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Teen with birth defect has new hope

Wayland, N.Y. - A push is underway in Wayland to help raise funds for 16-year-old Alexis Garrison, who is just a week away from getting life changing surgery.

Alexis was born with vascular and lymphatic malformation in her cheek.

Its a birth defect that has caused her to lose vision on her right eye, and its pushing her teeth in.

For 16 years her parents have been looking for a doctor - all said her condition was too complicated - until two months ago, when they were referred to a doctor in New York City.

He [the doctor] said he could help my daughter, said Alexis father Ron Garrison.

We've never been able to get help and now we finally are and it just doesn't seem real, said Alexis Garrison.

For Alexis it's been difficult growing up looking different.

But now she has hope.

Hope that she's never had before.

And she also has the support of her community.

It's been amazing, said Alexis. I didn't think that many people cared about me.

While the numbers still aren't clear, insurance will only cover a portion of the surgery.

The rest, which could be well into the thousands, will have to come out of pocket.

That's why people like Marie Magin have stepped in to help organize a fundraiser.

I want Alexis's dream to come true and I knew that I could help, said Magin.

Next Monday Alexis will head to New York City for surgery to remove her birth defect.

Something she has only been able to dream about.

It seems unreal, and when we went to the doctors office I almost cried when he said he could help me, said Alexis.

To help the family with medical expenses and their trip, Alexis best friend has set up this fund - click here.

Kelsie Smith, 13WHAM-TV
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