Cornelius Market holds fundraiser Sunday for Kaden Willis, 12

It’s a red-carpet event for 12-year-old Kaden Willis, who lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disorder that causes muscle degeneration. A fundraiser for the wheelchair-bound Willis will be held Sunday, June 30, at the Cornelius Market.

Dog owners can donate any amount of money to walk their pooches down a red carpet at the market. Children can jump in a bouncy house for $1. Many of the booths will donate $1 of every purchase. Patrons can also buy raffle tickets for free sub sandwiches, haircuts, bowling, custom-made jewelry and more from local vendors.

Next month, Kaden is having surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland to fix a 42-degree curve in his spine. Afterwards, he will need a new power chair with lifting capability. Insurance will cover only part of the cost — the family will still need to pay $6,000. Cornelius Market Manager Rebecka Smith decided to help out.

“They’re local,” Smith said. “His mom went to Forest Grove High and lives in Gales Creek. They needed help and I have a way to help.”

Smith and Willis’s mother, Shelia, went to high school together, and after years with no communication, met up for coffee. After three hours of hearing about Kaden’s story, Smith told Willis she could help.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy affects around one in 3,600 infant males. Those afflicted have an average life expectancy of 25 years. Willis and his family are hoping for a new chair to make mobility easier.

At the market, booths offer arts, crafts, fresh produce, flowers, food, jewelry, plants, local wine and more. There will also be live local music from Catherine Bede and Andy Harrison with the band The Happy Accidents.

Join Willis and his mother exactly one week before his birthday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cornelius Wal-Mart Parking Lot, 220 North Adair St.

In addition, Chase Bank has opened an account in the name of Kaden Willis. TNT Fireworks in Hillsboro will also collect money for Kaden.

To be a vendor at the market or to assist with the fundraiser, contact Smith at (503) 608-2724 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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