursday) night on the phone when his handler guy came over to the house," she said. "Then I talked to him today. We did a phone interview together. It was exciting. He seemed real excited, too, about it."
Now the cancer survivor is doing the regular stuff that her mother has dreamed of her doing prior to her big night.
"We picked out a dress and the other day I went and got hair extensions so they can clip into my hair and I'll have long hair," Courtney said. "I'm getting my hair done and I'm getting my makeup done."
God bless you Trent Richardson, and our thoughts and many prayers are with you Courtney!
Host of Pamela's Place,
The Totally Pamper Me Show,
WDNG Radio Inc.
Keywords: Courtney Alvis, Trent Richardson, cancer, leukemia, football, prom, Hueytown, Alabama,
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