Brax continued to move forward with Block 2 of chemotherapy treatment at the end of December. Block 2 is another intense block of treatment following her 30 day inpatient stay for Block 1 Induction. Due to no evidence of disease after her bone marrow biopsies her team decided to continue along the chemo path for Block 2. We were thankful that Part 1 of Block 2 was outpatient since that allowed Brax to be home for Christmas and a majority of Brylee’s holiday break.
On December 30th Brax started Part 2 of Block 2 and this phase included a sedated lumbar puncture, 36 hours of methotrexate, and another Peg all to be done inpatient. She needed to stay inpatient until her body cleared the methotrexate. Good news is that she cleared the chemo very quickly but bad news is she had a very rare reaction to the chemo that created chemical like burns on her hands & feet. It was extremely red, swollen, and painful. Due to her blood counts being good they let us go home with an antibiotic and a huge tub of Aquaphor to recover. It was painful for her to walk and use her hands, but she was thankful to be at home. She also developed mouth sores, which are a common side effect, that delayed her from starting part 3 of treatment until they healed.
On Tuesday, January 10th she was admitted for Block 2 Part 3 which is all inpatient. She had 10 chemos in 5 days (5 cytoxan & 5 etoposide) which was very intense and definitely one of the tougher treatments she has experienced. The doctors want to keep her inpatient until her counts bottom out and start to recover before she can go home. Since this is her second time going through therapy she is even more at risk since the body has already been through 2.5 years of chemo and radiation. Brax is exhausted & nauseas but hanging in there – we will be happy to put this block behind us and move on to targeted therapy for her next round of treatment. We finally received the results of the genetic testing from her leukemia. Our team has decided that between the results of her bone marrow tests, her genetic testing, and consulting with a few other experts in the field that Brax will go down a 2 year chemotherapy path. The difference this time will be the introduction to a new targeted immunotherapy drug Blinatumomab (aka Blin). This drug hunts out the leukemia cells that may be hiding and going undetected. Our team is hopeful that the combo of chemo and Blin will be the cure. We would still have the option to use CAR T or Bone Marrow Transplant if needed in the future. Hopefully we won’t need these options but always nice to have options just in case. Brax received a blood transfusion and her first IVIG infusion after her counts bottomed out about 10 days after starting chemo. Now we are just waiting for her counts to recover before being discharged. We are looking forward to having Block 1 & Block 2 behind us and moving on the Blin cylcle 1. She will start this cycle inpatient for a few days but the rest should hopefully be outpatient and she should feel much better!
And for anyone looking to get out and support TB1 Fund, our 3rd Annual TB1F Champion’s Cup presented by Cub is back this April. If you’ve been before, you know what to expect (some new additions this year though). If you have never been, it’s fun night and you wont be disappointed….promise! One BIG addition this year, PA will be calling the (4) races…..he’s is going to put his spin on things….buckle up!
To learn more, see past year’s videos or purchase tickets visit the link below.
The final week of re-induction was very low key and that is exactly what you want when you are in the hospital. “Boring is Good” is a quote one of the attending oncologists says and it is very true. Brax had her last chemo of this block and all went well.
They continued to keep her on IV antibiotics to help keep her from developing an infection with her blood counts being so low. She felt pretty good for the most part and was able to get in several walks around Unit 5 and a couple sessions of PT. Trimester #2 started at school and Brax started up a few of her classes after taking the first few weeks of treatment off to focus on her health. After the 4 week treatment plan for Block 1 was complete it was time for her big day of testing. All went well with her bone marrow biopsy and diagnostic lumbar puncture. The team in the hospital and her personal team both thought it was safe for her to go home and wait for results. After 30 days of being inpatient Brax was so excited to go home and sleep in her own bed and see her puppies.
