ayden pennies


“Find a penny and pick it up and all day long you will have good luck.”
If that is the case, then a Schulter youngster is going to have a lot of days of good luck as he battles for his life.
Ayden Stites-Moore was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017. Since then he has undergone two surgeries now is hoping for some good news.
Following the initial diagnosis, he had surgery that revealed the tumor was malignant and doctors were unable to remove it completely. A subsequent examination at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis found the tumor was back and larger than before. That prompted the second surgery in November. “We again followed up with St Jude in February, where we got great news, that only a small “suspicious” area remained,” said his mother, Samantha. Doctors want to monitor his progress which means trips to Memphis every three months.
There is where the pennies come in.
Students and staff members at Schulter held a penny war, filling up jars, buckets and boxes with copper coins to help defray the expenses for the multiple trips.
“We want to thank Schulter School and all of the staff and students who participated in a "Penny War" in honor of Ayden,” his mother said. “Our family has always been Schulter Bulldogs as far back as my grandparents. We have tried other places, but none have felt like the "home" that Schulter School is for us.”
She said the penny war was the latest in help the family has received from the community.
“Everyone at Schulter has went out of their way to make this season of our life as easy as possible for us, even before the "Penny War" began. Mr. Callahan and Mrs. Valerie Garner-Beachel have went above and beyond in being flexible with Aydens attendance for surgery and appointments, as well as accommodating Aydens PE/Recess restrictions. Mrs. Beachel has been so kind and loving in allowing us flexibility in getting Aydens work done, and Ms. Deb has brought the boys snacks for after school when they wait with my sister. Ms Tanna Lay has helped with Aydens bracelets and watched over him as well. Most of all we have been covered up in prayer from all of these people, including Gwyneth Batson Ayres, Mr. Duncan, and of course my sister Mrs. Thompson.”
All of the money raised has been put into an account to be used for any travel related expenses that are not covered by St. Jude or insurance.
For now, Ayden and his family are preparing for the next trip in May and hoping that all that good luck from the pennies will bring good news.