An Open Letter to Whoever Stole a Stratham, NH, Boy’s Cookie Monster
Why? That's probably the best way to open this letter to you, honestly. Why did you feel the need to steal a little boy's backpack? Sure, you didn't know who it belonged to, and I'd like to think if you knew the owner of the backpack's story, maybe you would've thought twice about it. So let me tell you part of his story.
The backpack you stole belongs to a 12-year-old boy from Stratham, New Hampshire, named Aidan. Aidan Carter. You may be sitting there somewhere in California asking yourself how you have a New Hampshire boy's backpack even though you broke into a car in California and swiped it. Let me answer that question for you.
According to WMUR, Aidan is out in California because he's part of a clinical trial. Know why, Mr. or Ms. Thief? Because Aidan suffers from a rare disease and is taking part in a clinical trial to combat said disease. Because Aidan isn't a regular 12-year-old that only has to worry about doing their homework and listening to their parents, and whose only worry is skinning their knees while playing with their friends (or the battery on their tablet dying while they're playing games on it.)
No, Aidan doesn't have that luxury. Because every single day of Aidan's life right now, he has to deal with having a disease that's so rare, there's no easy cure for it. You know, hence the whole reason he's out in California taking part in a clinical trial in the first place. Does that still not matter to you? Let me break it down more for you.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Hunter Syndrome happens when the body is missing an enzyme that helps break down certain molecules. So without that enzyme, molecules just keep building up inside of Aidan. The more the molecules build up, the more at risk organs like Aidan's lungs, heart, joints, connective tissues, and brain and nervous system.
Yeah, so you're sitting there worrying about whose stuff you can steal, while Aidan is dealing with all of that on a daily basis. AS A 12-YEAR-OLD BOY. And you know what says a lot? You know what really speaking to the kind person Aidan is and continues to become?
Here's what's inside his backpack (as you probably already know, since I'm sure you've opened it by now): his laptop, some action figures, books, his hearing aid, and a stuffed Cookie Monster. And with all of that, do you know what Aidan is MOST upset about? The Cookie Monster.
Because Aidan isn't like you. Aidan doesn't need all these fun toys and gadgets that you clearly do since you're breaking car windows and stealing them. Heck, Aidan doesn't even need his hearing aid -- he's STILL Zooming with his class back in New Hampshire while he's still in California.
Because the kid has spirit. The kid has heart. A huge one. Which is why he's so upset about the Cookie Monster. He's had that since he was a little nugget. Cookie Monster has gone to all of Aidan's treatments with him. He was supposed to be going to his treatments in California with him, too -- 4-8 hour infusions -- until you decided to change that plan for whatever reason you decided you NEEDED that backpack in that car in the parking lot of the San Francisco Zoo.
So, do you get it now? Are you looking at that black backpack right now? Are you focusing in on that gold ribbon with a jaguar on it that's attached to that backpack, and feeling a little guilty? Are you seeing that Cookie Monster right now and realizing you did the wrong thing, and a 12-year-old boy has a heart 10 times more massive than yours?
It's not too late to grow your own heart, Thief. It's not too late to change your name from Thief to Mistake Maker That Decided To Do The Right Thing At The End Of The Day. I mean, that's a MUCH longer name than Thief, but isn't it a better one? Go ahead, take the leap. Change your name. It's easy -- why not send a message to Action For Aidan on Facebook and tell them you found the backpack, heard about the story, and want to get it back to them? You obviously have access to Facebook -- you have a laptop in that backpack you're looking at right now.
And if, somehow, this whole letter to you hasn't convinced you to help Aidan and his family to #FindCookie and #BringCookieHome, I'll leave you with a video that shows EXACTLY how much that Cookie Monster means to Aidan.
Do the right thing. I know you have it in you.