Caden is a good natured, silly kid that loves summertime camping and boating, skiing in the winter, and playing with cars, trucks, trains, and animals, especially his cat and dog. He is very proud of being a big brother!
Three months shy of his 4th birthday, Caden began complaining of leg pain while on vacation. About a week after returning home, Caden developed a low-grade fever and began complaining of neck and hip pain. The fever and pain persisted, and Caden became very lethargic, refusing to even walk to the bathroom. Blood work at the pediatrician's office showed something was off, but further evaluation was needed. Caden endured X-rays, bone scans, ultrasounds, EKGs, and lots of physical exams. Nothing was lining up to provide a clear diagnosis and his fever and pain continued. On the fourth day in our local hospital, an MRI showed abnormalities in his bone marrow in several areas of his body - hips, legs, and spine. It also showed that one of his adrenal glands (gland above the kidney) was slightly enlarged. These findings meant that Caden needed to go to a pediatric hospital.
Caden was flown over 700 miles from home and was diagnosed with Stage 4, High Risk Neuroblastoma.Caden has gone through six rounds of high dose chemotherapy and surgery to remove the primary tumor site and adrenal gland. Slowly, between the associated side effects of vomiting, exhaustion, mouth and throat sores, blood infections, pain, fevers, and viruses, Caden's strength and cheerful, funny nature returned. He began to walk, even run, and play with his sister again. His adaptability to such challenges and continued sense of humor have been an inspiration to all.
Scans following chemotherapy revealed that although the amount of cancer in Caden's body did not get worse and improved, it did not respond as well as hoped, nor enough to proceed with the anticipated autologous bone marrow transplant. Caden has since completed a seventh round of chemotherapy and traveled to another city for specialized, experimental radiation therapy. Caden will continue his fight against this horrible disease, and we long for the day when a cure is found. We will always be grateful for organizations such as Cookies for Kids Cancer and Caden's preschool classmates that are raising money for a cure!