Meet Cayden Newman!
“A place to live for Cayden and myself was the biggest thing that kept me up at night. When we found out we got into RMH it was like a weight was lifted.” – Ashton Newman
Cayden was diagnosed at the age of 2 with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. His diagnosis was hard. We had this image of this life we thought we would have and it was gone in the blink of an eye. I knew we were in for a fight. We got Cayden in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. We didn’t know what limitations he would have until we realized he couldn’t do something. As first time parents it was hard but we fought and continue to fight for him to have the best future possible.
Cayden has always stumped his doctors; accomplished more than they thought he would ever be able to do. It got to the point we noticed he wasn’t making much progress and his doctors in Arizona weren’t sure what to do next so we started researching the best complex cerebral palsy clinics; Boston Children’s Hospital has one of the best programs and it was an easy decision once we found it. When we met with the doctors at BCH they talked to us like people; in words we could understand. They helped guide us to a decision on surgery. Cayden underwent a 9 hour orthopedic surgery on both legs in July, fixing twisted bones, releasing tendons and muscles, and Botox/Phenol injections to help with muscle tightness.
Our biggest fear was that our family would be separated for 3 months. Cayden and I in Boston; Brendan and Killian in Arizona. We weren’t sure how we were going to manage it all. We originally stayed with Hospitality Homes through their Avalon Bay apartment from June 26-August 16. We paid $2,000 for the month and a half. We looked at some extended stay places but they ranged from $8,000-$16,000 for the last month and a half we would be in Boston. An Airbnb would have cost us about $6,000.
A place to live for Cayden and myself was the biggest thing that kept me up at night. When we found out we got into RMH it was like a weight was lifted. With surgery done and intensive therapy starting RMH was in the perfect spot; right next to Spaulding; we spend 3-4 days a week doing intensive rehab there. It is so quick to walk over for his appointments and the shuttle to BCH is close, too. The apartments are big enough that Brendan and Killian were able to spend the last month we are in Boston with us!!
Free housing was amazing… with a mortgage in Arizona and double groceries we were barely keeping our heads above water.
Keeping our family close has been amazing!!! We are all together and have our own space and can continue our life together.
All of the staff at RMH have been amazing! The nurses at BCH are on top of everything and so nice. Jean; pediatric PT at Spaulding; was key to Cayden getting back to walking. Julia; pediatric OT at Spaulding; kept Cayden’s OT therapy going so he continued making progress. I have nothing but amazing things to say about everyone that has been involved in Cayden’s pre-surgery and post-surgery.
Making the decision to uproot our lives for 3 months to give Cayden the best possible chance at an independent future didn’t come to us easy. We had a 3 year old to think about, jobs, school, finances… everything. It was hard but we did it because it was the best decision for Cayden’s future. Being in Boston has been amazing for Cayden and our family. He is walking better than he ever has; thanks to the Lokomat program at Spaulding. We are so hopeful for his future and so thankful we were able to give him this opportunity. We experienced so many things as a family and continue to grow and appreciate each other more.
It isn’t just a free place to live that has meant a lot to us; the community room with volunteers that came to cook dinner, play with Cayden and Killian, the activities that were set up, and friendships we made with staff and other families. It has all meant more to us than I could ever express in words.