The Chapman family spends another Thanksgiving weekend together inside of their Westlake home. Enjoying some good food, laughing, and watching their eight-year-old son Aydan play his favorite sport, football, with his older sister Annika.
At first glance they appear to be very normal but what you don't see are the scars of a long battle that this family has endured since 2009 after doctors made a devastating discovery.
"We decided to bring him into Seaton Southwest Hospital," Kristen Chapman, Aydan's mother, said through the help of an ASL interpreter, "and they did a quick cat scan and they saw a mass in his brain."
The mass was a malignant tumor that required immediate surgery. A tumor that grew back four different times, requiring five surgeries and multiple radiation treatments. Something that has taken it's toll on Aydan, an avid Cowboys fan.
"This year has been really one of the worst times for him," Kristen said, "really hard because he is a little bit older and I think he is understanding more and it has really impacted him emotionally."
It has also impacted Aydan physically as he is unable to play the game he loves most.
"I'm not happy about it," Aydan said.
But it has not stopped him from displaying a fight and determination larger than the stadium of his favorite team.
"He keeps saying 'no, I'm not going to back down. I'm going to fight and continue to persevere' and that fighting attitude that's what he has had his entire life," Kristen said.
Aydan's parents are both hearing impaired. Aydan's father, Bryce, became deaf at the age of three after receiving treatment for spinal meningitis. A disease that put Bryce in a coma for several weeks, almost killing him.
"We're strong people in this family," Bryce said.
But strong people need help too and that is why just last week the community banded together and raised over $20,000 during a garage sale all to help the Chapman family.
"I was completely overwhelmed," Kristen said.
"That made me feel like we are important. that we are special. that he is special," Aydan's sister, Annika, said.
The fight for the Chapmans has been a long one, which is why on this Thanksgiving they are together as a family and thankful for the time that they are blessed to share together.
"With Aydan and his situation and his health struggles," Kristen said, " Always feel that much more appreciative and grateful."
"Looking at every second and making it count, making it worthwhile. Be close to the people that you have, your family, your friends, it doesn't matter. Every time you're with them, make it count," Bryce said.
Aydan began his third round of chemotherapy on Sunday. A treatment he is scheduled to undergo until after Christmas. His family hopes by then that all traces of the most recent tumor and cancer cells will be cleared.
Clearing a path for Aydan to finally step onto the football field to play the game he loves with his friends.
FOX 7's Marcus Officer first told you about Ayden on November 21st.
What started as a community effort to help raise money for the family of eight-year old Aydan Chapman, quickly grew into a Texas-sized show of support.
Aydan Chapman was diagnosed with brain cancer for the fourth time in his short life. Currently Aydan is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
While Aydan fights daily to stay alive, his family fights just to stay ahead. The physical and financial burden of Aydan's treatments have taken a significant toll on his family .
That is why a group of Aydan's loved ones came together and organized a charity garage sale to help raise money for the family. The group set a lofty goal to raise $20,000 and thanks to the help from hundreds across Central Texas the group did just that.
"The money is going directly to his family, to his parents, and to 'help aydan win'." Holly Noel, a volunteer at the garage sale, said.
Donations are still being accepted. If you would like to donate you may go to aydanwins.com.