Com­ing to­gether for Kaden

Friends and fam­ily hold ben­e­fit for Kaden Miller

The Southern Gazette - - Puzzles - BY COLIN FAR­RELL MARYS­TOWN, N.L. Colin.far­rell@south­erngazette.ca

Friends and fam­ily nine-month-old Kaden Miller are com­ing to­gether to help raise funds for him and his par­ents Cory Miller and Kris­tel Vankoesveld to travel Toronto in Oc­to­ber to meet with Dr. Christo­pher For­rest, Di­vi­sion Head of Plas­tic and Re­con­struc­tive Surgery at The Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren.

“It pulls at your heart be­cause you have to be in this one spot with a baby that need this surgery and need to re­cover, but you also got to think about your other child and your fam­ily — how this is kind of up­root­ing it, even for what­ever amount of time, it’s hard.”

— Kris­tel Vankoesveld

A ben­e­fit dance was held for him in Marys­town on Fri­day, Sept. 28, and a num­ber of other fundrais­ers are planned, in­clud­ing 50/50 draws and tick­ets sales.

Kaden was di­ag­nosed with Beck­with­Wei­d­mann Syn­drome (BWS), rare over­growth dis­or­der, shortly af­ter his birth. His tongue is en­larged on one side. His fa­ther Cory is orig­i­nally from Marys­town and the fam­ily now lives in Con­cep­tion Bay South.

Ini­tially the fam­ily was told it could be up to a year to see a spe­cial­ist. Then, in July, they got the call with an ap­point­ment to see a doc­tor at the Sick Kids hos­pi­tal.

The fam­ily will fly out on Oct. 16; Kaden is ex­pected to un­dergo surgery on his tongue on Oct 22.

Vankoesveld told The South­ern Gazette she hopes the surgery will im­prove Kaden’s abil­ity to drink and chew food, and re­solve breath­ing is­sues caused by the dis­or­der.

They hope to re­turn to New­found­land on Nov. 4, but Vankoesveld says that will de­pend on how quickly Kaden re­cov­ers fol­low­ing surgery.

The cou­ple’s seven-year-old daugh­ter will stay be­hind in New­found­land with her grand­par­ents.

“It pulls at your heart­strings,” Vankoesveld told The South­ern Gazette, “be­cause you have to be in this one spot with a baby that need this surgery and need to re­cover, but you also got to think about your other child and your fam­ily — how this is kind of up­root­ing it, even for what­ever amount of time, it’s hard.” Warn­ing signs Vankoesveld said her and Cory were shocked when doc­tors con­firmed that their son had BWS.

“It was dev­as­tat­ing,” she said. “We had no idea that any­thing was wrong, when I was preg­nant there was no in­di­ca­tion of any­thing, and then to be told that he has this rare ge­netic dis­or­der…”

She ex­plained there were three main fac­tors that led doc­tors to test Kaden, one of which was his weight at birth; he was 11 pounds 7 ounces.

“He also had other signs of BWS, which is a crease in his ear…and his tongue was larger on the one side,” his mother ex­plained.

Blood work also con­firmed the doc­tors’ sus­pi­cions.

Kaden will be watched by a team of physi­cians un­til he turns eight years old.

“Ev­ery three months he has to have blood work (and) . . . ul­tra­sound be­cause with this syn­drome, (there is) a higher risk of chil­dren de­vel­op­ing can­cer.”

Vankoesveld says Kaden’s birth was scary. It was a dif­fi­cult de­liv­ery, she said, and “We al­most lost him.”

For in­for­ma­tion on how you can do­nate to the fam­ily con­tact Alice Miller at (709) 277-5592 or by e-mail at al­ly_miller@hot­mail.com.

FACE­BOOK PHOTO

Mother of nine-month-old Kaden Miller says her lit­tle boy a fighter, a real trooper

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