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!
Big update covering June, July & August – lots of pics and videos!
In early June 3M Open surprised Brax with an end of chemo party where they officially named her the 2021 3M Open Junior Ambassador. The party was held at TPC and included an amazing guest list of people who have played a critical role in her cancer journey. Brax could not stop smiling and was very much looking forward to the golf tournament at the end of July. #golfthatmatters
School ended June 10th and that Sunday TB1F held the First Annual Putt Fore Patients at BMW of Minnetonka. This event was dreamed up by Brax since she did not think it was fair that only the parents could go to galas, etc. She created this family friendly event to help brighten the days for patients and families at Masonic Children’s Hospital. The event raised over $50,000 and is looking to be bigger and better in 2022.
After all the hard work that went into Putt Fore Patients Brax was able to sneak away to Florida for a long weekend and relax. Her cousins were also there on vacation and the girls loved being able to spend time with Brooklyn & Landon. Brax & Bry were so excited to swim in the pool, go to the beach, and eat food from some of their favorite non-Minnesotan restaurants.
On a sad note we had to say goodbye to our family dog and everyone’s favorite family member Vinny at the end of June. When Brax was first diagnosed we made Vinny promise to not leave us until she finished her cancer treatment. He held up his end of the deal and then we had to let him go. We will always love and miss him – he was the best dog/fur baby.
Carousel Motor Group and TB1F held a toy drive to kick off a 5 year commitment to the 5th Floor Toy closet at Masonic. Brax spent all of her time at Masonic on Floor 5 once she was diagnosed with cancer. Drive to Donate was a great success and is helping to further Brax’s mission of brightening the lives and providing distractions for the children at the hospital.
After cancer and covid kept us apart Brax was finally able to see some of her family that lives in Arizona. We had a BBQ at our house and it was so great to see family, some of which we had not seen since Brax was diagnosed in early 2019.
Brax and the entire family had the best week at the 2021 3M Open. Brax kicked off the tournament with a charity golf challenge that benefited Masonic Children’s Hospital with a check for $80,000. Brax and Bry had a full itinerary for the week and they loved every minute of it. Some of the highlights include touring the TaylorMade truck and having a custom driver made for her. Attending the “Share My Passion” Girls Golf Clinic with Annika Sorenstam and attending the Executive Women’s Day event. Brax was able to work with fellow ambassadors Kyle Rudolph & Josh Duhamel to highlight so many of the fun things that were going on at the 3M Open. Her favorite was the “Wrapped in Happiness” exhibit that featured artwork from Masonic patients on giant golf balls and tees. Brax and Bry were asked to color what makes them happy on the tee markers on Hole 13 and Brax also designed the pin flag on that hole as well. It is all part of the 3M Open’s partnership with Masonic children’s Hospital #golfthatmatters. Brax was even able to film a segment for the PGA at that hole (video below) and meet one of the pros playing in the tournament. The girls loved attending the Compass Celebrity Challenge and getting to meet the celebs on the green after the final hole – definitely a once in a lifetime experience. TB1F hosted patients and families at the tournament and the girls loved seeing friends and meeting new ones as well. Finally, they simply loved golf cart rides with many of the amazing staff members at 3MOpen.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be exciting for any gymnast to watch but when you have a friend competing at the Olympics it is absolutely amazing. Twin City Twisters very own Grace McCallum competed for Team USA and brought home a Silver Olympic Medal. Kind, Humble, Olympian are just a few words to describe this amazing young women. We are so proud of our Amazing Grace!
Meet Ranger Six and Riggins West the two newest additions to the Battaglia family. They have been keeping us all busy but it is so great to have a dog – two dogs – in the house again.
After over a year long wait TB1F was finally able to host the 1st Annual Champion’s Cup. It truly was a “Night to Brighten Days” and everyone had a blast raising money for TB1F’s mission. We raised over $115K and are looking to expand on that next year – we can’t wait to hold this event again!
