Walt Whitman High School junior Alexis Hanford, 16, celebrated homecoming with her peers Friday after battling a flesh-eating disease that caused her to undergo 17 operations, The Washington Post reports.
The teen contracted a strain of necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a California lake while on vacation in July, according to the report. Though doctors successfully eradicated the infection, the former athelete remains in a wheelchair and will need to learn to walk again, The Post reported.
Hanford was named homecoming princess during Friday's festivities, The Post reported.
“Even though it can be frustrating to have to deal with this, there are always people who are worse off,” Hanford told The Post.
Friends at Whitman have launched the “Alexis Healing Project,” a fundraising campaign to benefit the Children's National Medical Center, where Hanford was treated.