Canadian Cyclist


September 10/13 18:57 pm - Zach Bell Launches Paxtons Lights of Hope

Posted by Editoress on 09/10/13

As a legacy to honor the memory of Paxton and all families who have experienced hope and loss of loved ones, Rebecca and Zach Bell are launching the Paxton's Lights of Hope campaign. An annual campaign to support BC Women's Hospital's Newborn ICU and to engage families who have been through a Newborn ICU or other challenging experience around the health of a loved one.

In 2008, Zach competed at his first Olympic Games as one of two athletes from the Yukon. A competitive wrestler in high school, Zach switched to cycling in university at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. He finished in seventh place at the 2008 Summer Olympics and eighth place at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Zach's wife, Rebecca Bell, was pregnant during the 2012 Summer Olympics. She had the perfect pregnancy but something went unexpectedly wrong during her baby son Paxton's birth.

"During labor, something happened that prevented the umbilical cord from delivering oxygen and blood to Paxton. The situation was prolonged enough that our precious newborn son suffered an acute, severe brain event. There was no part of him that was not impacted," said Rebecca Bell.

On the day of Paxton Michael Bell's birth, October 13, 2012, his tiny body immediately experienced difficulty breathing and other serious problems. He was quickly moved by the emergency Infant Transport Team to BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver. For two days, BC Women's Newborn Intensive Care Unit (ICU) specialists cared for Paxton around the clock, providing him with the most advanced treatment available.

"In the end they came to us with the most terrifying news I have ever received in my life,'' father Zach Bell said. "Our perfect boy who had grown just the way he should have during the nine months of pregnancy had everything robbed of him.''

The Newborn ICU specialists told Bell and his wife that Paxton was unlikely to survive. Facing a decision no parents should ever be forced to make, the couple made the choice to take Paxton off life support to see if he had the ability to survive on his own.
"After a fight that seemed to last an eternity, it was obvious he could not survive. Paxton passed quietly cradled in his mother's arms. The perfect picture of an infant that never had the chance to show his true colours," said Zach. "Even though our lives together were so short, Rebecca and I loved him and will continue to love him with all our hearts.''

To honor the memory of Paxton and all families who have experienced hope and loss of loved ones, Rebecca and Zach Bell are creating the Paxton Lights of Hope Campaign. A legacy event to support BC Women's Hospital's Newborn ICU to honour famlies who have been through challenging experiences with the health of their loved one, either in a Newborn ICU or other setting.

Funds will be raised through the sale of Limited Edition Paxton's Lights of Hope Candles from these websites: or Candles will be delivered to your family in time for your Thanksgiving gathering. These pure soy candles are made by Granville Island Candle Company just for the Campaign and each candle will burn for 50+ hours. Please order your candles by October 5th, 2013, in order to receive them by Thanksgiving.

Please purchase a candle and light it memory of all those newborns and babies who received assistance from BC Women's Hospital and especially those who passed from this world without the opportunity to grow old, make friends, and enjoy life.

About BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre
Healthy women. Healthy babies. Healthy families. This is the driving spirit behind every program, every equipment purchase and every act of care at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre.

BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), is devoted to the health of women, newborns, and families. Located in Vancouver, BC Women's provides a range of specialized, tertiary, and primary and secondary health services that address the needs of women of all ages and backgrounds. From pregnancy to birth to mature women's health, Women's is the only facility in BC with a provincial mandate to meet the comprehensive healthcare needs of women and newborn babies.

BC Women's is BC's provincially designated referral centre for women facing high-risk pregnancies and birth, and babies requiring life-saving newborn intensive care. Its reputation for excellence and innovation has attracted top medical specialists, subspecialists and leading-edge researchers, and it is one of Canada's top medical education and training centres. For more information on BC Women’s, please visit

About BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre Foundation
The Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to enable BC Women's Hospital to function as the leader in women's and newborn health. Donor support enables the Foundation to support programs at BC Women's Hospital that reflect the healthcare needs of women and their families. For more information on the Foundation, please visit


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