Alex Parra: Athlete, Thriver, Advocate, Inspiration

How Alex Parra Continues to Motivate and Thrive after his Cancer Battles

Two-time cancer thriver Alex Parra, commonly known as Alex1Leg on social media, has been through a lot in life. Regardless of the hand he was dealt, his positive attitude is infectious and continually inspires others around him.

First diagnosed in 2016 at 15 years old, Alex was a thriving athlete entering his junior year of high school when he noticed some knee pain. After a couple months of ignoring it, he went through rounds of testing that revealed stage 2 osteosarcoma. His prognosis was shocking; he was given a 40% chance of survival. He didn’t know how to process the news, so he continued on with normal life for a week before beginning chemotherapy. After two months of chemotherapy, it was revealed that the cancer wasn’t responding.

This left him with two choices – knee replacement or amputation. Alex did his research, talking to people who had gone through both options, and was still not confident in a decision. So, he flipped a coin. It landed on knee replacement, but at that moment, he knew that wasn’t the right decision for him and decided on an amputation. After amputation, he had five months of chemotherapy and had to learn how to walk on his new prosthetic leg. He finished treatment in May of 2017.

Just months later, his second set of scans revealed that he had four spots on his lungs that could be cancerous. Upon surgery, his doctors found three of the four spots, and those three spots were not cancerous. But the one spot that couldn’t be found was still a mystery and only time would reveal what was going on.

The day after graduating high school, Alex received another phone call. This time, his doctors asked him to come into the office. What his doctors told him was devastating. Stage 4 lung cancer. Three months to live. Less than 10% chance of survival. Declared terminal cancer.

With chemotherapy ineffective during the first battle, Alex was left with limited options – two clinical trials. Each trial was different, with one requiring no surgery to remove the tumor and the other demanding removal of the tumor. He wanted the tumor out of him as soon as possible. He had surgery to remove the tumor the next day and entered one of the clinical trials. After a month of waiting, he was accepted into immunotherapy treatment, which he did for six months. He beat cancer, and the odds, on January 11, 2019.

Through his battles with cancer, Alex has a renewed sense of life. He lives thankfully every day for this next chapter in his journey. He serves as an inspiration for those faced with cancer, and his outlook and positive mindset serve as an inspiration for all of us.

Check out Alex’s story in his own words:

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