Images by Adelle Munk
The Tiny Light foundation is saddened by the loss of a very special Tiny Light. His story had not yet been published, but we would like to honour him by sharing his story.
Tiny Light Kaden was a typical teenage boy; he loved video games, his dreams were bigger than life, and he was quite the flirt. He loved his family deeply with utmost devotion. He was selfless and gentle, loving and generous. Kaden was a torch bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and had received his learner’s permit, both exceptional accomplishments that he was extremely proud of. However, Kaden’s life was anything but typical; he had been through more in his sixteen years than most people go through in a lifetime.
Kaden was born at 37 weeks gestation on May 27th, 1995 at BC Children’s Hospital. He was diagnosed with Pulmonary Atresia with VSD (a hole between the ventricles), and after multiple surgeries to try to correct his pulmonary blood-flow, he also developed secondary pulmonary hypertension. Mom Jennifer was given the devastating news by the doctors that Kaden was not expected to live beyond infancy.
Although Kaden exceeded the expectations of his medical team, he had a tough fight. After three open heart surgeries, many medical procedures at BCCH, and a life rich in love, warmth and kindness, Tiny Light Kaden lost his battle on September 1, 2011 surrounded by his loving family. Kaden’s poor body just did not allow him to have the long life he and his family so hoped for; he was in the final stages of his heart disease and was battling heart failure and dyspnea when he passed. Before his passing, his mom said, "My hope and dream for my Tiny Light is that he find peace always, and wherever he plays after he leaves us, that he is able to [continue] his journey … in good company with a great sense of humour.” Peace is what they dreamt for him ... peace is what he now has.
In the words of Kristin Chenoweth,
“They shine a little brighter, they feel a little more
They touch your life in ways no one has ever done before
They love a little stronger, they live to give their best
They make our lives so blest, so why do they go so soon?
The ones with souls so beautiful
I heard someone say--
There must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life
They come along, into this world, and make this world bright
But they can't stay forever
Cause they're heaven sent
And sometimes, heaven needs them back again.”
I feel blessed that I was able to meet this Tiny Light ... this Borrowed Angel. On behalf of the entire Tiny Light Foundation, our thoughts and prayers are with Kaden’s family.
By Adelle Munk