Richland Teen Dies After Courageous Three Year Cancer Fight
Caden R. Dirks was 12 years old when liver cancer was discovered at Seattle Children's Hospital.
After agonizing rounds of chemotherapy his tumor was removed according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to assist the family. Caden's parents, Randy and Stephanie Dirks have documented his journey on their blog. Caden is the oldest of their five children. A family member documented his incredible timeline:
From Caden's Journey -
My 16-year old nephew, Caden Dirks, was diagnosed, at age 12, with Undifferentiated Embryonal Sarcoma of the Liver on 1/31/2014. After four Rounds of chemotherapy, Caden had the tumor removed on 5/7/2014, followed by two more Rounds of chemo.
Caden's Cancer was rediscovered on 7/17/2015 requiring lung surgery on 7/23/2015.
Caden's Cancer was rediscovered AGAIN on 1/20/2016 in his abdominal cavity. Over the next few weeks, he underwent more chemo and another surgery to remove the large tumor on 3/9/2016.
On Thanksgiving Day, Caden felt abdominal pains that were all too familiar. On 11/28/2016 it was confirmed that the Cancer returned. This time he has elected not to do chemotherapy and instead will go straight to the tumor resection surgery. This was the fourth tumor to be removed. They found that it had adhered to both the diaphragm and bowel.
Feb 2017 update - The surgery was successful. Unfortunately, we found out in that the cancer is back.
June 2017 update - The Immunotherapy didn't work. In fact, in the eight weeks he was on it, two new tumors grew. He now has four tumors inside him with two of them being inoperable. They will do radiation to help ease the pain and give him more time. Despite having battled cancer for over three years now, he still became an Eagle Scout and is very active in his church. He is the oldest of five and is a great big brother.
June 14, 2017 - Randy and Stephanie told Caden and his siblings everything, that they are out of options and now the goal is to improve his quality of life and extend his time on Earth for as long as possible.
His family has spent tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses fighting this disease despite good insurance from Randy's great employer. Living over 200 miles away from where they receive treatment alone makes it very costly. We appreciate all of those that have helped in the past, but Caden's journey is far from over. Many have asked how they can help. This page was set up in order to give people a way to do just that. Every cent is greatly appreciated.
Caden R. Dirks was 16 years old.
Einan's in Richland is handling the arrangements.
Read more here.