She enjoyed a few days at home before going into clinic on Friday for labs/exam. The results from her tests on Tuesday were all negative for leukemia, but with having so few white blood cells present our team decided they wanted to repeat the bone marrow biopsy on 12/23 so she would have more cells available to give the most accurate results. We also learned that Brax’s leukemia may have a genetic factor that could change the course of her treatment. The bone marrow with cancer that was originally collected on November 9th was sent away for special testing. Once the genetic results and the results from the upcoming biopsy are back our team will create a treatment plan for Brax. We are hopeful to have results back around the end of the month and move forward with a plan in early January. We had a very nice Christmas and we’re all very thankful that we could be home and together. The day after Christmas we received the great news that the second bone marrow biopsy confirmed that Brax was negative for leukemia. We are still waiting on the genetic results since they will play a major role in her treatment plan moving forward, but to have her in remission after the first month is a big WIN. We will be going inpatient once again on 12/30 and continuing moving through Block 2 of the chemo path for now. We will continue to wait patiently while Brax’s team gathers all the information they can before deciding on the best plan to cure her for good. Hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas wishing everyone a Happy New Year! We are happy (and Thankful) to be moving into 2023 cancer free, albeit the treatment path uncertain, we have the best team around.
Week #3 began with starting a 5 day steroid pulse and IV chemo. She had a great session of PT before her treatment and she said it felt good to get in a workout even though it was challenging.
Wednesday was the last day for TB1F’s month long “Give to the Brax” campaign. With Carousel Motor Group matching funds up to $25,000 she was able to raise $43, 527! Thanks to everyone who made donations, big or small, during the month of November – every dollar counts! A HUGE thank you to CMG for their generous support!
Thursday she had her second IV chemo of the week and one of her least favorites overall. She did well, but was extremely tired for the remainder of the day.
Friday she still wasn’t feeling very good but agreed to do a quick interview with Fox 9 news on “My Cause My Cleats”. Minnesota native and former Gopher Blake Cashman decided to rep Brax & TB1Fund this year. Brax was so honored and excited about being a part of this big week of giving back in the NFL. “My Cause My Cleats” is a way for NFL players to pick a cause that is important to them and represent the organization on custom designed cleats. Thanks so much Blake for choosing Brax & TB1F! Check out the segment on FOX 9 below.
Saturday she was still tired but it was her last day of steroids for block 1 of treatment. She forced herself to get a session of PT in and of course felt better afterwards. Grandma Judy took over so we could go watch Brylee’s first gymnastics meet of the season – Peppermint Twist proudly hosted by TCT. Brax enjoyed looking up scores and receiving videos of different routines. Bry did great for her first full Level 7 meet with bars being her favorite event of the meet and her team took home 1st place! Brax was so proud of her sister and all of her teammates for doing so well.
Sunday was a pretty low key day of watching football and the “My Cause My Cleats” campaign.
Monday was the last day of week 3 and her hair is finally starting to fall out, but she still has a majority of it. It is hard to believe that we have been here for 3 weeks – it seems longer & shorter at the same time. Her final week of treatment in block 1 has only 1 chemo and then we wait for December 13th. She will resume school this week and try to get in a few more sessions of PT. We are hopeful that we will be home for Christmas, but also know that you never know what will happen in the world of cancer treatment.
Thanks for everyone’s continued prayers and support! We have a long road ahead of us again, but we are confident that 2X will be the last X.
If you have time, check out some of the well wishes from NCAA Gymnastics programs around the country on our Fun Stuff page – thank you everyone!!
Week 2 was less intense than week 1 and the timing was great with it being Thanksgiving and Brax’s birthday. It was a busy week that started off with a port needle change, physical therapy, a pedicure.
Tuesday was a very big day that started with a sedated lumbar puncture with chemo and IV chemo in her room that afternoon. We also had a consultation with the Bone Marrow Transplant team. We won’t know her treatment plan until after the results of her bone marrow biopsy on December 13th, but we want to be prepared for whatever path Brax will go on. Having a BMT would be the most aggressive treatment plan, but we did receive the amazing news that if she needs a BMT her little sister Brylee is a full match! Hopefully Brax will not need a BMT, but it is good to know that if she ever does that Brylee is the best chance of her having a successful transplant. The day concluded with a visit from Minnesota Wild players Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. One of the best things about being a Masonic patient are all the awesome athlete visits.
