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Caden’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated on Caden. Please note: CaringBridge has a link for donations. All donations made here go to CaringBridge to support their website. Donations do not support Caden's cancer treatment. If you want to show your support for Caden directly, please go to or the Caden Shrauger Benefit Fund at Big Sky Western Bank.

Caden Shrauger - a happy, smart, kind, and loving little boy growing up in Bozeman, Montana. From birth, he could be found spending his summers camping at the lake, often entertaining his older half-siblings and all others he encountered with his silly antics. Winters were spent exploring Montana’s snowy landscape and learning to ski. At age 3, he started pre-school and was especially proud of becoming a big brother in October 2011.

In March 2012, three months shy of his 4th birthday, Caden began complaining of occasional leg pain. Then, he developed a low-grade fever and began complaining of neck and hip pain. The fever and pain persisted and Caden became very lethargic. Blood work showed very high indicators of inflammation and anemia. X-rays, ultrasounds, and a bone scan all appeared normal. Nothing was lining up to provide a clear diagnosis and his fever and pain continued. An MRI then showed abnormalities in the bone marrow of his hips, legs, and spine. His right adrenal gland was also slightly enlarged.

On March 30, 2012, Caden was flown 700 miles from home to Seattle Children's Hospital. The initial fear was leukemia, but a bone marrow test pointed toward another type of cancer – Neuroblastoma.

On April 3, Caden was diagnosed with Stage 4, High Risk Neuroblastoma, a solid tumor cancer of immature cells within the sympathetic nervous system; it is difficult to treat. Caden began an aggressive course of treatment on April 7, 2012. Six rounds of high dose chemotherapy were administered over 5 months. On July 30, the primary tumor site and adrenal gland were removed. Slowly, between the associated side effects of vomiting, exhaustion, mouth and throat sores, blood infections, NG feeding tubes, and viruses, Caden’s strength and cheerful, funny nature returned. He began to walk, even run, and play with his sister again.

Scans in late August 2012 revealed that although the cancer was not worse and had been reduced some, it did not respond as well as hoped, nor enough to proceed with the anticipated autologous bone marrow transplant. Caden then completed a seventh round of chemotherapy and traveled to San Francisco for specialized intravenous radiation therapy (I-131 MIBG therapy). This treatment significantly reduced the amount of cancer present, and Caden moved forward into transplant and traditional radiation therapy in early 2013.

In March 2013, he began six months of immunotherapy, including five rounds of difficult inpatient antibody infusions and six rounds of therapy trying to turn the cancer cells (immature nerve cells) into benign, matured nerve cells. Finally on September 11, 2013, after 17 months of treatment, scans showed that Caden had "no evidence of disease". He and his family lived in an RV in the hospital’s parking lot for over a year and returned home to Montana.

Less than two months later in November 2013, a small amount of neuroblastoma was found in his marrow, and he was then considered "relapsed". His blood was collected for a trial in Texas using his T-cells; the cells are engineered in a lab to fight neuroblastoma. During the time while the cells were engineered and FDA requirements of the trial were worked out, he did six rounds of the medication that can mature the neuroblastoma cells into benign ones from home. During that treatment, he had two sets of "no evidence if disease" scans but the final one again showed a few neuroblastoma cells. When preparing to go to Texas for chemo and his T-cell infusion, his scans showed "no evidence of disease" and he became ineligible for that trial but eligible for another trial available through Primary Children's in Salt Lake City. In July 2014, Caden started on a low intensity drug called DFMO that will hopefully provide a good quality of life and keep his disease at bay.

We all long for the day when a cure is found.


Latest Journal Update


Best news!  Caden's MIBG/CT and bone marrow biopsies and aspirates are all clear!!  Feels like we won a million bucks, except he's worth so much more than money, so not a good comparison.  Deep, deep gratitude worthy of so much more than my words.

He will continue on the DFMO trial and be seen by his pediatrician monthly and have a checkup in Salt Lake City every three months, but he only needs to scan in Seattle every six months now!  I can hardly believe it and look forward to this time at home for us to continue healing.

Overall, the trip to Seattle was a good one.  We had virtually zero downtime (if waiting rooms don't count), seeing so many friends and squeezing in a lot of appointments.  Cardiology went well.  He ended up wearing a Holter monitor to track his heart rhythms for 24 hours.  Results will take a couple of weeks, but this will show if he is considered low risk for WPW.  The electrophysiologist feels it is unlikely he is low risk, but wanted to be sure.  Caden will likely need a catheter ablation in the next few years; this procedure essentially burns off the extra fiber in his heart but is not an urgency at the moment.

He was a total champ with getting his IV and everything else that was asked of him.  His hearing test showed no change, which is great.  As I gaze upon the beauty of home in the distance, I know just how very blessed we are.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers and all of the kids out there fighting cancer and the families of those that are missing their kids.  The cancer unit and clinic are hard reminders of how difficult the fight is.

Thank you to all of you.  Your love and prayers mean more than you know.


37 people hearted this



Katharine Schwartz
By Katharine Schwartz
Wow, so thrilled to hear all the wonderful news! God Bless!
1 person hearted this
Tricia Giles
What wonderful news! Praise God!! I am soooo happy for all of you. This has been a long fight, but Caden fought a tough battle and came out on the winning side. I will pray for continued health. Enjoy the rest of the summer. School will start again before you know it : o (
1 person hearted this
Diane Gemmell
By Bill and Diane Gemmell
Awesome update!!! So happy to hear these fantastic results!!
1 person hearted this
Adele Woods
By Adele Woods
So glad to hear!
1 person hearted this
Belinda Van Nurden
By Belinda Van Nurden
OH THANK GOD!!! What a fight! Caden (and for sure his scrappin' family!) has -and had- what it takes to FC!!! I am jumping for joy-with you! Love to all
1 person hearted this
Merle Brovont
By Merle Brovont
Very cool!
1 person hearted this
Debbie Dubowik
By Debbie Dubowik
Thant God is all I can say! Love you Caden! Tough guy 🙏😘😆😂😜
1 person hearted this
DL Wells
By Dawna Lynn Wells and family
So happy for all of you!!
1 person hearted this
Jeri Anderson
By Jeri And Emma Anderson
Caden, such wonderful news! We have been following your journey and have been praying for you. We have followed you since you sent us - Emma - a thank you for the cuddle bear you received in Seattle. We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. Hugs!
1 person hearted this