COLORADO SPRINGS – Just over a year after being diagnosed with leukemia, a little girl and her family continue to receive great support from the Colorado Springs community.
In August last year, 4-year-old Bexley Schumaker was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). The community quickly rallied around her and the Schumaker family, supporting them throughout their cancer journey. During this time, with all the support they received, they were able to support other families and give back.
“It’s amazing to know that little kids, adults, people everywhere are helping us help other people who might be going through a tough time, and we can pay it forward,” Jenny said. “Even though we are going through a difficult time, we have other people who support us, so we can support our family and our three boys who also need us.”
Last year, when Bexley was diagnosed with cancer, a family friend brought pink shirts to the family’s home to support Bexley. Pink is her favorite color and the shirts are marked “Bexley Strong”. Soon after, the family founded the Bexley’s Blessings Foundation and began selling pink t-shirts to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Since then, every Friday a sea of people dressed in pink T-shirts have walked from the neighborhood to Chinook Elementary School, and a year later the support has only grown.
“It’s just a really amazing feeling to know that she just hasn’t been forgotten in a year,” said Jenny Schumaker, her mother,
“You would think that after a year, out of sight, out of mind, but in reality the support never stopped, it never waned. On the contrary, it gained momentum. “said Kurt Schumaker, Bexley’s father. “But she’s surrounded by this whole community, and the school, just like my wife, leaned that fist over her head, and they’ve been there every step of the way.”
Meanwhile, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and little Bexley was recently named an Ambassador for Children’s Hospital Colorado. It’s a two-year commitment from the family to share their story with others and give back during their cancer journey.
“It’s just a great opportunity for our family to share her story and the positive impact that giving back can help,” said Jenny, who said Bexley would represent other children like her.
“She will be able to speak about the hospital’s mission and be the face of the hospital to help raise funds for childhood cancer awareness and research.”
Bexley has now completed a year of her three-year treatment, and her family say her body is responding well.
“You can tell, she looks a lot better than the last time we had the interview. She has hair back,” Jenny said. “She’s had a tough year, a really tough year that you wouldn’t want for your child, but she had tremendous support.”
Her family say she’s been a fighter from day one, and they try to stay positive even in tough days, and celebrate all the little milestones with cake.
“She’s a tough little girl. The things she’s been through and the way she’s handled them have been amazing,” Kurt said.
As for her latest title, Ambassador of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Bexley and her family will continue to help raise funds for childhood cancer awareness and research.
“It gives us the chance to help other people who might be going through a difficult time, and we can give it to the next,” Jenny said.
The family has sold over 700 t-shirts through the Bexley’s Blessings Foundation. This money is used to fill a pink wagon called Bexley’s Blessings with hundreds of toys. Gifts in the wagon are given to other children battling cancer to help them smile.
Jenny also said the neighborhood kids set up lemonade stands for Bexley and the community also held food and toy drives.