OTTUMWA — This summer was supposed to be like any other summer for 8-year-old Aidan Baumgartner of Ottumwa. He was looking forward to swimming and playing baseball for the Cardinals in the Ottumwa Mid West Little League. His plans quickly changed, however, during baseball practice the first week of May.
While Aidan was running toward first base, he felt and heard a “pop” in his upper right shoulder. Thinking he had pulled a muscle, he underwent some physical therapy, but after a couple of weeks, the pain in his shoulder getting worse. Further tests revealed he had a cancerous tumor on the bone in his upper arm, and the “pop” he heard and felt was actually the bone breaking. The cancer was diagnosed at the University of Iowa Hospital as osteosarcoma.
As a result, Aidan has spent many days at the University of Iowa Hospital undergoing chemotherapy to reduce the tumor. He will have one or two surgeries to remove not only what remains of the tumor but to also remove bone from his upper arm and replace it with new bone either from his own leg or from a cadaver. He was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday, and he will then undergo additional chemotherapy for several weeks following the surgery before he will be able to resume the normal activities of an 8-year-old boy.
Aidan is the son of Thomas Baumgartner of Lone Tree and Amanda Baumgartner of Ottumwa and the brother of his older sister Avery.
To help the family with unexpected costs associated with traveling and staying in Iowa City at times during the summer and additional medical expenses, St. Paul Lutheran Church is hosting a community fundraising event from 3-8 p.m. Sept. 6 at the church, 1524 N. Court St. It will include root beer floats, pulled pork supper, silent auction and evening entertainment by the “Blue Grass Blondies."
Donations can also be made payable to St. Paul Lutheran Church and mailed to the church any time before or after the event. The South Central Iowa and KeoMa Chapters of Thrivent Financial will be providing matching funds. For more information or to offer additional help with the fundraiser, contact Pastor Ron Barnett by calling 641-684-4214 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.