It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of a young Columbia boy, that’s definitely the truth.
Six-year-old Aiden Howard-Maul of Columbia was diagnosed with kidney cancer in December 2012.
Last summer, after undergoing surgery to have the kidney removed, along with chemotherapy and radiation, he was believed to have a clean bill of health.
However, this past December, Aiden and his mother, Julie Maul, found out the cancer had spread to his lung and lymphoid.
To help out, supporters of this young boy’s current cancer fight pulled together to raise nearly $10,000 for Aiden and his mom during a trivia night held Saturday at the Columbia American Legion.
Amber Ling, a friend of Julie’s on Facebook, had seen Julie’s posts about what Aiden was going through and wanted to help.
“I have a young son, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like for her to have to go through that,” Ling said. “I wanted to know what I could do to help.”
Ling organized the trivia night and was amazed by how successful it was.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” she said. “Everybody seems to have had a really great time.”
A few numbers shy of 400 people packed into the legion hall for trivia, a silent auction and 50-50 drawings.
All the money raised was transferred directly into Aiden’s trust account and will be used to pay medical costs and other bills associated with his ongoing treatment and prescriptions.
Ling said supporters of Aiden plan on doing another fundraiser some time in the future, and there is a car show planned for this summer.
“After that, we’re just going to play it by ear,” Ling said. “When they need something else, we’ll put another event together.”
Aiden currently faces at least two more surgeries, including a stem cell collection for a future “self transplant” and a two-year battle with aggressive chemotherapy treatment ahead of him.
“People tell you it takes a village to raise a baby, and I don’t think that ever ends,”
Ling said. “In times like this, it takes a village to help Aiden and keep as much stress off of Julie as possible.”
Ling said she didn’t know if they would have five tables or 50 tables at the trivia night and was so pleased with how it ended up turning out.
“You don’t always know who’s in your corner until things like this happen, but so many people do want to help,” she said. “We filled that hall.”