In a move straight out of a movie, one student got a super sweet surprise from her homecoming date that melted hearts everywhere. Allie Allen is a 17-year-old student of Houston High School in Tennessee who is fighting for her life on a daily basis. The teen is currently battling her second onset of brain cancer and trying to do so with a smile. In a gesture of solidarity and total sweetness last Saturday, her homecoming date, Brayden Carpenter, shaved his head as well.
Despite the cancer, Allie does her best to continue to live a normal teenage life and tries her best not to let the treatments interfere with her. The avid football fan never misses a game and can usually be spotted on the sidelines dressed in her pom uniform. Allie undergoes treatments at St. Jude’s and last week, while still at the hospital, she delivered a pep talk to the football team as they prepared for a big game. The team had Allie’s initials attached to the back of all their helmets and the saucy teen ensured they knew if they were going to rep her name they better win.
Brayden is actually a senior at a rival school, Collierville, but the two have been friends for years and put aside their school competitive spirits for Allie to attend Collierville prom with her friend. When Brayden showed up with his head shaved it was a total surprise to Allie and the gesture he made for her did not go unappreciated. Even school officials have weighed in, saying that it was an incredible gesture for a wonderful young woman.
In even sadder news, Allie is not the only member of her family that is battling cancer as her mom Debbie Allen is also waging her own fight but against breast cancer. Debbie gave an emotional interview to local WMC Action News 5, where she revealed that hope seems to be all that carries the family through. The family has a different type of normal from many others due to their struggles.
“She had surgery and 33 rounds of radiation. There’s no cure or remission but we live kind of scan to scan. A couple times, she’s mentioned stopping treatment and you can’t. You stop treatment and you die, she knows that. It’s just frustrating for her not feeling healthy and just not being that normal 17-year-old. And that’s just all she wants.”
Allie was diagnosed with brain cancer two-and-a -alf years ago. After initial treatment, her scans came back clear, but this year the brain cancer returned in two different forms of the disease. Debbie was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in March and immediately started the treatment process. Thus far, she has had about 19 radiation sessions. Mother and daughter state that they use inspirational songs and pictures to help them remain hopeful in the face of the enormous challenge they face. Friends, like Brayden, also show tremendous support for the family.
“I had eight rounds of chemo and then I had about two weeks off and right now I’m in the middle of my radiation. I just finished, I believe 19, and I’ll have 30 so Allie and I are kind of next in next in the treatment of radiation.”
In an effort to ensure that Allie gets the chance to participate in some school activities the family and doctors have actually cut back on a few hours of treatment for a short period. In a Facebook post Debbie mentioned that Allie’s blood counts have significantly dropped and they are now at St. Jude’s for about 4-6 hours a day for treatment. The radiation unfortunately also caused Allie to be having difficulty drinking and eating as it burned her esophagus. In fact, Allie Allen will now be getting a PIC line so that her family can administer her IV fluids from home as well. Fox 29 revealed that Allie’s father is a FedEx pilot that often misses work to stay home and take care of his family.
St. Jude’s will be having a fund raiser and the Allen’s also have a GoFundMe site titled “Fighting with the Allens” set up. To continue to hear more about this inspiring teen, you can check out Allie’s blog called Dancer With Cancer, where hopefully she will share some more updates about Brayden and his shaved head.
[Photo Courtesy of Debbie Allen’s Facebook Post]