Uncle Tom and Auntie Laken were finally able to get married after a few Covid delays. The girls were both in the wedding and loved seeing family from both the Battaglia and Docter side.
The girls were honored to partner with CUB and star in a commercial that will help raise money for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. The girls had a blast on set with Goldy and the amazing team they were able to work with.
The girls were both so thankful to be able to do normal kid stuff this summer. Tubing with their cousins in Duluth, Fast Track pool parties, hanging out with friends, and going to Bunker Beach were definitely some of the highlights. We are so thankful for the little things and being able to just be a normal kid once again.
September Updates coming soon! But check out a couple bits of info that we wanted to get out ASAP.
We did a limited release Childhood Awareness T-shirt again this year and we asked our good friend, neighbor and cancer warrior Bella to design this years shirt. The logo is below and the shirt is on-sale through the end of September. All proceeds to split between TB1Fund and LLS. Please consider showing your support and snagging a shirt. See link below to purchase and use code: TB130 at checkout for 30% off!
In-Person and Virtual options are both avail this year. If you live out of the metro area, out of state, or simply want to enjoy from the comfort of your own treadmill/elliptical – sign up for the Virtual option.
Saturday, October 16th, 2021
9:30-11AM 5K Walk/Run
Elm Creek Preserve
(Meet at TCT in Champlin)
9001 123rd Ave N, Champlin, MN 55316
Walk or Run, In-Person or Virtual, by yourself or with family, friends or co-workers – come out and support Brax & TB1F!
Companies – offer your employees the chance to walk, neighborhoods – grab all your buddies, sport teams – grab your teammates – let’s make year 3 the best year yet!
Race shirts by our friends at UNRL and medals for everyone!
*note: register by 9/24 to guarantee race shirt for day of 5K (in-person)
And we continue to ask for prayers for all our friends dealing with cancer or the effects of cancer treatment – Bella, Gianna, & Megan!
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
We hope this update finds everyone doing well. It is hard to believe that we have all been living in a pandemic for over a year now. Things have gone fast and slow at the same time and the same has been true of Brax’s cancer journey. We are down to 45 days to go as we continue to inch closer to the finish line.
Back in January we decided to pause TB1F and turn our attention to helping our neighbor Bella and her twin sister Ava in their LLS campaign for Students of the Year. We are excited to inform you that not only did they win, but they set a record high for SOY with an amazing $233,000 to help put an end to blood cancer! We are so proud of them and their amazing team! Congratulations Team tWIN it for a CURE! Brax and her fellow cancer warrior friend Jake were the Honored Hero’s for the LLS Student of the Year campaign. Being able to share this experience with Jake, Bella, and so many friends and neighbors made the campaign extra special for Braxton.
Braxton and Brylee went up north to spend a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Paulson and learn how to make maple syrup. They worked hard and learned a lot while they were up north and Brax was even able to do a writing assignment for school on everything she learned.
The University of Minnesota Women’s Gymnastics team asked Brax to be a Junior Captain at their Always Dreaming Cancer Awareness meet this year. Brax was able to share this honor with 2 of her friends and fellow gymnasts, Ella and Rissy. Due to Covid they were not allowed to attend in person, but the team had cardboard cutouts made of each girl that were displayed by the scoreboard. We have missed cheering on the team in person this year but have luckily been able to watch all the meets at home. There is something very special about this team and both Braxton and Brylee feel a great connection to them. We were all so excited to watch them win the Big Ten Championship this year! We can’t wait to continue to cheer them on at Nationals – Go Gophers!
