Jaxon is the leader of his Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, Jax’s End ALZ Army, one of the top fundraising teams for the Spokane Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Jaxon walks in honor of his grandma, who has been living with Alzheimer’s disease since 2013. This June, Jax turned 9 years old.
Jax lives in Cheney, WA with his mom, dad and older sister Jordan. When Jax is not raising money for his Walk team through social media or his lemonade stand, he likes to play with his friends like any other 9-year-old kid. “I like to go play outside and I like to swim,” he said. “My friends and I play tag, and we like to go to each other’s houses to have Nerf gun battles.”
This will be his family’s third year participating in the Walk in honor of his grandma. Jaxon has given a lot of time volunteering for the food bank and other causes around town, but “his true passion is finding a cure for Alzheimer’s,” said Jenn, Jaxon’s mom.
His efforts to raise funds for a cure got the attention of country music singer, Jay Allen, who sent a personal video message to Jaxon. Jay Allen lost his mother to Alzheimer’s disease in 2019. His song about her, “Blank Stares,” is one of Jax’s favorites because it reminds him of his grandma.
Jaxon and his grandma have always been close. Jaxon said one of his favorite memories with his grandma is when she used to come to all of his soccer games.
“Her and Jaxon have always been so close, and when she started showing signs of Alzheimer’s, he started asking a lot of questions about what was going on with her,” said Jenn about Jaxon and his grandma. “As he got a little older, he started to better understand the seriousness of the situation and wanted to do something to help so that other people’s grandmas don’t forget them too.’”
Jaxon’s grandma has late-stage Alzheimer’s now and doesn’t communicate much, so during his visits, he reads to her, cuddles with her or plays guitar for her. “He finds ways to make her smile and that’s the most important part of his visits,” Jenn said.
For a few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaxon was unable to visit his grandma. This was really hard for his family. They were recently allowed to come back for a visit. “We just have to wash up really good before we see her,” Jaxon said.
Jaxon said that he plays guitar and reads to his grandma when he visits her because it is calming to her, “and, it’s nice for me to have memories of her,” he said.
What is Jaxon’s number one motivation for participating in the Walk? Making sure that other families don’t have to go through what his family is going through. “I just want all the families in the world to know that there could be a cure. I don’t want them to have to wait to try to find a cure. I want to find a cure faster,” he said.
The world may look a little different right now, but one thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to ending Alzheimer’s. This year, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is everywhere — on every street, trail and treadmill. We’re moving forward to end Alzheimer’s. Join the fight at alzwa.org/walk