Caiden’s Story

MARK & TERRI RETTIG

On March 6, 2014, our lives were changed forever when our precious grandson, Caiden, passed away from a ruptured brain tumor. Caiden had a large, malignant tumor (8 centimeters in diameter) called a “Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor” (PNET).  Caiden died four days before his third birthday.

Caiden showed no symptoms of a brain tumor. He was sleeping with us when we heard him take his last breath at midnight. We were able to keep him breathing until the ambulance arrived.  Within minutes of arriving at the hospital, a CT scan told us that the prognosis was hopeless and irreversible. Caiden was pronounced brain dead three days later, and subsequently removed from life support.

While our hearts continue to ache for our beloved angel, Caiden, we feel blessed to be able to redirect our grief onto such a positive path.

CAIDEN’S STORY

Caiden was a smart, vibrant two-year-old who was the “love of our lives”.  He had big brown eyes and gorgeous auburn hair.

Caiden had an incredible zest for life, and lived every day with abundant laughter and pure happiness.  He loved trains, reading books, swimming, going to the zoo, but he especially loved his little brother.  Caiden had a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh.  His heart was full of love and kindness.  Caiden was generous with his hugs and kisses….always ready to share affection with his family.

Caiden was a true gift from God, and an immeasurable blessing in our lives.  Even though we will not have the pleasure of watching Caiden grow up, we thank God, every day, for allowing us to borrow him for nearly three years.  We cherish our memories of Caiden, and we are also grateful that, near the end of his life, his suffering was brief. 

During his short life, Caiden taught us more than we could ever teach him.  He taught us what it means to be silly and how important it is to just “play” every day.  He taught us so much about the true meaning of unconditional love.  But, most of all, Caiden taught us the value of living each day to the fullest.

Caiden’s life will live on, even after his death.  Three of Caiden’s organs were donated, and transplanted into other children.  We are proud of these donations, and know that this last selfless act of generosity would make Caiden so happy. We know that Caiden would be honored to have had such an incredible impact on someone else’s life.

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