Earning your Eagle Scout is a tremendous achievement. It takes years of dedication, focus, and commitment as well as a willingness to learn new things and help others in your community. Even under the best circumstances it is no small feat. Earning your Eagle Scout in the face of devastating loss, and turning that loss into a source of inspiration, is truly incredible.
Clinton Sexton began formulating his Eagle Scout project late last year, with hopes of finishing it prior to his 18th birthday in April. As part of Boy Scout Troop 12 in Fort Collins, Clinton had an idea for his project that was very close to his heart. He wanted to create care kits for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, to help ease their suffering. Clinton knew firsthand the devastating effects of cancer on the patient and their family. Recently, his father had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and passed away shortly after his diagnosis. From the depths of his own grief Clinton decided to help others going through what he had watched his own father battle.
He reached out in January to the PVH and MCR Foundation to partner with him in creating personalized care kits for patients at the UCHealth Cancer Center in Fort Collins. He had already discussed the idea with oncology counselor Ann-Marie Bowman, who worked with Clinton and his family during and after his father’s diagnosis and passing. Together they came up with the contents of the care kits – water bottles to track hydration (a serious concern for cancer patients), chapstick, Biotene, games, cards, hand sanitizer, and cozy handmade fleece blankets.
Clinton secured donations and raised money to purchase items through a GoFundMe account. And on March 25th, eleven days before his 18th birthday, he delivered 65 completed care kit bags to the UCHealth Cancer Center. On hand for the ceremony were members of the oncology care team and staff who were deeply moved by Clinton’s thoughtful and generous project. “It is an honor to see young people give back in such a generous way” said Kathleen Michie, Oncology Services Program Manager.
Joining Clinton at the presentation ceremony were his mother and members of his troop. Clinton lit up the room with his energy and humor, taking time to greet and shake hands with all the staff who attended. The group worked together to move all the bags into a storage area from where they will be distributed to patients by the radiation oncology staff. A gift of comfort to people Clinton will likely never meet, easing the suffering he watched his father undergo and wanted to make lighter for those who would follow.
Ann-Marie Bowman, who works with oncology patients and their families every day gushes whenever she speaks about him and his project. “I think Clinton has done a lot of healing through this project. I’m so proud of him. He worked so hard through such a difficult time. I just think he is amazing.”
We at the PVH and MCR Foundation agree with Ann-Marie, and feel privileged to have played a small part in facilitating this wonderful project. Please join us in congratulating Clinton on receiving his Eagle Scout. His generous heart has already supported the health of his community and we look forward to seeing where it takes him from here.