Since 2005, this has been one of my absolute favorite tracks on "Playing the Angel" album by Depeche Mode. It's a tune that I can literally play over and over again without becoming annoyed. And then play it again.
On Tuesday, May 15 of this year however, the phrase "Nothing is Impossible" took on a whole new meaning for me.
That day started out like any other. Entering the office and opening my email, still battling the "I'm not awake yet" haze, are all part of my normal M.O. Launched the umpteen browsers I use daily, check. Stare at the running task list of the day. Yep. And then my email notification popped up.
The subject line: Hey Katie, I need your help. The first few sentences: Hi Katie, I really, truly need your help.
And then I kept reading. My eyes were not prepared to read the contents of that email, nor my heart ready to accept the cruel reality that impacted a member of our tight-knit community. In short, I was introduced to John, Danna and their precious 3-month-old little miracle, Paxton Andrews. Now, I had heard of John before ‚Äď primarily because of the super secret yet not-so-secret hashtag that was used on Twitter to describe a few of my friends' ball-busting personal training sessions they had with John. But that was all I knew.
Two days before Paxton's 3-month birthday, he was taken to the pediatrician for what appeared to be a common cold and possible eye infection. That visit turned into an emergency run to Children's Hospital. The doctors had found cancer all over his little body. The timing of this also happened to be Mother's Day weekend.
The email was not only from someone who I have the utmost respect personally and professionally for, but also filled a void that was lingering since the #saveteecycle movement in 2010. A general sense of wanting to help change lives again, to strengthen Milwaukee. Put those few things together and it was a no brainer for me. I was IN.
So began Team Paxton.
Team Paxton is a Milwaukee-based, all volunteer unincorporated non-profit association dedicated to stopping cancer from stealing children from the lives of their parents and families. We grew by leaps and bounds over the next few days, and the community expanded like gangbusters over the next few weeks, leading into months. Our Facebook community is more than 1,000 members strong, and spans the world.
Brilliant minds were gathered, plans were taking shape and we were ready to fight. Paxton was in the battle of his tiny life, and there was no way any of us were going to let him or his family fight this sh*t alone. We are a true Army of Love.
On July 2, life had other plans for Paxton.
He passed away in the protection and the endless love and devotion of his mom and dad's arms. He was just 10 days shy of his five-month birthday.
To say that Team Paxton is devastated is an understatement. But the pain of losing Paxton has ignited an even stronger fire within our souls. We are fighting. And we will continue to fight even harder.
I'm not typically one who asks for help. But this is special to me. And I could use all of your help.
We want YOU to help join our fight. Not only that, but we want you to join us in celebrating Paxton's life, and the children in our community who have passed away from cancer all too soon.
Team Paxton is throwing a MAJOR family-friendly shindig on Saturday, Sept. 22 from noon to 7 p.m. at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, and you're all invited. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. YOU. Proceeds from Paxton's Pablove Fest will benefit the Pablove Foundation. Please consider stopping by and showing your support for eradicating childhood cancer. Our future generations are depending on us.
Even the starts look brighter tonight
I still believe in love at first sight
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Published Oct. 24, 2011
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