BELOIT - A Townview Elementary third grader will get the trip of a lifetime when his family goes to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida on March 4-8, courtesy of the Kids Wish Network.
The student was awarded with the trip because of his efforts to spread awareness for his health condition, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP).
Cayden Krueger, 8, is the son Jenni Krueger and Bob Krueger; and brother to Cody, 18, Casie, 17 and Cora, 5.
He learned about the trip during a Super Bowl party on Sunday. The Kids Wish Network had sent him a box from the Green Bay Packers filled with a football, shirt, hat, stuffed dog, flag, stickers and card from Aaron Rodgers as well as Rodgers' photo and autograph. He opened it and was thrilled with the many contents.
"It was just never ending," Jenni Krueger said.
After Cayden opened the trove of goodies, his family presented him with a cake which announced the news of the pending trip.
"Once he saw the word 'Disney' he took a deep breath, covered his face and jumped into my arms. It was one of those mommy son moments you never want to end," Jenni Krueger said.
His mother said Cayden shed some happy tears, glad he will be able to forget about ITP for those days.
"We aren't even going to say those letters," his mom said.
Cayden was diagnosed with ITP in April 2016 after his parents noticed he was bruising easily and becoming fatigued. The disorder causes low levels of platelets - the cells that help blood clot - which can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. When first diagnosed with ITP, Cayden only had a platelet count of 7,000 while a person without the disorder typically has 150,000 to 450,000 platelets.
To treat his ITP, Cayden has already undergone 16 platelet infusions. He also receives immunoglobulin infusions every three months to help keep his platelets stable. He sometimes has to have a Prednisone treatment to stabilize his condition.
He had a brain bleed in the summer of 2017.
What's most difficult for the active Cayden is not being able to play his favorite sports of wrestling and football when his platelets are low. Although he's signed up to be in a wrestling program, he only can do warm-ups and non-contact workouts as he learns moves.
"Unfortunately, he can't live wrestle because it's too much contact and he could fall," mom Jenni Krueger said.
Despite his challenges, Cayden tries to take things in stride and to educate people about ITP.
This summer he will be hosting his Pump it Up for Platelets Walk scheduled for Sept. 7, 2019 in Riverside Park. The event raises funds for the Platelet Disorder Support Association out of Cleveland, Ohio.
Cayden is also the adopt-a-patient at CSL Plasma Center in Beloit. Plasma includes platements used in the infusions Cayden receives.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. It provides trip expenses, meals, accommodations and additional spending monies to all wish families whenever traveling as applicable. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs.