Through the course of my Wednesday morning blog reading at breakfast, I came across a link to a site named Aidan's Monsters.The brief description said that Aidan has leukemia and is drawing pictures to help raise money for medical bills.
Well, of course me being the giant, weepy ball of sap that I am I clicked right over to that site intending to buy up all of the artwork I could find. Nevermind the fact I have a 4-year-old budding artist at home! Buying some art to help a family is the least I can do – and I love how kids view the world through their giant hearts and imaginations.
Thanks to the generosity of so many people, Aidan and his family have sold more than 400 drawings! That's so amazing! It's still heartbreaking to me that in this day and age people have to resort to selling drawings in order to get enough money to pay for medical bills – but I digress.
I went over to the blog his Aunt Mandi started, L is for Leukemia, to see if I could find out more about what kind of leukemia that Aidan had, how he was doing, and maybe get a better understanding of Leukemia. Turns out Aidan has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). According to marrow.org, there are about 4,000 new cases of ALL in the US each year, and is most commonly found in children younger than 10. Fortunately, the survival rates for ALL are very good for children – more than 85% who are diganosed survive – and roughly 50% in adults.
Leukemia is divided into 4 groups. The first two subdivisions are acute and chronic. The chronic type is distinguished by an excessive build up of of mature, but abnormal, white blood cells that takes months or years to progress. Acute, the kind Aidan has, is the rapid increase of immature blood cells which crowds the bone marrow and makes it unable to produce healthy blood cells. Acute leukemia progresses rapidly and requires immediate treatment.
Leukemia is then divided by which kind of blood cell it affects. It will either be a lymphocytic leukemia or myelogenous leukemia. Lymphocytic leukemia is a cancerous change that takes place in the marrow cell that goes on to form infection-fighting immune system cells while myelogenous leukemia is a cancerous change that that takes place in the marrow cell that goes on to form red blood cells, other types of white blood cells and platelets.
Right now Aidan is in remission, but still requires two years of chemotherapy and treatment in order to be "out of the woods" for good. Which means two more years of outstanding medical bills. Take a look at that picture back at the top of the page and see if you can withstand the cuteness. Then once you've had your fill of that sweet face, head on over to etsy and pick yourself up one of Aidan's monsters.