VNA Dedication Ceremony Remembers 3-Year-Old Aldon Blom

A plaque of Aldon Blom

On the day that would have been his fourth birthday, the Visiting Nurses Association of Western Pennsylvania (VNA) held a tearful and moving ceremony in memory of Aldon Blom.

Family, friends, and caregivers gathered to dedicate the VNA Hospice children’s library in honor of Aldon, who passed away last year from a rare and incurable brain tumor, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

Aldon’s family made a donation in his honor to expand the library’s book collection. “He loved being read to,” said an emotional Josh Blom, Aldon’s dad. “That was a big part of it. The memories that stick out are the little things.”

“This is forever a reminder of how Aldon impacted so many and will continue to make an impact,” said Kelli Connolly, VNA bereavement and spiritual coordinator. “These books are helpful to me when I talk to families helping them understand grief and death.”

A plaque ceremony of Aldon Blom. Connolly led the dedication ceremony which included several readings, songs, and words of remembrance by nurses, Travis Keene, and Abby Campbell, who cared for Aldon.

Even though his time was short, Josh and his family did everything they could to give Aldon the best life he could live. Aldon loved movies, notably ‘Toy Story’ and ‘The Incredibles’ and being read to as he held his book.

One of the most touching moments of the ceremony came when spiritual counselor, Suzie Dalessandro, played and sang “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story, but with a twist meant specifically for Aldon. Dalessandro changed the pronoun “She” to “He.”

Josh Blom hangs a plaque for his son, Aldon, on the wall of the library.

At the end of the ceremony, Blom hung a plaque with Aldon’s picture on the wall of the library. The plaque read, “Forever A Hero, Daddy Loves You Buddy” as a reminder that even the youngest individuals can make the biggest impact on a person’s life.

There is no denying that Aldon’s birthday will forever be a special part of Blom’s life as well as future VNA pediatric children. The children’s section of the grief library is used more than any other explained Connolly.

Blom wants to raise awareness and advocate for more research into DIPG as well as help families pay for medical bills associated with the disease. To accomplish this, and in honor of Aldon, Blom hopes to create an organization called “Aldon’s Army.”

“I’m happy we could do this, as five years ago to the day, at almost this exact time, Aldon was born,” said Blom. “I was supposed to teach him, but he taught me.”