ABILENE, Texas — An Abilene teenager born with a rare form of dwarfism and a big heart has passed away.
Brenden Baker died late Monday morning at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, where he had been at for the past two weeks. He was just 15 years old.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are letting you know Brenden passed away late this morning,” said his mom, Kim Bachmann Baker. “Please know that he went peacefully and was in no pain.”
Brenden was born on December 31, 2002 with Desbuquois syndrome and was one of only 32 people in the world to be diagnosed with it.
He grew to be only 27-and-a-quarter inches tall and weighed just 24 pounds.
In 2013, Brenden became a viral sensation when a video of him performing with the Fly Dance Company from Houston was shared nearly 140,000 times on Facebook.
But what he did two years ago may be his biggest legacy.
Instead of presents for his 13th birthday, Brenden asked for donations to the Children’s Miracle Network and had a goal of raising $500. He ended up raising more than $30,000.
CMN used the money to make stays at children's hospitals more comfortable and less scary. The organization bought toys, special medical equipment for children and helped fund children's therapies.
Former Mayor Norm Archibald, who is now the vice president of the Hendrick Foundation, said "Brenden captured our hearts as a true miracle child. He overcame such a difficult beginning and was an inspiration to all. I don’t think I have ever known anyone more tenacious than him. I will miss him very much."
Brenden was a big fan and great friend of KTXS, as well as a regular guest on our station's CMN telethons, so it was no surprise that he wanted to give back to people in need.
“He touched so many lives, never met a stranger and was still flirting with the nurses this morning,” Brenden’s mom said.
Funeral arrangements are pending.