Back in September, a 5-year-old boy named Aidan was diagnosed with leukemia — acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He would need chemo, expensive chemo, which forced the boy’s family to consider selling their home or face financial ruin. His father Wylie started looking for a second job immediately.
Wylie also did something that would ultimately save their finances while, hopefully, prolonging Aidan’s life. He set up an Etsy shop and started selling Aidan’s Monsters — page after page of monsters drawn by Aidan.
A month and a half later, as Halloween approached, Aidan’s father posted on the family’s blog and at the Etsy shop that, thanks to purchases and donations, medical bills did not swallow up the family.
He also wrote that they’ll continue to sell Aidan’s Monsters — the boy loves drawing them — and promise to put all proceeds toward costs for future medical treatments.
Aidan and his family say that while the money saved them financially, the outpouring of support and kind words saved them emotionally.
Their situation is a stark reminder of how, in the U.S., families often aren’t allowed to simply focus on the emotions of a life-threatening illness, but also face tremendous expense for the treatment and lost wages when it comes to caring for a sick child. Already there’s talk of repealing the admittedly imperfect health care bill — though this tells us why only tweaking and tinkering are actually possible. Not every family is as creative and savvy as Aidan’s. And really? That shouldn’t be a requirement for good health.
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