Lexi, with mother, Rachel, shows her “Look Out Fuller House, California Here I Come” sign to Dr. Christopher Najarian and Brittany Parise, RN.
Everywhere you look, everywhere you go
There’s a heart (there’s a heart), a hand to hold on to …
There’s something about that snappy theme song, the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and faces that are smiling and familiar.
Whenever 17-year-old Lexi Krosky fires up an episode of Full House on her iPad, she knows it makes her happy.
She is the ultimate Full House fan and cannot be beat when it comes to trivia about plot lines, the characters and the stars who portray them.
Before the iPad, she wore through several DVD sets of the complete series.
Lexi watches Full House every day after her homework is done. She also brings her iPad with her to doctor’s appointments, especially her baclofen pump refills, at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Lexi was born very premature and has cerebral palsy. Baclofen helps give her a little more control of her body movements.
Full House bond
Full House may serve as a cheerful distraction during medical procedures but it has also become a way for Lexi to bond with her pediatric physiatrist Christopher Najarian and nurse Brittany Parise.
“You can’t deny her enthusiasm for the show,” said Brittany. “We sing together and laugh. I watched the show too when I was a kid. I know Lexi’s mom, Rachel, thinks John Stamos is cute and Lexi and I joke about her marrying ‘Uncle Jesse.’”
Rachel also understands Lexi’s love for the show.
“Full House always has a positive, upbeat message and that’s Lexi. She is happy, always grateful,” said Rachel. “She started watching the show at age 4 or 5 and instantly became addicted to it. It makes her smile and makes her forget a little bit about all the surgeries, and all the other pain she goes through on a daily basis. Lexi’s had more surgeries than birthdays.”
As coordinator of Akron Children’s spasticity program, Brittany wants to learn about her patients’ goals and dreams. When you’re confined to a wheelchair, like Lexi, just getting around can be difficult.
But Brittany and Dr. Najarian strive to help their patients live life to the fullest.
A junior at Columbiana High School, Lexi is a cheerleader and will have a role in an upcoming school play. But something like an airplane trip or out-of-state vacation can seem like the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest for families of children with disabilities.
Brittany knew Lexi’s family had reached out to the Full House stars for years, hoping for a call, letter, autographed photo.
Then it was announced that Fuller House, a new series featuring many of the original cast members, would debut on Netflix in early 2016.
Fuller House will center on D.J. Tanner-Fuller, played by Candace Cameron Bure, a widow raising 3 children, with help from her sister, Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). Tickets were available to see the new show being filmed in California and Lexi knew it.
“Knowing this was Lexi’s wish and the one thing out of life that would bring her so much joy, I made phone calls and sent some emails and the Cameron family opened their hearts,” said Brittany.
Oct. 5 – a typical school day – became anything but typical when Lexi received a phone call while doing her homework. Candace Cameron Bure called to invite Lexi, Rachel and Lexi’s dad, Robert, to the filming of an episode of Fuller House at the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Calif., on Oct. 14.
Lexi could barely contain her excitement while tears flowed from Rachel’s eyes.
Charitable organizations make dreams come true
Even with the invitation, the trip, which will include a visit to Disneyland, would not have been possible for the family without the generous help of 2 organizations – Wishes Can Happen and the Aladdin Foundation of Akron, Inc.
“Brittany is our angel,” said Rachel. “And Candace, Wishes Can Happen, Aladdin and all the others who are making this happen … I am so honored, so awed.”
Dr. Najarian, who also has cerebral palsy, said Lexi’s trip is about much more than meeting the stars of her favorite TV show. She will get to see palm trees, the ocean, and clouds and the Earth from the window of an airplane.
“This trip will be full of new experiences and something Lexi will never forget,” he said. “She will keep those memories forever.”