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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Adrienne & Andrew Widmer

Braden is our hero! Little did we know that the identification of a genetic deletion syndrome in March 2013 might have ultimately saved his life…because of this condition, at age 15 months Braden’s doctors began to follow an “abnormal white matter” spot identified in an MRI at that time. After 7 months of continued growth and inconclusive testing of metabolic disorders, on November 7th, 2013, Braden was diagnosed with what was most likely a brain tumor. We were referred to Children’s Medical Center, and the wonderful team at Neurosurgeons for Children, led by Dr. Fred Sklar, accepted Braden’s case. Dr. Sklar performed a craniotomy to remove the tumor on December 12, 2013…Braden’s 2nd birthday. Our little warrior spent just two nights in the hospital, and was back to his energetic, engaging, and silly self right around Christmas! Pathology later revealed that Braden had a benign low grade diffuse astrocytoma. In March 2014, just three months later, we received the devastating news that Braden’s MRI showed indications of residual tumor. MRIs three months and six months afterwards showed the same residual tumor, but which was stable in size, so no action was warranted. Meanwhile amidst this challenging 2014 news, Braden was thriving in school and therapy, and developing into an amazing little boy. Then came our most cherished news…in January 2015, less than a month prior to the arrival of his little sister, Braden’s MRI revealed that there was no longer any signs of tumor!!! We had to make sure to confirm, double-confirm, and triple-confirm this news…we just couldn’t believe what had happened, but felt so blessed and shed tears of joy. Subsequent MRIs in July 2015 and January 2016 yielded similar findings. We know that the road is not yet fully traveled, but we are so blessed to have such a strong and brave little boy to call our own. A huge thanks to all of Braden’s doctors and especially the team at Children’s Medical Center for giving our family so much hope!