Walk, vigil honors child survivors and victims of abuse

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) - The family of a young girl is reflecting on her journey one year after she was severely beaten by her stepmother.

Tammy Waite remembers September 21, 2016 like it was yesterday.

“She was not expected to survive the flight to Albany let along survive period,” she said.

Her then 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaiden Starr Rice, was severely beaten by her stepmother. The child’s skull was fractured, which caused a serious brain injury.

Kaiden spent nearly two weeks on life support.

“I can’t believe this is here,” Waite said. “After last year til today.”

One year later, Waite is now the primary care giver for Kaiden. On Thursday, she invited NEWS10 ABC to her home in Granville and reflected on the past year like a whirlwind.

“From September to March has been a roller coaster,” she recalled.


Kaiden was in and out of hospitals. Waite said love and care was sent from all corners of the world.

“We had support from other states and other countries,” she said. “It taught me that there is still good in the world.”

On Thursday, the first Kaiden’s Courage Walk was held in downtown Hudson Falls. Kaiden’s godmother Colleen Lyon helped organize it.

“It’s been a lot I’ll tell you,” she said. “It’s put me through a lot.”

Lyon said some days are easier than others.

“It’s been really hard. There’s days I call Kaiden Days and all I do is wake up and cry,” she said. “She’ll never be able to be just a normal little girl. She’ll always have restrictions. There’s things she won’t be able to do.”


But both Waite and Lyon agree that Kaiden now has a special purpose: raising awareness for an unspeakable crime.

“Kaiden is going to make a different we think,” Waite said. “She’s going to bring an end to child abuse.”

“I mean, she’s amazing,” Lyon said. “She’s my hero.”

Kaiden’s family said they plan to make the walk a weekly tradition.

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