JAXON Cooper’s favourite basketball player in the world is the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony.
So when he was presented with a singlet signed by his hero – along with a family ticket to a Knicks game – his response was typical of a 10-year-old boy: “That’s sick!”
Jaxon said he liked Carmelo because of his shoes and his number seven, the same number Jaxon wears when he suits up for the Saints Basketball Club.
“This is really, really awesome,” the Black Hill Primary School pupil said.
Jaxon was diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem tumour in February after he had vision problems.
A visit to an optometrist was followed by a consultation with a specialist, an MRI and a Royal Children’s Hospital visit, all in a week.
He has since had 10 weeks of chemotherapy and six-and-a-half weeks of radiation therapy but tests show the tumour may still be growing, which will be determined by an MRI on Wednesday.
Parents Jodie Henderson and Rob Cooper said Jaxon was a very active boy before his diagnosis, playing cricket, football and basketball.
“He was still playing basketball up until a few weeks ago,” Ms Henderson said.
“He’s very strong and very independent.”
The Athlete’s Foot Ballarat owners Paul and Andrea Tudorovic heard of “Jaxon’s Journey” via Facebook and decided to help out.
Mr Tudorovic, a former Ballarat Miners coach, used a New York basketball contact to organise the signed singlet and game tickets.
“Hopefully, he’ll also get to meet Carmelo,” Mr Tudorovic said.
“I’m really happy for him and I hope we can grant his one wish. The community of Ballarat has been amazing. People have been giving me money on the street and asking me to put it towards Jaxon.”
Both Mr Tudorovic and Ballarat City councillor Amy Johnson did the icebucket challenge during the week, with all funds going towards Jaxon’s American trip.
Power FM’s Matt Jenkins has also organised for Jaxon to meet Australian NBA players Dante Exum and Patty Mills.
A fund-raiser auction/fun night for Jaxon will be held on Saturday, October 4.
Jaxon named the event “Stuff You Cancer” and it will help send his whole family, including older brother Tyson, 12, and younger siblings Logan, 7, and Gracie, 3, to New York.
Organiser Leonie Coad said $10,000 worth of goods had already been donated.
Ms Coad said Jaxon also wanted some funds to go towards the Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund which carries out brain cancer research.
The fundraiser will be held at the Victoria Bowling Club in Victoria Street, with a 7.30pm start and tickets $10 each.
To make a donation to Jaxon’s Journey, go to ANZ Bank, BSB: 013533 and account 535804945.
To book for the event, call Leonie on 0403 834 156.