"Kaden's story began on Monday, September 19, 2011 when he fell at daycare and bumped his head on the toy shelf. Even though they were most concerned about his head, he also hurt his knee. Over the next two days Kaden limped around, but didn't complain about his leg hurting...typical Kaden! We decided to take him to Urgent Care on Wednesday and so the story begins..."
This was the beginning of one man's goal to raise money for children cancer research. Bob Pries, a construction manager and volunteer fire fighter in Byron, MN made the commitment to his friend Logan to make the one day, 25 mile hike with the hopes of raising $2,500.00 to aid in finding a cure for the cancer that has taken Kaden from Bob and the Tjossem family.
Bob came to a fishing web site that he's been a member of since 2004 of all places to try and drum up some support. What does a bunch of guys (and gals) that talk about fishing all day care about raising money for a cancer cure? Read on!
Bob set up a CureSearch page to take donations. When he came to the fishing site he was just under the half way mark of reaching the $2,500.00 goal. Then a fellow that goes by Pay It Forward appears.
Pay It Forward is in his mid 80's and had some history with the generosity of the fishing world himself. A few years back a drunken young adult stole his boat. Well that was after the same young adult tried to swim across the Mississippi River and became lost. Before the police arrived, a local fisherman went out to look for him. Found him hanging onto a tree and brought him safely back to shore. Prior to stealing Pay It Forwards boat, this young adult stole at least eight St Croix rods from the good Samaritan angler. Then he stole the boat and all the gear in it.
Three days later the boat was recovered with a modest $600.00 damage. The labor to fix Pay It Forward's boat was donated by a fine fellow by the name of Dan in Hager City, WI. The remaining $300.00 came in the form of check donations. No one asked for donations. Just posting the story in the fishing forum sparked the kindness in people and the repair bill was paid.
Hand written in on the memo line of one of the checks was the words "Pay It Forward". A check was sent to Bob's fund raising listing $300.00 from Pay It Forward. This was all that was needed to inspire my mind into thinking about what I could do to help Pay It Forward. Thus came "The Challenge".
The challenge was for the website member to donate $500.00 in less then 15 days and I would shave my head. First off I really didn't think that amount of money would be raised but it was and I followed through with my commitment.
A good friend Jarrett suggested that I have this hair made into fishing jigs, then donate the proceeds to Bob's hike. I knew just the person that could help me out with tying the jigs. Bucktail Wayne, an upper Midwest jig tying legend. With no questions asked he had 25 1/4 ounce jigs tied up and we offered them for sale at $10.00 each. A $250.00 donation was made just the other day.
The folks on the website had fun with my chrome dome and they're still joking about what could be caught on a jig made with my hair. BTW we should have charged more for the jigs with more silver in them. :) Yes we had a lot of fun and silliness with this, but at the end of the day cancer sucks and even more so in children. Bob exceeded his goal by more then doubling it.
Written May 22, 2013 12:19pm
"One year ago today we sat with Dr. Arndt in her office and she told us that Kaden's cancer had spread to his lung and spine, all while he was receiving some of the best chemotherapy drugs to treat osteosarcoma. Our world turned upside down once again. Today, the Sobiech family will hold Zach's visitation in Stillwater, MN. Right now, osteosarcoma feels alot like the tornado that devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma. Both cancer and the tornado were uninvited when they decided to rip through all of our families. They didn't care about the destruction and heartache that they would leave in their path. The tornado bounced around Moore destroying many houses, schools, and businesses within minutes. Osteosarcoma moved freely around Kaden (and Zach's) body, disrupting vital organs and eventually shutting them down. The tornado and cancer stole precious lives that can never be replaced. The biggest difference about these two...osteosarcoma doesn't get "the press" like a natural disaster does. The effects are the same however. You ask yourself, "Where do we go from here?", "How do we 'rebuild'?" Billions of dollars will be spent to rebuild the city of Moore; unfortunately, billions of dollars will not be spent on finding a cure for childhood cancer."
"Kaden Samuel Tjossem - born October 19, 2007. May he rest eternally on this day December 22, 2012. He put up a valiant fight against cancer for 15 months and one day. He has finally won because cancer can live no longer inside of him. He is free of that burden and we are so proud of our son for being so strong for all of us. We love you and we will forever miss you Kaden. In Logan's words, "He was the perfect son"
As I was writing this, I read Kaden's CaringBridge pages for the first time. Catfish guys don't let tears streak down their cheeks, but if you choose to read Kaden's Mothers thoughts and feelings, there isn't any way possible not to connect with her heart.
I donated my hair. Few if any of the fishing site knows Bob, Logan or Kaden. The fishing community came together and donated what counts, their hard earned money by Paying It Forward in the hopes of being closer to a cure, not a treatment but a cure for this ugly killer of children and adults.
Many heart felt thanks goes out to all of the fishermen that contributed! I think Kaden said it best.
Kaden, you look like a 'ell of a cat fisherman!