After Life-Threatening Accident, Aidan Aces Three World-Class Marathons
In 2019, Aidan was riding his bike home, eager to tell his mom his great news: he’d made the varsity baseball team as a high school freshman. Sadly, Aidan would never get to take the field that year.
He was struck by a car while on his bike and dragged beneath the car, leaving him with a spinal injury, a shattered hip bone, and other severe injuries. For a month, Aidan was hospitalized in Lurie Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where a team of specialists worked around the clock to save his life.
Aidan’s injuries were so severe, it was unclear during his recovery whether he would walk again – let alone run or return to his favorite sports. An avid runner, the challenge only motivated Aidan to work harder.
“I’m obsessed with running,” Aidan said. “I went to physical therapy like it was church. I decided I wasn’t taking no for an answer. So I went to my care team at Lurie Children’s and together we made a plan to get me from learning how to get out of a wheelchair to crossing the finish line. I’d dreamed about crossing the finish line a marathon since running cross country in sixth grade.”
“Recovery was a mountain bigger than the actual hill we climbed to get to the Chicago Marathon finish line,” Aidan said. “But when I started training, I just took it mile by mile, day by day.”
After months of training, Aidan ran the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with Team Lurie Children’s, fundraising for the hospital that cared for him. The marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for athletes like Aidan.
He finished the 2021 world-class race, just two years post-injury. He went on to run the marathon again in 2022, and once more in 2023 – all while raising funds to support futures for kids at Lurie Children’s.
Now a freshman in college, Aidan is pursuing a career in firefighting and nursing since being inspired by his care team at Lurie Children’s.
"I’ve never once left Lurie Children’s feeling unhappy,” he said. “When you’re there, you can see how much they care for every single patient they treat. It’s so genuine. When it’s time for me to work, I want to be a part of something like that.”
Aidan completed his third world-class marathon with Team Lurie Children’s this October, helping the team raise more than $800,000 – a record achievement made possible by generous donors. More than 340 runners joined the team, including caregivers like Nicolette Apostolos, a nurse with the hospital’s Transport Team who finished the race in honor of her patient families and colleagues.
“I am living proof that your efforts make a profound impact,” Aidan said. “The exceptional care and treatment I received at Lurie Children's has given me a second chance at life, and it wouldn't have been possible without your unwavering support. Through your selflessness, you are saving lives, providing hope, and making a brighter future possible for countless children and their families.”
When asked if Aidan will join the race in 2024, he said, “Do birds fly?”
“Life will have its ups and downs, but you just need to take it one moment at a time,” he said. “Use every challenge as motivation.”
Registration for the 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is now live. Click here to run 26.2 miles for the kids with Team Lurie Children’s on October 13, 2024.
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