Building Baxter's Legacy
Brook Duddy - Baxter's mom
I started BaxStrong Foundation, in honor of my son, Baxter Duddy. After Baxter gained his Angel wings I thought I would walk away from the world of Childhood cancer, but then on his 10th birthday, his second one in heaven, I felt him give me a shoulder tap to share his smile with the world and to give back the same love we were given. Baxter had such a big heart, that he would always make sure if he got something that his brothers did too, and on his last day of radiation in April 2019, he gave a little girl that was starting her first day of radiation for a brain tumor, a gift full of superwoman things so she knew she was a superhero too! Our community helped us throughout our journey, from fundraisers for our family and helping with travel, to sending Baxter boxes filled with goodies. He would always get the biggest smile, just jumping up and down trying to open them. That is why I decided on Baxters Smile Box, I can share Baxter’s smile and story with other kids going through the same thing, while also spoiling them with his favorite activities while traveling and in the hospital. When James approached us about the plane I knew that was again a shoulder tap from Baxter. If it wouldn't have been for Pilots for Christ, a wonderful nonprofit out of Monroeville, AL, we wouldn't have been able to get Baxter to where he needed to be for treatment and be together as a family. Being able to do the same out of Baldwin county in Baxter's name, well I know that he has the BIGGEST smile on his face! His dad, Zac, and his brothers- McLain(9), Cole(3), Wyatt(1) have helped me make this a reality, they too want to carry on Baxter’s legacy!
I was born and raised in
Elberta, Alabama by my parents
Jimmy and Susan Kaiser.
I currently reside here with my husband Jamie and our three children, Bailey, Falon, and Reece. I graduated from Foley High School and attended Auburn University for two years before moving back to Elberta to begin raising a family. I am a realtor with RE/MAX Paradise in Orange Beach selling homes, condos, and property all along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
My family and I have known the families of Brook and Zack for many years. Baxter was a student at Elberta Elementary and played sports with my son, Reece. Baxter was older than Reece but their birthdays were only one day apart.
I believe that God had great plans for Baxter from the day he was born. God’s plan is good because of the purpose it will serve, it is good because of the hope it will give and it is good because of the lives it will save. Baxter’s story and fight with cancer touched the entire community and I look forward to helping and witnessing what the future holds for Baxter’s legacy!
I am a lifelong resident of Baldwin County. I attended
Foley High School and graduated in 1997. After graduation,
I attended Troy State University, earning both my
undergraduate and graduate degrees. I currently live in
Elberta, AL, with my husband Jason and our three boys, Charlie, Gus, and Thad. I currently serve as the Children’s Ministry Director for The Point Church in Elberta.
In the fall of 2017, my youngest two boys, Gus and Thad entered 1st grade and Kindergarten at Elberta Elementary. It just so happened that Gus and Baxter were placed in the same class and Thad and Baxter’s brother, McLain were placed in the same class...and so friendships began! That year was full of after-school play dates, spend-the-night video game nights, and pool time! I’m so thankful that our family had the privilege to know Baxter and walk alongside him as he fought the good fight. Baxter will always hold a piece of the hearts of the Woerner family!
Erin Dykes -
I am a first-grade teacher at
Elberta Elementary and I have
been teaching for 19 years. I
live in Lillian, Al with my husband,
Alan, and my daughter, Allie Faith.
We have one dog, Cooper. We love
to spend time on the water, boating, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Baxter Lee Duddy came into my life as he entered 1st grade. I was his teacher. However, I knew and loved him before then. Oh my! Just let me tell you, he was such a blessing to me. Baxter didn’t have it easy while he was in my class. He was often going through chemotherapy treatments and even went through surgeries. He always persevered through it all. He LOVED being at school and socializing and learning with all of his friends. His friends loved him so much and he loved them equally. Baxter loved being at school and even when he didn’t feel well, he still wanted to be there. I’m so thankful that God allowed me to be in Baxter’s life. He taught me a lot about life. I miss him and I’m grateful to see his legacy live on.
I am a Financial Advisor, CFP®️, and General Partner with Edward Jones where I have worked with clients to help them achieve their financial goals for the last 23 years. I also lead 85 Edward Jones Branch Teams in Alabama and Georgia. I live in Gulf Shores, AL, and am married to my wife Jana. We have two children. Our daughter Haley is 23. Haley was recently hired by Edward Jones to become a Financial Advisor. Our son Ben is 17. He is a junior at Elberta High School and loves sports.
We have gotten to know the Duddy family over the past couple of years. Our daughter Haley is engaged to Chantz Blackmon who is Brook’s brother. I have been amazed at the strength, perseverance, and passion of the Duddy and Blackmon families. Losing a child (grandchild/ nephew) is the most difficult thing that any family can go through. The Duddy’s have chosen to take a very difficult situation and make a difference in the lives of others by carrying on Baxter’s smile, courage, and legacy through the BaxStrong Foundation. I am humbled and honored to be a part of the BaxStrong Foundation and excited to help carry on the legacy of a real-life superhero Baxter Lee Duddy!
Michelle Bishop McConnell is a graduate of Fairhope High School and traces her roots in Alabama for 5 generations. Her marriage to Mike McConnell in 2008 gifted her 3 children, Michael, Clayton and Maddie.
Michelle’s career in Event Planning began at an early age that was tied to her family’s business, Oak Hollow Farm, and has given her the opportunity to spearhead and participate in a multitude of non-profit fundraising including the American Cancer Society, Women’s Advisory Board at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center and serving as the Entertainment Chair for the Foley Hot Air Balloon Festival.
On a personal note, Michelle has been blessed with a special relationship to the Schaff, Blackmon and Duddy families. From watching Brook grow into adulthood, coordinating her Wedding to Zac and seeing their family grow to include Baxter, McLain, Cole and Wyatt.
Michelle welcomes the opportunity to lend her servant’s heart to the BaxStrong Foundation for many years to come. Creating an environment that honors the strength and legacy of Baxter Lee Duddy, expanding on the family’s vision for the future and creating a lasting legacy is a privilege and honor for which she will always be grateful.