Cayden has been fighting brain cancer for nearly 10 years. Cayden was at a Husker basketball game and was having a hard time walking in a straight line. His parents immediately took him in to the doctor. After an MRI, the doctor suggested the family go to Omaha right away to have surgery, as there was a tumor and fluid build-up. Cayden’s tumor location does not allow it to be completely removed. After surgery, he underwent rounds of chemotherapy.
After several surgeries and years of chemo, Cayden finally began to have stable scans about two and a half years ago. From the get-go, they had been told this type of tumor doesn’t normally grow, but it is in a dangerous place inside the brain stem. If it didn’t grow, he would be fine, and typically when the patient approaches adulthood, the tumor mellows out. But since it has not been contained with previous treatments, the doctors are somewhat stumped. There has been talk of trying another chemo, radiation, surgery or a combination of more than one of those.
Cayden was scheduled for de-bulking surgery in February to drain the cyst and remove as much of the tumor as possible, then get the tissue tested to see if the stage has changed from it’s original ‘1’ classification to something higher. Cayden was anxious to get surgery underway and attack the tumor; he doesn’t like the “wait and see” approach.
“Since he has had this kind of surgery before, I do remember what recovery was like and am not as anxious for surgery day to arrive. Considering my husband is on dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant, and we still have a young daughter at home, having Cayden’s tumor growing now is horrendous timing. The support of Team Jack means a lot to us, now more than ever,” Jennifer said.
Cole was born in 2009 and at just 15 months old, after numerous doctor appointments, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. “Shock. We were both sick. There is nothing you can do; you don’t know what you can do to fix that. My stomach just dropped and you just feel completely helpless. Your child should never have cancer. It was the last thing that we would have ever imagined was wrong with our son,” said Amy, Cole’s mom. Cole was diagnosed on July 9, 2010, with a stage 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma brain tumor. This is a very rare type of tumor, mostly found in kids around the brain and spinal cord.