Meet Kayden

5-year-old Kayden is a sweet and empathetic kiddo who loves learning about the world… and he’s been fighting leukemia for over 2 years.

Kayden’s mom, Adrienne, first noticed that something was wrong when her son started limping – he told her that the back of his left knee was hurting.

She took him to the doctor, who found no obvious cause and chalked it up to growing pains. The official advice was to give it a couple of weeks and see if it got better.

But Kayden’s pain persisted, and his parents noticed unexplained bruising, so they took him to the emergency room twice.

Finally, one of the emergency room doctors called an oncologist who ran some tests that showed concerning results.

Kayden’s parents were told that their son most likely had leukemia.

The family was sent home with instructions to rest and return to the hospital the next day for a bone marrow biopsy to determine the type of leukemia Kayden was fighting.

Adrienne remembers that scary drive home… processing the heartbreaking news they had just heard and watching their son struggle from the pain.

She told us, “Kayden was in his car seat, and just going over a bump hurt him.”

The next day, Kayden’s bone marrow biopsy showed that over 50% of his bone marrow cells were leukemia cells, and that leukemia was present in his blood. His disease was aggressive, and it was already spreading.

Kayden started intensive treatment immediately to give him the best chance of kicking cancer’s butt. The first ‘induction’ phase of chemotherapy was grueling, leaving Kayden constantly nauseated and exhausted.

Once induction was over, Kayden’s parents had to give him frequent shots at home and they remained on high alert for fevers and viruses. Every fever meant an immediate rush to the emergency room, and even a normal virus could require an inpatient hospital stay. Thankfully, Kayden was declared to be in remission just one month into treatment.

Kayden is now in the maintenance phase, which will continue until February 2025. In this phase, he goes to the clinic for chemotherapy every 3 months and takes daily chemotherapy medication at home.

The world of cancer treatment is no place for kids… treatments are so harsh on little bodies and brains that still have so much growing and developing to do. But Kayden has faced this challenge with bravery and maturity far beyond his years.

Even when feeling unwell, he’s friendly and outgoing – all the staff at the hospital and his oncology office simply adore him.

He’s the type of kid who, in his mom’s words, “Likes to give garbage workers bottled water when he sees them.”

He’s interested in all people and jobs, eager to learn everything he can about the world around him.

Kayden, you’re a star! We’re SO inspired by you and we’re going to ride for YOU this September.