By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The Waxahachie community is rallying to support a former soccer standout as she begins and continues her fight against cancer.
Lexi Workman, 21, first learned that she has stage two lymphoma in her neck and chest in May. She was then informed that the cancer was spreading — fast.
Workman finished her second round of chemotherapy on Wednesday, according to a Facebook update by her mother, Cathy Workman.
“Lexi is doing really well,” her mother wrote. “She is much weaker this round and tired. She doesn’t have an appetite like she did the first time around, but she is in great spirits.”
Due to hospital restrictions, the family cannot visit while Workman is undergoing her chemotherapy treatments, prompting socially-distanced visits while waving from the parking lot or on FaceTime.
Workman is a 2017 graduate of Waxahachie High, where she was a varsity letterman on the Lady Indians’ soccer team all four years and a starter for three.
Waxahachie head girls’ soccer coach Jason Veneable described Workman as a “great kid from a great family.”
“She was an awesome part of our program, very dynamic player and person,” Venable told KBEC Sports. “We were fortunate to have her in the Lady Indian program.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her during this tough time. We love Lexi Workman and know her attitude and fight will beat this. Tradition never graduates, and we will help and do what we can to support her and her family.”
Megan Gaither, a 2016 WHS graduate, organized a GoFundMe in support of her former Lady Indian teammate.
“If anyone knows Lexi, they know she’s a 21-year-old that is a light of joy, hope and love,” Gaither wrote. “[…]Though we can’t be there with her in person because of COVID-10, we can support her by raising funds for her family!”
Gaither added, “We are all believing God will completely heal Lexi from head to toe, but we ask you to first pray — and fast — for Lexi and her family. Your prayers can do more than anything else.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 154 donors had raised $11,425 of the $50,000 goal on Workman’s GoFundMe since its June 18 launch.
Multiple Waxahachie-based businesses have also stepped up to raise funds in support.
Waxahachie Kwik Kar Lube and Auto Repair has pledged to donate $2 from every oil change during July.
John Terminella, the owner of the Kwik Kar located at 2181 N. US Highway 77, informed KBEC Sports that the business collected $705 in cash donations on Saturday, July 11. The Terminellas then matched that total.
“Our daughter went to school with Lexi, and we know her parents very well,” Terminella said. “For a 21-year-old, this has to be a very big challenge, and we wanted to do something to help. The best way to sum it up is — it takes a village to raise a child. Waxahachie is still a small town, and I was impressed with all the support we received from our customers.”
Jordan E’s Popcorn & Candy Co. also surprised Workman with popcorn during her second round of chemotherapy and KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM matched cash donations up to $100 during Saturday’s live remote at Waxahachie Kwik Kar Automotive Lube and Service Center.
Waxahachie Gymnastics will host a Spikeball Benefit Tournament for Workman at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 25. The gymnastics center describes spikeball as “if volleyball and foursquare had a baby” and will charge teams of two $30 to participate in the “fast fours” style tournament. More information can be found on Waxahachie Gymnastics’ Facebook page.
If anyone has gotten this far in the article and either 1. Not yet been inspired to donate or 2. Have any doubts of Workman’s drive to persevere, let her own words convince you otherwise.
As a senior at Waxahachie, an injury forced Workman to miss most of her final soccer season. She just so happened to write for the high school’s student-led newspaper, The Arrow, during her downtime.
One of those articles, titled “An ode to student-athletes: When the last game comes too soon,” contains verbiage that could help inspire her fight three years later.
“The practices, the pain, the hard work — IT SUCKS,” Workman wrote. “The waking up early, the going to sleep late, the missing that party and the skipping that meal, it is not always easy. But, these people around you right now, these people are your family.
“These are the people you will look back on and remember. [Take] it all in and enjoy every moment that you have. Work hard, but also, no matter how cheesy it is, have fun.”
Workman nailed it, to be honest. Now is also an excellent time to remind her of her own words.
Lexi, the hospital visits, the chemo, the missing that party and passing on that meal — it’s going to suck. But, these people around you right now? This community? This is your family. This is your home and it will rally around you.
Wake up and remind yourself that God has a bigger plan for you and us. Take each step of this process as an opportunity — not a burden.
Work hard, but also, no matter how cheesy it sounds, win.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith