Star Elementary student receives Idaho Dream Factory’s first wish

When Paxton Mayer walked into the gym at Star Elementary last Friday for what he thought would be PE class, he was instead surprised to see the whole school gathered, with Mickey Mouse decorations everywhere.

Paxton walks into the gym expecting to go to PE class. Instead, the whole school is gathered with Mickey Mouse decorations all over the gym.

Paxton sat in a huge chair in the center of the room as teachers and fellow students talked about the goodness he brings as a student at Star Elementary school. Then, the big surprise. Jeremy Newberry, a former player for his favorite football team, the San Francisco 49ers, told him that he and his family would be going to Disney World. He grinned and clapped his hands while the audience cheered enthusiastically.

Paxton wears 49ers Mickey Mouse ears after learning he and his family will be going to Disney World thanks to the Idaho Dream Factory.

The Dream Factory, with its newest branch in Idaho, selected Paxton as its first dream recipient. Paxton was recently diagnosed with a rare, degenerative brain condition called Leukodystrophy. In the years leading up to his diagnosis, he went through several procedures and many other medical interventions while his family sought answers.

Despite his challenges, his friends and teachers emphasized the joy he brings to Star. One student said, “I love Paxton because he is always happy and he makes me happy.” Another student who aspires to be a football player said he hopes Paxton can come to the games when he plays for the 49ers some day.

The last student speaker summed it up by saying, “without Paxton, our school would be empty.”

A student at Star Elementary school speaks about Paxton.

Throughout the assembly the whole school cheered Paxton’s name, recited a poem about him and sang him the song, “On My Way.”

Paxton’s father Clint Mayer expressed he and his wife’s gratitude for this opportunity. Both he and his wife were emotional throughout the assembly.

“I want to say thank you…to everyone here at Star Elementary, it’s like family away from family. This is beyond amazing and what you folks [at the Dream Factory] are doing for these children is phenomenal. I can’t say thank you enough.”

Paxton’s father, Clint Mayer, thanks the Idaho Dream Factory and Star Elementary school.

The dedication of the Star community to loving Paxton was clear. One of his former teachers talked about how he would check out her outfits every day and give his approval. She started buying his favorite stripes and animal print outfits to wear to school for him.

Tearfully, a teacher expressed, “Paxton, I’ve worked with you since kindergarten. It’s been a blessing to watch you grow. I love you, and you know exactly how to love your people. You love BSU, you love Pete the Cat, you love the 49ers, you love the Dodgers, you love doing laundry, you love picking out my clothes, and you love Mickey Mouse. I am so proud of you, and you will never understand how much I truly love you.”

Students at Star Elementary hold up signs and cheer for Paxton.

Another teacher said “I love so many things about you. I love your smile. You walk into a room and have the biggest smile…because you’re so excited to be here.”

In fact, several of the Dream Factory volunteer organizers also work at Star Elementary, including Dixie Hessing, the librarian, and second grade teacher Rachelle Petross. They knew of Paxton’s story and encouraged his family to apply to be the first wish of the Dream Factory in Idaho.

Paxton opens a gift basket filled with 49ers Disney goodies next to his father, Clint Mayer.

Dream Factory coordinator Blair Wood explained that he interviewed Paxton to try and understand what he wanted for his wish. “It came down to a 49ers game or Disney World. We showed him two pictures and he went straight for the Disney. So that’s when we knew.”

Former center for the 49ers Newberry gifted Paxton a football with signatures from other 49ers.

The Dream Factory of Idaho hopes to grant many wishes in the future. They are funded locally and volunteer-run. If you wish to donate, go to this paypal link or visit their website.

Katie McGuire

Katie McGuire

Katie McGuire is a freelance reporter for EdNews. She lives in Meridian with her husband and their two children. She has a bachelor's degree in secondary education social science teaching from Brigham Young University and a master's in history from Kent State University.

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