Brax and former Gopher standout wide receiver Rashod Bateman teamed up by combining their love of gymnastics and football to support TB1F and Masonic Children’s Hospital. We all had so much fun when Rashod came to TCT to workout with Brax. We want to thank everyone for posting their handstands, 40-yard dashes, and donating to the #BraxVsBate campaign. A special thank you to all of our TCT family and their support of this project, to IFA for coordinating everything and to Cub & Filti for sponsoring the challenge. It was a full circle moment seeing so many TCT athletes – current & alumni – support Brax. When Brax was first diagnosed there was a massive outpouring of support from the gymnastic’s community. Everyone ranging from Team USA to NCAA to Club to High School sent her video well wishes, gifts, cards, etc. to encourage her to stay strong! This same community came together once again for her at the end of her treatment to show their support with handstands for a cause. This overwhelming support is one of the reasons why Brax wanted to create TB1F. She felt so blessed to have so much support during her fight and she was able to see that this is not the case for most pediatric cancer patients and she wanted to do something to help. Check out the video below if you haven’t seen it!
Some more fun news! Brax just released her new patient shirt, which is given to all new patients that are admitted to Masonic Children’s Hospital. The new shirts were just delivered and we are excited to be able to further our mission of brightening days for kids and families at the hospital. That has been and continues to be Brax’s focus/mission.
Brax had a fall on beam over a month ago that sent her to the hospital for x-rays since she was pretty sure she broke her toe. X-rays were good so she continued to rest, ice, buddy tape, and modify her activity. After 3 weeks of no improvement we were back in for more x-rays and they were once again clear. Brax knows her body so well and we learned several years ago that when she says something is wrong, something really is wrong. We had an MRI on Monday and it turns out she does have a broken toe so she is now in a boot. She has less than 7 weeks left of treatment so hopefully she will be healed and 100% by that time so she can return to everything she has been missing over the last 2.5 years.
Brax is excited that planning and preparation for TB1F’s first family friendly event is underway. Putt Fore Patients was Brax’s idea last June and a year later it will come true thanks to BMW of Minnetonka and so many other amazing sponsors & partners. Brax wanted to create an event that the kids could attend and she has such a great day planned – mini golf, jump houses, DJ, food and ice cream trucks, side games, prizes, etc. This event will be held at BMW of Minnetonka on Sunday, June 13th from 12:00-5:00. We want to sell this thing out. Tickets start at $35 and they are limited as we have to proactively plan for Covid restrictions being in place. It will be outside, which helps, so plan tocome out for a fun family friendly afternoon. Please visit www.tb1fund.org for more information and to purchase tickets.
We hope everyone had a lovely Easter and was able to spend time with family and enjoy the beautiful day!
As we have asked from day 1, please continue to pray for Brax’s successful end of treatment and all of her warrior friends as well – Bella, Blake, Casey, Jake & Megan!
All TB1F Gear is currently 30% off with promo code: TB130 now until end of treatment on May 28th. Go grab some gear and show your support!
We hope this update finds you and your family doing well. As mentioned in the previous post TB1F had dedicated the month of January to help our friend, neighbor, and fellow cancer warrior Bella and her twin sister Ava “tWin it For a Cure” in their Student of the Year Campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Big Thank You to all who supported!
January 2021 has been a busy one for the girls. They returned to Distance Learning after the holiday break and have both been working hard in the gym. January 17th was a big day since both girls and their Fast Track teammates had a Mobility Meet at the gym. A Mobility Meet is when a judge comes to the gym and the athletes have an opportunity to score out of their current level. Two years ago when Brax was diagnosed with cancer she had just completed her Level 4 season of gymnastics and had started training her level 5 skills. This meet was 2 years in the making for Brax and was a roller coaster both physically and emotionally. Her passion for the sport and her determination to come back is truly inspiring. Two years of chemotherapy plus radiation and a pandemic could not stop this girl. We are very proud of both Braxton and Brylee for receiving their Level 5 score but more importantly we are so thankful that Braxton is healthy and strong enough to be back to doing what she loves so much! We can’t thank Coach Kim enough for her unwavering support! Brax has been blessed by an unbelievable team of support and we are so thankful for her TCT family, coaches, teammates, medical staff, Gopher coaches and athletes, friends, and family who have helped support her in so many different ways over the past 2 years. Brax was able to check off a BIG GOAL and now the work begins to start training for the next level.
