A mom from Princeton, Texas, took to Facebook to share the heartbreaking pictures of her 4-year-old son battling leukemia. In one picture, her 5-year-old daughter can be seen gently rubbing her little brother’s tiny back as he bends over a toilet. These heart-wrenching photos serve to remind us of the pain families struggle to go through in the face of childhood cancer.
Childhood cancer is a harrowing experience that takes a terrible toll on both the child and the entire family. Kaitlin Burge’s son, Beckett, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood cancer, at age 2 in April 2018. Since then, Beckett has received chemotherapy, as well as blood and platelet transfusions.
It’s devastating for Burge to watch her son, Beckett, endure severe pain as he battles leukemia. So, just imagine how scary it is for her 5-year-old daughter Aubrey to watch her brother suffer.
Burge, a mom of three, wrote in a Facebook post, alongside the heartbreaking photos: “One thing they don’t tell you about childhood cancer is that it affects the entire family. You always hear about the financial and medical struggles, but how often do you hear about the struggles families with other children face?”
“My two kids, 15 months apart, went from playing in school and at home together to sitting in a cold hospital room together. My then 4 year-year-old watched her brother go from an ambulance to the ICU. She watched a dozen doctors throw a mask over his face, poke and prod him with needles, pump a dozen medications through his body, all while he laid there helplessly,” the mom continued.
Watching all these unfolding before her very eyes, little Aubrey wasn’t sure what was happening at her young age. “All she knew was that something was wrong with her brother, her best friend,” Burge wrote.
One thing they don’t tell you about childhood cancer is that it affects the entire family. You always hear about the…
Upon his return from the hospital, Aubrey found that Beckett was no longer the energetic, lively, and outgoing playmate he used to be. The cancer-stricken Beckett has become a quiet and sick little boy, who’s often very sleepy. She realized that her little brother no longer wanted to play and needed help walking around.
“She didn’t understand how he was able to walk before this, but now he can’t even stand unassisted. She didn’t understand the different therapies he had to attend to gain his strength back. To her, it was something special he got to do that she didn’t,” Burge wrote.
Aubrey didn’t understand why they couldn’t visit their favorite trampoline park anymore or go to the splash pads that they previously went to. She didn’t understand why he didn’t need to go back to school, but she had to.
Although Aubrey doesn’t understand many things, she sacrifices gymnastics and sticks by Beckett’s side, doing her utmost to comfort her sick little brother.
“She spent a fair amount of time, by his side in the bathroom, while he got sick. She stuck by him. She supported him and she took care of him, regardless of the situation. To this day, they are closer. She always takes care of him,” Burge shared. “Vomiting between play sessions. Waking up to throw up. Standing by her brothers side and rubbing his back while he gets sick.”
Aubrey and Beckett have developed an incredible bond through the ordeal, and in one moment captured in photo, the devoted sister gently rubbed Beckett’s tiny back as he leaned over a toilet. She’s seemingly reassuring her sickly brother that everything will be okay.
“Children need support and togetherness, and should not be kept at a distance from the person who is ill,” Burge wrote in the post, which has gone viral, racking up more than 62,000 reactions.
Undeniably, family support plays a vital role in cancer survivor-ship. Beckett is lucky to have such a caring sister! It certainly helped Beckett a great deal when Aubrey put her small hand on his back to offer him comfort.
Little Beckett will finish chemotherapy in August 2021. Fortunately, so far, his prognosis has been good, Burge told Today. May Beckett persevere in his fight with cancer and continue to stay strong in his recovery to full health!
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