Wednesday she had a few of her good friends visit and drop off gifts for her birthday. It was great for Brax to get a chance to visit with some friends and we are thankful that visitors are allowed at the hospital.
Thursday was Thanksgiving and Brax had more visitors, had Thanksgiving dinner brought in, Facetime with her little cousins, and watched football all day.
Friday she woke up a teenager! We had a super fun weekend planned to go to Wisconsin Dells and the Gopher v. Badger game but we will have to do that another time. Next year the Axe game is home and on her actual birthday so we are already looking forward to that. Brax did spike a fever on her birthday and that is one of the reasons why they keep you inpatient during the first month so that they can get you IV antibiotics right away and prevent any kind of infection. She had a bunch of visitors and received some amazing gifts and treats.
Saturday she need a blood transfusion, but was feeling good for a long visit with close friends. We were thankful to have our family of 4 all together to watch the U of M game and cheer on the Gophers to a Back2Back Axe wins! So proud of Coach Fleck, Heather, and the entire Gopher Football organization.
Sunday she needed platelets again, but her hemoglobin rebounded nicely after her blood transfusion on Saturday. She cleaned and organized her room and was able to get out of her room for a couple walks.
Monday she was so excited to have Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the day! Since she is inpatient she wanted to try to share it with other patients and staff. We found out there is only a small percentage of patients that are not on precautions (meaning most are sick with some type of virus they could spread and cannot leave their rooms) or are not receiving critical care. We decided to go to the Zucker Broadcast Studio and record a special segment on the Axe to share with other patients and families at the hospital.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make Brax’s inpatient 13th birthday special. She could feel the love from the texts, videos, gifts, visits, treats, decorations, etc. Thank You!
Onto week 3. This week will get more intense again, but we are hopeful she responds well and no curveballs. Her hair is slowly starting to come out too, so if you were wondering (and many are, but haven’t wanted to ask until we bring it up), yes, she will lose her hair again…..she’s reminded us all the other day she hasn’t had a hair cut since 2018!
Thanks again for all the continued love, support and prayers. Nothing about this is easy, but all off the support makes it easier!
Brax felt pretty good over the weekend and was able to visit with family & friends before being admitted for 30+ days.
This go around we had some time to prepare for our month long plus hospital stay so we packed up half the house before we left for Masonic on Monday. We checked into peds sedation to have her port placed – a port is an essential part of cancer treatment for chemo, blood draws, transfusions, etc.
We had some delays due to some emergency situations that came up, but Brax handled it very patiently. She said it was ok because other kids needed it more than she did. Her blood counts took a dive over the weekend and she needed a platelet transfusion before her surgery. All went well with her surgery and we arrived to Floor 5 around 8pm. Because we were behind schedule we decided to wait to start chemo until Tuesday so she didn’t have to have chemo in the middle of the night. Tuesday morning Brax woke up to a massive delivery of Panera provided by our great friends at Carousel Motor Group. Her port site was very sore, but otherwise she was feeling pretty good. She started her 5 day cycle of twice daily steroid pulse in the morning and in the afternoon she had (2) IV chemos. One that was very familiar to her from her first round of therapy and one that was new. The new one requires a pre-med to protect her heart and the actual chemo is blue – super blue!
Wednesday was another round of blue IV chemo and she had her first session of inpatient PT. Thursday she had one of her least favorite chemos – PEG. It not only wipes her out but kids can have a reaction to it so that always makes her nervous. She wrapped steroids on Saturday night and gets to reset until Week 2 starts tomorrow/Tuesday.
During her first week she was able to see many of her favorite people who work at the hospital. She was also able to take advantage of the awesome programming on ZTV – made possible by Jason & Carly Zucker and also was able to see her friends Casey & Jace and a few other special visitors.
