His condition has taken centre stage in his short life - making it difficult for him to make friends and live a healthy, active life.
Caden, from Standerton, Mpumalanga, weighs 85kg. He faces constant hunger that he is never able to satisfy - his brain doesn’t receive the signal that he’s full, forcing him to eat anything he can find.
Not uncommon with his condition is the desire to eat non-edible items to curb his hunger, which introduces a number of complications to his body.
He also has difficulty breathing due to his obesity, and was fitted with a Tracheostomy pipe at the age of 3.
His condition has also affected his intellectual ability and has caused behavioural problems. At 10 years old, he has been unable to attend school and can’t read.
Caden lives with his mom, grandmother and two cousins.
His mother, Zola Benjamin, has given up her job where she was involved with a second-hand clothing business to provide her son with the 24-hour care he needs. His father left before he was born.
Caden’s specialised medical requirements have caused an enormous strain for the family as he has to travel to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria three times a month to meet a specialist.
Due to his physical condition, Caden requires physiotherapy once to twice a week to help him with breathing. The treatment and transport amounts to R650 a session. Caden also requires nappies and has special dietary requirements.
His family has been confronted with the likelihood that he won't make it - but every time he defies the odds and keeps on fighting.
“I was lucky enough to meet this charming young man in February. This was shortly after he received a letter from his doctors stating there was nothing more they could do for him in terms of treatment, and that he needed to be made comfortable at home. This is the road that has led me to crowdfunding on BackaBuddy. I hope Caden’s story moves you. Together we can give him a fighting chance,” says campaign creator Gila Sacks.
A crowdfunding campaign was set up for Caden on donations-based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy. The project went live on August24 and so far secured one donation from Gila towards the target of R150000.
“Both Zola and Gila have requested that all funds be managed directly by BackaBuddy and be paid directly to necessary recipients to ensure complete transparency with donors, which we have agreed to,” said BackaBuddy marketing officer Zane Groenewald.
To support Caden’s campaign visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/for-caden