Updated: Sep 22, 2022
From Raising Aidan Microwave Cupcake Mix to The Hemp Cream, here’s an incredible story of a mother’s determination to give her rare warrior everything he needs.
Raising Aidan all started when my son Aidan was diagnosed with Costello Syndrome in 2011, at 18 months.
Costello Syndrome is a very rare genetic disorder, with Aidan being only the 2nd of 4 known cases in South Africa and around 400 to 600 known worldwide.
Aidan is very prone to cancer, so we do ultrasounds on him quarterly. He has a thickened left ventricle wall in his heart. He has orthopedic issues, the latest of which requires an operation on his hip called an osteotomy in early April. He has also been diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Saying that, he is the friendliest, chattiest guy you’ll meet.
With this diagnosis, came the need for therapy, scans, regular specialist visits, orthotics, and procedures that medical aid didn’t fully cover, plus the need for me as a single mom to be available to do all the driving to appointments and the full-time care work.
This is when Raising Aidan was born, and it provided me with the opportunity to facilitate it all.
My mom just happened to have developed a cake mix that baked in under 5 minutes in the microwave at that time. In learning about all his necessary costs associated with therapies and specialists required, I set out to market this mix, which over time evolved into our brand- Raising Aidan Microwave Cupcake Mix. It has since morphed into other products, but more about that later.
Having gained momentum and awareness of what Raising Aidan stood for, not only did people and companies support me in buying the mixes to help for his care and related expenses, generosity came in all sorts of shapes and forms, from someone volunteering to design and print labels and design websites, to providing ready cooked frozen meals after operations, people running errands when I was tied down with Aidan’s recoveries, and even more excitingly, events and experiences that they’ve wanted Aidan to participate in. From The Fireman’s Challenge, where we arrived in a helicopter, to the amazing ride arranged for us in an ambulance on the way to one of Aidan’s procedures. He’s been on sea rescue missions at Harties, to Mustang rallies and even had a “holiday experience” provided around his operation on his spine at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
The Harley Club took us on a ride around Cape Point, he got to go up Table Mountain, he even got sponsored a weekend at a beautiful hotel so that he could get his ultimate delight... “room service”.
Our ultimate was being able to raise enough funding for us to go to the USA for the Costello Syndrome conference in Orlando, Florida in 2017.
In late 2017, after coming back from the USA conference, I really felt the need for change.
The Microwave Mix had always been popular, but income wise, I needed something stronger that could enable me as a mom to provide more than just the bare necessities for our living.
Earlier that year I’d started Aidan on a very diluted cannabis oil. Being very prone to cancer, and after researching cannabis, I knew it would be a positive step in preventing it from developing. One day while having a relaxing spa treatment, I literally had an epiphany. Why not add my skincare knowledge and formulations together, and phyto-infuse the two? The results just had to be good.
The results were outstanding! Anti-aging results that literally astounded me. Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, cold sores, acne, and even the most inflamed nappy rash literally disappeared.
I started by offering free Trial Kits to a few of our Raising Aidan followers and received the most amazing before and after pictures, and in turn, some customers that have been with me ever since. And so, The Hemp Cream was born.
I’ve been running The Hemp Cream since late 2017 and have now incorporated a “Raising Aidan” product line within the business.
We’ve discontinued the microwave cupcake mixes and are focusing on extending our current Raising Aidan product line, which specialises in Skin and Body care for kids from babies to teens, and even some products for the grown ups.
We even won the Parent’s Choice Award from the MamaMagic Show in 2018 for our natural, safe, and effective Mosquito Repellent!! So far, our products are as follows:
Mosquito Repellent (award-winning, safe, and effective – even for babies)
Dust Mite Spray (safe and effective – even for babies)
Kiddies Balm - this stuff is the bomb for any kid’s skin issues from nappy rash to eczema and psoriasis
Baby Massage Oil
Contouring Cream - fabulous for stretch marks, for moms to rub on their growing tummies for pregnancy and cellulite
Soothing Body Lotion
Shampoo & Body Wash
We are also looking to incorporate sensory products ideal for children with sensory processing issues.
Raising a rare human, certainly had its challenges over the last 12 years. The financial ones can be the biggest strain when you know that their health and life depend on its provision.
One thing I can truly say though, is that it’s helped me to think totally out of the mainstream. It’s taught me to come up with solutions when there seemed to be none. And each time, things have always worked out.
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