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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 www.team-fc.com 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, 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 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. 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. Infusion of the cells could happen as early as April, but in the interim, he started treatment again using the medication that can mature the neuroblastoma cells into benign ones. Another two months later, he again has "no evidence if disease" but will continue treatment as his disease is believed to be stubborn and present at a minimal level.
We all long for the day when a cure is found. FC