8-year-old with terminal cancer fulfills bucket list wish to skydive

After hours of chemotherapy and six months of planning the largest bucket list item of his life, Paxton Idell will be parachuting from the sky.

SAN ANTONIO — Paxton Idell was diagnosed in 2021 with brain cancer when he was five. His parents, Kristian and Amanda Idell have been supporting his journey every step of the way.

“After intensive chemotherapy he ended up being cancer-free for about a year. And then April 5 of 2023 he relapsed,” Amanda said.

She says a relapse of this particular cancer is terminal. But that won’t stop her 8-year-old son from fulfilling everything on his bucket list. Paxton is an adventurous kid who isn’t fearful of most things adults wouldn’t want to try, like paragliding.

“The words that he said to me was, ‘I’ve never done that my whole life,’” Amanda said. “And my mom heart just kind of dropped. And that actually kind of set the precedence for everything that’s happened since.”

The next adventure on his list: skydiving.

“They’re very strict in the U.S. about kids under the age of 18 parachuting,” Amanda said. “So it’s getting attorneys involved, the equipment manufacturers involved.”

Kristian ldell decided to skydive with his son.

“Given his condition it’s hard for us to say no to anything,” he said.

Noah Watts is the tandem skydiving instructor in Castroville. He flew with Paxton.

“I’m hoping he gets anything and everything that he wants,” Watts said. “This is definitely a passion jump for him.”

After several minutes Paxton and his father stuck the landing, a memory he will never forget.

“Honestly whatever happens, it’s a privilege to be his mom,” Amanda said.

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