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March honors sheriff's deputy battling cancer

Posted: November 9, 2013 8:58 p.m.
Updated: November 9, 2013 8:58 p.m.

Trevor Poirier,16, left, and Bailey Palomino, 18, adjust their packs as they prepare to join a small group on a tactical "RUCK," road march along Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia on Saturday in support of Santa Clarita Sheriff's Deputy and US Army veteran Luis Gaxiola who is battling a rare form of of cancer. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

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SANTA CLARITA - A march in honor of Luis Gaxiola piqued the community’s curiosity on Saturday.

More than 30 people representing Gaxiola, a sheriff’s deputy at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and an Army veteran who is currently battling a rare form of cancer, walked 13.5 miles across the Santa Clarita Valley in approximately six hours.

Creating an impression was exactly what Kevin Duxbury, a sheriff’s deputy at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and an Army veteran, wanted to accomplish.

“More than anything we wanted to show him love,” Duxbury said. “It’s the military way.”

Duxbury and his wife, Kym, organized the Tactical “Ruck” Road March in honor of Gaxiola.

“Our goal is to help the Gaxiolas ease the financial burden of his inability to work fulltime anymore,” Kym Duxbury said.

A handful walked the march while carrying a “ruck” sack that weighed approximately 65 pounds. The marchers also wore military garb.

“I can’t say enough about the people who are here,” Duxbury said. “Their bodies quit; it was all heart that got them over that hill.”

Marchers began their trek at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at approximately 10:30 a.m. and arrived about six hours later at Jersey Mike’s Subs on Bouquet Canyon Road.

The event, originally planned to just show support for Gaxiola, was transformed into a fundraising event with the help of Jersey Mike’s Subs, which donated 20 percent of their earnings Saturday to help Gaxiola manage his health finances.  

Gaxiola’s wife was emotional as she watched the marchers and other supporters honor her husband. Yet, Gaxiola, himself, said he couldn’t believe why anyone would spend a Saturday helping him out.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Gaxiola, who was unable to march. “I think sometimes there are other guys who are more deserving. What did I do to deserve all the notoriety? Not that I mind it; I’m grateful for eveything these people have done.”

Supporters can donate to help Gaxiola by sending a check written out to “The Gaxiola Fund” and sending it to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“When a soldier’s down you tell him, ‘It’s going to be alright’ and you’re going to be there for them,” Duxbury said, “It’s what we did today, showing him with our blood, sweat and tears.”


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