25-year-old Alexis Allen is full of life. She'll earn her master's degree in Applied Cognition and Neuro Science at UT-Dallas on May 11th.
That's remarkable because when Alexis was diagnosed with a rare brain disease at 15 years old called arteriovenous malformation. Veins and arteries on the right side of her brain were tangled up.
At 16 years old, she had the risky surgery. And while it was successful, it wasn't complete. At 17 years old, he had another brain surgery but had a stroke. It paralyzed the left side of her body.
Alexis was left-handed, so she had to learn how to write with and use her right hand. She walks, but she must use a leg brace to hold and her left leg and foot.
Alexis volunteers at The Perot Museum in Downtown Dallas. Two days a week, you'll see her in the Being Human Hall. The new permanent exhibit features a preserved brain with the spinal cord and nerve endings attached. Alexis fell in love with this exhibit because it shows the power of the human brain; something she's experienced.
As a teenager, she thought her life was over. Through hard work and mental toughness, she's looking at a bright future focused on giving back. Alexis plans to earn her Ph.D. and help patients with AVM and patients working to overcome a stroke.
May is Stroke Awareness Month. The permanent being Human Hall at The Perot Museum opens on May 11.