Meet Caden, a 9 year old pineoblastoma brain tumor survivor.
In the fall of 2019, Caden started suffering from vomiting and headaches. “We thought he just had a stomach bug because he wasn’t feeling well for a few days. He woke up one morning in so much pain so we took him straight to the emergency room. The doctor immediately did a CT scan and saw a brain tumor. We were transferred to a different hospital where they got him on the schedule for his first surgery.” Caden was 7 years old when he was diagnosed with a pineoblastoma brain tumor. The diagnosis left the family shocked, sad, terrified and speechless.
During his journey, Caden had several surgeries during his journey including a full tumor resection, third ventricular bypass, biopsies, eye surgery and port placement and removal. He completed 15 days of radiation to the brain and spine and 15 days to the brain. Caden completed four cycles of chemotherapy. During treatment, COVID limited the visitors and left Caden feeling very isolated. “We, along with the rest of the world, were completely isolated. Not just isolated from our family and friends, but isolated from our home and safe place. Caden went four months without seeing his brothers. It was just awful. He would cry at night, not because he felt terrible, but because he missed his brothers. He was a great support to his friends at St. Jude.” One friend’s mother even said that Caden saved her son’s life since he too was away from siblings for a long period of time.
“Caden’s treatment is over, hopefully forever. As of right now, we travel to Memphis every four months for follow up appointments and scans.” Caden enjoys playing with friends and especially his brothers.
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Brain cancers account for about 15% of pediatric cancers and are the second most common type of cancer in children. May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Learn more by clicking here.