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Dinosaur dream for San Marcos girl fighting cancer

A nonprofit needs your help to fulfill a dinosaur dream for 9-year-old Jocelyn Croxen who is fighting an acute form of leukemia.

SAN MARCOS, Calif — The chance to help a 9-year-old San Marcos girl battling cancer fulfill a rare dream is underway. As she has spent days and weeks in the hospital, she's missed out on some precious moments of being a kid; but now a nonprofit wants to help do something special for the dino-loving girl. 

Third-grader Jocelyn Croxen was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age seven. When Campaign One At A Time, a nonprofit that helps children with cancer, learned about Jocelyn’s story they reached out to help fulfill her paleontology dreams.

“I really wanted to travel somewhere so when I saw Dinosaur National Monument, I said, ‘yes,’” said Croxen.

Each Monday Jocelyn goes through a chemo treatment. Among the countless treatments and procedures, she’s on her 11th of 48 treatments.

“It was really different and hard, and I knew I was going to get through it,” said Croxen.

She has spent days away from her family, friends, and pup Sally, which has made it extremely tough during the pandemic.

“It just makes me really sad because I can't play with them,” said Croxen.

Her mom had to leave her job to take care of her daughter. She is also an ovarian cancer survivor and knew that she had to be strong for her daughter.

“It’s one thing when you go through this yourself, it’s a whole different ballgame when it’s your child,” said Tracy Croxen, Jocelyn’s mother.

She helps Jocelyn document her leukemia journey on Instagram to inspire other children with cancer and encourage parents.

“You have to just advocate and push forward. When you know something is wrong you have to go,” said Tracy Croxen.

The Jocelyn Strong Instagram caught the attention of Campaign One At A Time, a nonprofit that ensures no child battling cancer feels alone.

“Our organization is a direct impact and making those memories and experiences happen,” said Brodi Nicholas, Campaign One At A Time Founder.

So the nonprofit is getting ready to launch a month-long fundraising campaign to send Jocelyn and her family to the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah.

“I know that dinosaurs are really cool and I really want to see one but they are all extinct but I could see their bones,” said Jocelyn Croxen.

Jocelyn said if she discovers a new dinosaur, she gets to name it.

“Right now I'm with Jocelynsaurus,” said Jocelyn. “I hope it has a spiny back or something really cool.”

As much of a battle as this is for children, fulfilling these dreams are just as important for their families.

“You have to take those days and take those vacations and spend that time with your family and do everything you can do because you don't know what tomorrow will bring,” said Brian Croxen, Jocelyn’s father.

The nonprofit will launch the Jocelyn Strong campaign from May 3 - May 17 with a $10,000 fundraising goal.

Jocelyn was also named the 2021 Girl of The Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in San Diego.

Hear more from Jocelyn about why she loves dinosaurs: