Four years later, Clay Dixon remains a fighter - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Four years later, Clay Dixon remains a fighter

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To you, it may look like a stump in the ground and a patch of grass, but Clay Dixon sees the potential in that spot of land.

"I'm gonna build my own place," the 11-year-old said.

He says he's going to earn it himself from the building materials to the new TV he plans to install.

"I need a place to do homework because I don't like doing it in the house," Dixon said. "I just don't."

Dixon does have some extra time on his hands. He's not allowed to play contact sports because of the tumor on the stem of his brain.

"I tried baseball," Dixon said. "I had to sit on the bench and watch them play and that got old.  Stopped that and just hang out at the house."

But as you might have detected in his tone, cancer isn't a road block for him -- it's just re-routed his life a bit.

"There are times I wish I could do this, but I can't because of it. There are also upsides to it.  When you think about it, I'm an 11 year old and I've things 40 year olds have never done," said Dixon.

Things like meeting his NASCAR hero Tony Stewart. That was 2008 when it seemed that the end was near.

"I think people expected a very different outcome," said Clay's mom, Cathy. "And when that didn't happen, people just assumed that everything's okay."

According to Cathy, it is okay during most days.

"His oncologist says he's just that one in a million," Cathy said.

Clay's cancer is still there, it just hasn't grown in a while, making him a rare exception to the harshest of rules.

"Definitely life is different now than it was before and it's a lot harder now. We still live everyday with worry that something might change," Cathy said.

But that's not the only worry Cathy has. She says because clay has lived so long, one of their insurers won't cover new tests. And after the bills started picking up, the fundraisers and donations started drying up.

"I've tried everything and you can't make people listed to you. I can't make a mortgage company work out something for a mobile home that's worth nothing," said Cathy.

Cathy knows the financial odds are stacked against her, but the family has beat those before and they plan to do it again. Because they've got plans to build a future.

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