EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Aiden Culbertson is a growing young boy.
“They honestly called him fat and happy,” his mom, Selina said smiling.
She loves him very much. Aiden’s dad, Christian and big sister, do too.
But Aiden’s life has been much different than most one-and-a-half year-olds. This time last year, doctors gave him an 85 percent chance of dying.
“He’s a perfect little innocent baby boy, I don’t understand why this could happen,” Selina said. “I don’t know what we’ll do if we lose him.”
Aiden was just a few months old when he got sick. He cried every time mom and dad picked him up, and they didn’t have all the answers to why.
Eventually, tests revealed Aiden had to fight for his life, and he’d need some help.
Doctors at Riley Children’s Hospital diagnosed him with acute myeloid leukemia, which attacks bone marrow. It is rare and difficult to treat.
“It took me awhile and by the time we got the diagnosis, all I could say was, ‘Alright let’s just do this,’” Selina explained, glancing toward her husband.
Aiden had two masses on his lung, a mass behind his eye, and fractures on his skull, neck, and down his spine.
Doctors expected him to get much sicker than he did. But his parent’s say he never stopped smiling.
Aiden’s superhero was in the room on the day he was born. He is in the living room, which looks more like a playroom, on this day too.
Someday soon, Aiden will be able to say it himself.
“Everything felt like everything was going to be ok,” Christian said. “I looked at them, I said, ‘This is my boy. You take care of my boy.’”
It takes a lot of love, pain, and determination to save a life, but the sacrifice wasn’t even a question for Christian.
He gave Aiden the bone marrow transplant he desperately needed. He saved his son’s life.
“It was the cure,” Selina said.
Looking to his faith, Christian said there was more at work than just his donation. “I don’t like taking full credit for it.”
Aiden still has a battle ahead with his immune system, but for now he is 100 percent donor cells and his outlook is pretty good.
Aiden was pricked and prodded, had machines on his arms and needles in his head, but he won’t remember any of it. His parents are okay with that.
“We know he’s not going to be hurting anymore, we’re going to be able to hold our son, we’re going to be able to give him a life again.”
Aiden will grow up to fulfill his own dreams, whatever they are.
He will live, and always know his dad is a superhero.
This story was originally published on July 5, 2019