Some kids like dogs.
But Barrett Fitzsimmons was always a fan â€” of goats.
â€œHe was so excited. He couldnâ€™t wait to go pick it out,â€said Barrettâ€™s dad, Brad Fitzsimmons. â€œHe would run pen to pen and try to find out which one he wanted.â€
Fitzsimmons said when the nine-year-old first laid eyes on the goat-soon-to-be-named-Daisy, he knew that was the animal heâ€™d take as his first 4-H project.
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But in the midst of the excitement, Barrett and his family were carrying a heavy weight on their shoulders.
Barrett had been going through a three-year-long battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma Stage 4 when he was only in the first grade.
The movement, â€˜Barrett Strong!â€™ was born. Thousands of people, even beyond the Clark County community, followed his fight.
The young boy earned an invitation to a Michigan football game from Wolverines head coach, Jim Harbaugh and visits from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and members of the Dayton Dragons and Dayton Flyers womenâ€™s basketball teams during his time in the hospital.
Unfortunately, Barrett passed away this year â€” just shy of this yearâ€™s fair.
â€œHe was such a great kid and itâ€™s nice that everyone is here to support him,â€ said Barrettâ€™s friend, Alyssa Christian through tears.
Alyssa said she wished her friend could be at the fair to show Daisy for the first time, but she was there to show the goat in Barrettâ€™s honor.
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Alyssa, 13, was brand new to the goat arena, but by her showmanship â€” youâ€™d never know.
Alyssa and Daisy walked away with a yellow fourth-place ribbon â€” it was only complemented by the sea of red and blue â€˜Barrett Strongâ€™ T-shirts in the crowd during the show.
â€œI know that heâ€™s here with us. Weâ€™ve said several times throughout the fair, thatâ€™s a â€˜Barrett thing,â€™â€ said Barrettâ€™s 4-H advisor and family friend, Jennifer Brentlinger.
Barrettâ€™s dad said the family has several projects in the works to continue to memorialize his son.
He said specifically The Barrett Strong Foundation will kick off on July 29th â€” what would be Barrettâ€™s 10th birthday. The purpose of the foundation will be to carry on Barrettâ€™s legacy and raise funds for pediatric cancer research through various events.
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