ST. LOUIS, Mo. (August 2018): Aydan has multiple conditions including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, eosinophilic esophagitis and conductive hearing loss. His life has been very challenging with procedures, surgeries, a highly restrictive diet and chronic pain.
Aydan loves baseball – especially the St. Louis Cardinals, and wanted to meet player Matt Carpenter and the team’s adored mascot Fredbird. Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life threatening illnesses went to bat for Aydan, making a home run.
It was game on. Aydan and his family arrived at the home stadium of the St. Louis Cardinals for special VIP privileges. Ayden first touched base going on the field and getting to take photos in front of Fredbird’s car. From there it was off to the dugout where he spoke with player Harrison Bader and took pictures together. Then it was back to the field where he met with players and had his baseball signed by Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong and his idol Matt Carpenter!
When it was game time, the family was escorted to amazing seats just a few rows up behind third base. They loved seeing all of the game’s action up close.
Halfway through the game, Aydan’s pain from his condition was flaring up, so he went for a walk. And then along came a bird…. Fredbird!
Fredbird was surrounded by fans when he went to find Ayden. Fredbird took Ayden by the hand and walked him away from the crowds giving him his full attention. Even though Fredbird couldn’t speak in words, he made Ayden laugh pretending to autograph his card with his pen turned upside down. Ayden also felt special, being asked to sign the Kids Wish Network baseball cap that he gave to his favorite mascot. They took pictures together, and Ayden was kindly gifted with a shirt, signed card and Fredbird Bobble head as mementos of his amazing day.
It was the family’s first game at the stadium, and a special time of togetherness. “Matt Carpenter made our day,” said his mom Amber. “It touched all of our hearts to see Ayden smile like that. It was a perfect wish before his surgery.” Ayden has been excitedly telling everyone about his experience – he even told his dogs.
“Ayden has been through many surgeries and challenges with his health,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “Having something special to experience took the focus off of his daily challenges, and gave him magical moments of happiness.”
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and those struggling with life-altering situations. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs, and find out how you can help make dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.