Sweet, smart Aiden Ace was born on Christmas Day 2015, making him an angel in the eyes of his parents and extended family members. Aiden is a gifted child who is always eager to learn new things and loves soccer and fishing. But, at only five years old, Aiden was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Aiden received treatment at the Haley Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. “I was terrified I’d lose the sweetest boy I know,” recalls his mom, Sierra. During treatment, Aiden’s daily activities changed from fun kid activities to receiving needle sticks, lab draws and medical procedures.
To help him understand his treatment and help Aiden remain the adventurous kid he is, our Child Life team was there to support him. Child Life Specialists care for our pediatric patients beyond medicine, helping them understand and cope with their treatments. Our Child Life Program also helps kids feel like kids while in the hospital, providing toys, games and activities for patients and siblings.
During his time at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, Aiden was particularly impacted by his experiences in the Seacrest Studio at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, which is an extension of our Child Life services. It was brought to our hospital through the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. Our studio, like many of our Child Life programs, services and events, was funded by generous partners and donors in our community.
“Seacrest Studio has made such an impact on Aiden’s stay here at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer. It has given him something to look forward to on a weekly basis, especially BINGO! Every Tuesday he would get up and get ready to go downstairs to the studio to play,” says Sierra.
Aiden was involved in almost every event at the studio and even earned the nickname “superstar” by his nurses for how often he was on the hospital-wide broadcast. “I think that has made such an impact on him,” says Sierra. “Even with all the craziness of medical plans throughout the day, Aiden is able to visit the studio with other patients and they can be kids together. It creates positive memories for these kids that are going through a lot medically.”
To support our Child Life team, visit Give.OrlandoHealth.com/ChildLife to make a donation to help patients like Aiden.