I Still Believe in Miracles Pt. 1

Getting ready for the European football season
August 19, 2021
My Grandma Joy
August 19, 2021

I Still Believe in Miracles Pt. 1


As I sat to try and compile a series of words that would tell my first of many stories, my mind found great trouble in settling on the right place to start. How do I want people to perceive me? What can I write that would remain true to who I am as a person? What do I want people to know about Sherisse Camille Alexander?


I want people to know that I was once a little girl whose biggest dream was to inherit even half the strength of her mother. I knew that if I had even just half of her strength that would be more than enough to take me over, under and around any obstacle that life presented. What I didn’t know was that having such a dream would come at a great cost. You see, great strength is formed in the furnace of affliction, and affliction by its very definition is a cause of persistent pain or great suffering. Had I known this one crucial fact, I would have dreamt of something else.

When my dad walked out on our family and left us with little to no form of security and certainty, was my first strength-building experience. I am grateful for having been exposed to my training at the tender age of six years because it meant that I would have the years of practice and experience needed to endure the tests of recent times. Though there are many tales that can be told, my true test of grit has been my tumultuous journey with Plexiform Neurofibroma (a rare nerve condition).

The year 2012 saw me living “my best life”. I had successfully completed the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination and had gotten into The University of the West Indies, St

Augustine. I had entered and won Miss Butler Heritage 2012 and was featured in a local newspaper twice. My modelling career was taking off and my family was very proud of me. I had a great group of friends and I was feeling and looking my best. I was happy! No, I was my HAPPIEST! Little did I know that trouble was lurking right around the corner and that this happiness would be short-lived.

Life changes in waves

In 2014, I experienced the first wave that rocked my boat. I began to experience pain. Physical pain. It was sudden, sporadic pain but it was also pain that could be ignored. Then, in December of that year, I experienced my second wave i.e., an emotional breakdown in the middle of exams which saw my having to take a semester off from my degree to “sort myself out”.

The third wave came on Good Friday morning of 2015. I call it ‘the crucifixion pain’. The pain could be ignored no longer. The pain made Margaret De Souza (my deceased aunt) give me a tongue lashing and scared me into seeking medical attention.

Later that year, I experienced the fourth wave. The weight loss! It was subtle and almost unnoticeable at first. But, the pain grew worse and the weight continued to decrease. Running up and down, to and fro to dozens of doctors and medical institutions became my lifestyle.

On July 16, 2015 (the date of my birth) I received the MRI report which confirmed my “illness”. Plexiform Neurofibroma aka the fifth wave. Words like ‘incurable’, ‘lifetime of pain’, ‘extremely rare and degenerative’ hung over my health. The waves came faster and stronger then, and to be honest, I lost count of them all. The depression, the failed surgery, the drastic weight loss, the inability to walk, move or bathe on my own after the surgery.

I didn’t know how to be happy. Pain seemed to be all I knew… and then it became difficult to love myself. I grew into a bitter little monster whom my family felt the need to tiptoe around. I pushed people away. I questioned God and I became ashamed of myself, my illness, my symptoms, and my appearance. I started hiding, and the rumours of my having AIDS or tabanca or smoking too much weed didn’t help. The stares, the murmurs, the gossip, the unkind and insensitive reactions to my weight loss didn’t do much good either.

The beginning of 2017 saw me hitting my all-time lowest: at the age of 23, I was weighing in at 65 pounds! My life was in shambles, but it was through these tests that I was drawn to my knees where I desperately established a closer and truer relationship with my GOD whom I believe has a healing miracle in store for me. It is this belief that has given me strength and it is with this same belief that I say to you that YOU are now a witness to what will one day be a great and awesome TESTIMONY!

Look out for part two of Sherisse’s story next week.

You can also support Sherisse’s upcoming barbeque fundraiser