When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family suffers. During our recent 40kin40days campaign, we were introduced to the Anderson family, and learnt first-hand how the gruelling disease can be especially difficult for a child’s siblings.
Dan Anderson kindly shared with us the story about how his 10-year-old son Aiden has been affected by his sister Ivy’s cancer diagnosis, hoping to bring him some joy by winning him a well-deserved gift.
Ivy was diagnosed with Leukaemia in late May, just five days before her 7th birthday. Understandably, Aiden has struggled to come to terms with how his and his family’s life has been turned upside down as a result.
“Aiden appears to bottle things up inside and chooses to distract himself with other activities in these times, but his quietness lets us know he is feeling sad, overwhelmed, or something,” said Dan. “His mum and I talk to him often about his little sister and how things are progressing and what to expect, however he rarely shares with us how that makes him feel, at least openly anyway.”
Dan and his wife recently found out from the mother of one of Aiden’s school friends that Aiden had been talking to his best friends about how his sister’s illness is making him feel. “It was described that he was very sad,” said Dan. “He stated to them that he was depressed and that although he loved school, he no longer wished to attend, instead wanting to be home-schooled so he could be with his family.”
“I think he is extremely worried about his little sister and he is hurting inside but does his very best just to plod along and deal with each day as it comes.”
Despite it being a confusing and difficult time for Aiden, Dan has described his son as a very kind and caring boy. “He really goes out of his way to do the right thing and help others, considering their needs, wants and feelings before his own.”
“I am extremely proud of him and the written and verbal feedback we receive consistently about him brings tears of joy and pride to both his Mum and I. Aiden is doing it a bit tough at the moment we feel, we just hope that he has the means and opportunity to let his feelings out so that he can get through this time with us in the best possible way.”
Dan nominated Aiden to win a Teng Tools Fat Bike, generously donated to us from our friends at Toolmart. We received a lot of wonderful nominations for this gift but, after reading this touching story, the decision to reward Aiden with the gift was an easy one to make.
Our heart goes out to Aiden and all of the children out there who have a sibling battling cancer. We know it’s a hard time for the whole family, but it is important to stay strong and keep hope.
We thank Dan for sharing his family’s story and send our love and well wishes to both Ivy and Aiden. We hope the Fat Bike will help bring some much-needed happiness into the Anderson family’s life.