Brayden Belden Recovery Fund

$218,177 of $275,000 goal

Raised by 2,725 people in 9 months
Created February 23, 2018
Fundraising team
on behalf of Matt Belden
Meet Brayden Belden.

On February 20, 2018 this athletic, vibrant 11-year-old from Laguna Beach, CA suffered a catastrophic head injury while snowboarding with his family at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon.


Brayden was air lifted from the mountain to Bend, with his parents driving in blizzard conditions to meet him at the hospital. When they arrived, they received the news no parent ever wants to hear: the injury was much more serious than initially believed, and their son might only have hours to live.


For the next hour, Brayden’s life hung in the balance as doctors worked to stabilize him so that he might survive a second life flight to Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, where the right experts and equipment could give him a fighting chance. Brayden defied the odds and was flown to Randall, where he remains in a medically induced coma in the ICU.

Brayden Belden should survive, but it will be a long road back if he makes it.

One of the many obstacles his family faces is the sheer cost of Brayden’s care. The Beldens are looking at over $100k in out-of-pocket expenses for the life flights alone. In addition, Brayden will eventually need to be airlifted to a hospital closer to his home in California, which could double that number. Then there are deductibles, out-of-network-fees, and the cost of food and lodging.

When you add it all up, the end cost to the family will likely exceed the price of the average home in the United States.


The Belden family should be concerned about one thing: getting Brayden well. We’ve created this Go Fund Me page in hopes that they can focus on his care, and not the crushing medical costs they are facing. 

The Belden Family thanks you so much for your support and love. Prayer and positive energy are so powerful and much appreciated! Brayden can take all the love you can share. Knowing he has so much love has helped us, too. We are blessed to be in a community that cares so much.

