One Precious Night: Teenage couple battles cancer together - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

One Precious Night: Teenage couple battles cancer together

By Ursula Madden - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter   

JACKSON, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - Two Mid-South teenagers are doing their best to live life to the fullest while battling cancer together.

17-year-old Alexandra Niswonger and 18-year-old Jose Campos are almost always holding hands.

Jose was three months into his relationship with Alexandra when he learned he had bone cancer.

He struggled with how he would tell his girlfriend, and wondered how she would handle the devastating news. He also wondered if their relationship would survive the diagnosis.

"It was really hard for us. It was really hard for her, she told me," Jose said.
As Jose began treatments at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, his relationship with Alexandra received another devastating blow. Alexandra had cancer, too.

She was diagnosed six months after Jose, and he was there when she receieved the news.

"What are the odds that we both would get diagnosed? We both kept thinking that this is a test...this is a test and we are both going to pass it," said Jose.

The couple believed they would beat the disease together, and it would make their relationship stronger. And it's that "make us stronger" attitude that keeps them determined to enjoy the best parts of their young lives.
On Thursday, Alexandra was one of three students at Jackson's South Side High School awarded for having a perfect score on her TCAP writing assessment. The honor came just days after she surprised Jose in the hospital. 

Jose was upset over missing his senior prom, so hospital staffers transformed an outdoor patio into a prom party. They even brought Jose a tuxedo and a pair of dress shoes.

And what's a prom without a prom date? Alexandra was all dolled up and waiting for her first dance with Jose.

The teary-eyed teen said he pinched himself, delighted with his girlfriend's surprise.

"I'm just glad stuff like this happens...makes up for it," he said.

The cancer treatments make Jose and Alexandra tire easily, but that hasn't worn out their respect or consideration for each other.

"He's always there, on the phone or in person," said Alexandra.

And Jose says he's grateful Alexandra has been there for him since the beginning.

"When I was the only one there being diagnosed, she was there saying, 'It will be okay,'" he said. "She was my rock, and I appreciate that. I would do anything for her. I wish I could do more."
But just knowing what the other person is going through may be more than enough.

"I've learned so much from him because he's so positive and always helps everyone," said Alexandra. "I have my negative moments."

Cancer has struck Alexandras' family especially hard. Her father recently lost his job, and the family is trying to get by on about $250 a week.

If you would like to help Alexandra's family, you can make a donation at any First Tennessee bank in the care of Donna Niswonger for Alexandra.

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