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This fundraiser ended on 07/14/10

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A fundraiser to help raise money for 11 month-old Daxton Blanford and his family as they fight his neuroblastoma.

Daxton Cole Blanford was born February 6, 2009 to Heather Bareis and David Blanford.  Daxton had just finished his latest set of vaccinations and a flu shot in September when he developed a low grade fever. The fever was persistent and would fluctuate but never got very high. Heather took Dax in to see the pediatrician, concerned that something else might be going on. After the doctor's exam it seemed that nothing was wrong, the fever was probably just his body fighting off a viral infection of some sort that would go away in a few days. That didn't happen. Dax's fever persisted and his usual sunny, smiling disposition started to change. He was not as interested in food as he had been, wanted to be held all the time, and he wasn't sleeping as he once had. Again, Heather took him to the pediatrician, worried about these changes, and again she was told that nothing seemed to be seriously wrong, so home they went.

Dax's daily routine started to change even more and the fever was still present. He was only napping in 30 minute intervals, if at all, and was refusing food.  He only wanted to nurse but not long enough to fill him up. He wasn't sleeping at night either. It would take many hours of walking and swaying before he would finally fall asleep exhausted, but for only a few minutes. Dax, Mom and Dad were all exhausted and really starting to worry. Heather took him back to the pediatrician and this time they referred her to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Daxton was taken to the Emergency Room at SRQ Hospital Wednedsday, Sept. 30th. They did a blood test, took a chest x-ray and did an ultrasound of his testicles since one was swollen. The diagnosis that they left the hospital with was a urinary tract infection.  Although very rare in babies, they hoped this was the answer to his obvious discomfort and the fever. The ER doctor did tell them that some of Dax's blood levels were a little off but was hoping it was due to the infection. Dax was prescribed an antibiotic but after 36 hours and 5 doses of the antibiotic things were only getting worse.

On Friday, Oct 2nd the ER doctor from Sarasota called Heather, concerned about Dax, and wanted to know how he was doing. When Heather told him that nothing was better she was told to bring him back in. This time they ran another blood test to compare the prior levels to his current levels and nothing had changed. On several of the visits to the pediatrician and to the ER Heather commented on Dax's belly. His belly seemed bloated and hard. This visit they paid attention and did an x-ray of his belly area. It showed air that was pushed to the right side, so they did a CT scan of his left side. It was then that their whole world exploded - they were told that Dax had a tumor in his belly. On October 2nd Daxton was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer.  The softball-sized tumor was later determined to be stage 4.

After a 7 month-long brave fight, Daxton's little body could withstand no more and he passed away with his family surrounding him at 7:50 pm on April 30th.  Those who knew him will remember him always for his courageous and joyful spirit.  He brought happiness and inspiration to so many in his short life and we will miss him dearly. 

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