"(Mom) It’s amazing how life can change in one single moment. How in the blink of an eye our families went from watching our happy, healthy 7 year old boy explore life to fighting for his life."
Meet Aiden, big brother to Declan (4) and Lynkyn (1). He loves Pokemon, Skylanders and the colour orange. On Sept 16th Mom & Dad (Stephanie and Josh) took their son to CHEO in Ottawa to uncover the cause of his headaches and wobbliness. There they learned what no parent wants to hear, their son had a brain tumour, a "bad guy". Aiden was prepped for surgery the following day & underwent the first of several surgeries. The first one was to place a temporary shunt in his head to help relieve and monitor the pressure from the "bad guy". He was such a trooper during this time, never loosing himself during the process & as kids do at times, amaze those around them.
On Sept 21st, Aiden underwent his second brain surgery that took 22hr, this one was much more invasive then the first. His wonderful team of surgeons at CHEO went in with the goal to remove most of his “bad guy” & take a piece to send off for a biopsy.
"(Mom) After coming out of surgery Thursday morning & first seeing Aiden, that he had made it, that the surgery had gone pretty much as planned, that loss of life was now pretty much in the garbage I felt a relief and could actually smile even if for that moment. I had prepared myself that his eyes would be off balance but I though he would be able to look at me or smile or say something but he lays there. It feels like he is trapped behind a mirror or a shell. I try to read behind his eyes and feel his pain."
After this surgery he was unable to swallow, talk or move much at all. He experienced the same medical questions everyday; can you open your eyes, can you move your foot, can you smile, checking for swelling, checking of fluids, checking, checking, checking. He has a great team at Cheo doing physio and therapy everyday but has a long road to recovery, it could be 6 months-1year before he talks & walks again. He has started making sounds and able to follow with his eyes and be expressive through facial movement now
"(Mom) The best is hearing his laugh and yes we hear it often. Of all sounds that could come back that is the most cherished. Aiden is still Aiden in so many ways, & everyday Josh and I are learning with him."
On Sept 28 Aiden went in for a third brain surgery. He now has a permanent shunt put in that runs from his brain under his skin and drains into his belly if fluid pressure get too high.
"Last Friday, Josh and I heard the words no parent (or anyone) should ever hear. The pathologist report came back & Aiden has Medulloblastoma, a cancer. It’s not fast growing but there is growth on his spine & there is debris in his spinal fluid so it is considered high risk."
They are recommending treatment of 6 weeks radiation, 6 week break and a year of chemotherapy. This treatment has about 70% success rate. Because radiation is so hard on a child's body The parents are looking for other forms of treatment possibly at sick kids or St Jude's in Boston but they do not want to hold off in order to give Aiden the best chance. Aiden Is scheduled to start Radiation October 24th .
"(Mom) This has been a lot to process not only how to treat but telling our family, our other children, our friends & even Aiden. He is doing so well we are devastated to have to put him through that much more."
Mom & Dad are struggling as any family would with a child who is experiencing what Aiden is experiencing. They are struggling with decisions no parent should have to make. The reality has set in, with Aiden needing round the clock care & with Dad being a f/t student & Mom only a few days back from mat leave, it doesn't leave the family with many financial options. This is why Ashley (Steph’s cousin) & Tiffany (Aiden’s Aunt) are reaching out on their behalf to help relieve the financial burden so the family can be devoted to Aiden’s healing & making him strong as he fights the fight of his little life.