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Pre-prom fundraiser being held for woman battling cancer for sixth time

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A chance encounter is bringing a much-needed source of support to a woman who is running out of fingers to count the number of fights she's had with cancer.

Alexa Dacres was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2012. This type of cancer develops from immature nerve cells in several body parts. However, after beating this disease, it sadly has returned multiple times, with Dacres now in her sixth fight.

"A lot of people fear the unknown, which is a fear of mine too," Dacres said to CTV News. "I fear not knowing things."

The disease took much of her childhood away from her, forcing her to miss parties, all of grade 10 and much of her senior year.

But now a chance encounter with the founder of Random Acts of Kindness Alliston, a start-up charity working to lend a helping to those who need it, is providing her with a much-needed source of support.

On June 15, the charity will hold a pre-prom party for the graduating class of Banting Memorial. Founder Nicole Melara hopes to get as many students out as possible to the party. Professional makeup artists, professional photographers, flowers and tasty treats will all be offered for a minimum $20 donation.

Those funds will go towards Dacres as she continues a battle she's all too familiar with fighting.

"We just want to bring as much attention and awareness to it and help her keep the life that she deserves," said Melara of Random Acts of Kindness Alliston. "At the end of the day, not only do you have a really good pre-prom party, but you're doing something for somebody who truly deserves recognition for her skills and to help her keep going."

Random Acts of Kindness is Melara's latest mission in life. A recovered heroin addict, she started the charity as a way to give back to the community. In addition to holding events like this, the charity has a fridge and pantry open 24/7 for anyone in need.

"I had a rough life," Melara said. "I got out, but most of my friends didn't, and I think I got out because this was what I was supposed to do."

The funds will go towards Dacres' travel costs. Despite being an adult now, she is still being treated at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, which she says is due to the complexity of her case.

"I've missed out on a lot, but I've also gained a lot," said Dacres. "I've gained a lot of perspective on life. I've learned to appreciate, like truly appreciate every day that I get here; even if it's not the greatest day, I still got another day."

The party will be held on June 15, starting at 11 a.m. at 180 Nelson Street West in Alliston.

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