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Kids Doing Good: Braxton Horton

Eight-year-old Braxton Horton has gone through more than most boys his age. At the age of 5, he was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a rare cancer that caught his mother, Sabrina, completely by surprise. 

Braxton is the baby of the family, and the Hortons thought they knew all about raising kids. When Braxton began to snore in his sleep, Sabrina took him to see his doctor, not thinking too much about it. But one thing led to another and soon her baby was being referred to pathology, and he was diagnosed with the aggressive and fast-growing form of cancer.

“It was a whirlwind. I never thought cancer,” Sabrina said.

Now Braxton is on the other side of his chemotherapy treatments, though he won’t be considered cancer-free until he has clear reports for five years. For now, he gets checked every three months, according to Sabrina. 

The Hendrix Elementary student recently won a contest to name a statue of a friendly rabbit at the Cancer Survivor’s Park. The park is located on almost seven acres of land on Cleveland Street in Greenville. Clement’s Kindness Fund for the Children gave a lead gift to name the Children’s Garden at Cancer Survivors Park in 2017 to honor Dr. William F. Schmidt III, retired medical director of Bi-Lo Charities Children’s Cancer Center. Braxton serves as an ambassador for Clement’s Kindness, which was formed to help address the medical, psychological, social, emotional and financial needs of Upstate families impacted by pediatric cancer and other serious blood disorders.

The rabbit is perched on a pedestal in the children’s area so visitors of all ages can visit and pet him, and artist Lois Ann Malphrus said she chose a rabbit for both his curiosity and his bravery. Braxton named the statue “Hero.”

“I named him Hero because everybody with cancer is a hero,” Braxton said. 

Braxton said he’s no longer scared of cancer or needles. His mother agreed, noting that he doesn’t even flinch now with the rounds of shots and frequent checks with his medical team.

Braxton has two career goals for when he grows up, and both are in the business of making people feel better. First, he wants to be a doctor because they help people. He also wants to make plush toys of his favorite games like Pokémon and Super Smash Brothers, because they will bring a smile to people’s faces.

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