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The best possible care for Kaden

When Kaden was five years old, he began experiencing headaches and vomiting. The family’s local pediatrician noted that his tonsils were enlarged and thought perhaps that might be the problem.

But Kaden’s mom, a nurse, suspected something much more serious. “I was really worried about it,” she said. “I kept testing his balance and coordination, but he never had any other symptoms except the headaches and throwing up.”

Finally, Kaden’s mom called the pediatrician with her concerns. She took her son for a CT scan, which revealed her worst fears — Kaden had a mass on his brain called medulloblastoma, and the local doctors referred him to St. Jude immediately.

“We were very scared,” Kaden’s mom says. “I was very nervous about why he couldn’t be treated in our hometown.” But two doctors whom Kaden’s mom was familiar with through her work assured her that St. Jude was the best possible place for her son to be. “One doctor told me that the pediatric neurosurgeon at St. Jude is the best,” she said. “The other doctor said, ‘Don’t worry, St. Jude is where you have to go. There is no other option.’”

At St. Jude, the surgeon was able to remove 100 percent of Kaden’s tumor, and now he is being treated with radiation and chemotherapy. “When we first got to St. Jude,” his mom said, “Kaden was in a wheelchair, he couldn’t sit up or roll over in bed. To see him now, you could never imagine that.”

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