Aidan's Story: Having Fun, Beating Cancer
Childhood cancer is relatively rare,Â effecting approximately two out of 10,000 children each year. But for those families who are touched by this disease, the impact is devastating.
After Teresa Loney noticed her five-year-old son Aidan was "walking funny," she took him to her family doctor.
When x-rays revealed a mass on his leg they were quickly referred to Children's Mercy for an MRI and a biopsy. Test results yielded news parents never hope to hear: Aidan had osteosarcoma, also known as bone cancer.
"My gut feeling was that it wasn't cancer," Teresa said. "So when the diagnosis came, it was hard to comprehend."
"Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents," said Michelle Manalang, MD, Pediatric Oncologist at Children's Mercy. "While it usually affects children during their adolescent growth spurt, it is very uncommon to be seen in a patient as young as Aidan."
Aidan was immediately admitted to Children's Mercy to begin chemotherapy. A few months later, he had a full knee replacement to avoid amputating his leg. The next five months he continued his treatment at the Oncology Clinic at Children's Mercy.
After 19 rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, Aidan was declared cancer free. He celebrates his fourth year in remission July 1.
Apart from weekly physical therapy sessions and future surgeries to lengthen his leg, Aidan is a typical 9 year-old boy: an avid sports fan and video game player. For Aidan, good memories of his year of treatment prevail over bad.
"It was fun," Aidan laughs. "I liked the people who brought us books and when animals got to come inside and play with us. I wish I could go back to Children's Mercy again."
Teresa said she hopes Aidan's story will help people understand the importance of pediatric cancer research. With an estimated five-year survival rate of only 65 percent, the survival rate for osteosarcoma is well below most pediatric cancers.
"There was a day my child didn't have cancer either," Teresa said. "You never think it's going to be your child until it is."
If it ever is your child, Teresa highly recommends you choose Children's Mercy-the hospital kids want to go back to.
Aidan Loney, 9, underwent 19 rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries before being declared cancer free. He will celebrate his fourth year in remission on July 1.