A Fund for Cayden

A family honours a special little boy by fundraising for a RIM studentship in neonatal care.

George and Fauna Osborne have a very significant reason for supporting DMRF – their beloved and late son Cayden.  This year they created the Cayden Osborne Studentship for Neonatal Research, a RIM designed to bring awareness to neonatal issues such as Necrotizing Entercolitis (NEC). George and Fauna share their story, explaining why medical research means so much to them and how its impacts us all.

My husband George and I had been trying to get pregnant for nine years. After all that time, in our minds, we were done. But we had three embryos left through a fertility treatment and decided to give it one more try.  We went through the procedure to implant all three embryos, thinking it wouldn’t work.  We were wrong!  To our surprise, all three implants were successful.

Although I was a healthy 36-year old woman, having triplets carried great risk. During the second trimester, problems began and I was admitted into the hospital at 19-weeks.  Even with exceptional technology and an amazing OBGYN, one month later, our triplets came into the world at just 23-weeks. Kylee, Trinity, and Cayden were born just one-minute apart.  Their eyes were not open. They couldn't breathe on their own. Each weighed one-pound, three-ounces. Born on a Tuesday, we were told our babies probably wouldn’t survive to the weekend… but they did.

All of our triplets were very sick.  Each had breathing issues, brain bleeds, detached eye retinas, heart valves that didn’t close, digestive issues – the list goes on. Cayden had all these conditions too, but he also developed a disease common in premature babies called Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is an infection that inflames part of a baby's intestines which can lead to intolerance to feedings, abdominal swelling, and death. 44-days after he was born, on May 17, 2012, Cayden George passed away due to complications from NEC - just one day before George’s birthday.  It was sorrow and grief but we are grateful for this beautiful little life that we had the chance to know – if only for a short time.

Four years later, our lives are bright and full of love as we care for our little girls.  We have started fundraising for the Cayden Osborne Studentship in honour of Cayden and to bring awareness to preemie issues like Necrotizing Entercolitis.  These conditions can be better treated and even cured with enough research and advocacy. If we can change one preemie outcome, it's worth it. 

From George:

Fauna and I shed tears when we describe Cayden.  This little guy means the world to us. Cayden is our strength. He is our son. He will forever be his sisters’ protector and brother. He is someone that just felt our presence as soon as we walked in the room. Fauna would read books to him through the incubator and he would turn towards her voice. There were times that we couldn't stop crying and he would reach his hand out in his incubator and grasp our hand. This little guy beat the odds each day and will always be our sweet Cayden. He had the cutest little blonde peach fuzz hair and the strength of a warrior. The only time we saw his face without tubes was a few seconds before he passed away...he looked up at both of us and it was almost like he was saying 'I'm going to be okay'.