Hi, my name is Braden.
Motto: Smarter Than You Think
Champion Teammate: Scott Hatch
High School Team: Hays Baseball
I was born at 34 weeks by emergency c-section with central hypotonia (low muscle tone, extreme head lag), no suck, swallow, gag or cough reflex (dysphagia), neonatal encephalopathy, severe developmental delay, optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH), hypermetropia, astigmatism, staring spells, head “spinning”, cortical visual impairment, intermittent extropia, 50% bilateral conductive hearing loss before PE tubes, 20-30% loss after PE tubes (chronic purulent otitis media, actute otitis media), tracheitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, micrognathia (small, set back jaw), a strong, left cavovarus foot deformity, generalized convulsive epilepsy, epilepsy characterized by intractable complex partial seizures, and unfortunately, I am still undiagnosed with some sort of neuro-metabolic disorder/infantile cerebral palsy.
My good news includes the fact that I am still alive, happy and walking at ELEVEN years old this past November! I enjoy bath time, going to the beach, so I can feel the waves crash up against my belly and wiggling in the sand. I also love to swing in circles and throw rings to my nurses, teachers, therapists, mom, dad and Grandma. I also take pleasure in watching cartoons and game shows.
My mom, Crystal, is also a pretty big advocate for me and other friends like me who need Medicaid and support services to survive at home and in the public school system. My mom fully believes in these words from her favorite poem: “I asked God to take away my pain. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up. I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No. His spirit was whole, his body was only temporary.”