VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – When cancer took the life of Dalton Fox in 2021, his family created a foundation in his name: D-Feet Cancer – The Dalton Fox Foundation. All money raised by the non-profit goes to pediatric cancer awareness and research.

“The government only gives four percent of federal money to researchers for pediatric cancer, and that’s not enough. That’s not doing enough, and when your kid dies, that’s not okay,” said Dalton’s mother, Jen Fox.

Jen says Dalton was nine when doctors diagnosed him with Ewing Sarcoma, a cancer in the bone or soft tissue.

“In the US, about 300 kids a year get Ewing Sarcoma with about 1/3 of them not surviving past five years. Unfortunately, that statistic includes our son,” said Dalton’s father, Will Fox.

After three and a half years of chemo and a foot amputation, this adventurous, loving boy passed away at the age of 12.

“You don’t know how much good there is in this world until your kid gets cancer, and I wish my kid, Dalton, didn’t get cancer. I never thought it would happen, but people just want to help, and no one can bring Dalton back, but they can help us help the kids who are still fighting this disease, and they can help us, just as a family, feel better,” said Will.

10 On Your Side introduced you to Dalton’s parents, Will and Jen, in November ahead of a Cancer Fundraiser by family friend, and LA Dodger, Chris Taylor. Now, it’s Dalton’s family who is raising the funds through D-Feet Cancer – The Dalton Fox Foundation.

“February 18, we are having a dodgeball tournament to celebrate Dalton’s birthday. It started last year. It was our first birthday without him. He was going to be 13. In our family we (celebrate) big birthdays with parties. So, 13 is a big one here in our family. I thought, ‘What can we do that’s fun for the kids? Because I’m about the kids. I don’t want a big gala. I want to just have fun with the kids and keep the kids involved in pediatric cancer,” said Jen.

She said last year’s Dodge Ball Tournament was a lot of fun and a huge success. So, it’s happening again this year!

As Jen mentioned, it will happen Saturday, February 18, at the Virginia Beach Field House. It starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. 4th graders through adults are invited to play in teams of 5 for $10 per person which equals $50 per team.

All money raised goes toward Ewing Sarcoma research in the form of a $100,000 grant. The Fox family says the St. Baldrick’s Foundation helped them discover a research project that needs funding.

“It’s called EPIC, and it uses the body’s immune system to attack Ewing Sarcoma cells. It is through the University of Pittsburgh. So, with their help, we donated to St. Baldrick’s, and 100% of that money goes to the University of Pittsburgh and a doctor there looking for a cure. It’s a $100,000 grant, and we’re going to write one check, probably the largest check I’ve ever written, $100,000 and it’s going to fund their efforts for a year. If that goes well, and if we do well, get more donations, we’ll consider funding them again for the second year,” said Will.

Will and Jen say they want doctors to find a cure, so no other family has to live through a loss like theirs.

“Locally, right now battling, there’s a person in Norfolk, a child in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, there’s one who’s doing quite well over in Yorktown. So, they say it’s rare, but you go to CHKD right now and there’s four or five kids there battling the same disease that took Dalton’s life,” said Will.

Dalton’s parents will always remember every detail about their son. From his love of the LA Dodgers to his love of a very specific color green, to his love of family.

“The day before he passed away, I gave him a hug and I said, ‘Dalton, I wish I could take all this stuff for you. I’d take it in a heartbeat.’ And he hugged me back and said, ‘Dad, I wouldn’t want you to.’ A 12-year-old shouldn’t have to say that to his dad. He should be here,” said Will.

While Dalton will always be missed, his family knows his memory will live on through their foundation.

“Our main goal is to help other kids like him, but for people to remember him, you know? D-Feet cancer is, his nickname was D, and we chose feet, play on words because he was missing a foot, but The Dalton Fox Foundation, if one person goes, ‘Hey! Who was Dalton Fox?’ They might just learn a little more about him. That makes us smile,” said Will.

D-Feet Cancer has multiple fundraisers scheduled for this year. From the Dodge Ball Tournament to Will planning a 22-mile run from CHKD to their home in Virginia Beach to celebrate Dalton’s Birthday to an Oyster Roast. You are welcome to donate to and/or participate in each event.

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