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Aiden is a 5 year old artist with leukemia
October 28, 2010 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Aidan is a 5 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Aiden really loves monsters, both dressing up as them, and drawing them. His family has is selling his artwork to help with medical expenses.

My favorites: Scary Clown #4! Dinosaur!
posted by arnicae (34 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cute drawings. Would be nice if we had real health care in this country so sick children's families wouldn't have to worry about avoiding financial ruin in addition to dealing with the illness itself.
posted by clockzero at 11:02 PM on October 28, 2010 [35 favorites]


I can understand getting riled up about the situation.
posted by biochemist at 11:07 PM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can understand getting riled up about the situation.


I'm out of rile juice. All's I got left is "poor kid." Yes, medical bills suck. Yes, the health care situation sucks. Yes, health insurance companies suck.

You know what else sucks? Leukemia and dying before your 8th birthday.

Care about Aidan? Donate
Care about our health care situation? Lobby or run for office.

Please don't post the political posturing so close to a sick kid's imagination, k?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 11:19 PM on October 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Bathtub Bobsled:

Next time stop right before "Post comment".

Getting back to topic, cute kid. Looks like a hellraiser.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:19 PM on October 28, 2010


Bathtub- In this instance the two are inextricably linked. The reason this noteworthy at all is that this poor kid has to sell his artwork to afford medical treatments.

It's a story about the failure of modern American medical care, not a story about a kid and his drawings which are, yes, cute, but cute kids doing cute things are all over the place. Kids are awesome like that.

It's Blue-relevant because it has this political bit all mixed into it.
posted by GilloD at 11:25 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry if my remark rubbed you the wrong way, Bathtub Bobsled. This is a real and disturbing trend in the US now, that when people in a certain socio-economic position become gravely ill they're forced to turn to what amounts to private charity because we don't provide good and affordable health care to everyone. I personally think it's wrong that we don't provide that, and this is a striking example of how that moral failure is hurting people. He's a brave little boy and a talented artist. His family has enough to deal with besides the economic struggle.
posted by clockzero at 11:25 PM on October 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Bathtub Bobsled: It's hard to separate the two. It's difficult to read about people being unable to afford healthcare without thinking, "It shouldn't be this way!" Especially if the person suffering is a child.
posted by biochemist at 11:34 PM on October 28, 2010


biochemist: Especially if the person suffering is a child.

And especially when the crystal clear narrative is "hey if everybody can just kick in a little bit, then this terrible thing won't have to happen," which is, like, the whole entire point of socialized medicine.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:41 PM on October 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


WTF, America? Your're number four on this list. You can afford this!
posted by Harald74 at 11:41 PM on October 28, 2010


No apologies necessary.

I dunno, I just see a 5 year old kid who sees things so simply. Monsters, clowns, funny faces. I miss that. Every day I live in an "adult" world without clowns, but plenty of monsters that aren't so colorful or interesting. I don't have time to draw and even if I were to find myself with a box of crayolas and white paper I wouldn't know what to do any more.

A sick and desperate part of me wants him to die peacefully in his sleep before the treatments get more intensive, or before the disease really takes its toll. I want him to be a five year old drawing those pictures in his mind's eye when the eyelids fall for the last time. I don't want him to grow old.

I don't want him to be old enough to go through what his parents are going through. I don't want him to be the adult who spends his days in a cubicle in front of a computer, hating the drudgery, only to go home and get on another computer to "socialize" with friends/family in one window, and rail against everything that's wrong in this world in the other.

I realize I turned the thread in an equally crappy direction. I'm sorry, the intentions were good. I didn't want this thread to be anything but a kid and his drawings. I wanted it to stay that way and I wanted him to be preserved right there next to his carefree drawings, forever. I'm sorry, if it was childish.

I'm just sick of being an adult.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 11:43 PM on October 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah I don't see what's not offensive about a child having to raise the money to pay for his cancer treatment. It's pretty fucking sickening actually.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:44 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next time just stop after "cute drawings."

I will never understand why some people on this website think they're entitled to tell other people what to write or not write if it's not breaking the rules/guidelines.
posted by John Cohen at 11:47 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just sick of being an adult.

Sorry. Once you're out of the garden you're out.

At least, if he survives, no company will be allowed to deny or rescind his coverage.

Assuming the elephants don't take both houses and impeach and indict as they so gallantly promise.
posted by clarknova at 11:53 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aidan's monsters are awesome. I first saw his art on Regretsy, where April Winchell got knitters to make a bunch of creepy weird balaclavas and auction them on ebay to raise money for Aidan. The auctions closed earlier this week, pulling in $1700.

Of course, the real monsters here are the jackwagons who have taken both health and insurance out of our health insurance system, but those don't make such great drawings (unless the kid learns to do stipple portraits, I guess).
posted by stefanie at 12:15 AM on October 29, 2010


OK, I've calmed down again now. I just want to say that Aiden's drawings are super-cool.
posted by Harald74 at 12:21 AM on October 29, 2010


Very sincerely happy for Aiden and his family.

So what about the tens of thousands of poor kids who aren't cute, artistic, and lucky enough to win the star search charity contest for life saving health care treatment?

Sorry, as a nation we're more afraid of imaginary Death Panel monsters than the reality of your death and/or your family's financial ruin.

God bless the corporate interests that run America!
posted by Davenhill at 12:29 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this the plot for Catfish 2?
posted by fairmettle at 1:17 AM on October 29, 2010


So there's a health care system that requires a five-year old child to work to pay for treatment?

That doesn't really deserve to be described by the words "health", "care" or "system" does it?
posted by Grangousier at 1:21 AM on October 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Saw this yesterday on a poster site I frequent, bought some prints. I sincerely hope little Aidan pulls through, his drawings are endearingly awesome.

(Also, American health care sucks and all that...)
posted by alvarete at 2:34 AM on October 29, 2010


I've just bought one. I think his Wolfman pics are quite fun.

It's frankly a disgrace that a five year old - or the parents of a five year old - have to raise money for treatment of an eminently survivable disease in a country where per capita healthcare spending exceeds that of any other country.

Ironically, leukemia is actually becoming vastly more survivable than it was in the past few decades, particularly for children of Aidan's age.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:02 AM on October 29, 2010


Care about our health care situation? Lobby or run for office.

I'm not American, so I can't really do either of those things. All I can do is pity your whole nation.

It's a story about the failure of modern American medical care

This is not true. American medical care is the best in the world, for an astonishingly small number of its people.
posted by pompomtom at 3:08 AM on October 29, 2010


This is not true. American medical care is the best in the world, for an astonishingly small number of its people.

That's part of the problem. Many Americans would rather like to believe that they have access to the very best of something than have everyone have access to an adequate something, even if they can't really afford the very best. That's a big (wrong) fear many have of Canadian healthcare, that even though everyone gets care it isn't as good as it could be and therefore Americans are better off with what they have. I hope I made sense.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 3:52 AM on October 29, 2010


What is their insurance situation? At first I assumed they didn't have any, but it's not mentioned anywhere that I can find. They are not covered by state insurance for children, nor Medicaid, and are not eligible for unsponsored charity care (like MD Anderson's program in Texas)?
posted by Houstonian at 4:17 AM on October 29, 2010


Just in case someone thinks I'm attacking the young boy... I'm not. My mom died of cancer, but before she did, she maxed out three insurance policies that had a $1 million cap each. The kid can't draw enough pictures to pay for this. I'm hoping to hear that someone is helping them find coverage within one of the (paltry) systems we have in place, and I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned it at all, since it is a reasonable solution to the money problem.
posted by Houstonian at 4:23 AM on October 29, 2010


The American health care system is working as designed. The transferral of funds from the young, the sick, and the elderly to the pockets of rich white men is proceeding with all due speed.

Remember that these are the same rich white men who beg for and receive government money to create tools to bomb brown people back to the stone age; brown people who unfortunately live on top of petroleum deposits.

The same rich white men who take government money prisons and police forces that primarily house black men whose crimes are founded in poverty and desperation.

The same rich white men who own agricultural businesses that ignore issues of long-term customer health, responsible husbandry and ecological sustainability.

The same rich white men who willingly and knowingly sell a product that is known to shorten life by a decade or more: tobacco.

The same rich white men who run one of the most morally bankrupt organisations on the planet, an organisation ironically dedicated on its face to the practice of peace, love and brotherhood.

Look around you: if there's any way in this world for a rich white man to shave a little bit of money off of you or your government regardless of its effect to your health, welfare, dignity or freedom, there will be a rich white man there with a vigorously moving Microplane -- and a dozen lawyers and public-relations flacks at his side ready to tell you that what he is doing is not only legal, but in your own best interest.

They may not all be white, and they may not all be men, but by and large and in general it is these rich white men who, with absolutely no regard for any creatures other than themselves, have taken advantage of their fellow humanity's kindness and genial complacency and set themselves at the top of the global food chain.

And for what do they do this? It isn't for money, because they have enough. It's just for fun. For sport. For something to do to pass the time. It's a game, like an afternoon match of mallet ball with Long Island iced-tea. Only with billions of lives rolling around in the grass.

Please vote wisely.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:18 AM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Man, fuck the people making it so a kid has to sell artwork to stay alive.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:24 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't want him to be the adult who spends his days in a cubicle in front of a computer, hating the drudgery, only to go home and get on another computer to "socialize" with friends/family in one window, and rail against everything that's wrong in this world in the other.
You're kidding me, right? You think that dying when you're five is preferable to growing up? What kind of self-indulgent crap is that?
posted by craichead at 5:59 AM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


You're kidding me, right? You think that dying when you're five is preferable to growing up? What kind of self-indulgent crap is that?

Aside from arbitrary personal values, I'm not sure how weight one against the other. Some grownups are pretty miserable -- sometimes for decades.
posted by grumblebee at 6:23 AM on October 29, 2010


Thank you for posting this, thereby giving me the opportunity to help Aidan. I just purchased a Nosferatu, which bears a startling resemblance to a Greedy Insurance Company Executive.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:29 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


A sick and desperate part of me wants him to die peacefully in his sleep before the treatments get more intensive, or before the disease really takes its toll.

If he keeps up with his treatments, it appears that he has a promising future ahead.

From his uncle's blog:
"One week ago today, September 13, 2010, my nephew Aidan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This form of cancer is 97% curable but first he must go through two to three years of chemo treatments."
posted by ericb at 6:46 AM on October 29, 2010


That clown IS scary.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:57 AM on October 29, 2010


Facebook page: Aid for Aidan.
posted by ericb at 6:59 AM on October 29, 2010


I have 2 friend's whose children have neuroblastoma--stage IV--and both are under 4 years old. I dont' know how any parent can handle the news that their child has cancer. I think this is a wonderful thing for him to raise money for his care.
posted by stormpooper at 7:27 AM on October 29, 2010


I work in a cancer hospital - one mentioned in this thread - and just the other day I was struck by the juxtaposition that situations like this present. Here I am, working in what basically feels like a spaceship. Glass tubes connect all the buildings, the quiet hum of trams whizzing past carrying patients and employees to their destination sometimes blocks away from their starting point. It feels like Battlestar Galactica, only with cancer instead of cylons.

But yesterday as I wandered to my office through the maze of buildings (which house some of the most scientifically advances machines in the business), I passed a group of employees holding a bake sale.

And here's the thing - money isn't really an issue here. We're not scraping together money like inner city public schools. But there's something about these mom-n-pop fundraisers. They just feel more personal. I'm all for socialized medicine. I'm a huge advocate for it. But the feel-good part of something like this can't be overlooked. It is to important to the ultimate goal.

So while Houstonian is absolutely right that this isn't going to touch the costs for care, I guess in some ways that isn't the important part to some people. And maybe his family is included.
posted by jph at 8:13 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


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