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Our Hero: Aaron

BY Kadesha Washington

Growing up, Aaron had a passion for playing sports. But that changed once he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September 2001. He was 10-years-old at the time, and his world was turned completely upside-down. “I missed an entire year of school, and I lost all of my hair from the chemotherapy, which also made me very ill,” recalled Aaron. “I tried to continue playing sports, but it became impossible due to my condition.”

Aaron’s diagnosis was also difficult for his family. “I required constant attention from my parents, and this had a substantial impact on my younger sisters,” he said. ‘They had a lot of trouble coping with my illness and the effects it had on me.”

To treat his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Aaron received nine months of chemotherapy and radiation at Columbia University Medical Center. He completed treatment in May 2002.

But as is often the case with survivors of childhood cancer, the possibility of developing long-term complications increases into adulthood. In November 2015, at the age of 24, Aaron was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Once again, he underwent treatment at Columbia, which included radioactive iodine treatment and surgery. His treatment ended in June 2016.

Today Aaron is living a healthy and fulfilling life, thanks to the care that he received. “In addition to providing me with exceptional care during my treatments, Columbia continues to provide me with ongoing support and counseling through their Survivor Wellness Program,” said Aaron. “I am forever grateful to them for everything they have done for my family and me.”

Funding from Hope & Heroes underwrites pioneering medical research that will continue to improve the future of children with cancer and blood disorders. “Without them, the cutting-edge treatments that I received would not exist,” he said. “The work they are doing is so important as it helps to save and improve the lives of countless children.”


Your support of Hope & Heroes ensures patients like Aaron receive the very best care, during and after treatment. Please donate today!

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