Valdosta Daily Times

September 29, 2013

Aden Evans: A survivor’s story

Five-year-old in remission from childhood cancer

Desiree Murphy
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — An energetic five year old with an eye for the ladies, Aden Evans is a true triumph. Currently two years in remission from a bout with childhood cancer, it’s hard to believe this spunky boy was ever sick.

When Aden was just two years old, he suffered a simple tumble, as do most rambunctious toddlers. However, his fall led to bleeding that didn’t appear to be anything serious at first. When the bleeding persisted to the next day, Aden’s mother Amanda Evans became concerned and took him to a doctor. Seeing the doctor resulted in Aden immediately being life-flighted to Jacksonville, Fla.

 “He didn’t even tell us what was wrong,” says Evans. “He just told us we needed to go right then.”

Upon arriving in Jacksonville, Aden had a scope and biopsy and had a intravenous port put in. Later transferred to Atlanta from Jacksonville, Aden began 40 weeks of chemotherapy and 12 weeks of radiation to combat the pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder he was diagnosed with.

Rhabdomyosarcoma usually manifests in a mass, which is why Aden was afflicted with a tumor in his bladder.

 “It is the most traumatic thing to have someone tell you that your child has cancer,” says Evans. “It took everything I had to make it to Atlanta.”

They lived their lives on the edge during the entire experience. At the first sign of fever, they would have to drop everything and rush to Atlanta. Making the over four hour trip for appointments that may only last 15 minutes took its toll on every member of the Evans family.

“I had to quit two jobs during this,” she said. “I couldn’t work and take care of him like he needed.”

Aden’s father, Brent, worked every hour he could manage to try to help support the family during this dire time. At the time, the family had two other children to worry about as well.

“It’s so important to save money,” the Evans agree, in reference to other parents who may be faced with this same dilemma, “Always keep your head up — it will get better.”

Today, Aden seems to be the picture of a typical five year old boy. Now a kindergartener at Moulton Branch Elementary School,

Aden is just as energetic and stubborn as any other boy his age. His specific type of tumor was inoperable, but through all of his treatments, he currently only suffers mild bladder problems from it. He’s also had to undergo complete mouth reconstruction from all of the treatments and he has an enhanced sensitivity to sound. However, none of the terrible experiences have stopped Aden from being a spunky kid.

At his brother’s football games, he can frequently be found cheering with the cheerleaders. He would much prefer to watch the ladies than watch the football game. “He never let it kill his spirit,” says his mother.