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Organization grants local boy's wish

Christmas came a few days early for 10-year-old Bradin Renfro thanks to the Kids Wish Network.
On Monday, Dec. 22, Bradin awoke to find that Santa and Mrs. Claus had stopped by his home in Erwin to bring him a gift he had wanted for so long – a large bouncy house, complete with slides and room for all of his friends.
As Santa escorted Bradin from his front door to the bouncy house, excitement showed on Bradin’s face as he exclaimed: “This is the best Christmas ever!”
Bradin’s mother, Kimberley Garland, and Santa helped him into the bouncy house where he immediately began bouncing and enjoying his new gift.
“I love it,” he said as he bounced. “This is the coolest bouncy house ever.”
Soon Bradin was joined by his friends and the celebration moved into high gear.
This was a special gift for a special boy. Bradin was born with spina bifida, a defect that caused the opening of his spinal cord to be incomplete. He endured his first surgery moments after he was born.
When he was 15 days old, doctors discovered fluid accumulating on Bradin’s brain, a condition called hydrocephalus. Again, Bradin was taken to surgery where a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, which drains the fluid into his stomach and must be replaced every few years, was implanted. Bradin then spent the next three months in a neonatal intensive care unit.
When he was one, Bradin endured another surgery, this time doctors attempted to correct the abnormal positions of his feet. Bradin spent the next two years in a body cast from the waist down. Bradin then used leg braces until steel rods were inserted months later.
Bradin then had two other surgeries where doctors broke parts of his legs in an attempt to straighten them. This was only 60 percent successful.
Bradin has had 20 surgeries in his short life and another is expected early in 2015.
With so many struggles, one might expect Bradin to be bitter or angry. However, quite the opposite is true. On Monday, both Bradin’s mother and grandmother described him as a very happy and loving child.
“Bradin is one of the most loving and giving kids I have ever known,” grandmother Glenda Blevins said as she watched Bradin enjoying his new bouncy house. “He is an amazing little boy.”
Kimberley said her son was “very excited” that Santa had showed up on his doorstep and delivered such a wonderful gift.
“Today is a reprieve for him,” Kimberley said. “Most of his days are hospital days. … He is in pain everyday, but you wouldn’t know it. …
“He is always thinking of somebody other than himself,” she continued.
According to information from the Kids Wish Network, it is a national, charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children facing life-altering circumstances.
For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.
Working with the organization on Bradin’s special day were: Blast Zone, which donated the bouncy house; Star’s Big Top Amusement, which provided party setup and games; Stacie Randy, who provided music; Buttercup Bakery, which provided cupcakes; and Pizza Plus, which provided food at the event.