He and his family live in Gate City but have spent the last few months in Memphis, where Cayden has been receiving treatment for neuroblastoma, a type of cancer, as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Although St. Jude doesn’t charge patients for treatment, the family is still faced with basic expenses like gas and rent while caring for their son.
To ease the family’s financial burdens, a benefit event called Louder than Cancer will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, at Kingsport Moose Lodge No. 972. The event will feature live entertainment and a raffle for several door prizes, including Dollywood tickets and gift cards.
“He’s still got a ways to go, so we want to make sure that they don’t have to worry about how they’re going to put gas in the car,” said Melanie Goin, one of Cayden’s grandmothers. “Whatever it is, money is something you shouldn’t worry about during this time.”
In 2018, just days before Christmas, doctors found a large mass in Cayden’s abdomen. He was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma and underwent surgery to remove the primary tumor two days after Christmas.
“His tumor was his whole belly,” Goin said. “It was a 5-by-5 tumor; it was huge, and he was barely a year old.”
From there, Cayden began receiving treatment at St. Jude. Doctors recently found no evidence of disease, Goin said, but Cayden will still have to continue treatment until February.
About the benefit
Doors will open at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and live entertainment from the Texas Roadhouse Line Dancers, Retroville and Railway Express will begin at 8. A $5 donation will be requested at the door.
“We’ve had a lot of people in our area and in surrounding areas donate for the raffles there,” Goin said. “We’ve had two vacation stays in Gatlinburg donated, Dollywood tickets have been donated. We’ve got gift cards to restaurants, haircuts, Food City. It’s really a blessing how the community has helped.”
Other prizes include tickets to a race at Bristol Motor Speedway and gift cards from Walmart, Rush Street and Johnny Brusco’s.
For more information or to donate via a GoFundMe page, search for “Cayden’s Adventure” on Facebook.