8-year-old boy rewarded for his efforts to bring awareness to rare disease

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BELOIT, Wis (WMTV) - An 8-year-old boy from Beloit is getting ready to take an once-in-a-lifetime trip for his efforts to bring awareness to a rare disease he is fighting.

Cayden Krueger and his family will be leaving in March for a special trip to Disney World and Universal Studios.

The trip was made possible by the Kids Wish Network, a non-profit, that wanted to recognize Cayden for bringing awareness to Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a disorder that makes it harder for blood to clot and heal cuts and bruises.

Jenni Krueger, Cayden’s mother, said he was diagnosed with ITP two years ago.

"You never think it’s going to be your children, like that doesn’t happen to your children. And unfortunately, it does," she said.

Jenni said this trip is something she never thought they would experience as a family. In early February, Cayden’s mom and the rest of his family surprised him with a box of signed Green Bay Packers Gear and a four day trip to Disney World and Universal Studios.

“He went ‘gasp’ and just ran into my arms and laid his head on my shoulder and we cried. He was really excited,” Jenni Krueger said.

Since Cayden's diagnosis, the family started holds fundraisers, and over the past two years they have raised more than $27,000 to raise awareness of the disease.

“Cayden’s developed a friendship with the whole city of Beloit and the Town of Beloit, and I think he’s really gotten the word out on ITP,” Jenni said.

Cayden’s family is planning their third fundraiser this fall. Krueger said proceeds go toward the Platelet Disorder Support Association, an organization trying to find a cure for ITP.