In 2009 ETL began a relationship with a new charity, a mourning family and a little boy that had lost his life. Here is an abbreviated version of Aidan’s story:
Aidan Benoit was a happy, loving 2-1/2 year old boy who loved to play and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his new baby brother or sister when he suddenly became ill. After many visits to doctors over about three weeks, he was sent to SickKids and was diagnosed with a very rare and deadly form of children’s cancer, Neuroblastoma.
Treatment began very quickly after diagnosis and it was very aggressive. Aidan underwent very intense chemotherapy treatment, had a g-tube to aid with his nutrition, countless CT scans, MIGB scans, blood transfusions, needles, ultrasounds, x-rays, bone scans an 8 hour surgery to remove his tumour, a bone marrow transplant and radiation therapy. He spent the majority of 9 months in SickKids hospital with few short visits home.
He loved being home. It gave him time to spend with his baby brother Nathan, who was born 1 month after Aidan was diagnosed. He loved the movie Cars and collected all things cars related. He loved Sponge Bob and Doodlebops and wanted to sing and dance and entertain us with his toy instruments. He loved Keith Urban and wanted to be a singer just like him. He also wanted to be a hockey player just like his daddy and to one-day play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a normal little boy who had to fight a terrible disease and did so with such strength and courage.
After his bone marrow transplant all signs were pointing to a complete and full recovery. We were all so happy to see him gaining his strength and feeling good again. The doctors were so pleased with his success and began to take steps to wean him off of treatment. His central line was removed and there was a plan to remove his g-tube when a routine, follow-up CT scan brought everything to a crashing halt. New tumours had appeared. We were told that through chemotherapy his life could be prolonged for a few years but there was no cure. He would have to have chemo every three weeks for the rest of his life. Aidan was once again hospitalized and after two more rounds of chemo the tumours proved to be too aggressive and there was nothing that could be done.
Aidan was given the opportunity to go to a Toronto Maple Leaf practice and then meet the players in the dressing room thanks to a good family friend, Jamal Mayers, now of the Calgary Flames. This was an incredible experience for him and he lost his courageous battle only 5 days later.
At ETL we are doing what we can to help children like Aidan fight to live and have hope for the future. Tomorrow we will be at the Caledon Golf and Country Club, participating in the fundraising event. You can find the ETL Team hosting the Putting Contest!
All of the proceeds from Aidan’s Quest Fund will go to help the research efforts in the James Birrell Lab at the Hospital for Sick Children to finally put an end to this disease. If you are interested in reading more on Aidan’s story, learning more about Neuroblastoma, or donating towards a worthy cause, please visit www.aidansfund.com/