By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Six-year-old Lexys Lamp of Dearborn lost her battle with cancer, but her spirt still lives on with those who knew her.
Lamp died Nov. 23 at her home from a rare form of brain cancer named Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. She was diagnosed on Sept. 29, 2014, and fought the cancer for 14 months.
Chad Carr — the 5-year-old grandson of former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr — also lost his life to the same tumor just hours before Lamp.
Carr’s story made national news and has prompted his family to start a foundation for other children who battle DIPG.
“We’ve donated a piece of her tumor to science,” Lexys’ mother, Crystal Lamp, said. “Hopefully the all the attention the form of cancer is getting will result with a cure.”
DuVall Elementary School — where Lexys attended kindergarten — hosted a pancake dinner Dec. 2 to benefit the family.
“We wanted to provide Lexys with the best experience during her time here,” DuVall Principal Robert Attee said. “She was our guest of honor at our cleanup parade. We tried to make her feel special as we could.”
In July, the school hosted a princess-themed early birthday party for Lexys where Chuck E. Cheese showed up as a surprise.
Alexis began homeschooling a month after her diagnosis when Duall kindergarten teacher Allyssa Kerby began lessons.
Before that, it was Kerby who noticed that Lexys started to color outside the lines and had a hard time keeping her balance when walking.
Kerby began teaching Lexys after school in October 2014, and that is when their bond grew.
“She loved to learn and always thought of others,” Kerby said. “When I graduated with my master’s degree in April she came and brought me gifts.”
Lexys’ courage was evident, Kerby said.
“You never knew she was sick unless you knew that she had cancer,” Kerby said. “She brought the whole community together and it’s amazing to see.
Through all the doctor appointments and radiation, she always remained positive, her mother said.
“Lexys always fought and never complained once,” Crystal Lamp said. “We always say she’s not our hero, (but) our shero.”
Although Lexys did not have any siblings, her 6-year-old cousin Arianna Lamp considered her a sister.
“They were not cousins they were sisters,” Crystal Lamp said. “They were inseparable and did everything together.”
The DuVall community also continued the Adopt-A-Family outreach as a way to support Lexys’ family.
The school accepted wrapped gifts to make Arianna’s and the Lamp family’s Christmas as bright as possible.
A GoFundMe account was set up to help the family pay for Lexys’ medical bills. To donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/lexyslamp.
“I’m grateful for all the support from the community,” Crystal Lamp said. “They have done so much for Lexys and our family.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)