Benefit planned for 12-year-old suffering from extremely painful Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome

Published 12:38 am Friday, August 12, 2022

NEDERLAND — For two years, Caden Cook was in pain with no real explanation.

“It started in May of 2020,” said his mother Lauren Cook. “Caden was just a normal child, perfectly healthy with no problems and woke up sick with what we thought was a viral infection. The following week he started having feet pain and it went up to his thighs.”

The now 12-year-old child saw doctors in Southeast Texas and Houston to no avail. Meanwhile, the pain in his feet and thighs remained persistent, and he had crippling headaches.

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But finally, after seeing a series of specialists in Houston, Caden was diagnosed with Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome.

“AMPS is a condition where you have to rule everything out first,” Lauren said. “It’s chronic pain in your nerves and body. Your brain and your body are telling your nerves that they hurt when there’s no reason for them to hurt.”

Still, Caden continues to live like a healthy pre-teen, beginning his first day of seventh grade at C.O. Wilson Middle School this week. He plays trumpet in the band, and will be an athletic manager for the football team this year.

“The coaches are working with us to have him a part of the program. He’s very excited about that,” Lauren said. “You would never be able to tell that he has AMPS but he has pain in his feet and his thighs and headaches 24/7. And he sometimes has flare ups where it’s hard to get out of bed. He feels weak all the time — kind of like the flu, where you feel weak and don’t want to do anything.”

According to information from Johns Hopkins, children with AMPS suffer from pain more intense than normally expected. Symptoms include abdominal pain, dizziness, an increased heart rate, increased sensitivity to touch, decreased mobility, trouble sleeping and depression.

And treatment, the hospital says, can be difficult.

“He was going to physical therapy, but it wasn’t enough,” Lauren said.

However, through a variety of AMPS-related support groups online, the Cooks have found hope in Bonita Springs, Florida.

It’s there that Calmare Pain Relief Therapy administers Scrambler Therapy.

Lauren said a former Nederland family who now lives in Houston took their daughter for the clinic, and she’s considered in remission and living pain free.

As Caden prepares to make the trip for the two-week therapy, the family is planning a benefit to help with necessary expenses, as the treatment is not covered by insurance.

On Saturday/Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a link sale and silent auction in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church in Nederland.

While it started out with Lauren and her loved ones trying to manage the event alone, others have stepped up. Southeast Texas Circle of Hope recently donated links and supplied a trailer.

“The community has really helped me and my friends put this together,” she said.

To make a donation for the benefit, call 409-719-1508. Direct donations can also be made through Venmo at Lauren-Cook-13190.