TB1F collaborated with #Give16 on Thursday night to give patients and families a VIP experience at the Wild v. Penguins game. Jason and Carly even stopped in the suite after the game to take photos & sign autographs. Friday was Fashion Fest and both girls were supposed to model for UNRL, but Brylee had to do it solo this year. She did a great job rocking the runway and Brax was excited to see the fun pics & videos from the evening.
Last, but not least it’s been neat to see the things Brax and TB1F have accomplished over the last few years that are now not only improving other’s quality of stay at the hospital, but also Brax’s (not that we ever wanted to be able to use these ourselves, it is nice having them here).
Thank You again to everyone for the prayers, well wishes, gifts and continue support. We have said it before and will say it again, we are truly thankful for it all!
After a week of recently unexplained fevers, we received word last week that Brax’s cancer has come back. At this time, we know its the same type of Leukemia she had initially [B-Cell ALL]. Also, the one bright spot, if there is one, is that there was no cancer found in her Central Nervous System (CNS), which there was during her initial diagnosis in 2019.
Brax will be admitted to Masonic tomorrow, Monday, November 14th at which time she will have her port placed and start the first round of treatment. We have been told this 1st round will be a 4-week cycle of chemo, which will end with another bone marrow biopsy on December 12th. The results of the bone marrow biopsy will determine the next steps. Ideally we are looking for no sign of disease after these first four weeks, which will put Brax on the chemo path moving forward. This path is the most desired, but it’s another long treatment schedule, stretching nearly 2 years. We have been told these first 30-days will be entirely inpatient as it will be intense treatment.
We will continue to update this site going forward as we know more.
We ask that you would continue to pray for Brax and her remission & recovery.
Summer always goes fast, but this summer went incredibly fast for our family since it was the first one that truly felt back to normal and we had a blast!
We were all honored to attend a party to celebrate all the good work that our friends PJ & Heather Fleck do for the hospital with their Row The Boat Fleck Family Fund. The girls were both asked to speak and did a great job tag teaming a speech that expressed their appreciation of all the great work Heather & PJ do in our community. They were also able to meet Fern – the new RTB therapy dog at the hospital. When Brax was inpatient she would always look forward to furry visitors, so Fern makes an excellent addition to the hospital.
Shout Out to Bry – Track & Field
Bry participated in the USATF Track & Field State and Regional meets this summer. With a busy schedule already for gymnastics she needed to run “unattached” this summer which means she was not on a team. Brylee ended up taking 2nd in the 100m, 4th in long jump, and 7th in the 200m with little to no training at State. She qualified for Regionals in all 3 events but between getting strep throat, vacation in Florida, and overall lack of preparation she decided to just run the 100m. She ended up getting 7th place and that qualified her for Nationals in California. We decided to skip the meet and try for Nationals again next summer when she can prepare more and maybe even join a team.
4th of July
We were able to go to Florida for a few days at the end of June/beginning of July with family. The girls do not get to see their “Up North” cousins very often so they established a new tradition of a trip to Florida with them to get in some quality time over summer break. We all had a blast! A few highlights include: Beach day on Anna Maria, Two Scoops & Menchies, lots of great food, and all the fun in the pool.
The girls wanted to go see Maverick so we told them they needed to do their homework first and watch Top Gun. They both loved it and I think liked Maverick even more! Definitely their favorite movie of the summer and possibly their favorite movie ever! This year for Halloween they did a Top Gun theme.
The Fleck family invited us out to their lake house for a super fun lake day. We all had an absolute blast! Brax couldn’t go in lakes during treatment so we were all so excited to spend time with our friends on the lake. A few highlights include: Tubing on the unicorn, Brax & Bry fishing for the 1st time, the water trampoline, paddleboards/kayaks, super delicious grill dinner, meeting Bella, and a sunset cruise on the lake with ice cream.
