“I wish to have a gaming PC”
7 years old, Portsmouth
Aiden chose to have a gaming computer for his wish because a world of ‘make-believe’ helped him cope after he was so traumatised by treatment that he stopped talking whenever he was in hospital. He games with his brothers, has tons of fun and his skills are developing in the real world because his wish – in his words – has been the “best ever, ever, ever!”
When Aiden was diagnosed with blood cancer at just 22 months old, his mum Felicity felt helpless. She told us: “There is nothing that can prepare you as a parent for hearing the word cancer in the same sentence as your child’s name. My job as his mum has always been to protect him and ... I was faced with the reality that I had to let someone else keep him safe and I could not be the one to make this better.”
Treatment was incredibly distressing for Aiden and it lasted three and a half years. Looking back at that time, Felicity said: “It felt like each day brought a new way to torture him, with surgical procedures, daily chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, deep tissue injections, steroids, blood tests, and frequent hospital admissions.”
But things came to an end with a final dose of chemo just after Aiden’s fifth birthday, and he’s now in remission – a healthy, active seven-year-old!
Watching videos and playing online games was a welcome distraction from the medical world and spells of isolation of up to 10 days that Aiden had to endure.
Felicity explained: “Aiden was completely mute with all the medical staff throughout his treatment and has only now started to say the occasional word to his lead consultant during routine reviews."
In that sense, technology became a “lifesaver” for Aiden and his family. It also helped him to learn, and to bond with his dad who sometimes has to go away because of his job with the Royal Navy.
So, when it came to choosing what he wanted for his wish, he asked to have a high-spec gaming PC.
"He turned to a world of make-believe in gaming to help him cope with the world and manage those constant stays in hospital."
“I remember once Aiden was having a particularly bad day when a huge robot with a TV hidden inside was wheeled into his room. He was so excited, and it helped to ease the day for him.
"A few of our friends got together and purchased a tablet for him. This really helped him to stay still and settled whilst he was attached to his IV drip. He started watching videos, then progressed to playing colouring or Thomas the Tank Engine games etc. I was amazed at how quickly he picked it all up, but his dad is really into his gaming too, so he took great pleasure in showing him the way!”
The impact of Aiden's wish
After many years of seeing Aiden looking sad and in pain, and having to say no to him, it was "incredibly special" for Felicity to see Aiden’s massive smile when he first saw his computer.
Aiden said: “No way! Is that really for me? That is the best ever, ever, ever!”
Asked why he liked his computer so much, Aiden said: “Are you kidding me? I literally have no words to explain how much I love it.”
He uses it to keep in touch with his brothers, Mason and Alex, who chat while they play together.
"It’s been wonderful to see how happy and excited he gets when he is drawn into his virtual world, and importantly, how it has helped him develop in the real world - when I can prise him off it and get him outside!"
"He has now said he wants to be a gamer when he is older, or a footballer or a police officer, depending on which would allow him to buy a Lamborghini quicker!
"Thank you so much to the team who dedicate their time to making these wishes come true every day for all the children who benefit and thank you to those who are so incredibly generous to donate money or goods to support Make-A-Wish to keep making children like Aiden as happy as they did for him."
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