The first thing to know about Aiden is that he loves science. Even at seven years old, his passion for technology, archaeology and geology shine through. So, when he was told he qualified for a wish, his choice was simple. “I want to dig for cool, pretty color gemstones, or find dinosaurs or gold,” he said.
A family visit to a cavern and learning about gems in school really sparked his interest, and the opportunity to dig up precious stones won out. His family traveled to North Carolina to visit Emerald Hollow Mine. They spent a whole day digging together in big buckets and learning about their haul. He particularly loved hearing about the healing properties of gems, and what each symbolizes. Their family even returned on their own for a second day of mining, shipping back 100lbs of gems, with another whole suitcase full to fill his room.
Even after they’ve returned, Aiden’s mom, Heather, says he’s still cleaning rocks and finding new things he didn’t notice before. He’s also been using his gems to help the people he meets, giving a little girl Amethyst to help with her nightmares, and Tigers Eye to help a new mom with anxiety.
Heather said that more than anything, Aiden’s wish helped him get back to being Aiden. Even after he was released from treatment, things were still not the same; the stress carried on. She said the trip was the first time she had seen Aiden happy and carefree in a long time. “I missed those full belly laughs and the curiosity to learn, explore, ask questions. I missed the non-stop smiles and jokes,” she said. “Make-A-Wish brought that back out of Aiden in so many different ways. Aiden was full of curiosity, laughter, love... Aiden was back to being Aiden.”