Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to Julie Locke, Mother of little Dax Locke and Founder of The Dax Locke Foundation. Julie set up the foundation in 2010 in memory of her son Dax to raise money for St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital and raise awareness of childhood cancers.
What people don’t know is that it cost St.Jude $1.6 million dollars per day to operate the facility.
Patients at St. Jude are referred by a physician, and nearly all have a disease currently under study and are eligible for a research protocol. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.
Dax had been suffering from an ear infections,while on antibiotics he continued to get more infections that he could not fight off. After several visits to doctors and local Hospitals a mass was found and Dax was referred to St.Jude. There he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia
AML M7, he was 15 months at the time. 1 of 15 patients are accepted per year with this form of Leukemia which is common in men over 65,but Julie tells me that we all carry this gene but rare for it to develop.
“He was the youngest,sickest and last to pass away of the 7 children admitted”
Little Dax went through many rounds of chemotherapy at the St. Jude Hospital before being enrolled in an experimental protocol where he would undergo a stem cell transplant from his mother Julie and than a second time from his father Austin. But the cancer returned even stronger than before,the doctors did not think Dax would make it to the Holidays. So the family returned home in mid October to “cherish every moment” with Dax.Given the extra special time to spend at home with Dax, Julie and Austin chose to start decorating for Christmas before Halloween. The community and neighbors came together to bring Dax an early Christmas. “The Heart of Christmas” movie is Dax’s story. Through this film the world has come to know the Locke Family and The Dax Locke Foundation which thus far has raised $700,00 of the $1.6 million goal for St.Jude.
Dax did live to see Christmas but passed away December 30,2009.
Julie and Austin welcomed a daughter Madeline Elizabeth Locke in October 2010,named after Elizabeth Dunford a child patient at St.Jude whom Julie became close friends with. Julie continues to travel wherever she is welcomed to speak about Dax and frequently visits her local St.Jude Hospital.
This Christmas join forces with the Locke family, and help them in their cause. I would like to encourage you to join in on raising money that will go to an amazing cause in St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital that cares for so many children each year.