LUBBOCK, Texas – It has been a long and difficult three and a half years for 12-year-old Aiden Cueva as he has battled leukemia. However, on Wednesday, Cueva marked the end of that journey by ringing the cancer-free bell at the Joe Arrington Cancer Research and Treatment Center.
Cueva was diagnosed when he was only 8 years old. His mom, Crimson said it was a shock to them all as he was only showing mild symptoms. “It was confirmed that he had cancer. And my exact response was, ‘there’s no way.”
Cueva said he spent most of his time in the hospital at the beginning of his journey, but he got to meet a lot of people and “just kept fighting and never gave up.”
His courage, bravery, and strength got him to his destination Wednesday, ringing the bell and being leukemia-free.
One thing that got Aiden through those long days at the hospital was cheering on his Red Raiders. As it turns out, they look up to him. Several members from the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball team were there to surprise Cueva on his big day.
Guard Jaylon Tyson said, “They fight more battles than we ever fight. Playing basketball is the easy part. You know, they fight the hard battle so it’s a humbling experience.”
Even some of Cueva’s favorite superheroes like Batman and Catwoman were also in on the surprise.
Cueva’s fight ends, and his life continues as he is an inspiration to us all.
Kirby said that she originally thought ringing the bell would be his biggest milestone, but she believes he will cross bigger ones in his future. “This is the best day of his life, but I look forward to tomorrow and what his future brings and what he’s going to do in this world,” she explained.
Cueva said he wants to be a child life specialist when he grows up, because he believes there aren’t many males that take on that role.
And the basketball team had a few other surprises up their sleeve for the young man giving him some tickets for the upcoming season. He was also invited to join their practice Wednesday evening.
Congratulations, Aiden! We celebrate with you!