On December 15, 2015, our family was blessed to meet our son Caiden Michael. Born at just around 37 weeks, he beat the odds and was born alive. Caiden was diagnosed with a very rare chromosomal abnormality, Trisomy 18. Babies with this syndrome have a 50% survival rate at birth and those that do survive, only 10% live to their first birthday. They say these babies just aren't developed enough or strong enough because Trisomy 18 causes major developmental delays and organ defects among other symptoms. Caiden's most life-threatening symptoms included brain defects, respiratory defects, and heart defects. However, Caiden proved to the world that he was someone who loved life. He didn't take it for granted and he fought for it every day.
As a parent, It's heartbreaking to witness your child fighting for his life. All parents want the best for their children and part of that is trying to make the best decisions for them. It can be overwhelming for anyone. Making decisions to better Caiden's life took everything out of us as we were in a constant state of fear knowing that any minute on any day our little fighter would lose this battle. Hearing test results that weren't optimal or seeing scans that showed just how bad things were only intensified this fear. We must have asked ourselves a million times What do we do? Such a simple question proved to be the hardest to answer. And so, what do we do? What any parent would do for their child. You be there. We tried to have the strength to comfort him even though we were breaking. We tried holding onto the belief that every decision was not wrong even though we could feel life slipping through our grasp. We prayed for the courage to keep giving 110% even though we felt defeated and we prayed for our hearts to enjoy life together even when death was lingering near.
On January 17, 2016, Caiden fought his final round but the fight was not over. Before Caiden was born, Alex and I made the commitment to never quit on him and I still believe it. With that being said, I have decided to run a half marathon in memory of Caiden and I've dedicated my running to make an impact. As I train for my race, I'm raising funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This is a way of continuing Caiden's fight as I help other children and their families. The tireless efforts of St. Jude help the world understand, treat, and defeat childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. When our son was in the hospital, all of the caregivers not only took care of Caiden's physical hurdles but also our emotional hurdles as well. They gave us a sense of confidence and comfort that made some things easier. We want to help give that same feeling to other families who are enduring such hardship.
Please help us reach our goal. Every dollar makes a difference and will aid in the efforts of St. Jude's!
Thanks to donors like you:
* Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
* Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer.
Thank you for donating and helping me reach my goal for the kids of St. Jude!
" My heart is not broken, an angel took a piece of it with him to heaven."