Kansas Family Is Selling Five Year Old's Drawings To Pay For His Chemotherapy


This story made me really, truly sad about my country. That a family has to sell their sick kid's drawings to pay for chemo, and that they still have to worry about paying for treatment when their child needs their full attention? I think it's great that people want to help (because that's the part of my country that still gives me hope) but this is exactly the same kind of situation about which right-wing "heroes" like Rush Limbaugh are so very thoughtless and cruel:

Some little boys love trucks. Some little boys love trains. Aidan Reed, 5, has always — always — loved monsters.

To Aidan, Wolfman is a scream and vampires are a hoot. He’s never seen a single horror movie, but images from such movies — on display at Halloween costume stores and elsewhere — crack him up. His love of monsters is so steadfast that he’s been drawing monsters, playing with monster toys and dressing up like monsters for years now

[...] Since Sept. 13, Aidan has been waging a battle against a monster that is all too real. That’s when doctors discovered he has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He’s spent weeks in the hospital and has endured chemotherapy, infections, spinal taps and other painful procedures.

To pass the time, he draws pictures of monsters. Dozens and dozens of them. Aidan’s drawings are so adorably scary that his aunt decided to post some of them on the website Etsy, where people buy and sell handmade artwork and other items. She wanted to do something — anything — to help Aidan and his family from a distance, so she figured she’d try to sell 60 prints to help defray their sudden and mounting expenses.

Aidan Reed's monster drawings tend to be colorful, zany, detailed and fun. In a few short weeks, she sold almost 2,500 at $12 apiece, bringing in nearly $30,000. Now Aidan’s parents are no longer worried about having to sell their house — a looming possibility just last month.

[...] The Reeds have medical insurance, but it comes with steep deductibles. Those expenses combined with Wylie’s lost wages led the Reeds to have a real-estate expert come out to their house. They received advice about how to paint and stage their home so they could put it up for sale.

That’s when Wylie’s sister — Mandi Ostein, 26, of Edelstein, Ill. — stepped in. She couldn’t travel to help the family in person because she had just given birth to a newborn of her own. But she had this idea: Maybe she could help raise a little bit of money for the family by selling prints of Aidan’s fun drawings.

“My lucky number was 60; I just wanted to sell 60 prints,” Ostein said. “And now here we are at 2,460. ... I have two printers constantly going in my dining room. In between taking care of my baby, I’ve been trying to fill orders.”

Ostein said she prints out Aidan’s drawings of Wolfman, Gill-man, Nosferatu the vampire and other scary monsters on quality photo paper so people aren’t “just getting a piece of paper.” She’s received orders from Japan, Italy, Brazil and other far-flung locations all over the world.

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