Meet Aiden Strickland

[image] 5-year-old Aiden Smith is living with a rare and terminal diagnosis.

Aiden's story begins five years ago. He was born to young parents who needed some help.

"We began to work with his teenage parents to try to teach them how to be parents. Our goal was for them to be a family." Tim Strickland said.

But life had other plans.

"One thing led to another, eventually, when he was three years old, we were fortunate enough to be able to adopt Aiden," Strickland said.

Aiden is five and a half now. This summer he played t-ball and went on a Disney cruise, but what was the best summer has also been the worst.

""He was playing T-Ball in May. It was mainly his hands that were affecting him. By mid June he was in a wheelchair," Strickland said.

Aiden Strickland is one of the first in the world to be diagnosed with Ubiquitin Disorder, a newly discovered, extremely rare condition that cuts off communication between the brain and muscles."

"There is no cure," Loretta Strickland said. 

Aiden's parents have learned the condition was passed genetically. Members of Aiden's biological family were misdiagnosed with a form of ALS. In Aiden's case, the terminal condition is progressing quickly.

"He doesn't know how severe or the outcome. He thoroughly expects to get better," Loretta Strickland said.

Aiden's parents want him to live happy and to be optimistic, never giving up hope. A community of friends and family are doing everything they can to help, showering Aiden with love, cards and support. He has even been chosen for a wish through Magic Moments. This year, Aiden will meet the players on his favorite football team, The University of Alabama.

""We've got people coming out of the woodwork to help Aiden and to help us. It is just amazing and humbling. It is very much appreciated,"" Tim Strickland said.

Friends of the Strickland family have set up a website in Aiden's name called Aiden's Path. Donations can be made through Paypal to help the family with their increasing medical costs as they make continuous trips to the Children's Hospital in Birmingham.

website link: www.aidenspath.com


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