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B'ville: A prayer for Ayden

At 10-months-old, Ayden Skye Luman seems to finally be enjoying life.

The infant was diagnosed with Sacrococcygeal Teratoma, an aggressive cancer that traveled and metastasized from the base of her spine into her lungs and lymph nodes. She has spent the past month receiving two sessions of chemotherapy treatment at the University Pediatric Cancer Ward in Syracuse.

Her parents, Wendee and Mike Luman of Chittenango (Mike is formerly of Warners), told doctors their daughter seemed to be in a lot of pain. But it wasn't until Ayden's grandmother, Marsha Wilson, was giving the baby a bath and noticed a tumor the size of a thimble on the girl's lower spine that doctors were finally able to diagnose the child.

After Wilson's discovery, Ayden was taken to University Hospital and given a MRI. On June 12, she was diagnosed and immediately underwent chemotherapy treatment. Doctors think Ayden was born with the condition and have given the baby an 80 percent chance of beating the cancer with four rounds of chemotherapy.

"They won't know how it worked until after the four chemo treatments are complete," said Ayden's aunt, Heather Weeks, adding that the tumor has been shrinking with the treatment. "The chemotherapy is expected to kill off the cancer and the tumor may disappear on its own. We're praying for the best."

If the chemotherapy doesn't work, then Ayden will begin radiation treatment and may have to undergo possible surgery to remove the tumor.

For the meantime, Ayden has been crawling and smiling more than ever.

"Now she's finally getting a chance to be a 10-month-old baby," Weeks said. "Her personality is shining through. She is a great kid who loves to ham it up."

A benefit will be held for Ayden from 1 to 6 p.m. this Saturday at the Seneca Golf Course, 7360 State Fair Boulevard in Baldwinsville. The cost is $5 and includes food, soda and door prizes. There will be a DJ, raffles, a bake sale, T-shirts and many prizes. All are invited.

For more information, call Weeks at 480-5591. To make a donation at the benefit, make check payable to Ayden Luman Benefit Foundation.

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