God Heal Brayden

For: Brayden Watts
Organizer: Family & Friends
$110,179
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 1192 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

It all started with what seemed like a simple headache... 

Van and SaMonna’s favorite little guy started complaining of head pain on Friday, February 14, 2014.  Having just gotten over a stomach virus, his complaints caused his parents no real alarm.  The pain continued through the weekend, so first thing Monday morning SaMonna took him to the doctor’s office.  After a thorough examination, it appeared that Brayden was simply demonstrating symptoms of migraine headaches.  They were sent home with a list of migraine-producing foods to eliminate from his diet.  Since the Watts' household already practices healthy living, most of those foods were already excluded from their diet. 

After returning home, Brayden's complaints of a headache continued.  In the middle of the night, he awoke out of his sleep, crying about the pain in his head.  SaMonna gave him some medication and he was able to go back to sleep.  Early Tuesday morning, in response to Brayden's continued complaints of pain and discomfort, they rushed him back to the doctor and panic began to set in.  What was going on? They just wanted answers and for the pain to stop. After a second thorough examination, Brayden's pediatrician was still unable to identify any significant cause for his headaches, but ordered a CT scan. 

On Wednesday morning the CT scan results came back, but were unable to generate any additional information. Everything "appeared" normal.  SaMonna was unable to accept these results at face value and began to strongly express her concerns to Brayden’s  doctor.  She was advised to follow the dietary guidelines given to rule out migraines and to schedule a follow up in two weeks.  With an unsettled spirit, SaMonna contacted another physician, Dr. Theodore Watkins, a close family friend and mentor.  He quickly consulted with another specialist and they collectively agreed that Brayden needed specialized attention, and fast. 

SaMonna was able to get an appointment to see a Pediatric Neurologist on Friday at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C, but that was two days away. SaMonna asked God to prompt her if two days was too long to wait and she closely monitored Brayden for the rest of the day.  He played happily and "appeared" to be his normal self, only complaining of slight head pain two or three times that day.  Later that evening (Wednesday), SaMonna received a follow-up call from Dr. Watkins.  He informed her that he wasn’t comfortable with waiting untilFriday for the appointment.  Shortly after the call, Brayden woke up again screaming about the pain in his head.  SaMonna and Van found themselves rushing to the Emergency Department around 1am Thursday morning. 

…The battle is just beginning...

Once at the ER, an MRI was performed which revealed that Brayden had a growth on his cerebellum. Brayden was immediately rushed to Children’s Hospital for further investigation.  After a flurry of additional tests, it was confirmed that Brayden indeed had two brain tumors on his cerebellum. Surgery to remove the tumors was scheduled for the following Monday, February 17, 2014. 

The surgery was proven a success in that both tumors were completely removed, however more concerning news was shared by the doctors post-surgery.  Brayden was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer.  SaMonna and Van were advised that the cancer had disseminated to other areas of his brain and aggressive treatment was necessary immediately.

…Where we are today…

In less than a week, SaMonna and Van's lives have been turned upside down.  They had limited preparation for the emotional and financial toll that the next few months would have on their family. But, God knew and He has made provisions for EVERY need they have to be supplied. 

This site has been created by family and friends to help offset the financial expenses that SaMonna and Van are facing.  As they prayerfully continue on this journey with Brayden, they are holding onto God with arms of faith.  Some of the SIGNIFICANT expenses facing the Watts family on this road include, but are not limited to medical/prescription costs not covered by insurance and travel costs associated with Brayden's out of state treatments (e.g., housing, food and transportation).  Your amazing support will greatly help the Watts family with the emotional and financial challenges ahead.   

...What your gifts will be used for...

