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Brayden was found to suffer from retinoblastoma in June 2010.
Shortly after Brayden's birth, his mother looked into his eyes and knew something was wrong. "His eyes were shaking and rolling way more than I had ever seen with any newborn," she said. She told Brayden's pediatrician about her concerns, but he assured her it was probably nothing. Brayden's mother continued to worry, and at the baby's seven-month checkup, she brought up her concerns again.
The doctor looked at Brayden's eyes closely. What he said next devastated Brayden's parents: The little boy was likely blind, but the doctor could not pinpoint the cause. Brayden's parents took him to an ophthalmologist, who found tumors in both of Brayden's eyes. Brayden suffered from retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer. Brayden's parents asked the doctor where he would send his own child if he were in their situation, and he referred them immediately to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
p>At St. Jude, Brayden received 11 rounds of chemotherapy to eradicate the tumors, but doctors are unsure how much vision he has lost. Brayden's tumor growth has been persistent, and his parents face the very real possibility that their little boy might still lose his eyes one day. His St. Jude treatment team continues to monitor the situation very closely, providing ongoing laser therapy and cryotherapy when new tumors appear.
Brayden's parents are grateful that St. Jude covered his treatment costs, especially because their insurance company did not. "I believe that the children who come to St. Jude are very blessed," said Brayden's mother. "They receive treatment they might not have at other places. St. Jude is the best place." Brayden visits St. Jude for regular checkups. He is a happy, active child who loves music, dancing and playing with his older brother.
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