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30 Jun 2015

UPDATE: Nothing Can Stop AAU Volleyball Member Alexa Fox

UPDATE: Nothing Can Stop AAU Volleyball Member Alexa Fox

UPDATE: Alexa Fox competed at the 2015 AAU Girls' Junior National Volleyball Championships with her Nike Eastside Wolverines 17 team of Eastside Volleyball Club. The participated in the 17 Premier divisions, which features the best teams in the country. After dropping their first 5 matches, they won three matches before championship play.

They played in the Orange Division bracket, but unfortunately lost their first matches in three sets (19-25, 25-6, 15-17), finishing 89th out of 95 teams in their division.

We hope you enjoyed your experience at the 2015 AAU Girls' Junior National Volleyball Championships and hope to see you again next year! 

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Written by: Amanda Szylin

Imagine being a teenager and being confined to a bed. You have a constant migraine that is made worse by light, sound, smell and even food. Using your cell phone makes you nauseous and you sleep up to 13 hours a night.

This was Alexa Fox’s life for just over a year and half. She was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus just three months into her freshman year of high school. This virus caused inflammation in the blood vessels that led to her brain, causing her agonizing headaches that kept her from attending school, hanging out with friends and living her life. The head pain was so bad, she was forced to drop out of high school.

“Once I got sick, the head pain was so bad and I was so fatigued and everything,” explained Fox. “I did try to go back at one point but it was completely impossible so I dropped out and I haven’t been in high school since then.”

Since high school is the place where your peers and friends are, she noticed a decrease in her social life and her friends slowly began disappearing.

“I couldn’t go to concerts, I couldn’t hang out with my friends,” she recalled. “When you’re that sick, you lose a lot of your friends.”

While she was losing her friends, she was gaining something that was even more important.

“I realized how important my family was,” she said. “You know, they’re there for you no matter what. I guess I know never to take anything for granted. It made me realize what I wanted to do for a career. Now I want to go into health and fitness and help people keep their bodies strong.”

Instead of giving up and living like this for the rest of her life, the seventeen year old fought back. She started eating healthier and strength training, which is what she credits for making her better. But most importantly, she never gave up.

“I guess I never really gave myself the option to give up,” Fox said. “I knew the life I was living for that year and a half was not the life that God had planned for me.”

After changing her lifestyle and eating habits, she began to regain her life back. She started playing volleyball again, even though she was still experiencing severe pain.

“I didn’t feel good at first but I just said, ‘this is the sport I love and I’m going to push through and I want to do it’,” she explained. “As the time goes on, my symptoms do subside, so I’m getting to play and not worry about how my head feels or how my body feels. I’m doing strength training and everything in my power to have a healthy body so I can play my sport.”

Now that she is back on the court, she will be joining Eastside Volleyball Club at the 42nd AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships in Orlando, Florida next week.

The Tremont, Illinois resident says she wants to attend this event for the exposure.

“Because I don’t get to play high school volleyball, the competition is a great opportunity,” Fox stated. “It gives me the look that a lot of high schoolers get.”

With over 400 college coaches attending the event, she will definitely get the look she deserves, however she is a little nervous about her level of play.

“As an athlete, I do wish I had that year and a half back,” Fox said. “I lost all muscle mass. I did nothing. I was practically comatose for a year and a half. So as an athlete, yes, I do wish I had that year and a half back.”

She is currently attending classes to obtain her GED and hopes to play college volleyball after she graduates.

Because it’s a virus, she will be plagued with these symptoms for the rest of her life. Fox will continue to eat healthy and train to keep the virus at bay. Overall, her demeanor is positive and she tries to look at the bright side when reminiscing about the last year and a half.

“I know I am a better and stronger person for going through it,” she said. “It was tough but now I am a completely changed person.”

As for people going through a similar situation, her advice is simple.

“Keep pushing through because you’ll get over the hump.”

We’re glad you kept pushing through Alexa, and we can’t wait to see you at the 42nd AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships!

 

Stay up-to-date with EVERYTHING #AAUVolleyball by following us on social media! LIKE us on Facebook (fb.com/RealAAUVolleyball), FOLLOW us on Twitter (@AAUVolleyball) and show us some love on Instagram (@AAUVolleyball)! For the 42nd AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships, please use #AAUVBNatls so EVERYONE can see YOUR photos! 

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