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Little wrestler in battle for his life

May 16, 2019

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

Liver failure strikes second grade boy

MILWAUKEE – There are some things that only happen to other people, to other families. Until they happen to you or your family.

That’s the situation that James Auten found himself in a little over two weeks ago.

The Wrightstown father shared the tough news on Facebook.

“Well this is the last post I wanted to make but Brayden’s liver is failing. We need your prayers and miracle for healing and to find him a liver soon,” James wrote. “I appreciate everyone’s love and support through this.”

His son Brayden is a second grader. Saturday, May 11, was opening day for Wrightstown Little League baseball but Brayden didn’t make it. He was in Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, waiting for a liver transplant to save his life.

When The Brillion News learned of Brayden’s situation, a brief story was posted on the newspaper’s website and on its Facebook page.

In less than a week, it had drawn 3,129 engagements, with the word spreading to over 8,500 people.

Brayden’s aunt, Grace Van Den Heuvel, created a GoFundMe account to raise funds to help cover the Auten family’s needs – as both his father and mother, James and Ruth, had to take off work.

“My nephew Brayden was admitted to the Children’s Hospital on April 26th for liver failure,” Van Den Heuvel wrote. “He currently is on the waiting list to receive a liver transplant.”

The donations flooded the GoFundMe account. Over $9,300 was raised in less than a week.

A full version of this story is available in the May 16, 2019 edition of The Brillion News. 



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