LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- He has beaten cancer twice and is only 12 years old. Now, one Sellersburg, Ind., boy has been chosen to share his story with the nation.
Aiden Johnson was treated like a superstar Thursday as he arrived at the Louisville Marriott Downtown by limo.
"We kept it as a complete surprise for him," said his mom, Gena Johnson. "We sang and danced all the way here."
He walked in on a red carpet to a lobby full of people cheering him on. He was presented with a personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bat and a basketball signed by UK coach John Calipari. He also got the title of honorary general manager at the hotel for the day and enjoyed a hot buffet breakfast.
"Well what I think about this, is I'm speechless," Aiden said.
He is about to be speaking a whole lot more in his new role as an ambassador.
"There's 180,000 children a year seen at Kosair Children's Hospital, and for Aiden to have that responsibility and honor to represent each and everyone of those children, it's a responsibility that we don't take lightly," Gena Johnson said.
Because of his own battle, Aiden was chosen as the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion Ambassador for Kentucky. The family will serve as local, state and national spokespeople, something Aiden's still working on, as he begged for his mom to help him, overwhelmed in front of all the cameras.
"Mom, please," he asked." "I can't speak forever for you, son!" Gena Johnson laughed.
Aiden was chosen because of his battle.
"Aiden has been a Kosair Children's Hospital child pretty much since birth," Gena Johnson said.
He was born with a heart condition, has battled and beaten cancer twice, found out he has a lung disorder, received 893 doses of chemo, 94 blood transfusions, had 14 surgeries, lost his hair five times and been poked with a needle over 1,000 times.
He has also been recognized because of his giving heart. He started Aiden's Legacy, a non-profit foundation that raises money to buy Legos for sick kids at Kosair.
"When I was in the hospital, I built legos to pass my time when I was getting chemo," Aiden said.
He recently was able to deliver $15,000 worth of Lego sets.
"Mom's our fundraiser person," he said proudly.
Aiden is healthy and cancer-free. After a courageous journey, the family is now on a mission to inspire others.
"That's what this position is all about -- get involved, make a difference, donate money, donate time," Gena Johnson said.
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