Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
For those of you who don't know Kayden or his family, let me introduce them to you. Kayden is a spunky, loving 5 year old boy who started his first year of grade school last fall. He LOVES every part of Kindergarten, spiderman and all things sports. He is the BEST big brother to Grayson who is 19 months old, and his baby sister who is due this Valentine's Day, Kayden's 6th birthday. His mom, Amanda Burkhead, and his dad, Zachary Burkhead, are some of the best parents I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. They're good, hardworking, every day people who love their children fiercely.
On Monday, January 7th, the school nurse at Kayden's school called his mom because she felt he was more pale than usual. Concerned, Amanda promptly made a doctor's appointment for him and that Thursday, his doctor's office ran some blood work and found that a few of his levels were way off. They sent him immediately to OSF Children's Hospital in Peoria, IL. They ran a variety of blood work and scheduled a bone marrow biopsy. One of the panels came back that he was recovering from Mono, but his doctor decided to still do the bone marrow biopsy. Friday, he had the biopsy done and then a blood transfusion. Saturday morning he was released to go back home but was going to have weekly blood checks at our local hospital to make sure his levels were improving. Monday morning Amanda dropped Kayden off at school and went to work like usual. Then she received a phone call from Kayden's doctor's office in Peoria stating that his bone marrow biopsy results had come back. Kayden needed to be taken back down to Peoria that day and they should bring an overnight bag. Her heart hit the floor. Her amazing parents drove her and Kayden back down to Peoria. Not even in Amanda's wildest dreams did she think Kayden had cancer, so she told her husband to finish out his work day and then head down to Peoria.
On Monday, January 14th, Kayden and his family recieved the news that absolutely no parent ever wants to hear. Kayden wasn't just recovering from Mono, he has Leukemia. They were told that they had to start treatment right away. Wednesday he had his port put in to receive treatments through and received his first heavy dose of chemo. He will have to remain in the hospital for the next month to continue receiving these heavy doses of chemo. (Even after his mother's scheduled high risk c-section.) After those 30 days he will have to travel back and forth to Peoria once every other week for 3-4 days to recieve more chemo. After those 8 weeks, he will continue to get weekly outpatient treatments for the following 2 years.
If you did the math, after these first 2 parts of his treatment, his family will have to drive back and forth between Peoria around 200 times in the next 2.5 years.
All we ask for from you, is love and prayers for our sweet boy.
**Writing credit goes to Jenna Kushmer-My good friend, and Kayden's best friend's mama.