SAN ANTONIO - “Help save a kid like me,” young cancer survivor Aidan said. He was dressed in his Kentucky Derby tie and hat as he addressed the crowd of hats and bow ties.
Saturday night, local residents had their own derby fever, rocking big hats and bow ties for a good cause.
Aidan is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Boy of the Year," and he spread his message on why it's important to raise money to fight blood cancer.
"Man of the Year" candidate Adam Wilson threw the derby event at the Dominion Country Club to raise money for LLS. As part of the leadership board, KENS 5's Karen Grace also participated as a judge for the best hat and best bow tie competition alongside Spurs Jesus and S.A. Monthly's "Socialite of the Year" 2017, Lorena Monroe.
In 2016, the man and woman of the year's 10-week long competition raised more than $1 million.
Aidan ended chemotherapy in February 2016 and is in remission.
According to the LLS website Aidan's mom, LaShawnte, took him to the doctor where he was unfortunately misdiagnosed for three weeks. On Jan. 23, 2014, the school nurse called because Aidan was having neck pain.
After a trip to the ER and the opinions of several different doctors, his mother heard what she describes as the worst sentence of her life, "Your son has cancer." Aidan had a large mass in his chest pushing against his airway, heart and kidneys. His diagnosis was stage III T-Cell Lymphoblastic non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The lymphoma was so large Aidan had to undergo several doses of chemo before doctors could surgically remove the mass.
Aidan endured a long hard road to overcome all the bad side effects of his chemo medicine such as necrotic pancreatitis, C-diff, port infection and severe neuropathy. Through it all he stayed positive and constantly told his mother that everything would be okay. LLS said Aidan maintained As and Bs in school and has not let cancer get him down.
He ended chemotherapy February 2016 and is in remission! He is looking forward to life without daily medicine. His bright smile and positive attitude are inspirations to us all. Aidan enjoys modeling, playing games and he has started writing a children's book about defeating cancer.
Click here to donate to the cause through June.