Derby City Comic Con is thrilled to welcome Caden Mills and his family as our special guest at the con this weekend. Caden is the first young man that that we are hosting through our collaboration with Kosair Charities.
Caden is a brave little boy and a hero in his own right. Please read the story of Caden’s incredible struggle below.
Meet Kosair Kid Caden Mills
It’s funny how one thing leads to another.
After their adopted son Caden was born with multiple handicaps in 2007, Tony and Diane Mills began taking him to the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs.
Beyond providing a case manager to help coordinate Caden’s treatment regimen, the commission staff connected the Mills with the Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky.
That organization introduced the family to Kosair Charities. Caden has attended several holiday parties as well as the Kosair Shrine Circus, and two years ago, he walked at the Gala.
Then just this summer, Caden was selected to receive a custom playhouse as part of Kosair Charities’ partnership with the Homebuilders Association of Louisville, through its philanthropic arm, the Building Industry Charitable Foundation, and YouthBuild.
After being displayed during Home-A-Rama, "Caden’s Lake House" now sits behind the Mills’ house in Taylorsville, Ky., next to the 2-acre lake they share with other homeowners.
Receiving the playhouse, Tony Mills says, "was like hitting the lottery. It’s priceless."
‘A joy to be around’
Caden, now 6, is handsome, charming, determined and outgoing, which could make it easy to forget the challenges he faces. He was born with Spina bifida, hydrocephalus, a club foot and a rocker foot.
A shunt removes fluid from his brain. He has had several leg operations and walks with reciprocal braces and uses a wheelchair. His Spina bifida disrupts his bladder and bowel functions. He is prone to seizures.
Caring for him is a full-time job, but the Mills could not be happier.
"There were so many unknown factors," says Tony, a real estate broker. "They didn’t know if he’d come out of the hospital... (But) he is the most robust, outgoing kid. He is a joy to be around."
‘He can wear you out’
Swimming is particularly good occupational therapy, and on most days, Tony works with Caden in their pool.
And Diane says nothing stops him from plunging into whatever activity is in front of him. Now in first grade at Spencer County Elementary, he loves school, along with music, swimming, riding his three-wheeler and playing in his sandbox.
"He even break-danced in a recent talent show," Diane says. "He can wear you out," Tony adds.
Caden has only asked Diane once about his inability to walk. "He’s holding onto the fact that one day he will," Tony says.
We at the Derby City Comic Con are looking forward to meeting Caden and showing him some of the fun and excitement that he shows with everything he does.