Date: April 26, 2017
Time: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Frontiers of Flight Museum
6911 Lemmon Ave
Dallas, TX 75209
Caden is a bright, funny, 14-year-old boy. You wouldn't know at first glance that Caden is anything other than an average young man; yet he's nothing short of a warrior. He's fought for every skill achieved and continues to fight every day to try to be a typical teenage boy.
Caden was a colicky baby who faced a lot of minor health challenges from the minute he was born. His family quickly came to realize there was something more going on, but nobody had a clear answers. Despite his struggles he was a very, very active baby and learned to get around much quicker than the average baby. At 20 months, we noticed a difference in Caden's left leg and foot. By age 2, we finally convinced his doctor to do diagnostic testing to determine a cause. At 2 years and 3 months old, an x-ray revealed Caden had congenital pseudoarthrosis of his left fibula. Simply put, his left fibula had tried to create a new, false joint in itself; the bone was thinned and broken at the main site of disease. Based on this diagnosis and the presence of multiple birthmarks on his body, as well as the developmental delays, Caden was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF) Type 1.
Caden has had multiple surgeries on his leg to repair the diseased bone and the effects it has had on the rest of his leg's skeletal system. He has never let his surgeries hold him back; he even learned to climb in a bent-knee cast that was meant to keep him immobile. He receives yearly x-rays to monitor the health and growth of his leg. Caden has since been diagnosed with a brain stem glioma (tumor) which we watch closely with yearly MRIs and frequent visits with his Neuro-oncologist. Caden also struggles with slow growth, behavioral challenges, and learning disabilities as a result of his NF1 and his brain tumor. He sees multiple specialists several times a year to monitor all of his challenges and give him the best quality of life possible. He somehow still manages to face every day with lots of energy and is often described as being "full of life".
Caden currently is in 8th grade and is working to figure out junior high and all the responsibilities that come with being a teenage boy. He is a very passionate reader and has reading comprehension skills that far exceed his age. He is rarely found without a book or two close at hand, and is always ready to escape into whatever story they hold for him. Caden has a big imagination and constantly amuses us with his "what if" thoughts on everything and anything. He is passionate about penguins, at last count he had over 150 penguins of all shapes, sizes, and makes - stuffed, plastic, etc. - he loves them all. He dreams of one day working closely with penguins, and we are so grateful for those who work so hard at finding a cure and accurate treatments for NF, so that we can hold onto hope that one day Caden's dreams can come true.