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Dax Ryan Locke


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Austin and Julie Locke from Washington Illinois, newly married and thrilled to be expecting, became the proud parents of a healthy baby boy, Dax Ryan Locke, born on June 26, 2007. At six months old, Dax began getting colds and ear infections constantly. His parents, diligent in their struggle to help Dax regain his health took him repeatedly to the pediatrician who assured them it was a virus and he would be fine. On Dax's first birthday, with two ear infections and both eyes infected, he was admitted to the hospital the day after his first birthday. The doctors thought he was just dehydrated from the sickness and would perk up after getting some fluids. Three hospitals later the Locke family landed in Memphis, Tennessee at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital diagnosed with AML M7 leukemia. Although shocked, grief stricken, and exhausted from the emotional toll the last six months had taken, adrenaline kicked in and Julie and Austin from that second began their battle to do all they could for their baby son, Dax.

AML M7 leukemia is common in men over 65; Dax was only 15 months old when he was diagnosed. Dax began rounds of chemotherapy but it was not working; his body was so full of cancer by the time he was diagnosed the treatments could not stop the growth of the cancer. St. Jude and the wonderful staff of doctors and nurses never gave up on Dax. After the chemotherapy treatments failed and with no other options to try, Dax was enrolled in an experimental protocol where he would undergo a stem cell transplant. If Dax had not been taken to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital his story would have ended here. Given this new hope, Dax received his first transplant from his mother, Julie's stem cells. The cancer returned in Dax's small body even harder. Again, St. Jude offered another transplant and this time his dad, Austin's stem cells were used. Unfortunately Dax's little body just couldn't beat the disease and Julie and Austin returned home in mid October with Dax to “Cherish Every Moment” with him. The doctors thought he probably would not live through Christmas. Julie and Austin will forever remember the time and effort St. Jude put into saving Dax's life and most importantly for the gift of extra time they were able to spend with their precious son.

At home and with Dax, Julie and Austin decided to celebrate one last Christmas with Dax. Dax especially loved the Christmas lights on the tree and on the house and soon the neighborhood began asking why they had Christmas lights up before Halloween? As the story spread, within days the neighborhood and soon the town of Washington was lit for Dax. His story was a headline on CNN and Dax's story captured the hearts of literally thousands of people. Before they knew it, Christmas lights had actually gone up all around the world for Dax. Dax did live to see Christmas day. He passed away December 30th, 2009.

Despite their sadness, Julie and Austin knew that Dax's story, which had touched so many people, could be used to bring awareness to childhood cancer and the work of St. Jude and started a foundation called “Cherish Every Moment” the Dax Locke Foundation. The foundation's purpose is to raise $1.6 million dollars to run St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for one day in honor of Dax! They began chipping away at this goal by running fundraisers and spreading the word. Singer and songwriter, Matthew West reached out to help after hearing Dax's story. He wrote a song called One Last Christmas and the song went viral! Matthew donated all the money he made from the song to to the Dax Locke foundation! A producer heard the song, decided it would make a charming Christmas movie (One Last Christmas) telling how the neighborhood came together for Dax and put up their Christmas lights and filming began. The movie was aired December 4th, 2011 on GMC network and broke every record the network had ever set. Dax's story has moved the world. To this date over $603,000 has been raised to help Austin and Julie Locke meet their goal for their sweet boy, Dax

Cherish Every Moment,
Julie Locke
Dax Locke Foundation


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Megan & David Chapman
Mon, Dec 22, 2014
I'm so sorry about your loss. I know it couldn't have been easy. My husband and I just watched the movie "The Heart of Christmas" & it has truly touched our hearts!

Felicia
Thu, Apr 10, 2014
Dax was and still is such a beautiful boy and a strong inspiration to others. I watched a movie about him and cried and cried through the whole thing

cuOaalDEgGd
Tue, Aug 13, 2013
My favorite Christmas was 2005 when my WHOLE filmay made to my house for Christmas. My Mom & step-dad, my step-bro & wife, my 4 children & spouses with my 9 grandchildren & my best friend and mother-in-law came for Christmas day! It was the best ever! The following year I lost my parents & my best friend & MIL but I had that Christmas and all my wonderful memories and pictures. My youngest daughter lived in Iowa at that time & she usually comes in with just my grandson if they come in, but they both made it this time, but always every Christmas somebody can't come for some reason or other.

CaLeanna
Sat, May 04, 2013
I want to say that I just watched the movie about this beautiful little boy. This is a story that has touched me and made me see that we need to be thankful for everyday that we have with those that we love. I want to thank you for sharing your story with the world.

Katie Carv
Tue, Dec 25, 2012
It's Christmas night and I sit here on the computer in tears after watching the most touching movie I've ever seen. I have never cried so many tears or had so many feelings towards such a family than my own. This movie has greatly inspired so many and to me personally. I just want to tell you how I appreciate you telling us your story to the world and letting so many people who care share these moments with you. I did get a chance to read Dax's obituary and saw his passing after Christmas. I'm so relieved Dax had the chance to experience Christmas once again. I don't know who might come across and get the chance to read this but I just want to send love your way to Julie, Austin and the family. May you have peace this holiday season, joyous times, memories to look back on and much love to fill your hearts. Jax and family will forever be in my heart. Loves <3

Princess
Mon, Dec 24, 2012
Watching the movie, I was in tears. I have been greatly moved by Dax's story. He was such an incredibly strong little boy and was And still is loved by many. Thank you so much for sharing your Inspiring story. May God be with you and your beautiful family And may He always bless you. <3

Sarah
Mon, Dec 10, 2012
When I first started watching the movie dedicated to Dax, I realized that god creates such miracles. I am the normally the last one to admit this, but I truly think that Dax was put here by god to prove to us how amazing angels are. I am so very sorry for your loss, but I hope that you have realized how much Dax and your family have changed every ones lives that you have touched. Never forget he is watching out for you and your family, and always believe god had a plan. God bless your family

Hailie
Tue, Dec 04, 2012
I think that the movie was great, I have to admit that I did cry at times. He is such an adorable little man! Dax will be loved by so many!

Alice Hastings
Tue, Dec 04, 2012
I want to say that the movie that was made about Dax made me cry the whole way through. It really opened my eyes to a lot of things in life. Dax you will be loved! <3

Ashton
Thu, Nov 15, 2012
I can't believe the story that I just heard, what a light Dax was unto the world. He is truly what Christmas is about and he is a little angel. Best wishes and my prayers.

Teresa M. Arias
Fri, Oct 12, 2012
So sorry for your loss. May the Lord bless you in your selfless act to help others like your son Dax. I will keep your family and the goal in my prayers. God Bless!

Jason,Leslie,Natalie,Ethan Davis
Wed, Oct 03, 2012
Your story has touched us as I have read it. I am praying for you guys to meet your goal and for st. Jude to research this so it may not happen to anyone else or to find a cure. Please lift us. Up as we are adopting from China to give life to a child. Love in Christ, the Davis'

Bailey
Mon, Feb 20, 2012
Dear Julie and Austin,
My name is Bailey and im 11 years old. When I saw the movie about Dax I cried about 5 times. His story touched me so much that for my 16th birthday im donating money for the St. Jude hospital. I live in illinos just like you and my dad works at the hospital that Dax went to before St. Jude.
God bless you and dax and even your baby girl. Dax will be missed. <3 :)

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