Hospital rooms are nothing new to 12-year-old Lexi Brown, who’s been fighting cancer since July of 2014.
But when she wound up in a hospital room overlooking the Sigma Alpha Epsilon House at the University of California, Los Angeles, she never imagined the friendship that would soon unfold.
According to NBC News, in an attempt to forget Lexi’s diagnosis, she and her mom, Lisa, put up a sign in the hospital window asking for pizza.
Little did Lexi know, the gentlemen of SAE saw the sign and decided to do something about the little girl’s pizza predicament.
“Five guys come in, and they had a guitar and dozen roses and a box of pizza,” Lisa says. “They introduced themselves and said, ‘We saw your sign; we’re here.’ They stayed for a half an hour, they sang this song and I started bawling my head off. I’m like, ‘I can’t believe these people are here for my child.’”
SAE member, Chase Gasper (Gonzaga Class of 2013), who also happens to be on the Men’s Soccer Team at UCLA, learned about Lexi’s love of soccer and had a heartwarming idea.
“I texted my teammates and they all stepped up to the plate to visit her,” Gasper tells the Independant Journal. “Everyone who got to know her was really moved. It was an incredible experience and we really want her to get through this.”
Their kindness didn’t stop there — the team even donated jerseys, t-shirts, hats and scarves to Lexi before surprising her with tickets to one of their games.
“When we played our game, we kind of played with an extra edge,” Gasper says. “We really wanted to win for her, and we did.”
Word spread quickly about Lexi’s story. Players from the men’s and women’s rowing, swimming, and tennis teams, as well as the Christian Campus Ministry and two sororities paid her a visit as well.
But the men who truly won over Lexis’ heart were the gentlemen of SAE.
According to her GoFundMe page, Lexi was first diagnosed a year-and-a-half ago, when doctors removed a tumor from the muscle in her thigh.
After undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, scans proved her cancer was no more.
Lexi was later granted a wish, attending the Women’s World Cup in Canada this past summer with her family. She even got to meet the team. After Make a Wish sent the 12-year-old to Hawaii with her friend, Faith, who also had cancer, she found that her cancer had returned.
But the brothers of SAE are committed to making sure Lexi’s heart is full of love and wanted her to see how much they cared for her, just by looking out her window.
“So, they had me turn around and look at the lights, and I saw my name on the roof,” Lexi tells CBS Los Angeles. “I thought it was really cool. I didn’t think that that would ever happen.”
Lexi recently learned her cancer spread to her lungs and says the lights help “keep her mind off things.”
Gasper says meeting Lexi has put his life into perspective.
“I have had a very blessed life, nothing comes close to what she’s gone through,” he explains. “She’s such a strong girl.”
Lexi’s name will be lit up in lights throughout the holiday season.
The unlikely bond between the brothers of SAE and Lexi Brown goes to show how friendship can be born out of even the most difficult circumstances.