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In Honor of Braden

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Braden’s 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. 

Latest Journal Update

End of Year...

Hi Everyone,
Braden is in his final week of fourth grade and I'm SO happy! It's been a crazy year and I'm happy and excited that he is going to move on to fifth grade! What a victory! TAKE THAT cANCER! Friday at 11:45, my boys are MINE for the entire summer and there's really no better thing in the entire world. I just can't WAIT to get them back, I'm tired of sharing! ;)   Zach is going to be a seventh grader after Friday..what in the world? WOW! He has had an amazing first year of middle school and has great teachers and an awesome principal who made this transition from elementary school much easier. We are very lucky to have people who care about our boys so much working with them every day.

I think I have also forgotten to update you on what all Mr. Zach is up to...a few weeks ago, I received an email from the casting director of the Rachael Ray Kids Cooking Show on the Food Network. Zach is a "chef" and loves cooking, just tonight he made sautéed shrimp with a chile sauce and I'm not kidding when I tell you that I would have easily paid $20 a plate for this at a restaurant. It was unreal and it's good to be me because I get to eat all of his projects. :)  Zach has been blessed to be be able to work with his friend, mentor, and legendary chef Jasper Mirabile. He adores Jasper and Jasper is truly an amazing man as well as an incredible chef who has won more awards than I can count. Kimberly Stern, who just rocks, had written an article about Zach and his cooking for the KC Star several months ago and apparently the casting director read that article and asked if Zach would be interested in applying to be on the next Rachael Ray Kids Cook Off Show on the Food Network. Zach watches the Food Network every minute he can so of course we said yes! 

Zach had a Skype interview with the casting director for the show and he made the cut to go to the final interview with the Culinary Director.  Last week he cooked one of the recipes Jasper taught him how to make, Tuscan Pork Ragu. It's really yummy! During the interview, Zach did everything he should and could have done for that interview and we are super proud of him. The producer said that we would hear back if he made the next cut for the "final final interview". Only 8 kids in the entire USA will be chosen to be on that show so it's highly likely that this was Zach's last step but man what a step it was! Zach has already won just by being able to cook for the culinary producer of the show. AMAZING!! We won't hear back unless he makes the final cut so I suppose if the show comes on next fall and Zach is home watching it we will know he didn't make it! :) LOL! What an amazing experience!! 

And this is for those of you who live in Eastern Kansas...please join us tomorrow and Tuesday at the Church of the Resurrection (our church) from 8am to 8pm for a blood drive and bone marrow registration. I know I have said this before, but donating blood is really donating the gift of life. No exaggeration. Braden has had hundreds of transfusions to rescue him from the damage the chemotherapies and other treatments have done to his body and without those transfusions he would not be here today. Those who donated saved his life! Please, please donate if you are able! 

If you are not a fan of needles, just go to have a cheek swab so you can enter the bone marrow registry and potentially be a bone marrow donor for someone. White males have one of the largest number of registrations and there were no matches in the registry for Braden. Thankfully, Zach was a perfect match but that only happens 25% of the time. There are so many who cannot have a transplant because there are no matches for them and that is so very sad. 

Braden will be at COR on Tuesday at 4 if you want to stop by and say hello. We would love to see you! The address and all the information you need is on the attached flyer. Please and thank you! Hope to see you there!

Thanks Army! We will definitely be posting some pictures Friday of our last day of school for 2015!! TAKE THAT cANCER!! :)
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Comments

7 Comments

Suzanne McClendon
By Your sis in Christ, Suzanne Gunter McClendon and Family
We continue to pray for all of you, most especially for complete healing for Braden!
leslie laemmli
By leslie laemmli
WOW - What EXCITING news! Congratulations to one and all HOFENS!
leslie laemmli
By leslie laemmli
WOW - What EXCITING news! CONGRATULATIONS TO ONE AND ALL HOFENS!
Sarah Nixdorf
By Sarah Nixdorf
W2G for both your boys shall I say young men now.
I like to cook/bake lots too.
Www.caring bridge.org/visit/sarahnixdorf
karen pierpoint
By karen pierpoint
Delice,
My Great niece Caroline Pierpoint Mitchell was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia last Friday, She lives in Westerville, Ohio and is 16 months old. She has started Chemo and has several blood transfusions. She is in Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Any information or advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Have a great summer with your boys. I am so excited for Zack, that is just so cool. KP
Karen Strawder
By Karen
This is all amazing!!! Braden and his victory, and Zach with his great adventures ahead of him! Enjoy your summer!!!
Mary Forschbach
By Mary F
Bet Braden & Zach are counting down the hours to Friday @11:45AM. What a busy and hectic year for everyone. Also, what a great opportunity for Zach, just amazing. Wishing him well on this adventure. Hope the boys have a great summer!
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