We have been waiting for a long time to be able to say this, but the time has finally come – Brax is finished with her cancer treatment!!! It does not even sound or feel real but we could not be more excited! We are so thankful that this day has come and we want to thank everyone for all the amazing support over the last 28 months. It has been a roller coaster, but we followed Brax’s lead and made it across the finish line. We could not be more proud of both her and Brylee and the way they handled themselves over these past few very challenging years.
Brax and Brylee were able to join their TCT coaches and Fast Track teammates for the end of the season banquet. It was a very fun and special evening for everyone. Brax received the award for Most Dedicated. We feel that Kim is the one who truly deserves the Most Dedicated award. Kim never stopped believing in Brax and has done everything in her power to help Brax continue to be able to do what she loves. She has dedicated so much time and I am not sure how we will ever thank her. Kim would come to our house and coach Brax when Brax was too weak and immune compromised to be in the gym. She would visit her in the hospital and sometimes would even help her get in a small workout. Kim is one of the few people throughout this journey that Brax was able to see on a regular basis – her dedication, love, support, and friendship is something we are so blessed to have. Kim and Brax’s bond is like no other and we will be forever thankful for all that she has done for our family.
For those of you who may not follow football, but follow Brax, we are excited to inform you that her buddy Rashod Bateman was drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft 2021. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens and we are so happy for him. We appreciate his support of TB1F and Brax. We are so excited to see what the future holds for him and we are hoping to catch a game this year as well.
A week before her last big treatment at the hospital, Brax had an unexpected trip to the Emergency Department. She ended up spiking a fever, and for cancer kids that means an automatic trip to the ER. She tested negative for Covid and Strep so it was thankfully just a cold of some type. She needed to lay low for a few days, but by the end of the week she was feeling much better. One last minute curveball right before the end of treatment – I am not sure why we were even surprised since cancer throws so many curveballs.
Tuesday, May 11th was a date that we had been looking forward to for so long. Brax had a big day at the hospital and it started out with the best surprise! We arrived at the hospital and were surprised by our TCT Fast Track family! Coaches, teammates, and parents (past and present), took time out of their busy lives to wish Brax luck and cheer her on as she walked into the hospital. It took away our nerves and left us with such a sense of joy and gratitude. Thank you so much Fast Track family for all of your support throughout Brax’s journey. A huge part of her positive mindset and hard work has always been to get back to being with this special group of girls and their amazing families. As much as we just wanted to hangout and catch up with everyone we knew we had to go inside and continue the big day. We went up to the Journey Clinic and Brax had a Covid test, her last port access, and her labs drawn. She received her lung meds and finally her last IV chemo. It was Vincristine – we have joked that after all of this particular chemo she should change her name to Braxton Vincristine Battaglia instead of Braxton Christine Battaglia (having a weird sense of humor does help to get you through this crazy journey). Next, we went down to pediatric sedation to prep for her last IT chemo and her port removal surgery. All went well and Brax had only one thing left to do – ring the bell! We went back up to Journey to ring the bell and Brax was even allowed to have some family join for the big moment. Brax was surprised that her NP Lexi was there for her bell ringing. She was not scheduled to be in clinic that day, but she was able to make it and this made Brax so happy. Many nurses and doctors were present for that moment and it was very special since they are such a huge part of your life while in treatment. Thank You Masonic family!
May 28, 2021 – Brax’s last official day of treatment! Brax was surprised by a few gifts from Brylee and a fun yard sign that morning. That evening we were able to get most of the immediate Battaglia & Paulson family together, as well as her TCT Fast Track coaches. She even had a few friends stop by to say Congrats! It was the best feeling to gather around her and watch her take that final chemo pill! We are so thankful to be finished with therapy – time to get back to being a normal kid!
Prayers for Bella, Casey, Megan, Jake, and Blake. We also want to send prayers, love, and hugs to our friends the Nordstrom family.
Thank you again for all the love, support, prayers and encouragement these past few years. Everyone has played a special part and we are forever grateful and thankful. We will continue to update this page (probably less frequently), but make sure to sign up for alerts so don’t have to check back.
Finally, we are continuing forward with Brax’s foundation, TB1Fund, which is focused on brightening days for patients and families at the University of MN Masonic Children’s Hospital. Brax knows how important staying positive is during treatment and some days are extremely hard, but having something to break up the day, be it an activity, an outing, a gift, something interactive or simply engaging (mentally and/or physically) makes a world of difference and TB1F will continue to work with patients and families to keep their spirits high! You can follow everything Brax and TB1Fund are doing at www.TB1Fund.org