The family of a 5-year-old Lancaster boy battling a form of leukemia is asking for prayers – and postcards.
Jaxon Ingram was admitted to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte on Jan. 10. The Buford Elementary School kindergartner was diagnosed in October with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to his father, Jason Ingram.
“It still doesn’t seem real at times,” Jason Ingram says.
Jaxon had no signs of illness leading up to his diagnosis, but his family noticed he was bruising easily, Ingram said. Jaxon’s school nurse examined him and was concerned about his platelet levels, so they visited their family doctor.
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“Before we got home, they called and said we need to come (to Levine),” Ingram said. “When we got here, the oncology team was here, and that’s when they told us it was leukemia.
“The whole world stopped,” he said. “I didn’t want to believe it.”
Jaxon had surgery to install a port and immediately began chemotherapy. Doctors told Ingram and his wife that Jaxon had the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The boy endured weekly chemo treatments after his October diagnosis, and five consecutive treatments at the first of the year.
Jaxon’s aunt, Kelly Blackmon, said he didn’t seem fazed by the chemo until his most recent hospitalization for low white blood cell counts.
“He just tells you his blood’s sick,” she said. “He has been all-boy – jumping off the walls, playing and laughing. He’s recently lost his hair. He has been so strong.”
Blackmon said Jaxon could be facing more than three years of treatment, depending on how his cancer reacts to the chemo.
“This is just part of it,” she said. “You’re gonna have highs, you’re gonna have lows. Unfortunately, this is our first low.”
One thing that’s lifted Jaxon’s spirits during his illness, family members say, is the mail he’s received not just from people locally but from around the world.
Blackmon said smaller things, like cards, catch Jaxon’s attention more.
“He would open it and be so excited over a card as opposed to a package or a get-well basket,” she said.
Ingram said they initially only notified family and close friends of Jaxon’s illness. Family, friends and church members would send him items and get-well messages. Word has gotten out about Jaxon’s battle, and he now has his own post office box.
Ingram said they opened a post office box for Jaxon on Jan. 5. By last Wednesday, the box had 75 cards in it. They checked the box later that same day and it had another 25 cards and some packages.
“He loves getting mail,” Ingram said. “He’s asking where it comes from. He’s amazed with mail in general.”
Jaxon has a fascination with other places and learning where things come from that began with seeing things in TV and movies and asking where they are.
“He sees something – the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty – ‘Where is that, Daddy? Where is this?” Ingram said. “We just started telling him. It grew from him wanting to know where stuff was on TV to just in general, where are things?”
Jaxon asked for a globe for Christmas, and his family shows him where the various letters and packages come from. Ingram said so far, Jaxon has received mail from more than 30 states, London, Paris, Japan, Mexico and the Virgin Islands.
“He’s just amazed at the different states, and that where we live isn’t the only place,” said Blackmon, who oversees the Facebook group “#JaxonsArmy.”
Once support for Jaxon grew beyond just family and close friends, Ingram said the Facebook page was created to update everyone on Jaxon’s condition. On Tuesday, it had more than 2,000 members.
“We told them we just wanted prayer warriors praying for him,” Ingram said. “For us, the more people that know about him, the more people that’s praying for him. That’s what we desire more than anything is the prayers.”
Jaxon’s mother, Amy, wrote on the group’s page Saturday that the prayers are working.
“We are headed home!!” she wrote. “Never stop praying! Never stop believing! Never stop praising! God deserves ALL of the GLORY!! #tobecontinued”
Jason Ingram said Jaxon will have a few more weeks of chemo treatments and then a bone marrow test.
“We’re praying that it’s in remission,” he said.
Jaxon’s family and church will hold a blood drive in his honor Saturday at Freedom Freewill Baptist Church in Lancaster, and a limited number of time slots have been added between 9:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Blackmon said they’re planning to hold another blood drive later. A Relay for Life team for Jaxon has been created with Lancaster County Relay for Life.
Want to write Jaxon?
If you would like to send mail to Jaxon, address it to P.O. Box 3043, Lancaster, S.C. 29721