From the day he was born, Aiden could have been described as a typical, healthy boy, but all of that changed May 2, 2016. That morning wasn’t too far from ordinary, although we did have an appointment with Aiden’s pediatrician about some suspicious bruises. Within the span of about 12 hours, we were told that our son most likely had leukemia, and we were flown directly to Cook Children’s Medical Center. Over the coming days, we found out that not only does Aiden have leukemia, but he has a rare mutation called Philadelphia positive ALL. That diagnosis means Aiden’s leukemia is more aggressive and harder to treat than most types of leukemia. That also meant our plan for Aiden to have treatment at home in San Angelo was no longer a possibility.
The news that your child is battling a life-threatening illness is impossible to understand in those early days. When you add the fact that Aiden’s dad, Chris, and two-year-old sister, Ella, are in San Angelo and the rest of our family is in Ohio, you can feel all alone. But that feeling faded when we learned about the Ronald McDonald House. We easily found a place to sleep and get a meal, but it is so much more. It’s a place where staff members keep swords in their offices in case Aiden is on the attack. They learn ‘spinjitsu’ and enter his world of ninjas. Aiden has found a place where he is missed when he’s in the hospital; staff members ask daily how he’s holding up. Our daughter also found a place where she can come to play when she and her dad visit on the weekends. I am reminded every day that without this place, I have no idea what we would do, where our family would stay, and how we would eat.
It is never easy to be away from home, especially when your child is ill. More than 900 families stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth each year. They are nervous and frightened; their days and nights can seem very sad. But because of someone like YOU, a whole lot can be great this holiday season. Your support helps families just like Aiden’s by keeping them close during times of medical crisis.
Each donation of $20 or more lights up the lives of our families with love! Your gift may be in memory of or in honor of someone special, perhaps a family member, a teacher, a friend, a boss or co-worker. We will send a card to each person you would like to commemorate with your gift.
For a gift of $50 or more, you can also choose to receive a Dillard’s Southern Living Cookbook. Indicate on the online giving form if you would like a cookbook; we will mail it to you.