San Antonio boy, 7, has heart set on Disney World despite cancer diagnosis

The Idells travel every two weeks for cancer treatments

SAN ANTONIO – Paxton Idell is described as a spunky 7-year-old by his mother Amanda.

The first five years of his life were seemingly smooth, until his parents noticed he was developing a lazy eye and was having issues climbing in and out of their truck.

His mother decided to take him to an urgent care, which ended with him being taken to a hospital for emergency brain surgery.

Tests found that Paxton had a tumor on his medulla. The tumor was blocking fluid and putting pressure on his brain.

“It’s completely eye-opening. You don’t ever expect this to happen to you. It happens to everybody else, it doesn’t happen to you,” Amanda Idell said.

Following Paxton’s emergency surgery, he was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital describes Medulloblastoma as a brain tumor in the cerebellum of the brain. The cerebellum controls both balance and coordination.

Amanda Idell knew in her gut this wasn’t the end of Paxton’s cancer journey.

“I had this feeling that this was going to be bigger than what San Antonio could deal with,” she said.

Her gut feeling was right.

Her son’s cancer journey was just beginning. The Idells made the decision to travel to St. Jude for Paxton to get additional testing on his brain. That testing would show six more cancer spots in the cerebellum of his brain.

Every two weeks, the Idells now travel to Memphis, Tennessee for Paxton’s treatment. This is something they have done for the past two years.

“You do not have to stay in the same state or in the same city to have treatment,” Amanda Idell said.

Paxton underwent 30 rounds of radiation and seven rounds of chemotherapy in order to get the cancer out.

Unfortunately for Paxton, the cancer didn’t go away. One year following his initial surgery, more cancer was found. There was a small coating of cancer in the lining of his brain.

“He has questions at times. One of the more recent ones was, ‘does dying hurt?’ And that was a conversation that we had, not even a week ago,” she said.

Despite Paxton’s diagnosis, his parents want to give him the best life possible. One of his dreams is to go to Disney World.

The national nonprofit, Campaign One At a Time, is looking to help the Idell family.

The nonprofit is aimed at helping and supporting families who have children battling life-threatening illnesses. Through fundraising campaigns and community events, the organization is able to make a difference in a child’s life.

“I just want him to be able to forget that he has to do all this. I just want to give him some peace of normalcy,” Amanda Idell said.

She hopes she gets the chance to make Paxton’s dream come true.

“Giving him that chance to play, be a kid, do something that normal kids do and experience,” she said.

You can read more about Paxton’s story and learn how you can help, by clicking here.

About the Author:

Halee Powers is a KSAT producer primarily focused on digital newscasts and events.