Little Red Stories: In Honor and Loving Memory of Zayden

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Little Red Stories: In Honor and Loving Memory of Zayden

June 14, 2018
posted by Mindy Schanzle

Zayden — a triplet and the youngest of eight — was nothing short of a super hero. At 23 months old, he was diagnosed with of leukemia. Treated at OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, he endured many blood transfusions, surgeries and chemo treatments. Infections, remissions and relapses, a bone marrow transplant — never mind, CT scans, ultrasounds and blood draws — were the norm.


Always upbeat and strong, he donned a Superman cape and rode a Radio Flyer tricycle down the hospital halls while his mom pushed his IV pole. When he requested a Radio Flyer tricycle of his own, his parents could not refuse.


After his last relapse, Zayden was sent home in April 2016. Out of treatment options, he was accepted into a trial at St. Jude, where he fought the disease for another 3 ½ months. Two days before his fourth birthday, July 2, 2016, Zayden lost his battle with leukemia.


In his honor, Zayden’s parents established a toy drive that grew from a one county event to one that spans half the state of Oklahoma. They also donate Radio Flyer wagons to two Oklahoma hospitals, where young patients are now transported in comfort throughout the hospitals’ wings.


There aren’t words to express our sadness for this loss, but we’re inspired by Zayden’s family as they honor his legacy by spreading joy to other kids across Oklahoma. Read Zayden’s Little Red Story and learn more about the inspiring project his parents promote.