Archived Story

Cancer survivor films scene in Lifetime movie

Published 11:39am Thursday, June 27, 2013

She’s a regional dance star. She’s appeared in commercials and done modeling. She recently filmed a scene for a Lifetime movie.

But Alexa Robertson – whose father is Alexander City native Paul Robertson – came to fame after beating cancer at four years old.

“She lost a kidney, and she went through chemo and radiation for over a period of about a year,” said Alexa’s mother, Jennifer Robertson.

Alexa faced having a Wilms’ tumor – a rare cancer of the kidneys that primarily affects children.

“It was really scary because she was four and half and just had this dynamic personality, and she was beautiful,” Jennifer said. “When she went through this we were just so afraid she would lose her spirit.”

But Alexa jumped right back into it once she had recovered – back into a dancing career that began at the age of 2. When her family moved from Virginia to North Carolina at age 6, she continued dancing at CC & Company Dance Complex.

“She’s been dancing with them competitively since she was six,” Jennifer said. “She has won lots of regional titles.”

Dancing was only the beginning. At age 10 Alexa got involved in theater – although she never took an acting class.

“I feel like acting allows you to be very versatile,” Alexa said. “I enjoy giving myself a challenge and trying to embody somebody I’m not.”

From performing at the North Carolina Theater, Alexa progressed to performing off Broadway.

“In the fall of 2010 she played in an off-Broadway play in New York City in a show called Ruthless,” said Jennifer. “She played the starring role of Tina Denmark. That was her first New York Broadway type experience.”

Alexa and her family also spent three months in Hollywood for pilot season, but it was in Atlanta in October 2012 that Alexa filmed a scene for The Anna Nicole Story movie, which is set to air on Lifetime this weekend at 7 p.m.

“I was pretty much the only kid on set,” Alexa said. “It was way different than performing on stage. We had to do the scene over and over and over again. It also felt a lot more professional because it was a movie and there was director give me notes and stuff.”

Jennifer said the scene took just a couple of days to film.

Although whether or not Alexa’s scene will appear the movie is still uncertain, what is certain is that Alexa will continue performing – she’s competing in a national dance event in Las Vegas in July.

“I’ve done it for so long now it’s just a part of my life,” Alexa said. “You can express yourself, and you kind of find yourself.”

And Alexa’s health won’t hold her back.

“She still has to have her one kidney checked yearly, and there’s still testing she has to go through on a regular basis,” Jennifer said. “But you would never know.”

A large on her tummy and other small scars are the only lasting visible reminder of Alexa’s treatment, but even that doesn’t stop her – not even from wearing a bikini.

‘I get some pretty odd questions, like did I get bitten by a shark and stuff,” Alexa said with a laugh. “It’s really cool to have a story about where I’ve come from and how my journey has come to this destination.”