Putt 4 Patients
TB1F had our 2nd annual Putt 4 Patients at BMW of Minnetonka again this year. Another hot and successful day of raising money for patients & families at M Health Masonic Children’s hospital.
Brax was asked to be the 3M Open Junior Ambassador again this summer. The girls had a blast filming content and enjoying themselves at the tournament. They were able to meet Jake Owen this year, help host families from the hospital, and were so excited when Tony Finau won.
Twins & Cole Swindell
The girls attended their first concert this summer at Target Field. Cole Swindell was playing a 75 minute set after the Twins game so we thought it would be a great opportunity to watch the Twins and attend a concert. It was a beautiful night and we all had a blast.
We were invited to our friend’s cabin in Lake Delhi, Iowa for quick weekend of fun with some of our gym friends. A few highlights include: “Christmas on the Lake” pontoon ride, tubing, cliff diving, lunch & swimming at Smokey’s. This was the first time Brax crossed into Iowa territory – we are hopeful that her presence in the state will help the Gophers bring home Floyd of Rosedale later this fall! RTB
Brax & Bry were so excited to finally meet Paige – Season 6 winner of Kid’s Baking Championships this summer. Paige and her family have generously donated their time and talent to provide an exciting auction item at our Champion’s Cup event. The girls were able to join this year’s winners at a cupcake decorating session with Paige and her dad. The theme was rainbow and the girls had a blast. Brax started watching KBC during cancer and it was probably her favorite thing to watch with Paige being her favorite baker. Paige and Adam do an excellent job and we are thankful to have their support of TB1F.
US Championships for Women’s Gymnastics was in Tampa this year. 5 girls from TCT were participating so we decided to head down to support them and have a long weekend of fun. Some of the trip highlights include: lots of fun at the pool with the Shook girls, an authentic Italian dinner, mini golf at Popstroke, cheering on team TCT in Tampa.
While attending the RTB BBQ at Athletes Village Brax had the opportunity to join Mo Ibrahim and Tanner Morgan – 2 of her favorite Gopher football players – to raise money for childhood cancer research. The RTB party is an amazing opportunity for hospital families to interact with Gopher football players, coaches, and staff in a very fun environment. Brax and Bry attended this in 2019 and after a few years of covid delays it was great to be back.
Summer Sounds Charity Music Festival
TB1F co-hosted a summer outdoor concert with our good friends Andy & Jenny Brown, whose charity Brown Boys Benefit, supports NICUs. It was a great success and a very fun family friendly event at Willow Tree Vineyard in Ham Lake. Planning has already started for year 2.
Labor Day Weekend
The last weekend of the summer started off with a big Gopher win at home. It was a beautiful evening and we were able to see several good friends. We headed north on Friday to spend some time with family before the crazy busy school year began. The girls had fun at Paul Bunyan Land with cousin Max. The weekend went very fast and before we knew it the girls were off to 7th & 5th grade at Westwood Intermediate and Middle School. We are very thankful for all the fun and memories that we made during the summer of 2022. The school year is off to a great start – Brax is taking all honors classes, doing 20 hours a week of gymnastics, TB1F, football, and time with friends & family.
And to wrap things up, with November being a month of giving, Carousel Motor Group has partnered with TB1F again this year with a matching donation up to $25K. So, if you have any end of year donations to make, please consider TB1F and have your donation doubled. People often think a small donation isn’t going to help, but when UNO cards are one of the most requested items we get from and they cost $5, this is a perfect example of how, literally, ALL donations make an impact.
If you can help, please visit www.TB1Fund.org and all month long donations will be doubled – help us unlock those match dollars! Thank you CMG!
Finally, please continue to pray for our friends dealing with tough diagnoses and treatments. Some recent BIG NEWS, our good friend Megan was able to receive her new heart just recently and is doing phenomenal! We are so happy for her and her family and prayers for the family that lost their family member, but was generous enough to donate to save another life!
Have a great Holiday Season and we will update after the new year! Thank you for the unending support!
