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Ayden was a strong and brave fighter. He was extremely compassionate and loved to make his friends laugh. Ayden was very outgoing and set very high standards for himself. He started talking in complete sentences before he was 2 and could name all the planets in the solar system. He enjoyed playing the violin, working on puzzles and listening to his favorite songs on the radio. He was obsessed with chocolate, John’s Incredible Pizza and YouTube.
Ayden was a very normal baby. His mother Lindsey didn’t noticed anything wrong with him until he was 13-months-old. When she returned home from work on a split shift, she saw Ayden playing in the hall and he looked as if he had just got done running a mile. Lindsey made an appointment right away, but had to go back to work. Later that afternoon, she got a call during the second half of her shift. His pediatrician told her to take Ayden straight to the ER. She met her mother at St. Rose Hospital, but had no clue why they were there. When Lindsey took Ayden out of the car, he looked as if he was almost passing out. A few moments later a doctor informed Lindsey that Ayden had pneumonia and were taking him to surgery right away to remove the fluid in his lungs. Five chest tubes and two weeks later, they found blue cells in Ayden’s lung and he was diagnosed with stage III rhabdomyosarcoma in the plural lining of his lung.
Ayden started with one year of chemotherapy, every week. He then needed an additional year of chemotherapy. Half way through, they found out the tumor was rejecting the chemo. The last round didn't work at all and the tumor grew. Ayden started another round of chemo called ice, which is a five-day inpatient infusion.
Lindsey’s hopes and dreams for the future are to just be his mother. Ayden is an only child and she wants to watch him grow and learn. She wants to take him to kindergarten, birthday parties, watch him play sports and make friends. “I thought I could not have children, so at 31 when I got pregnant with Ayden it was a dream come true,” said Lindsey. Ayden is her hero because he has taught her about true love and given her purpose. She could not imagine one second without him.
Lindsey wants others who may have recently received a cancer diagnosis to know to follow your heart. You may not know much about the medical field, but your momma bear-instincts are often best. So trust yourself and your heart. This is your journey, a journey that only you and your child can take, so make sure every choice you make will have no regrets in the end.
“I love you to the moon, mommy” – Ayden
Information provided by Lindsey Licari, Ayden’s mother.
Updated June 2017
Update - Sadly, Ayden passed away in November of 2017.
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