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Town turns out to celebrate young Gresham cancer survivor with victory parade

Jaxon Perkins, 6, has battled leukemia for more than three years. He had 20 blood transfusions and spent more than 100 nights in the hospital
Credit: Gresham Firefighters

GRESHAM, Ore. — Sunday became a day of celebration in a Gresham neighborhood for a boy who had earned it. 

Six-year-old Jaxson Perkins finished his last intravenous cancer treatment on April 3. He was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia when he was three and a half and has been battling the disease ever since.

Normally there would be a celebration and the ringing of a bell at the hospital at the end of treatment but because of coronavirus that couldn't happen. The Perkins family couldn't even go out for a victory dinner.  

Sarah Perkins, Jaxon’s mother, posted on a community page on Facebook, asking simply to borrow a bell for Jaxon to ring at home.

Kimberly Lake replied and said, 'How about a parade?' And the event snowballed.

Sunday evening, dozens of cars, fire trucks and police cruisers rolled through the parking lot at Gresham’s Hollydale Elementary School for the victory parade.

Jaxon waved and rang his bell as the procession rolled by.  His dad called it touching and said they never expected anything like it. 

Even with social distancing the Gresham community found a way to give a boy and his family the victory celebration they deserved.