July /August/September 2023 – End Blin #2 and Continuation #2

Dude Perfect, 4th of July, Twins Game, CMG Toy Drop, PT, Team One Four, Summer Sounds, Barbie, 3MOpen, Golf, Helmet Reveal & RTB BBQ, Spirit of the Flame, Gophers Football, 8th Grade, Will Francis, September Go Gold.

How can it already be back to school??? July went by lightening fast, but Brax had a really great month and it almost felt “normal”. We started out with a bang and went to Dude Perfect in St. Paul. We were joined by a great group of friends and family and all the kids had a blast.

Our 4th of July was pretty low key and was spent grilling and hanging out with family.

Our family attended the MN Twins game with our good friends the Flecks & Wudels. It was so great to get the gang together and enjoy a beautiful summer night at the ballpark.

Brax officially ended the second round of the immunotherapy on July 11th. This was also the same day that the toys from CMG x TB1F toy drive were delivered to the hospital. It was a huge success with hundreds of toys being delivered. Brax was so thankful to have her treatment break fall during summer vacation. She was excited to spend time with friends, family, and enjoy swimming.

Brax was happy to attend a party in honor of her good friend Casey O’Brien and his Team One Four Fund. He has raised over one million dollars to enhance & upgrade the infusion center in the Journey Clinic. This is where Brax goes for all of her outpatient care – chemo, transfusions, labs, exams, etc. Congrats Casey!

Brax & Bry have been doing lots of PT & OT this summer!

Summer Sounds was July 15th and Brax was so excited that the concert fell during her treatment break! Brax was able to use her connections at Gopher football to give Michael Ray and friends a tour of the football practice facility and Huntington Bank Stadium. The girls thought it was pretty cool to cruise around the cities with MR. Finally, it was time for the big concert – the weather was perfect, no mosquitoes, amazing music, top notch food & bev, and everyone had a blast! TB1Fund and Brown Boys raised over $339,000! Huge thank you to our sponsors, partners, and guests!

We ended July with a week at TPC in Blaine for the 3M Open. Brax has been a part of the tournament since it started in 2019 and it is always a very fun week!

Continuation #2 started as anticipated with a tough week of steroids but the next few weeks of treatment went well. Gopher football asked if Brax and her 2 time cancer survivor & heart transplant warrior friend Megan to unveil one of the new helmets for the upcoming football season. The last time Brax was in the auditorium in front of the entire football team was December 2019 when she gave a pre Outback Bowl speech about her cancer journey. She had just turned 10 when she gave that speech and it’s amazing how her relationship has grown over the years and it’s crazy to think she will be 14 next month. After the unveiling we attended the annual Row The Boat BBQ – It is always so much fun to go to see the coaches and players interacting with all sorts of kids & families that are dealing with or have dealt with medical issues.

Brax received the unexpected news from USA Gymnastics that she was the 2023 recipient of the Robert Miller Spirit of the Flame Award. Our family was very hopeful that we would be able to make the trip to San Jose, California and attend US Championships and the Hall of Fame dinner where Brax was set to receive the award. Unfortunately, her cancer treatment had other plans and her platelets were too low for her to make the trip. We were thankful that she was able to stay fever free and out of the hospital and we enjoyed cheering on TCT from home and seeing pictures from Sarah & Steve accepting it in her honor.

Brax is in 8th grade and will be doing online homebound schooling this year and Brylee is in 6th grade. Brax was only in school for a week before a fever landed her in the hospital. The same thing happened during the end of Continuation #1 so we were not really surprised even though we were hoping to stay outpatient longer. During this stay Brax was able to get to know a new cancer buddy Will. He has the same cancer as Brax and unfortunately relapsed as well. With them both being inpatient at the same time they were able to get to know each other better and discover so many similarities in life and in their cancer journeys. Brax was thrilled to be outpatient and see Will represent Masonic and throw out the first pitch when the MN Twins celebrated Cancer Awareness Month at the end of September. Brax really looks up to Will and is amazed how he continues his passion of hockey even through 2x Leukemia. She cannot wait for his return to the ice and to watch him skate for UMD again. WILLPower!

Brax has been able to attend all the home Gopher football games so far this season. It is a goal for her to make them all and for the team to keep the Axe on her birthday as the grand finale at home!

Childhood Cancer Awareness month ended with TB1F hosting the MN Champions Tour at the hospital at the end of September. The tour pays tribute to MN Olympians and was a fun filled afternoon for patients and families. UNRL joined the party and gave away clothing to patients – how cool to be able to shop UNRL clothing during your hospital stay or clinic appointment. We also had face painting, Johnny Pops, Red Savoy Pizza, Maui Wowi Smoothies, and awesome music from GenNOW and DJ Mad Mardigan. Thank you Cub & MN Champions for helping to brighten days for our patients & families during the month we Go Gold!

Up next for Brax is starting the final round of Blin (immunotherapy). She will be inpatient for 4 days to start and will continue the rest of the 28 day infusion outpatient. After Blin she will get a week off of treatment and will start Maintenance Therapy after and until she officially finishes her treatment on November 15, 2024. We are looking forward to having the most intensive part of treatment behind us and continuing to move forward.

#We Got This

Please continue to pray for all of our friends going through treatment.