A wish come true: While a freshman, received a gift from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Chose to meet NASCAR racer Kasey Kahne. Flew to Southern California with her family to watch races, get autographs and visit Universal Studios. Make-A-Wish paid the bill.
Conversing with Kahne: “He was really nice. He talked with my whole family and he was talking to us about Marysville because he’s from Enumclaw. We were talking about the Super Bowl. It was fun.”
Spreading the word: Enjoys raising awareness of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Talked about the foundation on 100.7 the Wolf country radio station. To promote the foundation, rode in “a really old car” as the president’s marshal of the Strawberry Festival Parade in Marysville.
Life changing wish: “It changed my outlook on life and it made me realize that what I have isn’t as bad as I could have. It made me realize it could be worse.”
In remission: Has genetic colon cancer, but is in remission. Dad and 13-year-old brother, both named Michael, have it, too. Brother received an Xbox 360 and a big screen TV through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Family time: Mom, Michelle, both Michaels, Alyssa, and sister Amanda, 11, love hanging out together. Watch NASCAR races and other sports as a family and go on family outings. Grandparents also live with family.
On being the oldest: “It’s cool because they look up to me and they want to be like me.”
Sports fan: Enjoys playing sports. Is co-captain of Tomahawk C-squad softball team. Plays third and first bases.
Favorite ballplayer: Retired Seattle Mariners player Edgar Martinez. “There are athletes that like to act out when they’re in public. He just seemed really humble. I also like how he hit.”
In the stands: Usually goes to Mariners games with her dad and her grandpa for her birthday.
Class schedule: Is taking Advanced Placement language and composition, chemistry, college algebra, Spanish III, strength and conditioning, and U.S. history.
Looking ahead: Plans to attend college in Washington and study public advocacy and medicine. Wants to speak for a medical organization. “It makes me feel better to help people.”
Role models: Looks up to her family; hockey player Mario Lemieux, who had Hodgkin’s disease and started a foundation to raise money for research; and friend Sarah Zellweger, who supported Alyssa through her illness.
Favorite food: Hawaiian or taco pizza.
Helping hand: Volunteers at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marysville during vacation bible school week as a teacher’s aide. Also baby-sits at church in the nursery and volunteers at Cascade Elementary School in Marysville.
Enjoys hometown: Has lived in Marysville her whole life. “I like it. I like to see how it’s changed since I was little. We didn’t have the outlet mall and now we have stuff to do. Before we had to leave to go shopping.”
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