Lakeland teen beats cancer, plans to run St. Jude marathon to inspire others

LAKELAND, Tenn. — An Arlington high school student plans to run this year’s full St. Jude marathon for the first time, hoping to inspire others after St. Jude saved his life following a freak accident.
Seventeen-year-old Jaxon Hindman is pounding the pavement, training for the St. Jude marathon.

"The nerves are real but I'm ready, I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Today the active teen tells you he's doing great, but rewind several years ago when he was in middle school and it's a different story.

Hindman was playing dodge ball in gym class and was hit by a ball.

"A lot of them play baseball so they can throw that ball really hard and I didn't see one and it kinda hit me on the back of the head. And I fell on the ground and I kinda blacked out for a couple seconds," he explained.

After he came to he tried to go back to class but wasn't feeling well. His mom, a nurse herself, was going to take him to the ER but instead stopped by a pediatrician.

They did a CAT scan and found something shocking — a cancerous tumor.

"When she came out she was crying and I wasn't sure what happened. What she told me was there was something in my head that needed to be removed."

Five days later he had brain surgery, becoming a patient at St. Jude.

"I knew later on once they talked to me that it was tumor. I just didn't know what the name meant. I just knew it was something that started with an M."

He might not have known what Medulloblastoma meant but he knew it caused excruciating pain. Hindman went through intense radiation and chemotherapy.

"I  just felt terrible at the time."

Through it all, he credits his friends and family for supporting him along with those at the children's hospital.

"All those doctors and nurses are just amazing like I don't think they could've worked at any other place."

Now cancer-free, when he's not training for his first full St. Jude marathon, he's run the half-marathon and 5k in the past, and he enjoys hanging out with his friends, Crossfit and shooting his air rifle in competitions.

He hopes where he is today and his push to run a full marathon will be a catalyst to others, to tackle what might look to be impossible.

"Being a survivor and everything I want to inspire other people that no matter what you've been through you can still have crazy goals that you can accomplish."

He said he is looking forward to running through the St. Jude campus and inspiring other patients.

Hindman hopes to one day work in the medical field, being an anesthesiologist or neurosurgeon.

HOW TO HELP
To support Hindman raising money for St. Jude you can click here.