COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A five-year-old Harris County boy used to think hospitals were his home. Aidyn Reid was diagnosed with sacrococcygeal teratoma, a rare form of cancer also known as germ cell cancer, when he was just 14 months old. He has been in and out of hospitals in Atlanta, Columbus and even Jacksonville, Fla. for five years. His mother, Dora Reid, tells her son's story.
"We actually adopted Aidyn when he was six days old," Dora explained. "After I had a miscarriage, I had been wanting to have another child. I have three biological children, and when I heard about Aidyn needing a family, we decided to have him. He's been a blessing ever since."
Dora explained that Aidyn started having health issues ever since he was an infant. She first started noticing that Aidyn could not keep his body temperature up. However, people around Dora told her that she was being paranoid, and little boys often grow up rough.
"I should've thought and fought harder," Dora said. "I knew something was up. But his doctor didn't say much, and people around me told me I was just thinking too much. I mean, what parent would think their child has cancer at 14 months?"
Dora switched to different doctor when she realized Aidyn was struggling with constipation. Soon, Aidyn couldn't urinate, and he stopped walking, crawling, sitting in just three days. The new doctor told Dora that Aidyn had a tumor wrapped around his tail bone that had grown for 14 months. It then grew into his stomach, pushing his intestines up, making it difficult for Aidyn to walk.
"His biological mother did not take care of herself well when she had Aidyn," Dora said. "Only if she did prenatal care, I'm sure Aidyn's problem could have been avoided."
Aidyn is completely deaf in his right ear, and his left ear is slowly losing its ability as well. He has cords and tubes attached to his body in order to eat, urinate and function. His stomach is also paralyzed right now, meaning it moves very little. Aidyn is also half –functional autistic, and he has developmental delay. Aidyn even has 80% chance of getting secondary cancer, like leukemia from all the chemotherapy treatments he had received.
The five-year-old boy has already gone through 55 surgeries and 35 chemotherapies. Aidyn had dealt with cancer four times already. He also had to get his last four vertebrae in his back from his last surgery.
Dora had to sell her restaurant back in 2009 to pay for Aidyn's medical bills. Dora's parnts and her hubsand's parents also used up their 401K to support Aidyn. To this day, Aidyn's medical bills continue to pile up. The Reid family almost lost their home last year because they could not afford to pay for the house. They are now reaching out to the community for donation and financial assistance to help Aidyn and to keep their home.
"People have been so kind to us," Dora explained. "I feel blessed. But we still have people telling us that we have insurance, so we should be covered. That' not true. There are lot of areas that insurances do not cover. We need financial assistance. I can't work since I'm always looking after Aidyn. My husband is the only one who brings us income, and it's hard to depend on one person when Aidyn's medical bills are so high."
As difficult as Aidyn's journey to life is, Dora said Aidyn continues to put a smile on his face.
"As sad as it is, Aidyn is used to going to the hospital. That's all he's ever known," Dora explained. "Whenever we drive by a hospital, Aidyn says he needs to go see a doctor. He's still scared of big needles, but he's a trooper."
Dora said doctors are amazed at Aidyn's strength and his positive attitude.
"Some doctors in the past told me Aidyn will never be able to walk again," Dora recalled. "They even said he wouldn't make it past two. But I said that's not good enough for me. We taught Aidyn how to walk nine times with a walker and our shopping carts. He can move his legs, and he's five and a half years old. We beat their predicament."
Dora explained that she was devastated when she first learned of Aidyn's health. He saw Aidyn as a gift from God, and she did not understand why her new son had to go through the struggle. However, Dora said she quickly learned the Lord was using Aidyn to bring people to God.
"Someone asked me few days ago, why don't you just give up on him?" Dora frowned as she spoke. "I can't give up on him. How can any parent give up on their child? And he's fighting. Aidyn is fighting for his life. We'll fight by his side. If he can do it, we can do it. He's the one who has it the hardest. We'll fight with him."
Although Aidyn is stable with his condition to visit his home in Harris County, cancer can erupt again in any minute.
The Reid family is asking for donations and financial assistance to save their home and their son.
Aidyn Reid Fund is the Wells-Fargo account, if anyone is interested in making donations for him.
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/updatesonaidyn is Aidyn's website, and anyone interested can visit the site to learn more about Aidyn's story.