Aiden's Avengers

$12,959raised of $15,000 goal
86%

Organizer: Jackie Gatz Beneficiary: Aiden Taylor

Eight-year old Aiden Taylor was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma on January 23, 2014. This site chronicles his family's journey as they seek treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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Fundraiser Details

Aiden Taylor is a vibrant second grader who enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing outside, and he loves his dogs, Bennie and Elmer AND his hamster, Aiden Jr.

Aiden had been having headaches for a few months. After several doctor's appointments and perseverance on behalf of his parents, a 2 x 1 1/2 inch tumor was found resting on his brainstem on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.  The following day, an MRI showed that he also had other masses on his brain and three tumors on his spine.

Aiden underwent surgery on Thursday the 23rd, to remove the tumor on his brain, however the remaining brain masses will have to be  treated with chemotherapy and radiation. A second surgery took place on Thursday, January 28th where surgeons attempted to remove the masses on his spine that had been causing signficant leg and back pain.  Unfortunately, they were unable to remove the masses on spine because they were wrapped around his spinal cord and very dense in nature.   The decision was made that removing the masses could endanger his ability to walk and control his bowels. Therefore, the remaining massess will be treated with chemotherapy and radiation.   Shortly after his second surgery, pathology from his first surgery diagnosed Aiden with Medulloblastoma.

Josh and Lisa are currently working on finding the best treatment plan and facility for Aiden. Please continue to pray that Aiden will receive the best treatment plan available. 

Given Aiden's diagnosis, we have increased our fundraising goal to reflect the ongoing medical and living expenses that the Taylor's will incur as they seek treatment.  Thank you to all those that that have given what you are able - any amount is a blessing to Josh and Lisa as they are able to stay by Aiden's bedside.

A note from mom and dad:  Thank you so much for caring about him. He is such a strong boy and has really has a positive outlook.  We have had a great support system through family and friends! Our family appreciates everyone sending great thoughts and prayers Aiden's way!





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Updates

Updates

02/11/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Tuesday - February 11th 

Lots to report with this update. Our apologies for the delay in sharing but the family has been busy finalizing their plans and we wanted to wait until we could provide the most accurate information.

The Taylors heard from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital last Thursday that they had accepted Aiden as their patient! Josh and Lisa are so excited for this - they can't think of a better place for Aiden to be.  

It was busy weekend for Aiden and his family as they prepared to leave this week. Aiden finally had his feeding tube removed Friday morning and is eating so well! He received many visitors who wanted to see his cute little face before leaving for Memphis. 

Today, Tuesday, the St. Jude's transport team came by ambulance to bring Aiden and mom (Lisa) from Columbia, MO to Memphis, TN.  They should arrive late Tuesday evening.  Please pray for a safe journey for them and their transport team.  All in all, it was a bittersweet day for the Taylors and their support system. 

From Mom (Lisa), "Poor Aiden had a hard night last night. His cousins left and he was really sad, he cried a lot. I think between them leaving and him going to Memphis he just has a lot going on and he had a hard time sleeping.  I'm so excited to be leaving but scared at the same time. I'm ready for the care he will receive, just not ready to uproot. Josh and Braxten will join us Thursday night and that will be nice to be back together again. I want to thank everyone again for all your support! Please keep it up, we still have a battle! I'm so happy that we have such great family and friends! I have never in my life felt that so many people were on our side and pulling for our Aiden! Thank you!"

With Aiden beginning treatment at St. Jude's immediately, the Taylor family has temporarily relocated to Memphis to be with him.  While his medical expenses going forward will be provided at no direct cost to the Taylors, we will continue to fundraise here in Columbia, MO in hopes of covering their ongoing household expenses while they are away.  Please join us in helping our friends. 
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02/07/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Friday, February 7th - (Update from yesterday, Thursday, February 6th)

Aiden loves his Eason time!!! He has been nothing but smiles and giggles! I love seeing his eyes brighten when he sees them! He has been eating everything and tons of it. I see a lot of change in him daily and I'm so glad. He is responding to speech and physical therapy a lot! I'm so proud of my little man for trying and wanting to feel better! It was nice to work today, I'm going again tomorrow. It definitely makes it easier when I know he loves all the kids and his aunt here with him. He got a little sad when they went downstairs today to grab some food. - Lisa
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02/06/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Thursday, January 6 -

An update from Aunt Jill from Wednesday evening, February 5th. Such good news all around.

