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AUSTIN'S MIRACLE FUND
Aaron's Story and Pictures

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Aaron's pictures are on the AMF Photo Album.  Click the link below to enter the photo album.  Below is Aaron's story- it tells of his life - from diagnosis through his homegoing.

Click here to enter the Austin's Miracle Fund Photo Album.

In Loving Memory of

Aaron Michael Leal

January 23, 1994 - June 21, 2003

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. I'm following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call, I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day to laugh, to love, to work and play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I've found that peace at the close of day. If my parting from you has left a void, please fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss; these things I too will miss. My life's been full and I've savored much; good friends, good times, and my loved ones' touch. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, don't lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your heart and share with me; God wanted me now, He set me free!

Aaron's life is short but full of a lifetime of courage and dignity that inspires us all to endure for God's glory. Aaron inspires many to live a life full of more meaning, more joy and more spirit than ever imaginable. His life is that of honor living through the power of love and grace. He left us all to contemplate our true role in life - love others as Jesus would and reach out for God's full glory of everlasting peace. God sent us all a gift through Aaron - Love. Aaron embodied God's love and left us all with His peace that no matter what happens in life, God is in control and all that happens is for the good of God's Kingdom.

Aaron is survived by his loving family which includes his parents, Albert II and Angel Leal, his brother - Albert Leal III, and sister Ariel Leal. Grandparents - Albert and Theresa Leal and Grandmother - Pauline Flores; along with many aunts, uncles, numerous cousins and loving friends.

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July 9, 2000, Aaron Leal was diagnosed with medullablastoma. I, being his mother, was shocked to know that my child had been diagnosed with brain cancer. I knew it ran in my family history - I lost my mother, my grandmother and my uncle to cancer as a child. I knew I would be high risk for this disease but never thought of it touching my children. This is a time line of events that Aaron and our family has gone through since he was diagnosed.

2000:

July 11 - the tumor was removed

July 12th - the VPN shunt was placed

July 18th - Catheter

July 23rd - Staff infection and Aaron was hospitalized

August 10th - Radiation therapy for six weeks

August 14th - Aaron was completely paralyzed from the neck down

I was having to carry medicine bag, car seat, neck brace, Aaron and everything to go along with this in the wheel chair to get to the hospital for treatments due to the paralyzation.

October 4 - Started Chemotherapy

2001:

March 30 - Chemotherapy Session I ends

April 3rd - MRI good news - disease is stable.

Aaron started walking a little. He had to learn all over again - everything: how to walk, eat, bathroom, etc.

June 23rd - The tumors had returned on the brain stem.

July 2nd - Discovered we were going to have a new baby in the family! Can you talk about timing? This was not great timing but a wonderful blessing for the Leal Family.

July 15 - Aaron started on an experimental drug called ironotecan for 1 year

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2002:

February 2002 - WE HAD A BABY GIRL! ARIEL LEAL

August - Completed chemotherapy after one complete year.

November - Aarons tumor had returned and there were three new ones - so there are 4 nodules (tumors).

December - Another experimental drug - phase 1.

This process has been a long and hard one. Aaron has been very ill during the chemo. We have lost income due to the hospitalizations and care of Aaron.

2003:

February - The doctors told us that this drug was not working either. The MRI showed more cancer. We have nothing else to turn to in the medical world. God is bigger than any of that medication and we are believing for a complete healing. We will also be continuing to look for the natural therapies that are out there. Please continue to pray for him.

Thank you,

Albert and Angel Leal

Albert Jr., Aaron, and Ariel

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Aaron's Story and Pictures

Aaron before diagnosis
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5 years old - September 1999