Aiden Nichols Benefit Set For Saturday

GERRY – An 8-year-old Fletcher Elementary School third-grader is currently battling brain cancer, and a benefit will be held in his honor Saturday.

A spaghetti dinner benefit will be held to help support Aiden Nichols and his parents, Terry Nichols and Heidi Barlow, in offsetting the cost of medical treatment. The benefit is set for Saturday from noon-6 p.m. at the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department, 4490 Gerry Levant Road in Gerry. Dinners will be served until sold out, and are $8 for adults or $5 for children – under 6 are free. Take outs are available. The event will also feature a Chinese auction at 5 p.m., drawings, a bake sale and entertainment by DJ Fred Nichols.

According to Kathryn Wilson, Terry’s cousin and benefit organizer, Aiden has been receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo for the past three weeks, and his mother, Heidi has not been able to leave his side.

“He was originally diagnosed with spinal cord cancer, but later tests came out that it was brain cancer on his brain stem,” Wilson said. “There are numerous tumors, and it moved down his spine. He’s been through four surgeries in three weeks. Buffalo Children’s has been treating him really well, and his dad is really happy with it. But, there have been a lot of complications, and they don’t know what’s going to happen yet.”

Although the experience has been a struggle for the whole family, Aiden appears to be staying positive and he’s been up and out of bed moving around.

“He’s probably scared, mostly of popping a stitch because that’s happened already,” Wilson said. “The doctors are saying he’s not going to be able to get into sports. Aiden also has a 4-year-old brother, who is worried and misses him.”

Wilson’s family, who has always been tight-knit, has rallied to help put on the benefit. Wilson also currently lives in Gerry and is a member of the volunteer fire department. She chose to host the event in her town because she feels that the community is supportive, especially in a time of need, she said.

“Community, to me, is like extended family, and we have to stick together,” Wilson said. “Up until recently I didn’t know people could do benefits, I just figured families dealt with it and suffered through it. Then I started going to benefits, such as the one for our fire chief who recently passed from colon cancer, and I think it’s a great way for the community to come together to show care, concern and love.”

Donations of food for the event were provided by Taco Hut, La Scala and Davidson’s Restaurant. Many other local businesses also made contributions.

For more information or to make a donation, call Wilson at 485-1705, email kittin34-2000@yahoo.com, or search for “Aiden Nichols Benefit Dinner” on Facebook.