Superheroes Don’t Always Wear Capes

The Oxley family

Robbie Oxley with a footballRobbie Oxley loved superheroes.

On Sept. 19, 2020, the 6-year-old became one.

Robbie was left brain dead after a tragic accident near his home two days earlier. Many of his friends, family, first responders and strangers were on the scene immediately, but unfortunately, nothing could be done.

“On Sept. 21, 2020, we did the Honor Walk,” said Robbie’s mom Nancie Oxley. “It was a breathtaking moment. Friends, family and hospital staff lined the halls as a superhero who chose to be an organ donor made his way to the operating room to save lives.”

Robbie became an organ donor and saved the lives of six people.

“It’s a choice no one should ever have to make, but one that is so impactful,” said Oxley. “His accident brought angst to our family, yet brought so much hope, joy and love to those whose lives were able to continue.”

Robbie Oxley with his father, KeithNancie and her husband Keith talked in the months following Robbie’s passing about establishing a foundation in his honor. Sadly, 11 months to the day the family lost Robbie, Keith succumbed to the COVID-19 virus.

In March 2022, Nancie established the Superhero Robbie Oxley Foundation.

“Through lots of heartache and tears, I finally got enough strength and courage to start the foundation,” she said. “I am so blessed to have an incredible support system from my family and friends. They truly helped me get through every day and continue to do so.”

In the short time Robbie was here on this earth, he loved learning at school, playing flag football and t-ball in Lawton, about 30 miles south of Kalamazoo.

“He had a beaming smile and he always made sure all of the kids were welcome in his circle of playing,” said Oxley.

Because of his love of sports and friends, the foundation’s mission is focused on supporting academics, athletics and the community in Southwest Michigan, while bringing awareness to organ donation. To date, the non-profit has raised over $30,000 to give back to the community.

The foundation has worked hard to keep his memory alive. It has supported the Lawton Rocket Football program; the program even retired Robbie’s jersey number – #1. In addition, it has supported the track and ski teams, robotics and technology programs, library needs, an annual golf outing and more.

The first annual Superhero Robbie Oxley Scholarship was established in 2023.

“No matter what we support, we always are looking to bring awareness to organ donation,” said Nancie. “We have heard so many people in our community who are now registered donors thanks to Robbie.”

Robbie Oxley

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