Last year, I got a message from Lauren, one of our Members on The Main Street Mouse. It was getting close to the Christmas Season, and I had asked if anyone knew of a child or family who could use a little extra cheer for the Holidays. Lauren told me about a precious little boy named Aydan and his family. Aydan was a brave boy, who was facing Cancer for the third time. She directed me to his website and facebook pages, appropriately titled “Aydan’s Army.” I started to read about his story, and something about him touched my heart. I too have a son his age, also named Aidan (spelled differently), and I really got interested in him, his family, and how they were doing. The more I read about Aydan, the more I wanted to read. I was amazed at the courage, strength and bravery this boy displayed.
I started to follow the updates that his Mother was posting for his “Army” on a daily basis. I shared his story with my own boys, and we decided to send him and his sister something for Christmas. We had a rough year, so it wasn’t as much as I wanted to do, but I felt like I wanted to do a little something to make them smile at Christmastime. We sent the package off to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital, where Aydan was being treated. My boys were excited, and they began to ask about him as well. I began to share Aydan’s story on TMSM’s facebook page, he became our “Little Mouseketeer.”
Everyday when I logged on to my computer, I was always sure to check the Aydan’s Army page, to see how he was doing. He had his ups and downs, I could literally feel the heartache coming through in his Mother’s words. I don’t want to get into too many of the personal details, out of respect for his family, but what I do want to get across is how strong this little boy is. Regardless of what was happening, or what he was going through, he was optimistic. He seemed to be reassuring the adults in his life that things were ok, and that he was a fighter. Can you imagine? An 8 year old child displaying more strength than a adult. Amazing, to say the least. I couldn’t help but read, everyday. I was saying prayers for this family, and encouraging others to do so too. I had never met these people in person, yet I felt like I knew them because of how they shared Aydan’s journey with everyone. I was feeling optimistic for them, because of how tough and determined Aydan was. I couldn’t believe it. What a real life Superhero!
One day I logged on, and I read that Aydan was leaving St. Jude’s and returning to his home. There wasn’t anything more the doctors could do for him. My heart broke. How could this be? How could someone with such determination and strength have this happen to them? Hadn’t this family been through enough? It didn’t seem fair. I continued to check in everyday. I continued to pray for a miracle. I thought that maybe Aydan would be blessed with that miracle. Due to his eternal optimism, I believed that. He had good days, days that his Mom posted about and shared pictures with everyone. His “Army” of so many wonderful people, always had hope. Always. I thought, this boy doesn’t just have support, he has an ARMY! He is a little miracle here on earth!
I had taken a break for the day from my computer job. I spent the day with my sons, and hadn’t been online since the night before. As usual, when I did log in, I went to Aydan’s Army’s page to see how things were. On April 20th, that sweet, lovely, amazing little man got his “wings.” My heart sunk when I read his Mother’s words. I immediately started to cry, I cried like he was part of my own family. I couldn’t imagine the heartache and pain his Parent’s and his baby sister must have been feeling. This wasn’t right, it didn’t seem fair. How could this happen? Till the second I read what had happened, I honestly believed somehow he would be ok. That’s how powerful Aydan was. He made you BELIEVE. People always say how Disney is “magic.” I have to disagree in this case, for those across the country who followed him and were praying for him, it was Aydan who was indeed “magic.”
Everyone was praying for a miracle for this family. Everyone. But what we didn’t see, was that we already had that miracle, and his name was Aydan. Do you know of anyone who can change how you look at life? Someone who has more strength is his 8 years than most people have in their entire life? Someone who can bring strangers from across the nation together in support, friendship, and unity? I knew of no one like this until last year. Aydan was that someone. As absolutely horrific and tragic this journey has been for this family, they have managed to shine in the face of adversity. I have never seen such grace and dignity. Aydan got some of that “magic” from his Mother, Father, and Sister… and I’m sure his extended family as well.
To so many, the journey of Aydan has touched their hearts, mine included, and will continue to do so. Aydan taught others to be strong, have hope, be optimistic, and to value the people we have in our own lives. There is so much in life that we complain about, that I personally complain about. Things that maybe don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. When I think of Aydan, and his inspiring family, they remind me to be grateful. I may not have the best things in life, the biggest house, a large bank account, or any of those things, but what I DO have are people who I love. People who love me back. Family. Those are the most important things in life, and Aydan and his family are a shining example of that. I can honestly say, for me, I won’t ever forget the lessons I have learned from that little boy, who I never got the privilege of meeting. I can say for a fact, there is a whole ARMY of people who feel the same. Aydan and his family are an inspiration, and they always will be. Thanks to my friend Lauren, again, for introducing me to such a beautiful little “miracle” and to the Army who love him. Continued love, prayers, thoughts, and Pixie Dust to all. Thank you, to TMSM Members, who kept this boy and his family in your prayers, God Bless. M.