HILLIARD, Ohio: Caden Castle from Hilliard, Ohio, is an outgoing and active little boy who loves playing with cars and shooting hoops as much as he physical can. Because of his life-threatening condition, he tires easily and can’t be exactly the normal 7-year-old boy he’d like to be; but, thanks to Kids Wish Network, a Florida-based children’s charity, Caden still got to experience a milestone of childhood, a wish trip to Disney World.
Born four weeks early, Caden has struggled with his life-threatening condition from the start. Caden was diagnosed before birth with DiGeorge syndrome, a genetic disorder resulting from a missing part of chromosome 22. Characteristics of the syndrome vary greatly from patient to patient but the majority of cases, like Caden, present with severe heart conditions. Caden had his first major heart surgery to replace a faulty valve with a cadaver valve when he was barely months old. The nine-hour surgery was successful, but won’t prevent future complications.
Since his initial surgery, Caden has had two stents placed in his heart and will have to suffer through another operation in the very near future. Since cadaver and artificial valves don’t grow with Caden’s body, he receives ongoing treatment and faces his next surgery later this year. His condition also presents him with ear, nose and throat difficulties.
If you had seen Caden at Disney World, you could never guess he suffered from such a serious condition. Kids Wish Network sent Caden and his family on an all-expense paid wish trip to the “most magical place on Earth” where the Castle family stayed at fabulous accommodations, took in all the sights and dined at great restaurants.
Caden loved swimming in both an indoor and outdoor pool at the Lighthouse Key Resort and Spa and meeting Buzz Lightyear and Woody from “Toy Story”.
“Caden can’t stop talking about his Disney wish,” recalls his father, Shane. “Because of Caden’s heart condition, he gets worn out a little faster than most kids, but he still had a great time. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for him. This has made his year.”
You can follow Caden’s story on his Kids Wish Network page. He’ll find out the exact date of his next heart surgery near the end of May.
Kids Wish Network and the Castle family would like to thank all of Caden’s wish sponsors: Lighthouse Key Resort and Spa, Compassion Partners Program, Thrifty/Dollar Rent a Car, Pirates Dinner Adventure, WonderWorks, Cici’s Pizza, and Outback Steakhouse.
Kids Wish Network is a Florida-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experience life-altering situations. Come experience the Kids Wish Network difference.