Tonight, Lisa took the night off and went home to get some much needed rest in her own bed. So, I thought I would update everyone on Aiden today.

He had another very busy day. He had his speech therapy this morning followed by a ride around the hospital in his wheelchair. He loves getting out of his room and checking out the scenery.

He also updated his courage beads and painted with syringes (pics are posted on facebook). That was fun! He really liked it....

He has really enjoyed getting to eat again. He has been pigging out all day. He loves his ice cream and popsicles and Dr. Pepper. Everyone here has been so impressed with his progress with the food and drinking. We are really hoping the feeding tube will be gone tomorrow.

He has laughed so much today. It's so nice to see his smile and the Aiden spark coming back in his eyes.

He's been peacefully sleeping for about an hour now. I hope Lisa and Josh are doing the same. Let's hope tomorrow can be as fun and hopefully his cousins and Braxten can get up here to hang out with him. - Aunt Jill

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02/05/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Wednesday, February 5th

Yesterday was a big day for Aiden, he passed his swallow test! He is on a soft diet and will have his feeding tube removed tomorrow!! He also got to get in the wheelchair and be wheeled around by Aunt Jill. She took him all around the hospital, even down to the gift shop and looked around. I went in to work for a little since Jill was here to entertain Aiden. The nice thing about going in was the snow caused us to close early. We have officially moved rooms, text or message me (Lisa) and I'll get you the number. The last two nights Aiden has been up all night, looks like he will be following that pattern again tonight. Hopefully he will decide to sleep soon.

Thanks for all the wonderufl support! So glad to have good news to report to all of you!
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02/04/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Tuesday, February 4th - All and all Aiden has had a few good days! He is still struggling with his leg pain, but seems to be getting stronger every day! Welcome to Lisa's sister, Jill Eason and her kids who arrived yesterday from Chicago for a weeks to lend a hand. See some updates below from Mom, Lisa.
 
Monday, February 3rd - All and all Aiden had a good day. He has his struggles after his bone marrow aspirate, but that all changed when his Easons arrived! I am planning on heading to work tomorrow, aunt Jill is going to hang out with Aiden. The snow scares me though I don't want to be stranded not at the hospital and then Jill would be without the other kiddos. Tomorrow the physical therapists want to try Aiden in the wheelchair, that should be a nice change of scenery. He was so cute tonight, he laughed and smiled at his cousins. Played around with his dad for a little bit too (as much as he can with his arms). - Lisa

Sunday, February 2nd - Aiden had a pretty good day. Lots of visitors! He had a friend Saige from school come read to him. His teacher Karen came back to visit. The Johnson family came by, Tania looked through his scrapbook with him. Emma came and brought him a card that she and Maria made for him. Monica and Jackie were here and got to watch some home videos with us. Camden came and caught him up on everything he is missing out on at school. We had a new Shepard family that we have never met come and brought tons of goodies! Grandma Cindi, Uncle Patrick and Macey watched part if the awful Super Bowl with us. When Josh and Braxten left we switched to the Puppybowl. He has started have lots of leg pain so hopefully his meds kick in and he will get some sleep! Thank you everyone again for the love, food and support! We really appreciate it! - Lisa
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02/01/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Saturday, February 1st - Yesterday, Friday, was a so/so day. Unfortunately Aiden's feeding tube started coming out on his own. They pulled it out and put in a new one, well that one kept clogging. They decided to go without any feeding tube for the night. I'm sure Aiden doesn't mind since he has pulled it out 3 times! The oncologist stopped by to discuss that they are wanting to test Aiden's bone marrow. Since his tumor was so aggressive and there was/is so much they are worried it is in his blood. They will be doing his test on Monday and should have the results in a few days following. Poor kiddo, let's hope he keeps fighting hard!

The good news is Aiden has been cleared to move to the pediatric floor, they are just out of room. It will be sad to leave all these nice nurses, but I'm sure we will meet new ones! No more PICU!!!!
Braxten is staying the night here again, I just love having him with us! Not the way I would like to spend our family night but I will take it!

