Turning Grief into Hope: Aidan and Wayne Reil
Aidan Reil was only 10-years old when he was diagnosed with Gliomatosis cerebri, a rare form of brain cancer. His dad, Wayne, remembers his son’s great personality, smile, and love for family, video games, and YouTube. He was perfectly healthy until he had an “out of nowhere seizure,” his father recalls. “When the doctors told me that my son had cancer, it felt like the world imploded on me.
Everything went downhill after that. I was angrier than I had ever been and sadder than I had ever been,” he explains.
Childhood cancer receives only five percent of the total cancer research dollars available in Canada. Even more shocking, one in five children diagnosed with cancer will die from the disease. Aidan’s family decided to take each day one at a time, living life to the fullest in an effort to fill the time he had left with a lifetime of memories. Sadly, Aidan passed away on Aug. 13, 2018.
Turning grief into hope
Despite his grief, the elder Reil has been inspired to raise the awareness of childhood cancer. “Even though children don’t vote or pay taxes, the child that passes away could have been the one to change the future of the world,” he says.
Aidan’s story and just one of the many childhood cancer stories in Canada. The disease doesn’t only affect the child — it also touches their family and community. Kids with cancer spend time in the hospital and away from their friends, and often experience gaps in their education. Their families can lose their homes, jobs, and face financial uncertainty while attending to their sick child.
Childhood Cancer Canada is focused on saving, enhancing, and extending the lives of kids with the disease. This means that from diagnosis and through every step of their child’s cancer journey, the organization’s members are there to support Canadian families. To learn how you can get involved in the fight against childhood cancer, visit childhoodcancer.ca.