WESTERVILLE (WCMH) — After Aiden Welling lost his life to cancer, those close to him are making it there mission to help kids who went through the same illness.
One by one, each child battling a different life changing illness, rode away with a new set of wheels.
“Just seeing the smiles on their faces, they go through so much and just for a moment, we can stop to enjoy the moment,” said Julia Gilliam, a mom to one of the kids helped by Wheels for Aiden, a nonprofit organization that provides children with mobility challenges electronic cars.
Gilliam’s daughter Mia was all smiles in her new electric car, and she already has her first destination in mind.
“To Target,” Mia said.
Gilliam said this is the kind of event that makes her forget about all the treatment and hospital visits.
“I’m so proud of her,” she said of Mia. “She’s a warrior. All these kids are. They are amazing, it’s inspiring.”
Director for Wheels for Aiden, Jason Woehrle, sees the benefits to what the organization does for the children.
“Thye sit inside, they look out the window, they see everyone else out having a good time,” he said. “This enables them to get outside and play with other kids.”
Woehrle, a former neighbor of Aiden, said Aiden was just about seven when he died from cancer three years ago.
Seeing all the smiling faces makes Woehrle and Aiden’s brother Owen Welling remember him fondly.
“It just really makes me happy that people still can remember him and do all this great stuff for kids that were in the same spot as him,” Welling said.
For Macee Leonard, whose daughter is a two-time cancer survivor, calls these moments priceless.
“We are surrounded by the most amazing community,” she said. “We are constantly surprised with things like this that allows them to be a kid and my heart is so full.”
The organization uses all proceeds to provide the cars to the children. Each electric car costs about $500.