Aiden received beads for his beads of courage and had filled it up quite a bit, too bad he has more to come. It's a really neat program! He also received a basket from Pascals Pals, which is another great organization that we are so happy to know about. He has received so many balloons, gifts, baskets, cards and snacks. I thank everyone so much for loving my son so much! I can't wait until he will be able to communicate how much he loves it!  - Lisa



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02/01/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Saturday, February 1st - Yesterday, Friday, was a so/so day. Unfortunately Aiden's feeding tube started coming out on his own. They pulled it out and put in a new one, well that one kept clogging. They decided to go without any feeding tube for the night. I'm sure Aiden doesn't mind since he has pulled it out 3 times! The oncologist stopped by to discuss that they are wanting to test Aiden's bone marrow. Since his tumor was so aggressive and there was/is so much they are worried it is in his blood. They will be doing his test on Monday and should have the results in a few days following. Poor kiddo, let's hope he keeps fighting hard!

The good news is Aiden has been cleared to move to the pediatric floor, they are just out of room. It will be sad to leave all these nice nurses, but I'm sure we will meet new ones! No more PICU!!!!
Braxten is staying the night here again, I just love having him with us! Not the way I would like to spend our family night but I will take it!

Aiden received beads for his beads of courage and had filled it up quite a bit, too bad he has more to come. It's a really neat program! He also received a basket from Pascals Pals, which is another great organization that we are so happy to know about. He has received so many balloons, gifts, baskets, cards and snacks. I thank everyone so much for loving my son so much! I can't wait until he will be able to communicate how much he loves it!  - Lisa



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01/31/2014
by Jackie Gatz

Fiday, January 31st - Aiden had a really good day yesterday! He has started to let us know when he wants something, he grunst/screams at us. He is very patient on us while we try to figure out what he needs.  He sat up with the physical therapists for 15 min or more and they removed his catheter today and he had a good pee in the portable urinal, this is huge! The doctors were worried that something could have happened to the nerves that control his bladder and bowel movements. That is one of the reasons they stopped the removal of the tumors in his spine, too much at risk. I was probably happier than when he potty trained. Apparently Mr Aiden has a horseshoe kidney which makes it a little harder to keep him on some of his meds. This is something new to us but here is some info I found on it. Horseshoe kidney, also known as ren arcuatus (in Latin), renal fusion or super kidney, is a congenital disorder affecting about 1 in 500 people.[1] In this disorder, the patient's kidneys fuse together to form a horseshoe-shape during development in the womb. The fused part is the isthmus of the horseshoe kidney. Fusion abnormalities of the kidney can be categorized into two groups: horseshoe kidney and crossed fused ectopia. The 'horseshoe kidney' is the most common renal fusion anomaly.

Monica went to hot yoga with me to help stretch the hospital sore muscles and when I was on the phone I told josh I was on my way home. Way to much time in the ICU! We are still waiting to see when he will get to move rooms and/or go home. Thanks to everyone for your continued support! We are overwhelmed by the number of people following Aiden's story.  - Lisa

I've posted a few pictures of our sweet boy!



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01/30/2014
by Jackie Gatz
As we shared earlier this week - a second surgery took place on Thursday, January 28th where surgeons attempted to remove the masses on his spine that had been causing signficant leg and back pain.  Unfortunately, they were unable to remove the masses on spine because they were wrapped around his spinal cord and very dense in nature.   The decision was made that removing the masses could endanger his ability to walk and control his bowels. Therefore, the remaining massess will be treated with chemotherapy and radiation.   Shortly after his second surgery, pathology from his first surgery diagnosed Aiden with Medulloblastoma. Josh and Lisa are currently working on finding the best treatment plan and facility for Aiden. Please continue to pray that Aiden will receive the best treatment plan available. 

Given Aiden's diagnosis, we have increased our fundraising goal to reflect the ongoing medical and living expenses that the Taylor's will incur as they seek treatment.  Thank you to all those that that have given what you are able - any amount is a blessing to Josh and Lisa as they are able to stay by Aiden's bedside.

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01/28/2014
by Jackie Gatz
It's been a difficult day for Aiden, his family and his all those that love them.  Thank you to so many of you have supported the Taylor's as they seek care for their son. 

Lisa's updates are below.

Tuesday, January 28th (2:15 p.m.)  We just heard how surgery went. While they were able to get his port in, unfortunately his tumors in his spine were wrapped around too many nerves and it would have caused more damage to remove them. They did 'de-bulk' some of the tumors but chemo will have to finish off the tumors. We are still waiting to hear back from pathology for results of what kind of tumor he had. We are waiting on him to get of recovery now. Thanks again for all prayers and good thoughts, please keep them coming. - Lisa

Tuesday, January 28th (5:30 p.m.) - We've heard back about the biopsy.

