Five-year-old Aiden's room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Billings wasn't just like any other hotel room. It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cave, decorated especially for him, with streamers, balloons and posters galore. As he spotted the gifts volunteers left for him and his sister in the room, he knew he was in for a special wish experience -- an experience that would help him forget his medical challenges and allow him to focus on being a kid.
Aiden, diagnosed with Langerhan's cell histiocytosis, couldn't contain his excitement the next morning as a limo pulled up to the hotel, ready to take him to Toys 'R' Us for the very first time. With the nearest location being three hours away from his home in Dawson County, MT, this bright-eyed wish kid had never experienced the thrill of walking through the aisles and aisles of toys. As Aiden arrived at the Billings Toys 'R' Us, volunteers waved and clapped for him. Standing at the entrance was Geoffrey the Giraffe, ready to give the store's first customer of the day a warm hug. After Aiden grabbed his specially-decorated shopping cart, it didn't take long before he was running through the aisles, eager to select some new toys. A personal shopper helped Aiden find all of his favorite toys, which included all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle items he could find and an Escalade battery-operated car. With a limo full of toys, Aiden and his family headed to a special lunch.
The fun continued at Chuck E. Cheese, where Aiden was greeted by Chuck E. himself. After eating his fill of pizza at his specially reserved and decorated table, Aiden was treated to free tokens and played almost every game against his new furry friend -- and won them all!
The look of joy on Aiden's face, the laughs shared and the smiles abound said it all. This day was one that wouldn't be forgotten -- not by Aiden nor by his parents, the volunteers or the store and hotel staff who pulled out all the stops to make one child's heartfelt wish come true. Aiden left Billings not just with a carload of toys, but with memories that will help him conquer any challenges that lie ahead.
A special thanks to the Hilton Garden Inn in Billings, Chuck E. Cheese and Toys ‘R’ Us for their in-kind donations to help make this wish so special.