Community mourns death of beloved teen

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Paxton Fisher, a captain of the Columbia Falls High School boys soccer team, died Tuesday from an aggressive form of cancer. (Hungry Horse News file)

The Columbia Falls community was mourning a young life lost Tuesday after word spread that Paxton Fisher had died from complications due to cancer.

The Columbia Falls teenager was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer, on Feb. 2.

Over the past few months, Fisher, 18, went through a host of chemotherapy treatments at Kalispell Regional Medical Center for an inoperable tumor in his esophagus.

He was a co-captain of the Columbia Falls soccer team and played in the pep band and was a talented musician.

Fisher died about noon on Tuesday.

The school canceled its afternoon tennis match against Glacier High School, as students were distraught about the news.

“Paxton Fisher was the strongest kid I have ever coached,” Columbia Falls soccer coach O’Brien Byrd said Tuesday. “Psychologically, physically, spiritually. If anyone was ever going to beat this monster, it was going to be him. He will never die in my heart. They never die in the hearts they leave behind. Paxton Fisher leaves a legacy and an example of just how you live this life.”

The Columbia Falls community and the high school student body responded with great support. A GiveForward campaign raised more than $13,000 for the Fisher family and the pep band sold T-shirts that said “Play for Paxton” which became the rallying cry at school athletic events.

More recently, the local Subway was also raising funds for the family.

Paxton is the son of Nikki and Joe Fisher.

Joe Fisher is an associate pastor at the Fellowship Church in Columbia Falls.

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