episode 8 featured image

YOP 8: “Fight On”

Episode 8 is here with a new song and a special story. My cousin Kevin and his wife Gretchen are parents to a beautiful baby boy named Cayden. As of this episode’s release date, Cayden is 335 days old – almost ready to celebrate his 1st birthday. Unfortunately, his celebration won’t be the same as most little boys and girls his age.

Cayden was born with a birth defect known as a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). The diaphragm has a large hole in it which allows the lower organs (such as the stomach and spleen) to move upward. The lungs aren’t able to properly develop due to these organs pushing on them. The hole can be corrected with surgery, but other obstacles remain such as development of the lungs to support the child’s life.

Approximately 1 in 2,500 babies are diagnosed with CDH and each case has its own unique circumstances. The survival rate after surgery to repair the hole (assuming there are no other complications) is between 50-75%. Additional issues Cayden faced dropped those odds to less than 20%. But, as we’ve found over the past 335 days, Cayden doesn’t care about the odds, he defies them.

Before Cayden was born, Kevin and Gretchen very intentionally chose his name which means “fighter.” Anyone who has come to know him would agree he’s certainly lived up to it.

This week’s song (“Fight On”) is a battle cry inspired by Cayden, his incredible parents. I can’t imagine being in their situation and am blown away by the strength, faith, and love they’ve demonstrated to everyone following Cayden’s Journey (a private group on Facebook where they share regular updates on his status).

I hope this song helps anyone facing what seem like unbeatable odds.

There are several ways you can help Cayden, Kevin, and Gretchen (the most powerful of which is prayer). Recently, I designed a shirt based on Cayden’s name and it’s currently for sale on Teespring. For every shirt sold, $5 will go to Kevin and Gretchen to help defray their expenses.

Please consider making a donation to CHERUBS (a volunteer-run organization whose goal is “to not only help parents of children born with CDH, but to lead the medical community into finding the cause and prevention of this devastating birth defect.”

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LYRICS

“Fight On”

You never said it would be easy.
A clear path was not guaranteed.
But you promised to be with me.
Lord, that’s all I need.
A champion in my corner
to carry me when hope seems gone.

I will fight on.
I will fight on.
In the strength of His might
I will fight.

There have been times that I wondered
if you were even really there.
Overwhelmed and surrounded,
struggling for a breath of air.
Despite all my doubt
you were here all along.

I will fight on.
I will fight on.
In the strength of His might
I will fight.

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If you’d like to learn more about The Year of Praise Project and sign up for the email list, visit YearofPraise.com.

To be considered as a singer for upcoming episodes, visit YearofPraise.com/support and sign up for the Singers mailing list at the bottom of the page.

LINKS

Cayden’s Journey (Private Facebook Group)

Fighter T-shirt (Teespring)

CHERUBS (CDH Support & Awareness)

BenSound.com (INTRO & OUTRO MUSIC)