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Aiden, 15, is a teenager with a passion for politics. When his heart condition made him eligible for a Make-A-Wish experience, Aiden knew right away that he wanted to be the nation's leader.
Together with the assistance of the Prime Minister's Office, House of Commons of Canada, RCMP, Prime Minister's Protection Detail, Canadian Army, Canadian War Museum and Fairmont Château Laurier, Make-A-Wish planned a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ottawa for Aiden that gave him a chance to experience life as Canada’s prime minister and live out his dream.
Aiden was born with a heart condition and by age 15, he’d already had four open-heart surgeries. Despite his health challenges and complications that impact many areas of his life, he is an extremely intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken teenager. Aiden is fascinated by all things politics and it was no surprise at all that he wished to be Canada's prime minister. His wish experience gave him the unique first-hand perspective of what it’s like to be our country's leader.
Aiden was met at the Ottawa International Airport by the prime minister’s protection detail and whisked away to a suite at the Château Laurier. While at the hotel, he was treated like the real prime minister and followed around by an entourage.
While visiting Parliament Hill, Aiden enjoyed lunch at the House of Commons with a special guest from his home town, London West MP, Kate Young.
Aiden had the opportunity to enjoy a full tour of the RCMP facilities and see the task force participate in a mock emergency exercise. He also enjoyed meeting members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa. The military personnel were honoured by Aiden’s interest. They hosted a luncheon and brought him in with bagpipes and a standing ovation. He also received a tour of the Canadian War Museum and was given access to parts of the museum that are off-limits to the general public.
One of the biggest moments for Aiden was his press conference at the House of Commons. He made an inspiring speech about living with a critical illness and his wish experience. Aiden ended with, “Please remember my name, because in a few more years I will need your votes when I run for prime minister of Canada.”
Towards the end of his wish week, Aiden had the privilege of having a private meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his office.
“What an experience that we will never forget," says Courtney, Aiden's mom. "Make-A-Wish is incredible! Amazing! Life-changing! The pride I have witnessed in Aiden’s eyes this week is truly a gift. They really do make miracles happen and allow these kids to shine in a way I never imagined. My heart is full.”