Meet Braden


Braden was born with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, and an Arnold Chiair II Malformation. At birth, his back was open just below his rib cage all the way down to his tailbone and he was retaining a lot of fluid on his brain. He had his first surgery at Riley just hours after he was born. Braden is able to get around using a walker for short distances and a wheelchair when he wants to travel far. Thanks to his weekly therapy appointments at Riley, he is also working on using forearm crutches! He looks forward to therapy each week so he can visit with the many Riley friends he’s made along the way.

Braden has had 18 surgeries and has received many gifts from Riley Cheer Guild during his journey over the years. He has a collection of puppy pillows, cars, bubbles, and more. His favorite gift to receive from the Guild has always been a slinky, which has been waiting for him after many procedures because the staff knew exactly what he liked!

Braden has had visits from the music therapists while recovering from his multiple surgeries. After a major back surgery, the music therapist assisted physical therapy and created a parade. The music therapist followed him down the hallway while he gave his every effort to walk. Braden’s mom said, “Watching him be able to relax and just forget about the pain for a bit is priceless. It is a remarkable gift to the child, and the family as a whole, to have programs like these that can make a child smile during the toughest times of their lives. It helps take the burden off of the parents for a short time so that we can enjoy a small moment of typical childhood and forget about what is going on”.

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