Pickin' For Kaedyn, Helping 3-Year-Old Leukemia Patient
Published January 26th, 2013
OCALA - An animated little boy, full of life. That's 3-year-old kaedyn ballew. He has been living behind these hospital doors for the past month now, after his relapse. His mom Shelsie Ballew tells us he was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. "It feels like the diagnosis was just yesterday... It doesn't change. Our family, we still cry everyday. It's a long hard road and we know what kaedyn has to deal with to get better," Ballew says.
Candy Hill, Kaedyn's grandmother says the situation is twice as tough for her. "Seeing him suffer a lot of the things that they've had to do to him has really been heartbreaking. But it's a double whammy or me because that's my daughter, that's her first baby. And seeing her hurt because she has such a fear of losing him," Hill says.
With the help of the Ocala community the family is keeping it together though. Scott conley, a long time friend organized an orange picking fundraiser where people pick their own oranges. Conley planted all these orange trees with his grandfather over 20 years ago. "I have three small children of my own and I know its a hard thing to see a child be sick and especially at the point he is in now. We're just happy to do anything we can to help him with his struggles," Conley says.
The fundraiser has had a great turn out and it helps that were in the season where the oranges are ripe and ready. One hundred percent of all the profits collected will be for kaedyn and his family.
Kaedyn was in need of a bone marrow transplant. A medical procedure that it's hard to find a donor for. However Friday, they found a match and they are waiting on further testing to ensure he is eligible.
Hill says Kaedyn is one of the strongest persons she knows. "Five months after his original diagnosis, I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer so I've gone through chemo, radiation and a mastectomy in the last couple of years and it made it so much easier for me to go through it cause I watched him, he was my little hero," Hill says.
This afternoon before we left the grove, $3,000 to $4,000 had been raised for Kaedyn. Every little bit counts... If you'd like to help, check out his website at: http://kaedynlove.com/
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