Brax has just under 4 months of treatment remaining in her 2.5 year treatment plan. Our doctor told us on Day 1 that is was going to be a long journey and to think of it as training for the Olympics. We are getting closer to the finish line and we are getting so excited.
The girls have been having fun cheering on the Gopher Women’s Gymnastics Team. We of course wish that we could be cheering them on in the Pav in person but at least we are able to watch on TV. The girls were excited to receive team sweatshirts before the season started so they can cheer the team on in their team gear.
Brylee turned 9 on January 23rd and requested that Brax make her an ice cream cake. This was Brax’s first go at an ice cream cake and it turned out great! Cookies and Cream with 9 Oreos on top – Brylee was so excited! Brylee has been the best sister throughout this whole process. It is crazy to think she had just turned 7 when Brax was diagnosed. She has had to sacrifice so much and gone through a lot at such a young age but has always been there to make us laugh and smile.
And finally, a couple housekeeping items. First, we have pushed back our big Champions Cup Fundraiser from April to August 6th. We are optimistic this new date will stick and we can hold a fun in-person event.
Also, we just added another a big FAMILY focused event that is scheduled to take place June 13th. More info to follow, but a graphic teaser below. This event will be fun for the whole family and we hope to raise some big money to help support U of MN Masonic patients and families. Brax truly enjoys and wants to continue to give back and we will continue to support her and her efforts as we know the tremendous impact it makes.
Please watch for an upcoming email in early March with all the details.
Thanks again to everyone for their continued support over the past 2 years and please continue to keep Brax and her circle of cancer buddies in your prayers (Bella, Casey, Megan, Jake & Blake). Megan had clean scans today as well – so happy for her and her family!
Hey everyone! We hope everyone is well and was able to celebrate Christmas and New Years with family and loved ones.
We are going to put a pause on Brax and TB1Fund for January and focus our attention on our good friend and and neighbor, Bella, who was initially diagnosed with cancer shortly before Braxton at the end of 2018 and is still fighting her extremely rare type of blood cancer for the 3rd time!
Bella, her twin sister Ava, and their Team, tWIN it for a CURE are just starting their 7-week fundraising kickoff for the LLS’s Student of the Year Campaign. We know many people that follow/support Brax and TB1Fund know that our mission is immediate impact items/day brighteners for kids and families going through the cancer diagnosis and treatment. The LLS’s mission is focused on research and development with the end goal of BEATING Blood Cancer.
This is a very focused and time sensitive campaign running for 7 weeks. Here is a little more info shared by Bella’s mom Marla on Facebook.
Please watch the video below for some more info on Bella, her journey, and tWIN if for a CURE’s goal for this 7-Week Campaign. There are many ways to get involved, be it eating at Chipotle-Blaine on Tuesday, January 12th (tomorrow or today depending on when reading this), buying LLS Game Cards, or simply making a cash donation to the Team’s page – everything adds up and will make a big difference in Bella’s fundraising goal.
The first “community” event will be tomorrow, Tuesday 1/12 @ Chipotle in Blaine from 5-9PM. See the flyer below. Burrito Tuesday? 33% of all proceeds will go to tWIN if for a CURE’s fundraising. Easy way to grab dinner and DO GOOD!
Burritos, not your thing? Maybe you like the thrill of “game” We have you covered! LLS Game cards are avail NOW! Make a cash donation and get your game cards now! For more info please visit the link below. Nice work Evelyn!
Whatever you choose, we appreciate your support of our good friend Bella and her amazing family.
Nothing about cancer is easy, but having friends and family who support you unconditionally is like no other. We have experienced this personally over the last 2 years and in keeping with our commitment to get involved, stay involved, and make a positive difference in the lives of families going through cancer continues to be Brax’s mission.
And as always, please continue to keep Brax, Bella, Blake, Casey, Megan & Jake in your prayers! We have a close connection with this circle and we will win! We Got This!