“Every morning when I wake up, I have an uneasy feeling. The lingering voice that tells me something is terribly wrong in my world. I want desperately to change it, fix it, but I can’t. My firstborn son has a chronic, progressive, and life-threatening condition. For ten years, our family has felt fractured, desperate, and over-extended, as we try to meet the daily demands of cystic fibrosis. Aidan has been through so much with no end in sight. As we faced more surgeries, we knew it was time for his wish.” –Aidan’s Mom
Aidan learned to surf when he was six years old, quickly falling in love with the activity. Since then, Aidan has grown to love everything about surfing. However, Aidan’s battle with cystic fibrosis sometimes interferes with his favorite pastime and he is not always able to participate as he would like.
When Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Aidan and his family, they asked him the magical question, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?” Aidan knew in his heart what he wanted to do! He wanted to surf in Hawaii at the Pipeline, a famous surfing area off of Hawaii’s Sunset Beach Park on O’ahu’s North Shore.
In September, while preparations were being finalized at Make-A-Wish for Aidan’s upcoming trip, Aidan's cystic fibrosis flared up, placing him back in the hospital. Aidan improved, but two weeks later, he was fighting another round of sickness with more antibiotics. Concerned, doctors recommended that Aidan have his 16th sinus surgery and they suggested pushing out Aidan's Hawaii trip. When Aidan heard this, he begged his family to keep the plans in motion, saying, “I need this!” Aidan’s family agreed it was time to go to Hawaii, and so they went.
Aidan chose Hawaii not only for the surfing, but also because of how the ocean makes him feel. According to Aidan’s mom, “Aidan is a different kid when he is in the ocean. In the open ocean, he is free of the burden of cystic fibrosis. He can move and breathe freely without being attached to a vibrating vest and hours of nebulizer treatments. Watching Aidan in the ocean is like watching years being added to his life.”
Aidan and his family left on a Tuesday in autumn, just as the weather in New Jersey was getting chilly. They flew down to the sunny paradise, where many fun and special activities awaited them. The family had both restful days and days filled with activities, both allowing Aidan to forget he was sick. “Every detail of the trip was taken care of and we experienced so much in just a few days! From dolphin swimming, luaus, helicopter tours, a visit to Pearl Harbor, hikes, and the long awaited surf lessons and an incredible day at the Volcom House where he got to “surf” the Pipeline.”
For six days, Aidan’s cystic fibrosis was on the backburner. All the thoughts of surgeries, sicknesses, and germs the family had faced in previous months were replaced with happiness, excitement, and fun! “For six days, our family did not feel broken or stressed. Our family finally felt whole. Cystic fibrosis was not holding us back. Aidan still took his medicine and did his treatments, but he did them with a smile on his face because he felt like he was in paradise. He knew the ocean awaited him. ”
Aidan’s family returned from their trip to Hawaii with memories that will last a lifetime, memories that will hold Aidan up as he continues to go through treatments and fight his fight against cystic fibrosis.
“Within days of returning home, Aidan was sick again. It is draining for our little hero and warrior. Cystic fibrosis takes so many things from us, but it will never take away the love, laughter, and memories Make-A-Wish afforded us. We love Make-A-Wish. We love what it did for our family, and we will continue to help in any way so that other families living on the brink will experience the joy we did.” – Aidan’s Mom