Happy Summer Everyone! Spring really went by fast this year! Brax has continued to get stronger and improve with getting back to gymnastics. She had 2 big goals this season: 1) compete the all-around for Level 7 and 2) qualify for the State Optional gymnastics meet. We are happy to report that she did accomplish both of these goals. As an extra bonus, she also qualified and competed at the Region 4 meet as well. This ended up being her best meet of the year and she actually tied for 1st place on balance beam. She still has lots of work to do in the gym, but she continues to grind and keeps adding new goals. Everyone who knew Brax prior to being sick knows how important this sport has been to her. During treatment there were days we wondered if she would ever be able to get back to competing since it was a very long and difficult road. We are very proud of her grit and determination to get back to doing what she loves.
We had two new additions to the family this spring – baby Maisy & baby Siena. The girls love babies and little kids so they were thrilled to welcome 2 more cousins to the family.
We had been looking forward to going to watch NCAA Gymnastics Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas for over a year and the trip did not disappoint. We were able to cheer on our Minnesota Gophers and TCT alumni at Dickies Arena and it was such a fun atmosphere to be a part of. The girls were so excited to see so many talented gymnasts and explore a new city & state. A few highlights included: spending time with the Thurmans, Fort Worth Water Gardens, watching all of the NCAA teams in person, and the Stockyards. We are very thankful for such an amazing trip filled with so many wonderful memories. We are definitely hoping to make this an annual trip if our schedule permits.
Our 2nd Annual Champions Cup derby event was held at its intended date this year – one week before the actually Kentucky Derby. We crushed our goal and ended up raising over $250,000 for TB1F’s programming at Masonic Children’s Hospital. This is our biggest fundraising event of the year and always a fun and positive party.
Brax hit her 1 year cancer and treatment free milestone on May 28th! She wanted to celebrate by going to Florida for a long Memorial Day weekend with friends. Brax always has loved to travel and go to the beach and that is something that she wasn’t really allowed to do during her 2.5 years of treatment. A few highlights included: celebrating with the Sullivans, amazing weather, beach day on Anna Maria Island, seeing dolphins & manatees, lots of fun pool time, and delicious food.
After a bit of a rocky start to the 6th grade school year Brax ended up really enjoying being back to in-person learning. She loved her teacher, Miss Lang, and will miss her very much. She was able to reunite with old friends and make new friends as well. Brax made the A Honor Roll all 3 semesters with a perfect 4.0 GPA for the year and we are very proud of her. She has elected to take a summer school math class in which she will take a year of 7th grade math in 7 weeks, so that she will be able to enroll in 8th grade math in the fall.
Mark your calendars for TB1F’s family friendly event this summer on Sunday, July 17th from noon to 4PM. Putt Fore Patients (P4P) is back at BMW of Minnetonka and is a free event this year. Come watch 18 groups battle it out in the charity challenge from Noon to 1PM and stay for mini golf, inflatables, food trucks, the chance to win awesome prizes, and free ice cream. More info and to register for FREE can be found at the link below. 10 Tickets for registering, 10 additional for every hole-in-one and 5 additional tickets for every toy brought and donated the day of the event. We want to get as many people as possible out that afternoon to enjoy and celebrate. GenNow will be out DJing, Red’s Savoy & Tipsy Steer will have food trucks and again, lots of great prizes to be won!
Finally, we will close out the summer with our new co-hosted event, Summer Sounds Charity Music Festival on Saturday, August 28th from 5:00-10:00pm at Willow Tree Winery in Ham Lake. The Brown Boy’s Benefit’s focus is on NICU family support and we are excited to team up with them for an exciting country music concert in the north metro to help raise awareness and funds for patients & families at Masonic. Tickets are on sale now. For more info on this event, check out the link below.
Hello everyone! We hope everyone is doing well and your 2022 is off to a great start!
We got through all of the holidays and we are getting back to what feels like some real normalcy after 3 years….we officially hit 3 years since diagnosis on January 26th.
