As a parent, there are certain conversations that you do not wish to have with your children under any sort of circumstances. For some parents, this includes conversing with them about their own mortality. But for the father in this story, that nightmare quickly became a reality.
Bill Kohler and his son Ayden were placed in this unenviable position when Ayden found himself diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of cancer that had infected the steam of his brain. Once patients have been diagnosed with DIPG (the layman’s term for the disorder), they are typically given roughly a year to live.
However, Ayden’s case was even worse than most and two tumors had formed on his brain as a result of his illness. Bill had served in the Army as a medic and he was no stranger to laying close friends to rest, but he never dreamed in a million years that he would have to say goodbye to his own son.
He attempted to place Ayden in some clinical trials and continued to receive rejection after rejection. As a medic, he was used to being able to fix situations and this is way too much for him to handle. In lieu of curing his son, he decided to make his last days as fun as possible.
The boy got to meet WWE stars, speak with Guy Fieri and hang out with football players. Finally, Ayden reached a point where he could no longer go on and he used a phrase Bill prayed he wouldn’t ever hear: “Dad, I’ve gotta quit.”
Bill promised his son that it was okay to give up, as long as he had tried as hard as possible. Ayden lost his life, but he wanted people to celebrate his memory, as opposed to mourning it. If you would like to help out, please share this story to spread awareness and make a donation in his name to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.