We'll use this page to stay in contact and will keep you updated on his progress

Thank you.
The Belden Family & Friends
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Hi everybody wanted to give you all an update from Baltimore. Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger is a great fit for Brayden. We are so blessed to be able to have the resources to send our boy to such a comprehensive program. My goal has always been to keep our updates objectively fact based so this one is one of the more difficult updates to post. When we originally went to John’s Hopkins our goal was for him to do constraint based inducement therapy. Essentially what they do is cast your good arm and make you use your other arm that is having issues. This forces the brain to rewire and the documented results are outstanding. Unfortunately during the eval a very skilled occupational therapist called us in speculating that he in fact does not have Dystonia and there was orthopedic trauma to his shoulder/ arm from his accident. One of the tells was the fact the Botox injections provided no increased range of motion which was peculiar. Following his MRI we were shown that his humerus bone violently came up and fractured the Acromion of his Scapula. This is a rare injury. Essentially think about a football player strong arming someone on a running play- when he landed he essentially strong armed his shoulder with his humerous bone since it was probably fully extended to break his fall and the bone shot straight up into his shoulder. No X-rays were done below the neck and this basically slipped through the cracks during his rehab. Unfortunately his fracture healed in a bad position and now his right shoulder is immobile and cannot use it. By allowing this amount of time to go by without knowing this, the shoulder has scarred over. The medical term for this is adhesive capsulitis. The non medical term is frozen shoulder. We have gotten multiple opinions and it appears now the best solution is for him to get surgery to break the scar tissue away and hopefully restore range and function. Along with getting answers Brayden loves the comprehensive program. He is getting a lot of psychology and group therapy which has really helped his general well being. He has made some new friends that also have brain injuries are experiencing the same type of memory issues and fatigue. We are realizing rehab from a brain injury is a marathon and the finish line is nowhere in sight. Brayden continues to impress medical staff wherever he is. When the doctor told him surgery was probably the best option he told him, “ ok I don’t care how big the needles are and I promise when I wake up to give everything I have and 110% on my rehab so it heals the best.” The doctor and I looked at each other and had to hold it in. Even after 15 castings and non stop rehab for 7 months he remains a warrior and gives everything he has in rehab, goes home, eats some chow, gets some sleep and is right back up ready to go. As for what I have learned and maybe even a bit of advice to all parents- medical help is more of an art than a science. With that being said, always get a second, third or even fourth opinion. Always ask questions because the best advocate for your health is a patient/ parent advocate. A lot of medical direction for treatment is opinion and therefore subjective so keep that in mind and get multiple opinions. Due to his treatment plan being altered to include shoulder surgery it appears we will be staying in Baltimore longer than expected. Winter is coming over here - mornings are in the mid 30’s before it warms up which reminds me of Our Portland stay. Brayden says he likes it colder because he was born in SF and dealt with it in Portland. I want to thank everyone for all of the love and support during this journey. I apologize for not being more prudent regarding the updates but i find being in limbo with his treatment plan and not having answers is tough to share because nobody likes being uncertain with their lives and for sure not their kids. I am so thankful we came to John’s Hopkins and figured this out. Thank you.
#braydenstrong
Last weekend we took the train up to NYC
Train bound
See the angle of Scapula - hard hit
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Hi everybody it’s been a crazy month with back to school, Brayden’s summer schedule and getting ready for the next chapter. Before I get into his action plan, we want to thank the Laguna Beach community, Vissla and Laguna Surf and Sport. Last Thursday everyone came together to support the little guy and it was a great party and fundraiser. Brayden also is in the window display at Surf and Sport and was over the moon seeing himself and his board in the window. Brayden has also been attending Thurston Middle School and is now able to tolerate 2 full classes. At first this was very difficult but now he is able to focus on English and Social Studies. His favorite part of returning to school is seeing his friends again. Next week we leave for John’s Hopkins in Baltimore Maryland. He will be there for 6 weeks. The program is offered through the Kennedy Krieger Institute. It’s a comprehensive rehab program from 8-3 5 days a week. The main focus of this program is to break his Dystonia. For those who never heard of Dystonia it is a complication that comes from a disruption in the Basal Ganglia section of the brain which controls executive motor function. There is no cure for this and really the medical community can’t explain when a patient beats it other than saying, “ The brain rewired.” Essentially the goal is to force the brain to rewire and reconnect through a constant battery of tasks and challenges which the luxury of using his left arm is off the table. This program is comprehensive. Cognitive, speech, OT, PT and Nueropych will also be involved in his treatment plan. When I look back at his last 6 months I have to say how proud we are of our boy. A huge part of that progress and success comes from Denise doing an amazing job quarterbacking his intense schedule. He has come so far in 6 months and continues to make leaps and bounds. Talking,walking, breathing and eating in the first 4 months is a miracle. It’s time to get back on the road, train with the best and get back in the ring. His fight is far from over and knowing my boy when they challenge him he will find a way to push right back and raise the bar. That’s who he is. His work ethic is nothing short of a marine and it’s inspiring to see him keep fighting, making ground and not losing focus. Thank you for your prayers love and support. We will update you in Baltimore on his progress. #Braydenstrong
Brayden with his crew at Surf and Sport
So proud of this kid
Brayden’s window at Surf and Sport
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Last week Brayden turned 12! Brayden’s bday was a day to reflect on how 11 was for our boy and what he had to do to make it to his 12th. In 5 months Brayden basically had to re-learn how to breathe, eat, walk and talk. I asked Brayden what his goals for being 12 were and he replied, “ stay alive and go surfing.” It sounds so simple but the latter will take absolute continued commitment and he will not rest till he gets there. What I learned on his 12th is once more Health is wealth and as long as you have your family and friends you can endure. People including myself get caught up in day to day stuff and it doesn’t mean shit. Generally a father teaches his son, Brayden continues to teach me. #Braydenstrong
Happy 12th buddy
Brayden and Mom enjoying the day
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Hi everybody, Go fund me has a tech glitch so I can only write 2 sentences- Brayden caught waves after Cancun!waves
Fired up for first sesh in 5 months
Getting his boogie on
Here is a video of his session
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$218,177 of $275,000 goal

Raised by 2,725 people in 9 months
Created February 23, 2018
Fundraising team
on behalf of Matt Belden
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