The initial amount of $45,000 is going to cover the out of pocket medical (e.g. deductibles, co-payments, not-covered benefits and medication), travel, prescription and supplement (e.g. fruit and vegetables for juicing) expenses for the first phase of Brayden’s journey to healing (e.g. 1 of the 4 prescriptions required this week WITH insurance cost $1,600 out of pocket).  As treatment progresses and additional expenses arise, we will adjust our goal accordingly and pray for your continued support

UPDATE: Now that the first set of bills have been received it is evident our intial goal of $45,000 was too low.  Brayden is in the beginning stages of his journey and already his medical expenses are astronomical. Due to this we are increasing his fund goal to $100,000.  Thank you for your continued support.

This site allows friends / family to send gifts using a paypal account or credit card. If anyone prefers to send a check, please email [email protected]for the mailing address or with any questions. Please note, these gifts are NOT tax-deductible.  
...Facts Are...Truth Is...

Fact: Brayden has a serious diagnosis...
Truth: God is a healer!

Join us on this journey of faith! God WILL get the glory! 

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. James 5:15

Link to SaMonna's testimony given at Breath of Life's Women's Breakfast March 1, 2014.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/9hot5xtdl8z1v7h/SaMonna.m4a

**Please click the link on the top right of the screen to receive updates on Brayden's progress.

***IMPORTANT:  Please note that your gifts will take a few hours to post to your bank account or for you to receive the reciept, but no need to re-submit.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 3, 2014

Posted on September 3, 2014

The other day Van and I were at the store and he passed by a teenage girl who had the same surgical scar Brayden had.  A few moments later I ran into her and realized it was one of the beautiful children we had met in Philadelphia.  Of course my eyes started to water up.  Children should not have to suffer with diseases but it’s the reality of the world we live in.  Everywhere you turn someone is going through.

Throughout this experience many individuals have shared with me their trials and suffering.  People are hurting.  We live in a jacked up world, but were it not for grace!  Though trials sting, when you trust in God He will show you the beauty in them.

This will be my last post on this site.  I’m not sure how long you caring will have it available, so to be safe I will look into transferring the posts to my website.  If you know of anyone who is going through a trial similar to the one we’ve endured please share the posts with them.  Prayerfully our journey with Brayden will be a source of encouragement to them and anyone dealing with adversity.

I also solicit your prayers.  The Lord is calling me to a life of ministry.  What that exactly looks like I’m not completely certain.  However, I do know that as long as I follow His lead I’ll be alright.  So please pray with me in that regard.

For now I’m going to continue to try to share encouraging words and the love of God through my blog.  You can check it out at www.samonnawatts.com.   Your support has been amazing and we, the Watts family love you all!


Posted on August 23, 2014

Posted on August 23, 2014

It’s been about a month now since Brayden took his rest and I’m here to tell you that God is amazing.  He is the only reason that our family is keeping it together.  Prior to actually finding myself in this situation I would always think that I would never be able to handle the loss of a loved one.  Even as we went through this journey I blocked the thought out of my head because it was too painful.  When Van and I would talk about it our thoughts were continually on SaVanna.  I just knew I wouldn’t be able to handle explaining the situation to her and comforting her.  The thought of the pain she would experience was unbearable for us as parents.  Then there is Van.  He said from day one that if Brayden passed he would be done.  He declared that he would not be able to handle it.  Yet, this morning I can tell you with full confidence that God still sits on His throne!

If there ever was a time that we needed to be in the word it’s now.  We were in it hard when we were seeking God to heal, but now we need it even more.  The devil is relentless.  He understands that God has a remedy for every situation that we go through and because of this he wants to keep us out of the word.  It’s so easy to find yourself laid out in tears feeling physically and emotionally paralyzed with no desire to seek God.  I had to fight this and force myself to search God’s word for comfort during this time.  So let me tell you what I know.  When I get into that word I start thinking about God’s character, about His goodness, about His love for me, about the things He has prepared for me, and about the things He desires for me and all of a sudden I start praising!  The tears that were rolling down my face are now accompanied by a big ol’ smile.  I can’t explain it but even in your pain God WILL supply comfort!  Hallelujah!!  He’s doing it for me and Van.  Don’t get me wrong, we hurt and we cry but we find God even in the midst of that.