The biopsy shows that Aiden has Medulloblastoma.  We are currently working to figure out what the treatment plan will be and are also looking for a second opinion on treatment. We know it will be at least two weeks before they can start, the wounds from surgery need to heal.

I copied and pasted the diagnosis below: 

Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant primary brain tumor that originates in the cerebellum or posterior fossa. Tumors that originate in the cerebellum are referred to as infratentorial because they occur below the tentorium, a thick membrane that separates the cerebral hemispheres of the brain from the cerebellum. Another term for medulloblastoma is infratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). Medulloblastoma is the most common PNET originating in the brain.[1] All PNET tumors of the brain are invasive and rapidly growing tumors that, unlike most brain tumors, spread through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and frequently metastasize to different locations in the brain and spine.
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01/27/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Monday, January 27th (p.m.) - Poor boy, he has been in pain a lot today. He has been using the heavy duty pain meds. The good news is that tomorrow's surgery will help the leg pains. Thanks to Victoria and Monica, Aiden will be getting a shout out on 96.7 at 6:10 and 8:40 tomorrow. We were visited by The Missourian today too. They are wanting to do a story on my strong boy! Patrick (Aiden's uncle) received a call from AFV wanting some audio on the video he sent in for him, hopefully he will make it on! I read some of the cards his classmates made to him, he seemed pleased by them. There are so many I figured we could space it out, lots of love! Time to relax for his big day tomorrow.  - Lisa

Thanks so much for the support. It means so much to all of us. We are hopeful for another day of progress tomorrow.
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01/27/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Monday, January 27th (a.m.) - Aiden had another good night last night! Such a strong boy! Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:00 am to remove the tumors on his spine. They will also put in his port since he will be out. The port will allow him to get chemo easily and help him get to come in and go home for treatments. They will remove his drain too! It looks as though his brain is draining well and he will not have to have a shunt! He will have another round of physical therapy today, let's hope for more hugs and great movement! I want to thank everyone again, it is so nice to have so much support it really helps with this process! Even just the kind words are touching and motivating! I have been reading his messages to him and showing him all the pics that have been posted. - Lisa
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01/26/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Two more updates for you. Today was a good day all around! Thanks for your support.

Saturday, January 25th (p.m.) - Aiden smiled at me today! He is still having a hard time waking up, but seeing him smile was awesome! The Dr said it could be two weeks before he is more like his old self. I will learn to wait patiently! - Lisa

Sunday, January 26th - Aiden had a great night sleep last night! He has been healing with Tylenol and staying away from the harder pain meds. He has been awake more today and really responding to people when they talk to him. Today during physical therapy he pushed himself up to sit at the edge of his bed. He said hi, yeah, waved to his dad and pointed to his uncle Patrick when asked where Patrick was. I came in while they were working with him and was saying hi, the physical therapist asked if he wanted to hug me and he flung his arms around me and squeezed tight! It was the best hug ever! His best friend Joshua came by and he high fived him and pointed to Joshua's sister Karla, such a big day! He is getting stronger day by day. Tomorrow should be another good one. - Lisa
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01/25/2014
by Jackie Gatz
Josh, Lisa and Braxten send their heartfelt appreciation to each of you for your support at this difficult time. As all of us work toward our goal to support their medical costs, I am encouraged by the outpouring of support that Aiden has received in just less than 24 hours.

I'll continue to post updates from the Taylor's as I receive them. Here are two updates from the last 24 hours.

Friday, January 24 - It's been a tough day for Aiden. He is still very sleepy from the anesthesia. He made eye contact with me and I could tell he knew it! The physical therapists came in and had him moving and asked for him to move his arms and legs a certain way and he really tried and worked hard. I'm hoping he wakes up soon and without too much confusion. He tried to say something but just can't get it out. - Lisa

Saturday, January 25th (a.m.) - Aiden had a rough night last night. He is getting very uncomfortable and wants to pull out his tubes. He did mange to pull out his feeding tube, that was the only one he could have done without hurting himself more so that's good. He is dehydrated so they have uped his fluids. He is off his oxygen! He is sleeping very sound right now. I think we might limit the amount of visitors at a time as they said he seems to get agitated when a lot is going on. We don't want to over stimulate as he recovers from surgery. Let's hope for a good day and some more awake time! - Lisa



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