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“Sometimes life’s biggest challenges lead to such extraordinary opportunities and this experience is definitely one of those rare instances,” says Lexy Greenwell, 20, who suffered a rare and usually deadly brain condition that caused three separate brain hemorrhages. “I feel amazing now and can’t wait to perform.”
Celebrity Fight Night is the city’s most glamorous event with stars like Jennifer Lopez, Reba McEntire, and Andrea Bocelli headlining the event. The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at St. Joseph’s Barrow Neurological Institute is the primary beneficiary of the event. Ali and his wife Lonnie are expected to attend as usual.
Greenwell will perform at Celebrity Fight Night’s Founders Dinner on Friday, March 22 at the JW Marriott in Phoenix. Greenwell, a talented performer, followed a path to sing at the A-list event unlike many of those she will sing alongside, including winners of American Idol and The X Factor.
Last spring, Greenwell, who resides in Aurora, Colorado, was in the process of auditioning for a show on ABC and recording vocals for a music label, when she was diagnosed with a cavernous malformation, a life threatening brain condition in which abnormal clusters of blood vessels are embedded in normal brain tissue and can cause brain hemorrhaging. Within three weeks of diagnosis, the right side of her face became paralyzed and just one week before surgery, Greenwell was confined to a wheelchair.
“My malformation was located in the worst possible place – in the brainstem. It was so rare and complex we couldn’t find a neurosurgeon who was confident in operating.”
Without surgery, Greenwell would suffer more brain bleeds which could result in death. She was led to Robert Spetzler, MD, director of Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Dr. Spetzler is one of the world’s leading brain surgeons who operates on otherwise inoperable brain conditions such as Greenwell’s.
“We immediately contacted Dr. Spetzler and he was very confident in taking my case,” says Greenwell. “I was deteriorating so rapidly we were scared I wouldn't survive much longer."
In June, Greenwell traveled to Phoenix to undergo a five-hour brain surgery by Dr. Spetzler at Barrow. Dr. Spetzler was able to completely remove the malformation from Greenwell’s brain. Greenwell’s next step was intensive rehabilitation where she has been using her singing and musical talents to help regain her facial movement.
When organizers at Celebrity Fight Night learned about Greenwell they invited her to sing at their annual Founders Dinner, which takes place the night before Celebrity Fight Night and includes an exclusive gathering of many of the stars who will attend Celebrity Fight Night.
“Before my surgery, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to sing or play music again,” says Greenwell, who hasn’t seemed to miss a beat since her surgery. “And, I certainly never would have guessed I would be performing in front of some of the nation’s top stars. It’s an absolute dream come true.” - Barrow
Greenwell will be available for interviews with the media during her rehearsal on Friday, March 22 at 1:45 p.m. at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge on the Tierra Madre Lawn next to the spa. Dr. Spetzler is also available for interviews. B-roll of Greenwell performing at the event can be provided. Please call 602-406-3319 to schedule interviews. To watch Greenwell sing and see how she’s preparing for her performance, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/LexyBeatMusic.