Tags: In This Issue, Pediatric Health
In early 2012, Aiden Spoor was like any other 6-year-old boy. He loved sports, his family and had lots of friends. He always had a smile and was a great role model for his younger brother, Grady. Aiden was a healthy kid with a good life.
On Easter Day that year, Aiden's parents noticed a change in him. He was sluggish, didn't seem like himself and had a near-constant fever that he just couldn't shake. When his condition didn't improve after two weeks, Aiden's parents took him to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent. After a series of tests, Aiden's family received devastating news: Aiden had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known as ALL.
ALL is the most common type of childhood leukemia, accounting for about 75-80 percent of all pediatric cases. Treatment, which involves extensive bouts of chemotherapy, is a long-term process that can last two years or more. The good news is that most children with ALL can be cured.
A tough battle
Even though ALL is treatable, the process is long and arduous, especially for young children like Aiden. Chemotherapy has a way of wearing kids down, making routine activities extremely difficult.
However, Aiden refuses to let treatment get the best of him. "Aiden never lost his positive attitude during the beginning rounds of chemotherapy," said Jen, his mother. "He would insist on going to school and being as normal as he could."
He's also very active outside of school, enjoying activities like playing baseball, riding his bike, jumping on the trampoline and hunting with his dad and grandpa.
One would expect a boy Aiden's age to need cheering up during hospital visits for treatment and infusions. Yet Aiden was usually the one doing the cheering, entertaining the nurses with his dance moves and shooting them with silly string.
"He never let cancer get in his way," Jen said.
Paying it Forward
While Aiden is still undergoing chemotherapy—he has more than two years of treatment remaining—his spirit is as strong as ever. Never one to worry about just himself, Aiden has become an advocate for other children battling childhood cancers. "Aiden is always willing to raise awareness and help others in more difficult situations," Jen said.
Aiden is a True Hero Ambassador for Team Peyton, a program that encourages students to support pediatric patients through fundraising efforts. Aiden was also the inspiration for his family to host a "Kid's Prom for Cancer" this past February. The event raised more than $3,000 and provided a memorable evening for other families dealing with cancer.
It would have been easy for Aiden to simply keep to himself during this difficult time. But that's just not his style, and his mother is thankful for that. "We have been able to handle this difficult journey because of his attitude," she said.
Today, Aiden is currently in remission. And though he has a long road ahead, everyone who knows Aiden believes that he has a very, very bright future.
To follow Aiden's journey online, visit www.facebook.com/PrayforAiden. To join Aiden and the rest of Team Peyton, visit www.TeamPeyton.com