Community helps family stay #PaxtonStrong


By Megan Johnson

In the world today, several people are affected daily by disease. Whether it be a father with cancer, a daughter with diabetes, or a grandmother with Alzheimer’s, all of these situations can make any heart heavy with hurt. However, with the help of family, friends and the community, this heaviness can be lightened.

Paxton Bloyd is a five year old little boy from Lexington Kentucky who was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt’s Lymphoma. According to Macmillan.org.uk, Burkitt’s Lymphoma is a rare type of B-cell lymphoma that comes in four different stages. Bloyd was diagnosed with stage four of this cancerous disease, which means several of his organs, central nervous system and possibly even the bone marrow have been affected.

Since Bloyd’s situation is so drastic, his parents Cheslee and Jamie Bloyd, have reached out to their surrounding community, including FC students and families. They have done so by creating the fundraiser “Prayers For Paxton,” starting the trend of “#PaxtonStrong,” and simply requesting cards for their child’s moral support.

“I honestly have no idea what Burkitt’s Lymphoma is, but I do know I want to help Paxton,” said sophomore Katelynn Harrison.

Harrison shared that she only recently found out about Bloyd’s situation but already has plans she wants to put into action.

“I think if everyone were to just tell their friends, who could then tell their friends, we could get the word out about Paxton a lot faster.”

Though some have only learned of Bloyd’s fundraiser recently, others have already been working to support him.

“I donated money through work on ‘Jean’s Day,’ where we paid a certain amount to wear jeans in honor of Paxton,” said FC graduate Amber Thompson.

Since Thompson has already donated to the “Prayers for Paxton” fund, she has continued to inspire others to do so as well.

“A friend of mine will be running in the 5k marathon with her boyfriend and his family thanks to the inspiration of ‘#PaxtonStrong,’” she said.

Not only has this simple hashtag moved the community, it has also caught the attention of several celebrities.

George Strait, Lou Ferrigno, the Kentucky State Senate and University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University basketball players have also been helping to support the Bloyd family. All of these people, and many others, have taken pictures of themselves wearing their “Paxton Strong” shirts or flexing and hash-tagging it, “PaxtonStrong.”

“I think it’s great to see so many people humble themselves to show one little boy just how important he is,” said Thompson.

Anyone interested in supporting Paxton can donate money via the “Paxton Bloyd Special Fund” at any Forcht Bank location or through the purchase of a “#PaxtonStrong” shirt from the “Prayers for Paxton” Facebook page. Another opportunity includes running or walking in the “Paxton Strong 5k,” on June 7.

Also, the family encourages making a card for him or mailing him toys and sending them to the following address:

Robert Paxton Bloyd

c/o Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039

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