Dad, Brother Run Peachtree for Collins

Collins Dixon, the Teasley Middle seventh-grader whose faith in the midst of a 10-month-long cancer battle inspired people across Canton, never got a chance to run in the AJC Peachtree Road Race. His dad, Bob Dixon, ran for him.

I ran the Peachtree this year in honor of my son, . Collins ran the Kids II Strong Legs 5K last November while receiving radiation and chemo treatment for his brain tumor. He ran it in 39 minutes. 

After running the Kids II Strong Legs 5K, he told me he wanted to run the Peachtree. On Dec. 7, . .

In March, when the applications to run the Peachtree came out, I thought long and hard about running in Collins' honor. I mentioned it to Ronnie, Collins’ brother, and he was on board with running it.

“We should,” he said.

I submitted our apps, but we were not selected. I thought that it wasn’t meant to be, but with everything along this journey, things happen that you don’t expect. You see, I also submitted an email to the Peachtree and I included "Remembering Collins," the story that 11Alive's Matt Pearl did. A few days later, I received an email from the Peachtree saying they would be honored for us to run in Collins' honor.

As I trained for the Peachtree, it gave me time to heal and reflect. Collins was there every step of the way. I wore my "Finish Strong!" T-shirt with "CD" on the back. The crowd cheered us on throughout the race.

"Finish strong!"

No, I didn’t place, but I finished—strong. You see Collins didn’t let anything sway him in his faith during his journey with cancer. His faith grew stronger when his body grew weaker. I know Collins was with me because when I was ready to stop, he kept pushing me. It was truly an amazing day. And to top it off, as I was leaving, the band started playing one of Collins' favorite songs, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. I am so thankful to the Peachtree for letting us run in Collins’ honor.

On July 14, we will be hosting the  at  starting at 8 a.m. Earlier this year, when Robin and I were talking about how do we carry on and give back like Collins wants us to do, Robin came up with the idea of having a 5K race. We knew how much Collins enjoyed the Kids II Strong Legs race and thought it would be a great way to get the community involved. The race will raise awareness of brain tumors in children and celebrate Collins' birthday, which is in July. The money raised will go to the Bend Your Knees Foundation to help families that are faced with the same journey we faced with Collins battling a brain tumor.

For more information on the race, go to BendYourKnees.org.

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