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My Story

This site has been set up to keep friends of Braden's informed about his current treatment for neuroblastoma cancer.  Braden relapsed in August of 2009 and is currently undergoing treatments.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as we need a miracle!  Thank you so much!

Braden was admitted to Children's Mercy on Friday, December 28, 2007 after a visit to the ER for abdominal pain. A chest x-ray revealed a large white shadow across most of the right side of his chest and extending partially across the left side. A CT scan determined that it was a solid mass, which doctors suspect is a Neuroblastoma, a rare tumor found in infancy and early childhood. Braden is scheduled for a surgery on Wednesday, January 2, to confirm the diagnosis, determine staging and operability of the tumor, perform a bone marrow aspiration, and implant a Hickman catheter to deliver chemotherapy drugs. At this time, the tumor is believed to be too large and too close to vital organs and blood vessels to safely remove. It is hoped that chemotherapy might halt its growth and shrink the tumor enough for it to be removed in its entirety at a later date. Braden continues to undergo testing to determine if it has spread to any other organs or to his bone marrow.

Despite being a very sick little boy, Braden is maintaining his sweet disposition, unless they take his blood pressure, which he hates. Zach is keeping the hospital room free of "bad guys" as his alter-ego Spider Man. Deliece and Brian are exhausted, but hopeful and appreciate all of your love and support.

Please, keep them in your prayers.

Update:

Braden's tumor was determined to be stage four, high risk which confirmed our worst fears. Please pass along this link and password to anyone that you think could help us pray for Braden. We believe in the power of prayer and know God ultimately has a plan in place for Braden. We are charged with making the most of every minute we have with our son! Thanks!!

11-16-08

Braden has completed all chemotherapy and an autologous bone marrow transplant. He is currently beginning the maintenance phase of his treatment and doing well. Our next scans will at the conclusion of Cis-Retnoic Acid therapy in approximately May. Please continue to keep Braden in your thoughts and prayers--he still has a very long road ahead of him but thanks to all of you, he has come a great distance in defeating this cancer. We are eternally grateful to each of you!

On 8-11-09 we learned that Braden's cancer relapsed and there is no known cure for relapsing neuroblastoma.  We were given a choice of either quitting and allowing him to die nor or continuing with treatment in the hopes of prolonging his life a bit longer. We chose to fight.  We began treatments at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Children's Mercy in KC is doing any treatments here that can be doen from home at CHOP's direction.  Braden has had two MIBG treatments in Philadelphia as there are only 5 hospitals in the US equipped to do MIBG treatments.  It is an IV injection of a radioactive isotope that attaches to neuroblastoma cells and can kill them.  Braden's response was favorable but cancer remained.  He is currently going through chemo rounds of Irinotecan and Temodar in the hopes of killing the remaining cancer.  Please HOPE with us!  We need a miracle!

January 26, 2011, we heard the words we have prayed for since Braden's relapse...after his scans in Philly, Dr. Mosse told us that Braden's MIBG scan was completely normal and he shows no evidence of disease.  Thank you God!!  Braden went through immunotherapy and is now on ABT-751 to clean up the hidden cancer cells we believe are there. HOPE!

July 8, 2013, Braden was diagnosed with a secondary cancer called MDS. He received a bone marrow transplant on March 31, 2014 with bone marrow cells donated by his ten year old brother Zach. It is his only HOPE to beat cancer for a final time. 

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Deliece Hofen posted a new journal entry, "Results".

Hi everyone! I waited to post until we had all results back. First, good news on the neuroblastoma. Clear scans! Yay! Braden has had some horrible leg pain at ... Read more

Sarah DiGerolamo signed Braden's Guestbook.

That is amazing news!!!!   I was very, very glad to read your post.   GREAT news on clear!   I am so glad that his hair is coming back in, he is "healing" slowly, and ... Read more

Deliece Hofen posted a new journal entry, "Scan time...".

Scan time is here again.Ugh!We will be in Philly for scans and appointments with both our neuroblastoma and MDS teams. We meet with our MDS team at 11:30 on Tuesday. We ... Read more

Deliece Hofen posted a new journal entry, "Leg Pain".

Hi Army,Braden has been having pretty awful leg pain since Friday. He never cries...I mean NEVER! He is one tough cookie...not a single tear during transplant, but he has ... Read more

Deliece Hofen posted a new journal entry, "Day 102... The beginning".

We reached it...Day 100 (and then a couple more). It's been a good week.Tuesday was Braden's first cancerversary with MDS. A year ago on July 8, the doctors told us he had ... Read more

Deliece Hofen posted a new journal entry, "Day 90...Zach's story".

Hi Army,We have been enjoying a few days out of the hospital!! YAY! Braden's next appointment at clinic is next week and that is awesome. We go in on the 10th and will get ... Read more

Deliece Hofen posted a new journal entry, "Day 80...new counts".

Hi Everyone,We have been doing okay. Our basement flooded with a lot of rain early last week so Braden and I were living in a beautiful RV that our friends allowed us to ... Read more

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