A couple of new Updates/FYIs before we get into our recap.
1) We officially finished all of our legal paperwork and are now recognized by the IRS as a full blown 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We had been working through partners, but this will provide us many more opportunities to keep focusing on Brax’s mission.
2) For any of you that use Amazon and are not currently linked to a charity, please consider adding TB1 Fund as your charity of choice. It’s easy and Amazon donates a portion of sales back just for shopping as you normally do. Visit www.smile.amazon.com (see below).
3) Our biggest fundraising event of the year, the Champions Cup, is back Friday, April 29th. Last year we raised over $115K and are hoping to surpass that this year. Tickets are on sale now (less than 20 left as of this email), and we promise a good time. Hopefully everyone that came out last year can make it back and we’d love to see some new faces too! If you can’t make it and would still like to make a donation, you can do that too. Finally, thank you to Cub for being the Presenting Sponsor this year – it’s going to be a blast! Link below to view ticket/horse options and/or donate.
The Golden Gopher football team had their annual rival game vs Wisconsin at home this year and our family could not be more excited. The Gophs got the win and brought Paul Bunyan’s Axe home! The girls had never been to a sporting event when the stands cleared and fans charged the field so it was pretty exciting! Heather had told Brax earlier in the season that if the Axe came back to Minnesota she would get to bring it home and that is exactly what happened! Brax had the axe for one full day on December 13th. She decided that she wanted to share it with friends, family, and TB1F supporters. We created a game plan and had an absolute blast sharing the excitement of the Axe with many.
Peppermint Twist/Brylee State:
Peppermint Twist is one of the meets that our gym TCT hosts every year and it has always been one of Brax’s favorite meets. This year we were able to watch her to compete for the first time in 3 years. She competed a Level 7 floor routine and the smile on her face after she saluted the judges is something we will never forget. We were not concerned with her score or place on that event like we had been in the past, but were all just so incredibly thankful that she was healthy and strong enough to return to the competition floor. There were many happy tears in the stands and on the floor from so many of her friends, teammates, and coaches. She has lots of work to do in the gym, but this was a ‘W’ and we are so proud of her for not giving up even in the toughest of circumstances. Also, a week later Brylee competed in the State Level 5 Meet and was the Vault, Bars, and All Around Champion!
Christmas/Guaranteed Rate Bowl:
We decided to take a little vacation this year for Christmas to visit family and attend the Gopher Bowl game in Arizona. It was so great to see our family that lives in Arizona! There are several littles that Brax had not even met yet due to lack travel over the past few years. Some of the girl’s favorite activities included: Vikings BBQ, Mike’s Pizza, Zoo Lights, NYE, Guaranteed Rate Bowl, and just spending much needed time with family. The Gophers beat West Virginia to be crowned the Guaranteed Rate Bowl Champions and we were excited to be there to cheer them on especially after how special the Outback Bowl was in 2020.
Junior Captain U of M Women’s Gymnastics “Always Dreaming” Meet:
Brax and fellow cancer survivor friends Ella & Rissy were honored to be Junior Captains for the Gopher Women’s Gymnastics Cancer Awareness Meet. This was such an exciting opportunity for the girls since they are all huge fans. The team was so supportive of Brax during her treatment and it was wonderful that they continue to be very special to Brax, our family, and TB1F.
Mei Mei’s Cookies:
Mei Mei’s Cookies has been helping to provide sweet treats to the hospital for several years. It’s amazing how a small thing like a cookie can make you smile during a hospital stay. Brax was asked to help create a cookie for December 2021. She settled on a vanilla cookie with peanut butter & chocolate chips and holiday colored sprinkles. They were absolutely delicious and even better, 200 of them were delivered to patients and families at the hospital. Thank you Mei Mei’s Cookies & Creamery for all your good work at the hospital!
Thanks again to everyone who has supported Brax and our family over these last 3 years. I know we say this often, but we are so appreciative and grateful for everyone that has supported us.
