Help Caden fight cancer

$32,853 of $25k goal

Raised by 467 people in 28 days
Eric Sonnhalter
on behalf of Kathryn Nichols
 HERNDON, VA
On Monday, January 16, 2017 Katie was taking Caden to his 6 month check-up with their pediatrician.  It was during this appointment that the doctor noticed something abnormal with Caden’s eyes. The pediatrician believed Caden was suffering from Nystagmus, a condition in which one’s eyes make repetitive, un-controlled movements from side to side.  Caden was referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist, who saw him the very next day.  The ophthalmologist confirmed the Nystagmus but determined it was not caused by anything having to do specifically with Caden’s vision or eyes.  Katie and Chris were told to bring Caden to Fairfax Hospital for a CT right away, bypassing INOVA Loudoun for fear if there was any significant treatment, Loudoun would not be able to accommodate.  Katie, Chris and Caden were rushed in to a CT moments after arriving at the ER at INOVA Fairfax Hospital. 
The CT was read quickly and within an hour of arriving, the ER doctor was notifying Katie and Chris that their son had a tumor on his brain and it measured 4cm, a very large mass for anyone, let alone 6 month old, Caden.  The tumor was sitting directly in the middle of Caden’s brain, this was obviously the cause of the Nystagmus. 
Caden was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Fairfax Hospital where he, Katie and Chris remain today.  It was quickly apparent that Caden would soon be undergoing brain surgery in an attempt to remove as much of the tumor as possible as well as to diagnose exactly what type of tumor this is.  After more tests and MRIs Caden was brought in to surgery on the morning of Friday, January 20 around 7:00am.  Surgery was scheduled to take 4-6 hours per the surgeons estimate.  Katie and Chris along with their parents waited patiently for each update from the operating room.  Updates were expected every two hours during surgery – the first one finally came about 2.5-3 hours from when Caden went in – everything was progressing as planned.  The updates continued to come as the hours continued to pass.  After 11 hours, Caden was out of surgery!  A long, grueling day for the family indeed.  Finally, they were able to see Caden! 
Shortly after surgery, Caden began having seizures – multiple seizures each day for the first few days post-op.  This is not completely out of the ordinary after one goes through the extensive brain surgery had just come through, however, difficult for all involved.
Katie and Chris were told that the pathology results which may help identify the type of tumor could take 7-10 business days before they were returned.  The wait was not that long and came back on Thursday – the diagnosis of the tumor is PNET (Primitive neuroectodermal tumor), a malignant, obviously aggressive tumor. 
During surgery the doctor was able to remove a significant amount of the tumor, however there is still a long road ahead to attack and hopefully kill the remaining malignant cells.  The next course of treatment will be 9 months of chemotherapy.  Katie and Chris will be with Caden at Children’s in Fairfax for one week out of the month for the next 9 months.  The other 3 weeks per month will be spent at home, essentially providing Caden time to recover from the last and prepare for the next round of chemo.
The doctors and family agree this is the best course of action in hopes of eliminating this tumor.  There will inevitably be ups and downs along the way.  One of those I have not yet mentioned was a curveball thrown just hours before Caden’s 6 month pediatrician visit when Katie was laid off from her job.  The hopes of sharing this story is to help relieve one of many burdens facing Katie, Chris, Sydney, Laynie, Caden and family.  During chemo, Chris will have to take time from work, where his paid time off will be expiring any day now.  If we can help this family who has been there for so many of us in our times of need, big or small – it would be so incredibly appreciated.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me through the site.
I have started with the amount of $25,000 as we really have no idea what to expect. Chris and Katie have made is crystal clear that if any money raised exceeds the needs of Caden’s care, it will be donated to cancer research in Caden’s name.
 
As always, thoughts and prayers are so graciously accepted as well!
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Update 2
Posted by Eric Sonnhalter
4 days ago
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Hi friends,

Today Caden starts chemo therapy - Caden, Katie and Chris checked back in to Fairfax hospital yesterday. This was delayed by about a week as Caden was diagnosed with RSV last week and the doctors agreed chemo needed to be pushed back, but they didn't want to wait too long so here we are. Yesterday, the main line was placed which will help to administer the chemo drugs and will also allow for blood draws and other meds to be administered. Caden's fight remains strong with the hardest part still ahead. The chemo will undoubtedly deliver a blow to his immune system so during and the first couple weeks after each chemo session will be critical for Caden and for mom and dad! The outpouring of love and generosity has been overwhelming and extremely appreciated - we ask to please keep Caden and his family in thought and in prayer and if you're able, any donation, big or small is genuinely appreciated. #prayforcaden #fcancer
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Update 1
Posted by Eric Sonnhalter
24 days ago
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Wow - what an outpouring of support!

I spoke with Chris this evening and he continues to express the gratitude he and Katie and the whole family share! They are truly overwhelmed and really feel the love! We can't thank you enough for your generosity and continued support through thoughts and prayers.
Caden was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday (2/1/2017) evening. Today (2/2/2017) Caden finally got to see his sisters, Laynie and Sydney after missing them for a couple of weeks! Caden also went back to the hospital for a scheduled appointment with the Oncologist today. Caden will be going in for blood draws every other day to ensure his levels are within range until he goes in for his first Chemo treatment on or around February 15 - Caden, Mom and Dad will be in the hospital for 6-7 days before going home to rest and recover for about 3 weeks, then back for treatment and repeat. At this point it is expected that chemo will last from somewhere between 6-9 months. We will keep you all posted as more information is provided.

As you'll notice, we hit our initial goal of $25k!!! Thank you all so much!
That was a very rough estimate and at this rate we are still graciously accepting donations to the family as the expenses will continue to grow.

As a reminder, if there ever is an excess of funds, those funds would be donated to childhood cancer research in Caden's name.
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Read a Previous Update
Lynn Miller Davis
27 days ago
2
2

Would it be helpful to start a meal site where people can sign up to bring meals? I can't cure cancer but I make some awesome baked ziti and other things! You can use https://www.mealtrain.com/ Let me know!

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Linda Steep Messina
26 days ago

Don't forget that the family does not receive all of the funds donated. GoFundMe takes 8% as their fee.

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$32,853 of $25k goal

Raised by 467 people in 28 days
Created January 29, 2017
Eric Sonnhalter  
on behalf of Kathryn Nichols
DM
$100
Daryn Rosenberg Marsh
3 hours ago
$100
Michelle Kilby
1 day ago
AC
$50
Amy Crytzer
1 day ago
MC
$100
Michael Cannice
2 days ago
$25
Anonymous
2 days ago
MB
$75
Marjorie Bello
3 days ago
$20
Myriam Alejandra Ambriz
3 days ago
JD
$30
Jen Dietzel
4 days ago
AW
$75
Abby White
4 days ago
$50
Anonymous
4 days ago
Lynn Miller Davis
27 days ago
2
2

Would it be helpful to start a meal site where people can sign up to bring meals? I can't cure cancer but I make some awesome baked ziti and other things! You can use https://www.mealtrain.com/ Let me know!

+ Read More
Linda Steep Messina
26 days ago

Don't forget that the family does not receive all of the funds donated. GoFundMe takes 8% as their fee.

+ Read More
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