Because I Can.....I Am Able to Do Great Things Braeden Stemm's Story as told by his mother - Michelle
Braeden had his first surgery when I was 25 weeks pregnant. They put his spine back inside of him. He was born six weeks later. My son was the easiest baby, so loving as a toddler, and the friendliest young man. He was shy and reserved with peers, but lit up with hospital staff and adults. The hospital was our safe haven, as we practically lived there. Since his birth, this handsome young man has not only survived more than 65 surgeries, hundreds of hospital visits and multiple tests, and all with more dignity and grace than the average person could muster.
Braeden has never complained or uttered the words"why me". He doesn't question God and doesn't pray to be healed. He has said on multiple occasions that "God made me this way for a purpose”. Braeden believes that God has a bigger plan for him and that his disability is a platform to share God’s love and perfect plan for others. My son is happy the way he was chosen to be created. He loves helping others and has served on two mission trips thus far.
I wish I had better words to describe the love, joy, and gratefulness I have inside. Braeden is my hero and he makes me better every day. I thank God for every breath he gets to breathe. Braeden will continue to lead an amazing life, as God has big plans in store for him. He is starting College at Anoka Ramsey this fall, studying for his Associates degree, and then will go to either Bethel or Augsburg.
What makes Braeden a Because I Can Superstar, is easy. He is the best gift I have ever been given.
Braeden was nominated by his friend, Sophia, who contacted Because I Can to feature his story. Here are a few words from her nomination:
My friend Braeden has the most genuine "Because I Can" attitude out of anyone I have ever met. I just graduated high school with him and his story is incredible. He's incredible. You should totally contact his mom, Michelle.
Braeden's 2018 Update: From Mother, Michelle Braeden has had a rough 10 months, but is staying positive. He has increased ventricles in his brain and has been struggling with multiple UTI's. We go to Gillette Lifetime and St Paul clinic tomorrow and Tuesday for more testing and Dr visits. He is finding out a upcoming surgery date on Tuesday for a tethered cord release. He has continued to work out with a personal trainer at the YMCA. He believes in Braeden, and helps him to push and believe in him. He's also been taking Nordic Ski Lessons. Braeden is co leading a 7th grade small group on Wednesday nights at Eagle Brook. Braeden continues to be a shining light in our family and community. We are so blessed to have him. P.s. He was accepted to Bethel University and starts classes in the fall. He would love to be a News Anchor someday!