Race for Casen

// Local mom organizes 5K walk/run for baby with rare condition

  • BABY CASEN. One-year-old Casen Buswell needs medical treatments in Belgium, and with his family facing mounting medical bills, the kindness of others is helping to alleviate the financial burdens. (Buswell Family)

  • (Buswell Family)

  • (Buswell Family)

When bombs exploded in Boston this week, many heartening stories came out of the terror about people rushing to help the injured. Complete strangers took care of each other, showing that there are so many good people in the world today, from Massachusetts all the way to our own backyard.

Rosie Tomyn is just such a person. A stay-at-home mom with a teething son to contend with, for the past months this Edgewood resident has been working to help another Mom’s baby with a rare disease and in desperate need of medical help. To raise funds for the baby’s surgeries and care, Tomyn is organizing a 5K walk/run on June 15 at Edgemont Junior High in Edgewood.

One-year-old Casen Buswell of Puyallup was born with an extremely rare congenital vascular malformation called glomuvenous malformations plaque type, or GMV plaque type.

"He's just a little sweetie and so resilient. With all he's got going on, he's just amazing. I just felt compelled to help." Rosie Tomyn

He is one of only 14 people in the world suffering from this condition – and one of only two with such an extreme case. Casen’s condition is very rare, as it covers his thoracic area, belly, arms, upper shoulders/back and right thumb. Without proper treatment, the disease will lead to hardening of his blood vessels, skin, muscle and arteries, which will become worse as he gets older.

There are only two doctors in the world who have developed a treatment for Casen’s condition, and they live in Belgium. On top of this, the Buswells’ insurance does not cover his treatment because of its classification as “experimental.” Now, in addition to the mounting medical bills the family already is shouldered with, the Buswells are facing relocation to Belgium in the hopes that doctors can successfully treat their little one.

Tomyn said that when she met little Casen and mom Jenna at a Scentsy party her friend was having, she knew instantly that she had to do something.

“After you meet that little guy, you’re sold – you’re going to help,” Tomyn said. “He’s just a little sweetie and so resilient. With all he’s got going on, he’s just amazing. I just felt compelled to help.”

She said the Buswell family is staying strong as well, even though medical expenses are piling up. “They are getting bill after bill,” Tomyn said, and Casen will be having more surgeries over the coming years.

Other fundraisers for Casen have been held, and the Buswell family got a huge lift when Arlington racing enthusiast Ron Cook raffled his 1957 Chevy Bel Air and raised $11,000 for Casen – another case of a complete stranger coming forward to help a baby he has never met. The winner of the car has pledged to sell it and donate the money to Casen as well.

Now, Tomyn is lending her hand. The 5K walk/run fundraiser she is putting together does not happen until June 15, but Tomyn is doing all she can now to get the word out.

“The big push now is for people to register,” she said, which really helps her in planning the event. Entry fee is $30 before June 14 and $35 day of race. All entries include a race day T-shirt and all proceeds will go to the Buswell family. Register at http://raceforcasen.webs.com. The race starts at 11 a.m. near Edgemont Junior High School in Edgewood, 2300 110th Ave.

Sponsors are also needed, as are area businesses and organizations to set up booths in the park. “The hope is that if we can get enough vendors at the park, it will be an additional pull for people to come out.”

There will be a lot going on that day, including silent auctions, raffles, a DJ spinning festive music and a professional photographer offering photos of race participants and families. And, barring any health issues, Casen himself will be there with his mom, who will say a few words to the crowds.

The race will be timed and on a certified course, which has not been run in four years, Tomyn said. “This will be a great opportunity for runners looking for a new course to get out there on that course.” Whether you run the race at full tilt or take the course at a your own nice, slow amble, or if you want to be a spectator, Tomyn said this event is for you. “Everybody is welcome. We just want as much a show of support for Casen as we can get out there that day.”

Tomyn said she welcomes the help of anyone who wants to volunteer on the day of the walk/run or before. “If someone wants to help, I’ll figure out a way they can help,” she said.

Contact Tomyn at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Learn more about Casen at http://www.facebook.com/raceforcasen.


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