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South Bend Cubs honors teen who died last year

MISHAWAKA --- A Kosciusko county couple remember their late son on Saturday, almost a year after his death. 

John and Sandy Dixon received a personalized jersey from the South Bend Cubs, with their son, Christopher Dixon’s age and last name. Dixon, 13, was found in Lake Wawasee last September. 

“It’s like he’s still here,” said John Dixon, Christopher’s dad. 

His wife, Sandy, said they feel blessed to have support from the South Bend community – especially from the South Bend Cubs and the HopeBridge center.

“He was becoming more and more independent,” Sandy Dixon said. “And doing things more and more on his own.”

The center on Dugdale Drive honored Dixon with a sensory room full of the 13-year-old’s favorite activities. His father said the entire day was very meaningful.

“I won’t lie, I’d like to have my son back,” he said. “But this is still pretty amazing.”

Before the first pitch, South Bend Stu gifted the couple with the jersey. They said the Cubs were Dixon’s favorite team. 

“Whether the team was in town or not, whether they were playing or not, whether it was baseball season or not, soon as he saw Downtown South Bend, ‘Go baseball, please,’” he said.

Dixon’s father said he is proud to have his son’s legacy being left with the Cubs and HopeBridge, but said more needs to be done for children with autism across the nation.

“Like a lot of autistic people, he had not an ounce of fear in his body,” he said. “Which presented its own challenges, but I sometimes refer to him as love incarnate he was he was just love.”

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