The Power of Determination: Caden’s Story

Despite physical challenges from birth, Caden, 13, thrives as a social and active individual with a passion for sports. Born with spinal bifida and paralyzed from the waist down, Caden is a double amputee who uses a wheelchair. Significant medical and physical hurdles have marked his journey. Despite this, Caden maintains a positive mindset, demonstrating a “can-do” attitude.

Caden started therapy with 321go Kids at two months old. His family understood the importance of physical therapy to boost his strength, endurance, and independence. Caden needed others’ assistance to carry out daily tasks but receiving a wheelchair at 18 months old allowed him to move independently. As Caden got older he wanted even more independence. This meant learning to transfer in and out of his wheelchair safely, which was a significant fear for Caden.

Diana has been Caden’s Physical Therapist at 321go Kids since 2020, for four of the years he has been in therapy. Some of Caden’s goals were initially considered long-term, given his size and strength when Diana first met him. However, as he has grown and matured, Caden achieved many of his goals. His first goal was to transfer in and out of his wheelchair safely.

Caden’s determination proved to be a critical factor in achieving more goals. He successfully transitioned from the floor to his wheelchair without assistance from others a year or two ahead of his initial goal plan, showcasing his strength.

“It gave him such a sense of independence and his family such a sense of security, knowing that if he needed help, he would not have to rely on others and could manage that transfer safely,” Diana remarked. “It has opened up his world to be so much less dependent on anybody else.”

Caden’s mom Dara remembers the moment Diana asked her to come and see what Caden could do.

“I walked in the room, and he transferred into his chair,” Caden’s mom, Dara, said. “I cried, Diana cried, and Caden was so proud of all his hard work. I was very proud of him for working hard.”

Through 13 years of physical therapy, Caden has improved his strength and the ability to participate in various sports. He regularly attends one to two therapy packages yearly to focus on this and achieve specific goals. His next goal is to push himself up hills and the ramp into the family van without experiencing fatigue or pain.

Caden’s journey with physical therapy has been both challenging and rewarding. It has allowed him to gain strength and succeed in becoming independent. His determination, supported by physical therapy’s guidance, has been instrumental in his remarkable progress.

“It is so worth it when you see the results of that hard work. It just happens in the blink of an eye,” said Dara.

At 321go Kids, we aim to help kids like Caden “Discover Hope and Unleash Potential.” If you or someone you know has a child who needs a partner to help them meet their physical goals, 321go Kids is here to help. We invite you to get started by completing our contact form.

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