12 year old Angel
Aidan is McKenna’s half-brother. Aidan is my sweet, little boy that turned 7 on September 19th, 2012. He is in the first grade and is a huge Iowa Hawkeye fan. A little over 2 years ago he started to show some behavior changes. At the time, I thought that he was reacting to his father’s illness (HD) and the fact that he was in a nursing home. However, than he started having other symptoms; frequent falling, slowed movements, stiff and pain in his legs, restless nights while trying to go to sleep.
The symptom that made me believe, without a doubt, that he may have JHD was when his handwriting changed. Instead of getting better he began to have problems holding his pencil and his writing became worse. This was at the end of his preschool year. I took him to see his pediatrician who refered us to a neurologist if the symptoms continued.
We were finally able to get a neurology appointment at the beginning of this year. Aidan had an MRI which was consistent with JHD, so the
genetic test was ordered…. On July 12th of this year, our lives were turned upside down when we were given the results of his CAG repeats…102. A number that will forever be in my memory. A number that will always bring a tear to my eye.
Aidan was diagonosed with petit mal seizures on July 25th after having an EEG because of the “staring episodes” that he was having. The
EEG was abnormal and he was started on Depakote. We recently made a trip to the ER because of personality changes (punching, hitting, kicking, name calling, increased impulsivity, mood swings, refusing to go to school, to name a few) that had taken place over the last 2 weeks while he has been at the therapeutic dose of Depakote. His Valproic acid level was 85, so he was not toxic and the rest of his blood work was normal. It seems he was suffering from some side effects of the depakote that can cause all of the things listed. We will be cross-tapering depakote and Lamictal as the replacement anticonvulsant. I believe that because of the changes in his brain due to the JHD he was more susceptible to the side effects. He’s now unable to walk, he’s bed bound. He’d still smile.
JHD had changed my sweet, little boys life in such a short amount of time. It has changed all of our lives.
So many people are affected by his diagnosis. So many people that
love and care for him are hurting watched him fight this disease.
A cure is needed, so we are learning to ” LIVE IN HOPE.”
Almost every night I heard from Aidan “I wish I didn’t have JHD” when he was itchy, restless, & can’t get comfortable. Or when he fell. Tonight he looked at Sis, while they were eating dinner, and asked “Sis, do you wish I didn’t have JHD?” Of course her answer was “Of course, buddy, I wish you didn’t.” Then he asked about everyone in the family, name-by-name. I let him know that there was an “army” of family and friends that wish he didn’t have JHD. Wow, I hate this f-ing disease…. Aidan: “I hate JHD. When is it going away?” (with tears coming down his face) Me: speechless, hugged him, wiped his tears and said “When we find the right medicine…” I wish I knew when that would be.
“I hate JHD.” “I’m tired of falling.” “I wish I wasn’t itchy.” “I wish JHD would go away.”
Aidan sadly passed away at only 12 years old on March 7, 2018.
Not a very clear picture, but Aidan is loving flying!! He kept saying “Weeee!” One take off & landing. He can be quite a daredevil. He loved riding the kid roller coasters, going on rides that took him high up, and spinning rides. As long as he is sitting down and not standing (afraid he’d fall). He loves tractors, but really anything with an engine. He loved the plane rides, especially the take off and landing. Spirited is a great way to describe him and so is sweet. ‘
On our Make-A-Wish trip, he became friends with a few of the volunteers. He was very
determined each day that we were going to see them. And although I would assure him that we would, he would never let up until we were able to see them. He really came to adore 3 of the volunteers and even though he was persistent throughout the day of his desire to see them, it was very sweet the connection that he made with these 3 wonderful, caring people.
The story that sticks out in my mind is taking Aidan to Monster Jam Monster
Trucks every year. He LOVES to go! They are in Council Bluffs, Iowa the first week of January & about Spring time every time we drive by the arena they are in he asks “Mommy, when is Monster Jammie Cingular again?” He asks that a lot since we live about a mile from the arena I believe one of the pictures you have
Aidan Loved Spongebob Trains Cars Trucks Big Time Rush Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team Halloween and Christmas.of him on his story, is him at Monster Jam. He is wearing an orange sweatshirt and his hands are covering his mouth because he was so excited when they came out! He loves cars, trucks, motorcycles, just about anything with a motor.
Ok, so Cingular was supposed to be coming…
“Mommy, when is Monster Jammie coming again?”
–Denise Aidan’s Mom
I am 14 years old and I have a lil brother that had JHD and he has benign fight this sense he was 6 and he is 9 now I love him so much and his name is Aidan Smith and I am his sister named Katelyn and my mom and I are trying to help him so much and her name is Denise and she is a wonderful mother she works hard and she love Aidan so much and I do to and I want to find a cure for my lil brother cuz he is the best brother ever that I could have i wish he did not have this thanks for supporting JHD/HD and I hope we can find a cure soon and sooner and I hope u guys support this PLZ do and I want him to be well soon so PLZ find a cure thanks and he is in third grade and I am in 8th grade and I have some hard times at school cuz I think about him to much but he means the most to me thanks I am so happy that u r still here with me buddy I am so happy u r in my life it’s been amazing 9 years with U buddy I know we have r ups and downs but we get through it together and that we fight a hard as we can to find a cure love u so much Aidan u r the brother I could ever have and I know we can fight and argue and get through it together and even though we fight and argue we will always love each other no matter what what happens to both of us or u or me but we will have fun and good memories from the past and the future and i will have memories when u r gone and my friends and teachers and staff and soccer members will pray for u the whole that u r here and forever too even if u r not here we love u so much and we need u here no matter what if you don’t know that we love u we will always and God will understand to keep u here with us but I understand that he wants u too cuz u r a really strong boy to help him with stuff but we need u more then God needs u buddy u can mean more to anyone then God but God is busy to find a cure for u to stay here for ever and when u can’t stand up or keep ur head up I will always help u with that but just keep ur head high buddy I will keep my head and heart high and pray as much ask I can with out crying I really need u the most cuz u know when I always tell you this it is true and I know u laugh at me but it makes me happy and I really need u cuz sis is to weak to carry we backpack anywhere will u help me plz I know u love to help sis that is why sissy says that love u so much u r a good helper I need u in my life more then anyone cuz u r a good helper and mom is a good helper to and a really strong mom to keep u here with us and stuff to help u fine meds and a cure to help u smile emoticon love u more then anything amen love u so much 😍😘😭😭😭 I wish u did not have this at all
Denise Hudgell While I know that Aidan's symptoms are visible, it is still hard to hear from complete strangers. Tonight at Sis' softball game, a very, well-meaning concession stand lady told me she was concerned about Aidan when he came to the stand twice & both times he seemed pale & had tremors in his hands. I explained to her that he has JHD & she was very sweet and I think her concern was genuine. I just wonder what others think, but don't say. I worry about kids making fun of him (he has told me that kids have made fun of the way he runs). I hate JHD!