Five-year-old Boy Uses Artistic Ability to Pay for Cancer Treatment

May 3, 2011
Sean Johnson

A young boy diagnosed with cancer found a creative way to help his family overcome their financial obstacles.

Sometimes stories write themselves, and this is certainly one of those instances. Five-year-old Aidan Reed of Kansas City was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September of last year. The diagnosis left his family devastated, but there was some good news: this particular type of cancer is very treatable and has a success rate of 90%. That piece of good news was certainly comforting, but did not help in terms of the financial implications of the disease. The hospital bills for chemotherapy, treatment of infections, and a myriad of other procedures began to add up fast. So fast that Aiden’s parents, Katie and Wiley Reed, were forced to put their house on the market in order to pay for their son’s treatment.

While undergoing treatment, Aidan would often take to drawing monsters, jesters, scary clowns, and aliens. Little did he know that his activity would become a money-generating blessing.

His aunt, Mandi Ostein, was the one who came up with the idea to sell some of Aidan’s unique drawings. Using her self-proclaimed lucky number of 60, she printed out 60 prints of his drawings and all of a sudden that 60 turned into nearly 3,000. In fact, the family was able to raise more than $30,000, and Aidan’s parents were able to take their house off the market.

When it comes to the fight against cancer, we all too often hear about the tragic stories of those who lost their fight; it’s refreshing to see a triumphant story of a brave little boy who used his own creative talents to help himself and his family overcome the adversities associated with this disease.

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