Race Against Time: 9-year-old boy receives support from community in fighting devastating illness

Ayden Zeigler-Kohler was like any other 9-year-old kid who loves to play sports but in August of 2016 he was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG; an unforgiving cancer. He was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed in the middle of a football practice. Ayden rapidly lost his motor and verbal skills. After some tests,the doctors found the tumors. Apparently, the boy has two tumors; one in his cerebellum and the other in his brain stem. 7 months ago, doctors diagnosed that Ayden have only 8 to 12 months to live. The boy’s father, Bill Kohler, an Army verteran, was devastated to find out about Ayden’s diagnosis.



He would find himself laying his hands on his son’s head willing the cancer to enter him instead. He wanted to save his son’s life just like any parent would do, and they are trying to find a cure for Ayden. But after months of searching he realized that they are not enjoying time together while they could; so Dad finds ways to bond more with his dearly loved son. Moreover, the community gathered together for Ayden. He’s been a special guest at foodball and basketball games and went on a fishing trip in Florida. Kohler and his son bond in the woods and do some hunting; creating memories while they still can. Ayden’s social worker is helping him to create a wish book to know what Ayden wants in his life. They are going to see WWE in Hershey and they have tickets to watch the Wizards’ game in March. One question in the book says “If I am very sick and may die I wish to be”; which Adyen answered with: “in the woods”. You could imagine how Ayden misses doing the things he normally did. When Ayden could see kids playing at the park, he reportedly starts to cry.
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