We also ask you to keep our other cancer friends in your prayers – Bella, Megan, Casey, Jake and especially the McKeon family who recently lost their daughter Gianna after a year long battle with Osteosarcoma. Our hearts are heavy. We were able to meet Gianna and the family at a Gopher’s game this past fall, such an awesome family!
Back to School! After over 2.5 years Brax made her debut back to in-person learning. She was a little 3rd grader when she was diagnosed with cancer and went back to school this year as a 6th grader. As you can imagine lots of changes between 3rd and 6th grade so it took some time to adjust but things are going well now for her.
When Brax was going through cancer treatment in 2019 Heather Fleck invited our family into her suite for the Wisconsin game. We were all so excited for the game and it gave us something to look forward to doing as a family outside of the hospital. Brax wanted to be able to provide a similar experience for patients and families at the hospital so TB1F decided to purchase a suite for the year. The feedback we have received has been overwhelming and we are so happy to give patients and families something to look forward to since we know how big of an impact mentally it can have during treatment.
Twin City Twisters hosted the 3rd Annual Flippin 5K this October. We want to thank our Twisters family for continuing to support this event. We also want to thank all of the race participants, both in-person and virtual. Last, but certainly not least, a huge thank you to the race organizers and all of the awesome volunteers. Special shout out to Kim, Lisa, Tanya, and Melissa for all of the work to plan and execute this event.
In early October we had a mini family vacation to Indianapolis since Brylee was selected for TOPS Nationals. The 2 day testing was held at the headquarters for USA Gymnastics. We all had a great time getting to hangout outside of the gym with teammates, siblings, parents, and coaches.
TB1F x CMG has teamed up again to create a coloring/activity book for patients and families. Carousel Motor Group has been a big partner of TB1F and we came up with the awesome idea to create an activity & coloring book filled with fun places in Minnesota that you, your family, or your friends can visit. The activity book is being distributed to all kids and siblings at Masonic and there are opportunities to score TB1F merch as you complete challenges. Thanks CMG!
TB1F Lapel Pin:
The Gopher football team picks a different charity or organization to be featured each game and they have lapel pin created to where on their suits. TB1F was honored to be featured for the game vs Maryland this season. We were able to get on the field before the game and wish PJ good luck. The Gophers won the game 34-16! Check out the video below!
Brax and Bry were both very excited for Halloween this year. This was Brax’s first chemo free Halloween in a couple years so she was excited to get back to a normal holiday. Coach Veronica hosted a party for the gym girls at her house the night before and they watched a movie, painted pumpkins, had a fire/smore’s, and just had fun hanging out together. Halloween evening the Paulson side came over for dinner and to watch the Vikings game while the kids hit up the neighborhood for some candy. It was great to see everyone out and about and dressed up. Riggins and Ranger had some big shoes to fill on their first Halloween since Vinny was always the star of the show in years past.
Finally, we just kicked off Year 3 of TB1 Fund. We finalized our charitable organization paperwork this fall and are in full swing. Brax knows the difference she is able to make helping others get through difficult/challenging times and wants to continue this work as long as we are able. Please be on the look out for upcoming events and ways you can help, both via donations that support Brax’s projects and programming as well as opportunities to help volunteer at events.
Today is Giving Tuesday and after a tremendous respsonse for Give To The Max Day a couple weeks ago and the $10K Match from Carousel Motor Group, BMW of Minnetonka has challenged us with a 3x match for Giving Tuesday. All donations (up to $10K) will be tripled by BMW of Minnetonka!!! All donations of all sizes add up fast…..$5 = $15, $25 = $75, $100 = $300!!!! Please consider making a year end gift.
Visit www.TB1Fund.org to donate. Plus all donations count toward the new gear this year….win-win!
And last, but not least, please continue to keep all of our cancer and rare disease friends in your prayers (Bella, Casey, Megan, Jace & Jake) – THANK YOU!