When you meet 6-year-old Aiden, it’s impossible to ignore his spunky spirit. He might tell you a joke, and he’d certainly grin and give you a thumbs-up sign. He’d probably be wearing his fluorescent aviator sunglasses.
You’d never guess that Aiden’s battling a brain tumor. He’s been through a lot over the past year. What started as regular headaches progressed rapidly, and Aiden’s dad, David, knew that something wasn’t right.
Last fall, David received the news that no parent ever wants to hear: “Your child has a brain tumor.”
Aiden immediately underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and he endured many rounds of radiation. Just after surgery, Aiden learned he would receive a wish from Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.
At the time, Aiden had lost all of his energy, but not his spirit. He watched fishing shows with his little brother to take his mind off of his pain, and he knew immediately what he wanted to wish for: to go fishing in Alaska with his dad and grandfather.
According to wish dad David, “When Aiden told his grandfather about the wish, he almost cried!”
Flash forward to the summer. Aiden found himself on a three-generation wish trip to Alaska to go salmon fishing at the remote Redoubt Mountain Lodge. The trio spent three days in boats, wading streams, catching fish, and flying high over beautiful Alaskan mountains in small planes.
All of this was made possible because of the generosity of the community—and Subaru for adopting Aiden’s wish.
Instead of focusing on treatment, Aiden enjoyed a week with his dad and grandpa. “I got spoiled,” he said, “and my favorite part was catching all the salmon.” He reported a grand haul of 19 salmon and 1 trout!
Aiden’s other favorite part was visiting the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. There, he saw grizzlies, moose, a baby wolf, and even fed peanuts to a porcupine named Snickers.
For Aiden’s dad David, seeing his boy so carefree and joyful was the best part. “Aiden kept saying he wanted to get trapped at the lodge and stay in Alaska!”
So far, Aiden has not experienced tumor growth, and he cherishes the wild memories from his trip to Alaska as he prepares to begin first grade this fall.
Find out how you can Adopt-A-Wish® like Aiden’s today and give the gift of hope, strength and joy to children battling life-threatening medical conditions.
Special Thanks: Alaska Airlines, Redoubt Mountain Lodge, Trail Ridge Air, Crowne Plaza Anchorage-Midtown, Lakefront Anchorage Hotel, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.