Omaha community helps to keep teen with cerebral palsy in his house

The fight to keep a teen in his own home.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Fourteen-year-old Kayden Cotten is about to enter high school. As a big sports fan, he can hardly wait for high school football to start.

“He wants to go to Burke (High School) because they have good sports and he wants to go to games,” says his Aunt Zennie Zark.

But Kayden has more on his plate than the average teen. He was born with cerebral palsy.

“It can affect your speech, it can affect your legs, it can affect your hands,” says Kayden.

With his parents unable to care for him, he was adopted by his grandmother Kathie at age four. Soon after, the two moved from Arizona to Omaha and eventually bought a house. Kathie had it customized to fit his needs.

“She opened the doorway. She opened all the doorways down the hall, the stairlift going up and down the steps. There’s no bathtub in this house. They’re all showers for him to be able to wheel into,” says Zennie.

But in 2020, his grandma unexpectedly passed away. Since then Aunt Zennie has moved in to look after him. She has extra help from family friends.

But taking on this new role has been a lot for Zennie. She cannot afford the mortgage payments on her own.

“I made the payments with what funds she left as part of the life insurance policy that she split amongst us. But now that’s gone. I’ve made the payments as best I could,” says Zennie.

The house is now in the stages of foreclosure and Zennie and Kayden are being evicted. They’ll be forced to vacate the property by July 6.

“We haven’t found a place at all. I have to have someplace that has at least a shower. I can’t do a bathtub, there’s no way. There are times I do it myself and I can’t lift him out of the bathtub. There’s just no way. I mean he’s bigger than me,” says Zennie.

But the community is stepping up. A fundraiser to help pay off the house has already raised thousands of dollars. However, they’re still short of reaching the goal.

If they’re unable to save the house, all of the money donated will go towards buying a new home for Kayden.

On Thursday, July 21, the Texas Roadhouse located at 520 N 155th Plaza will be hosting a ‘dine and donate’ fundraiser for the family.

100% of the money raised from both dine-in and takeout meals will go towards helping Kayden.

Come help save Kaydens House. All profits for this evening will go and help with saving his home. Please join us this...

Posted by Rebecca Osberg Speer on Saturday, July 2, 2022

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