Caden's Battle Against Brain Cancer

Caden our only child is 6 years old. He’s bright and very active with an infectious giddy laugh and a very caring nature. He loves animals and is very passionate (nerdy) about superheroes! He is inquisitive about the world around him, asking me questions I struggle with at times. Little did I know the hardest questions and answers were to come.

On the 4th of December following weeks of intermittent vomiting and headaches and persistent misdiagnosis we decided to bring Caden to Temple St. Hospital, as his bloods had been clear the week before we thought maybe he was suffering with migraines but we wanted an answer. 2 hours later our world shattered and our hearts broke as we were told Caden had a malignant medulloblastoma (brain tumour). That moment will flash through our minds forever and our first reaction was ‘can he survive’ to which we were told ‘yes, but it will be the hardest thing you ever go through’. Caden was outside the room colouring seeming in perfect health at that moment, it was so hard to comprehend just how sick he really was.44893122_1579543768981758_r.jpeg
We were admitted to the hospital immediately and Caden was operated on for 8 hours the following day. The relief when he was back in ICU and had come through was immense but it wasn’t to last. We were told not all of the tumour had been removed and the surgeon would like to operate again in 5 days. The team at Temple Street Hospital were amazing. We spent one month in hospital and they allowed it to become our home, particularly on Christmas day.


We were discharged on new years eve and considering everything, Caden has adapted to his situation in the 
way only kids can, with gusto and a determination that he will beat this. He has mobility issues for now but we believe in him and that he is ready for the next stage of his treatment in Essen, Germany.

Where we are now

Caden is still recovering from the debilitating aftermath of the 2 surgeriesbut despite this we will begin Proton Beam Therapy in Germany this week for at least 6 weeks. Uprooting to another country at this time is difficult but we are so grateful this treatment is available and for the help the Gavin Glynn Foundation have afforded us.
When we return Caden will need rest and then begin a gruelling 18 months of chemotherapy.

What this means for Us

When something so harrowing occurs the magic of adrenaline kicks in and all your focus is purely on survival. Weeks pass and reality comes knocking at the door in the form of unpaid bills, rent and the added pressure of having to find somewhere new to live. Everything that was once manageable seems insurmountable. The necessity to give up work while Caden undergoes treatment is necessary and I wouldn't have it any other way but it takes its toll on daily life. Aside from the obvious emotional turmoil the cost of a cancer diagnosis becomes more obvious as the days go by and any help along the way is greatly appreciated. Caden's journey to recovery may be long but it has and will be made easier by the kindness of friends, acquaintances and strangers alike.


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Christine Connolly 
Dublin, Ireland
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