Lumberton boy with leukemia gifted brand-new play set after original destroyed by Hurricane Florence

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LUMBERTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 3-year-old Lumberton boy battling leukemia is getting a bit of his childhood back with the help of a nonprofit organization on Thursday.

Roc Solid Foundation, with the sponsorship of State Farm, provided Ayden Locklear with his very own play set.

Ayden was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on July 5, 2018. It was about the time his parents, Ian and Brittany, built him a play set.

By the time they returned home from the hospital, Hurricane Florence had destroyed the set.

"Hurricane Florence came and messed it up. Flipped it over, yeah, it flipped," the parents said.

State Farm provided $5,000 to ensure Ayden enjoyed a nice breakfast, went to a trampoline park with his friends, and rode back home in a limousine to see the new addition.

Debbie Barnes, one of Ayden's grandmothers, says it's been a long journey.

"I'm just grateful that my grandson is still with me," Barnes said.

Ayden's parents say he's in remission, currently going through the maintenance phase: visiting UNC Medical Center once a month and taking chemotherapy liquid medication once a day.

Just like the play set, Ayden is looking to piece his childhood together. His family says they're eagerly waiting for October 2021 so he can ring that bell at UNC Medical Center.

"We can't wait for that day. I can't imagine how I would feel that day, but yes, that is definitely a day we're looking forward to," Brittany said.
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