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Ballymoney
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Caden returns to the classroom as a 'Virtual Pupil' thanks to C-BOT
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BALLYMONEY’S Caden Moore (8) is just your typical young boy, apart from one small difference, he suffers from a rare medical condition – ‘Severe Aplastic Anaemia’ – which for the last two years has saw many changes in his life, including not being able to attend school, St Brigid’s Primary in Ballymoney.

The rare blood disease – Aplastic Anaemia – is a condition affecting the function of the body bone marrow resulting in less blood cells being produced, including white blood cells responsible for fighting infection, leaving him extremely immunocompromised due to it’s severity.

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Treatment for this condition in Caden’s case was a bone marrow transplant and thanks to his bigger brother, who was a donor match, Caden was able to receive this.

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Speaking about her son’s current medical status after his transplant, his Mother Sabrina told the Ballymoney Bubble;

“Caden’s condition is very rare and people always assume it is leukaemia.

Unfortunately even with the bone marrow transplant his counts are still struggling to increase and he is still heavily immune suppressed”

The condition has resulted in young Caden making weekly trips and overnight stays to The Royal Hospital in Belfast for ongoing treatment and Bristol Hospital for his bone marrow transplant. This has restricted him in many activities that a young boy his age should be doing, due to his weakened immune system, and the increased risk of infections as a result.

Mum Sabrina & Caden outside Bristol Hospital Children’s Department. PICTURE: Sabrina Moore
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One such activity is the ability for Caden to attend school, St Brigid’s Primary in Ballymoney, along with his other P4 classmates. BUT thanks to a Northern Ireland charity – ‘Angels Wishes – who support children and their families with cancer or cancer related conditions, Caden has been able to return to class, if a virtual one at that.

The charity has donated a number of ‘classroom robots’, or C-BOT’s as it’s called by Caden, to schools across Northern Ireland and Caden & St Brigid’s have been chosen to be one of the luck ones to get to use one. While the robot attends class every day, Caden can stay at home on his iPad and interact with not only his teacher, but all his classmates as well.

Caden showing off C-BOT

His Mum Sabrina was full of praise for the charity.

“Thanks to (Angel Wishes) that made this happen. Making the impossible possible”

Cadens story, recently appeared on UTV Live, and his delight of getting back to school and into the classroom was obvious, telling the reporter:

“(The robot) helps me go into school and I really like it. I can talk to them and play with them.

Caden’s teacher at St Brigid’s, Miss McAlister, also told the UTV Live programme that the classroom robot was Caden’s ‘eyes & ears’ in the classroom, going on to say;

“We fully embrace the new technology, it’s fantastic. (Caden’s) able to take part in lessons now, small group sessions or whole class activities.”

Caden’c robot is one of a number of robots that will hopefully be making their way into classroom across Northern Ireland, allowing those children, that can’t attend school for one reason or another, to return to class as a new generation of ‘virtual pupils’.

To read all about Caden’s story or to follow his progress, visit his Facebook page, ‘The Adventures of Caden Jack Moore’.

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