Childhood cancer is a harrowing experience that takes a terrible toll on both the children and their families. Imagine how devastating if must be for the parents to watch their child endure such severe pain.
For Jessica Medinger, from Tomball, Texas, it has been heartbreaking to watch her cancer-stricken child, Drake Medinger, suffering. On International Cancer Day in 2017, a post shared by Jessica online describing her then-10-year-old son fighting cancer for the second time demonstrates how “a mother’s love knows no bounds.” She wrote: “From the moment I found out I was pregnant till future forever, he has been my reason for life.”
Alongside her heartfelt message, Jessica posted a heart-wrenching photo of a bald Drake standing in the bathroom, wearing a pull-up diaper and visibly in pain, in the midst of his ordeal.
Drake was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL B Cell) in September 2012. Drake underwent painful spinal taps, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and surgeries. In March 2016, the cancer went into remission, but, unfortunately, six months later, Drake was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
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Jessica wrote: “Life isn’t pretty, and cancer destroys a person.”
“This was this morning after carrying Drake to the bathroom. Yes, he is in a pull up because 75% of the time he can’t control his bathroom habits.”
“This is skin and bones because I have to beg him to eat ONE green bean for supper or drink a cup of water throughout the day.”
Her post goes on to say:
“This is him being too weak to get out of bed or walk and needing to be carried or in a wheelchair.”
“This is him falling asleep as someone is talking to him, because he is too exhausted.”
“This is him, throwing up every medication I give him and him dry heaving because his stomach is empty except for the spoonful of yogurt I just gave him with his pills.”
“This is him, having to take 44 chemo pills last week in a matter of 24 hours. This is him telling me, ‘mommy, I’m not going to make it.”
Jessica Medinger knew the image she was about to share on Facebook was a side of her son many had never seen before – and that’s exactly why she chose to share it.
Jessica went on to describe why he cannot sleep alone at night:
“He is afraid of something happening and being alone,” she wrote, “and by something I mean dying.”
Drake often questions his mom as to whether he will see his dad in Heaven if he dies. Her post continues:
“This is him not wanting to be touched, because it hurts too much, and using morphine to get through his day.”
“This is him telling me he is scared and thinks he won’t see his 11th birthday.”
“This is him and me, telling him that I will continue to fight for him when he can’t. This is him and me, and our world.”
That shows the effects of the disease
The loving mother concluded her post by saying “This is him, Drake, Stinky Joe, my whole world.” She added: “He is my smile, my love, my heartbeat. He is also my tears, my heart ache, my frowns. He is my life.”
Unsurprisingly, the brutally honest post about the reality of childhood cancer tugged at the heartstrings of many social media users. Since Jessica shared her son’s photo, people all over the world have poured out their support for Drake in his darkest hour. The post was shared over 67,000 times in just a single day.
Jessica never expected the post, meant to be seen by her family and friends, would go viral. “I am overwhelmed by the positive comments and prayers. I personally believe that they make a huge difference in Drake’s fight against Relapsed Leukemia,” the mom expressed her thanks in a Facebook post. “Thank you everyone for the out pouring of support…your uplifting words, they really helped.”
So, how’s Drake doing now?
On the GoFundMe page set up for Drake, Jessica updated in early 2019: “Today marks another tic in the completed column. Drake had his stent removed from his kidney. All went well.”
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it can be hard on the entire family. Jessica’s emotional post serves to remind us of the pain families struggle to go through as their cancer-stricken children endure excruciating pain.