Letter to the Editor

"Coins for Caden" thanks

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On behalf of the Spirit Lake Elementary, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for everyone who supported the "Coins for Caden" fundraising campaign this past spring and summer.

Caden Janssen was a tragic victim of child abuse and suffered a traumatic brain injury three years ago which completely destroyed the right hemisphere of his brain. This was a devastating injury which left Caden unable to walk, talk, etc, (prior to that, he was happy, healthy, little three year old).

I have had the extreme pleasure of working with Caden over the last two and a half years and I've watched him make some incredible gains. Part of his rehabilitation has included trips to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Kansas City. The doctors have credited this unique treatment for many of Caden's gains, most notably the healing that has taken place in Caden's optic nerves (both were completely damaged). His eyesight, which was completely gone, has begun to return and this is literally nothing short of miraculous. They (the doctors) felt he would benefit greatly from another round of treatments, but unfortunately the cost for a series of "dives," as they are called, is around $10,000 and not covered by Medicare.

The students at Spirit Lake Elementary completely blew us away by raising almost $3,500! Over $1,500 of that was in coins, which means it came directly from the kids. Their spirit of giving and generosity was absolutely incredible to observe. We also received generous community support, including donations from Faith Church, Sunrise Kiwanis, Noon Kiwanis, Spirit Lake Middle School and Citizen's Community Credit Union. Collection buckets located at Cost Cutters, Arrowwood Resort, Campus Cleaners and Liberty National Bank brought in additional funds. Central Bank graciously set up an account for us to house the donations. We were able to raise a total of $5,764.30.

Caden and his family have spent the past five weeks at the Hyperbaric Healing Institute in Kansas City. Caden completed over 50 dives in the chamber. He also received intensive physical therapy in addition to the oxygen treatments. It has been an absolutely incredible summer for Caden and this was only made possible by the amazing generosity of our AWESOME Spirit Lake School family and community!

With many heartfelt thanks,

Lori Bower

Special Education Teacher, Spirit Lake Elementary