Health and Wellness

8-Year Old Jared Gaedt Battling Cerebral Palsy Celebrated as “Shining Knight” of The Game During Rutgers vs. Ohio State Football Game on Saturday, Nov. 16

Rutgers Athletics and Official Healthcare Provider, RWJBarnabas Health, celebrated 8-year old Jared Gaedt of Neptune, NJ as the “Shining Knight” of the game during the first quarter intermission of the Rutgers vs. Ohio State football game, Saturday, Nov. 16 at SHI Stadium.

The Shining Knight of the Game is a meaningful initiative designed to lift the spirits and shine the spotlight on a pediatric patient, teenager or young adult enduring various healthcare challenges. Jared was saluted for his bravery and strength to fight while raising awareness for Cerebral palsy.

Jared Gaedt Story
Born as a triplet at 28 weeks, Jared Gaedt spent the first 12 weeks of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit – and Jared’s been a fighter ever since.

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A brain scan at six weeks old showed white spots on Jared’s brain, indicating periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a neurological disorder caused by a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain. Six months later, Jared experienced an onset of seizures and spent three months in intensive care. However, Jared’s battle wasn’t over yet. Two years later, he was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy.

Since 2016, the Gaedt family has brought Jared to renowned specialists at West Park Pediatrics, part of the RWJBarnabas Health medical group and an affiliate of Monmouth Medical Center.

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Jared has an incredible support system including his loving parents, sisters, grandparents and a dedicated medical team. As Jared Gaedt has courageously faced PVL, seizures and Cerebral palsy, his contagious energy, happiness and zest for life have remained strong.

For his Shining Knight of the Game celebration, Jared (accompanied by his mom, dad and sisters) was met in the south end zone by the Scarlet Knight mascot for a special Knighting ceremony. Alongside the Scarlet Knight, Jared was saluted – and with his dad’s assistance – raised a sword in triumph to a rousing ovation from Scarlet Nation.

Each Shining Knight of the Game will be enshrined in a Rutgers Athletics facility, recognizing their courage, while highlighting their unique game-day experience.

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This initiative further supports RWJBarnabas Health’s commitment to the health and well-being of the communities served across New Jersey through treatment and preventative education, screenings, and much more.

Video footage :

Photo Credit: Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics

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