By Melissa Garcia
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Businesses in Old Towne Arvada came together to put on an early Halloween celebration for a boy with autism who is suffering from cancer on Saturday, after doctors warned cancer would most likely take his life before holiday. The 5-year-old boy passed away one day after the celebration that was just for him.
Jaxon Baumgard boy had Ewing’s sarcoma, an extremely rare form of bone cancer.
As soon as Lon Davis and his son Reese,13, heard about Jaxson’s grim battle, the two created a custom-fit Toy Story horse wheel chair costume in less than a week.
“We build costumes for kids in walkers and wheelchairs free of charge to the families,” said Davis, owner of Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes, a non-profit based in Olathe, Kansas.
“When Jaxon’s mother signed up for a request, one of the things she said was that Jaxon is on hospice. And this was going to be his last Halloween. And so we knew we were going to build the costume no matter what,” Davis said.
“You would have never known he had cancer until the last week,” explained Amber Baumgard, Jaxon’s mom.
Jaxon, who also has autism, had been battling the rare bone cancer for three years. But his family only recently learned that his surgery and bone marrow transplant did not work.
“It’s horrible,” Baumgard said. “It’s something as a parent that you fear could happen, but you never think would happen to you. It’s your worst nightmare times a million and then some.”
The Baumgard family and supporters wanted to make sure that this Halloween season would be a special one.
Volunteers with 15 local businesses came together to give out treats and smiles for Jaxon and his family.
“When I heard the news (of his prognosis), it was heartbreaking,” said Iggy Michniacki of Project-Nerd, who organized the occasion.
Alongside Jaxon, his parents, and his little sister, friends and strangers suited up in costume, walking door to door down Grandview Avenue for trick-or-treating.
“He has a little sister, and (I hope) that she can build some good memories with him before he passes,” Michniacki said. “She can re-visit it and remember her brother and remember a little bit more about those times that she had with him.”
Baumgard said she hoped the event would do more than raise money for Jaxon. She hoped it would also raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research.
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help with Jaxon’s family with his medical and funeral expenses.