A five year old boy has found a unique and heart-warming way to fund his expensive hospital treatment…by selling his drawings.
Aiden Reed, from Kansas, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on September 13th last year. The family were devastated by the news, until doctors discovered that the specific type of cancer Aiden suffers from has a 90% cure rate. Treatment doesn’t come cheap, though, with Aiden undergoing weeks of chemotherapy, spinal taps and infections, while his parents put their house on the market to cover the fees.
Until his aunt came up with a plan, that is. Mandi Ostein noticed how much Aiden loved drawing monsters, such as Wolf-man, Gill-man and vampires, and suggested the family sell the boy’s artwork. His aunt planned to sell 60 of the images, for $12 each, to help ease the financial burden. Aiden’s pictures proved to be a huge hit, however, selling more then 2,500 images in just a few weeks, and raising $30,000 for the family. They’ve now taken their house back off the market, and have enough to fund Aiden’s treatment for the foreseeable future.
Aiden’s diagnosis came as quite a shock to the Reed family. When mum Katie, 27, was 9 months pregnant with her second child, she noticed there was something different about Aiden. His usual energetic spark had disappeared, and he was covered in fierce bruises which didn’t seem to heal. When antibiotics didn’t help, Katie took her son back to the doctors, and the nightmare began. Aiden’s blood cells came back irregular, and he underwent a bone marrow test. Then the doctors revealed the diagnosis: leukemia.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common type of leukemia. It is cancer of the white blood cells, which the body uses to fight infection. While it has an amazing 90% cure rate, treatment is a grueling process, involving regular chemotherapy, antibiotics and Hickman lines, inserted into the chest. Children with the condition often feel fatigued, and catch infections very easily. Other symptoms include joint pain, paleness and anemia.
Not only has Aiden funded his own recovery, he’s also raised awareness of a condition which affects one in every 29,000 children in the US each year. Aiden’s own recovery is going well, he’s now taking chemotherapy in tablet form, and his hair has started to grow back. He’s also looking forward to re-starting kindergarten this year.