Braylon’s Battle

Rayman family

More than five years ago, Chase’s wife, Jenny, was airlifted to Mayo Clinic’s Methodist Hospital in Rochester—she was in premature labor. Ready or not…their son was on his way. And he was seven weeks early.

Braylon was born, but there were complications. He wasn’t making a sound and something was noticeably wrong with his skin. Braylon was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys campus.

He was fighting for his life.

In the first few days, Braylon was resuscitated numerous times—his organs were not functioning properly—but he was a fighter and he pulled through.

It was only the beginning.

Braylon was diagnosed with Ichthyosis, a rare skin disorder that affects only 1 in every 600,000 babies annually. Chase and Jenny were told their son would likely be deaf and blind. And he had a more severe case of the disorder, causing additional health concerns.

Doctors recommended Braylon spend several weeks in the NICU for monitoring.

Chase and Jenny were told to call the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester and see if a room was available. There wasn’t; the family was put on the waiting list. But within only a few days, Chase and Jenny moved into the House, which is within walking distance of Saint Marys.

“The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester makes it possible for families to stay close during the most difficult time of their lives,” Jenny said. “We could not have done it without the House and our family, friends, and community.”

Three weeks later, Braylon and his parents were able to move home.

Only weeks after being released from the NICU, Braylon and his parents returned to Rochester and Mayo Clinic for a follow-up appointment. The result was miraculous. His left ear was functioning fully and his right ear was improving as well.

It was yet another testament to the family’s motto: Don’t Stop Believin’.

Braylon’s battle is not over. His health concerns still linger. But he has his hearing and vision. And Chase, Jenny, and Braylon continue to take it one day at a time—a rule Chase affectionately calls: winning the day.

“You never know what tomorrow brings, so enjoy today,” said Chase.

The Rayman family continues to support the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester by collecting and donating pop tabs.

Additionally, Chase is one of the people involved with Cans for Kids, a can collection event hosted by McNeilus Companies. McNeilus Companies parks one of its trucks in the House parking lot to accept donated aluminum cans—all proceeds directly support the children and families at the House.

“Pull a tab, save a can,” Chase said. “It is easy and it can help a family in need.”

The next collection date for Cans for Kids is Saturday, March 14, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information, please visit https://www.rmhmn.org/cansforkids/.