The story behind the man sobbing over his dying grandchild will break your heart
In the viral photo, a dad who suffers from ALS is unable to speak, but simply sobs beside his 5-year-old daughter, who is fighting for her life
Mums and dads, cherish each moment because life can change in an instant. For Ally and Andrew Parker, life took a sudden heartbreaking turn when their five-year-old daughter Braylynn was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). This is one of the most severe forms of childhood cancer.
Braylynn was diagnosed during last December's holidays. A month later, her condition continues to deteriorate.
Braylynn's battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)
Shortly after Braylynn's parents managed to get financial help for an experimental treatment, her condition quickly worsened.
Her tumour had started to bleed, and doctors had to break the sad news that Braylynn could pass away at any time.
Heartbroken, Braylynn's mum Ally took to Facebook on January 8 and wrote:
"Today will be the worst day of my life so far, and in less than a week, I will have a day that is even more terrible. Today is the day that everyone will have to say their final goodbyes, to a FIVE year old," wrote Ally. "This should never happen to anyone. There is no one in this world who is evil enough to deserve to feel what I am currently feeling."
Braylynn's battle gained social media attention after a heart-wrenching photo of her 49-year-old granddad Sean, weeping uncontrollably by her side, went viral. He can no longer speak because of his struggle with ALS.
"In a few days I will have to bury this beautiful little girl. Months, maybe even weeks, later, I will have to bury my father," Ally wrote on January 9 in a painful post. "Both of my heroes, gone, within the same year."
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG): Severe brain cancer that strikes kids aged 5 to 9
Around 175,000-250,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Though 70% of modern-day childhood cancer is "curable," there are those that cannot be treated, like the inoperable tumour that results from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
DIPG involves brain tumours that are highly aggressive in nature. They affect the part of the brainstem responsible for vital bodily functions, like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
About 300 children between the ages of five and nine are stricken with this condition each year, says Boston Children's Hospital.
Braylynn's mum Ally still hopes that there will one day be a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)
"My baby girl deserves to live a full, happy life, and so does every other child who has had to face DIPG. We have to put an end to this," urges Ally.
She hopes "no more kids can get this disease and be allowed to die from it."
"We HAVE to find a cure, not a damn band aid," she laments. "These kids deserve so much more than that, someday soon someone needs to find out what that cure is."
Sadly, there is not enough funding for childhood cancer research and treatment worldwide.
As of this writing, Braylynn continues to fight for her life.
Braylynn's family has set up a Facebook page called Braylynn's Batallion, where you can show your support.
"Braylynn and our family can feel your love and prayers coming in from all over the world. At this time, we want to spend every moment with our precious warrior princess. Thank you for your love and prayers for our sweet baby girl," reads a status update on the Braylynn's Batallion page.
Our hearts go out to Braylynn's family during this difficult time. May they continue to stay strong.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore