A three-year-old boy battling leukemia spent his birthday reading cards that have been pouring in from supporters from around the globe.
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“It is incredible. We still haven’t gotten through all of them,” Ashley Kramer, little Aiden’s mom, told INSIDE EDITION. Aiden was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when he was about two and a half years old.
She estimates her son, whose birthday falls on Valentine’s Day, received more than 4,000 cards after his address was shared online.
“I am overjoyed and positively overwhelmed," she said. "Survivors are sharing their stories, people who had lost family members, people offering up their stories. We just had tears all night long.”
Cards have been flowing in from countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Austria. “It’s bigger than anything we ever anticipated,” she said.
The family has also started an Amazon wish list for the other sick children at the hospital.
Aiden, who is a patient at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, spent his birthday in the hospital surrounded by his family, friends, and the cards, along with special care packages from schools and supporters.
A volunteer showed up dressed as Captain America, his favorite superhero.
“We had cupcakes and I let him play with some of the cards and toys from friends and family. We let him be a kid for a little while,” said Ashley.
Though he suffered from a fever that night, earlier in the day, he was overjoyed by the outpouring of love from supporters. “It was incredible. He had a blast,” said Ashley.
“He likes getting ones from other kids, especially when I can tell him, ‘This little boy or girl is your age, or this little boy is sick the way Aiden is.’ And it makes him feel better that there are people that can relate, that ‘it’s not just me.’”
One card in particular touched his mom’s heart.
“I’m assuming he was a young man by the card; I believe he was from Georgia. He wrote that he saw Aiden on the news, and that he was an inspiration to him," she said.
“He said that Aiden is so young and shows such strength fighting his battles, and that it gives him strength to fight his own battles."
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Ashley is excited for the day she can finally take her son home. “His last dose of chemo was two weeks ago. It's the several weeks after that can be the most detrimental. He’s a little bit weaker and tired,” she said.
“What we’re hoping for is that he’ll be released by the end of the month, or early next month.”
“He understands that this is his last round of chemo and as long as his tests continue to look good, we don’t have to come back except for checkups. But he’s honestly sad because the people at the hospital have become our family,” she said.
“They’ve been there through the scariest moments and the good times, and celebrated with him. It’s like leaving behind a piece of your family.”
Asked what she’s most looking forward to with Aiden home, she said: “I cannot wait to get back to having him be a regular little boy. We had just enrolled him in preschool when we had to withdraw him for treatment.”
Now she’s excited for him to head to classes with other children, and have regular playdates and outings.
“We can’t wait to just be a normal family,” she said.
If you want to send Aiden a card, address it to:
C/O Ilene Martin
UPS Box 380
1191 Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA 91010