I’m learning to take control of my mind.  I think of Brayden all day long.  I can look at pictures and smile.  What I can’t do is listen to certain music.  It just makes me too emotional.  The times when I feel like I’m going down a path of negative emotions I pray and pull out my phone to read my scriptures.  It works every time… well  every time I  do it. LOL.  Sometimes, I just want to wallow in my tears and I do.  However, I really don’t do this often because I feel much better when I decide to turn my focus toward God even if I still need to cry.  Like I said, He’s amazing. 

Van is doing much better than he or I would’ve ever imagined.  He gets up every morning and has his time with God and it sustains him.  He even is starting to be social again.  Last week was his first week back to church and we had dinner with friends afterwards.  If you know Van you’d understand this is a big deal.  This is a man who says if anything ever happened to me he would move to some secluded place and be a hermit.  LOL.  I just knew he was going to shut down the outside world, but he didn’t!  He’s my support when I’m down and I’m his when he’s down.  He’s stronger than I could have ever imagined.  Side note- He’s strong but he is still Van.  If you come to him consoling him about Brayden he might give you the side eye.  He doesn’t want the hugs of comfort (he and I are totally different) talk to him as you would if this had never happened.  He will appreciate that.

SaVanna is doing pretty good.  The past week she hasn’t asked about or mentioned Brayden as much as she had been.  She was praying that God would bring him back every single day.  Yet from day one she didn’t cry or act sad.  Her young age is a blessing in disguise.  She gets that he’s gone but she doesn’t get it.  She understands that mommy and daddy feel sad because before she leaves either one of us she tends to ask will we be ok?  It’s the cutest thing.  So one time I told her no I wouldn’t be ok and she quickly replied, “Ok mommy, I’ll stay with you.”  I was just messing with her to see what she would say.  She is really the sweetest child.  She’s always been a mama’s girl but the week Brayden passed she was looking out for her daddy.  She offered to sleep by him and she would rub his back making sure he was alright.  

It is adjustment for all of us here at home.  SaVanna does not like to be left alone.  We had a play area set up for the kids in the basement.  This was their main hang out spot.  Obviously, that has all changed.  SaVanna is fine playing by herself but she doesn’t want to be alone.  If you go to the bathroom she wants to make sure that you don’t leave her by herself.  I can’t go anywhere in the house without her being right on my coat tails.   So we make an extra special effort to give her all the attention she needs.

Then there is the issue of the noise.  I was confident we had the loudest happiest kids in the world.  Now the house is silent.  You don’t realize how much you miss it till it is gone.  Van mentions it all the time when he comes home from work.  The noise is gone and he misses it.

Well, I just wanted to send out a little update on us.  Ya’ll we are surviving!  All of the prayers you send up for us are being answered.  In no way is this an easy road, but it could be much worse if Jesus wasn’t carrying us.  We still laugh and have a good time with each other despite the pain.  It’s a day by day thing.  I know there are stages of grief.  I haven’t looked them up nor studied them because I don’t care what they are.  I’m choosing to take this thing day by day and God has promised to help.  Each morning I pray for His strength, His comfort, His peace, His joy, and an extra portion of His Holy Spirit.  I know that TODAY, His grace is sufficient for me and that is all that matters.  Be blessed!

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9


Posted on August 4, 2014

Posted on August 4, 2014

Brayden’s Praise Party was wonderful.  I can honestly say that was the best memorial/funeral I’ve ever attended.  We gave the Lord the praise He is worthy of.  In life or death He is worthy of the praise.  Everyone looked beautiful in their white.  The music was beautiful and the atmosphere was filled with the presence of the Lord.  This has been quite the journey and it has ended in victory!  Brayden’s battle is won!  Hallelujah!  Can’t wait to see my little guy and YOU when Jesus returns.

If you would like to see the service online please use the link below.  Be blessed and keep praising Jesus!  http://new.livestream.com/sligochurch1/events/3241626/videos/58224846

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