A set of heart-wrenching pictures of two kids, a 5-year old little girl that was gently supporting a 4-year old brother while using the toilet as the side effects of chemotherapy treatment disrupts their playtime, have gone viral after the mother of the two little children shared them to showcase the impact and side effects of childhood cancer on the whole family.
The mother of three children, Kaitlin Burge, who lives in Princeton, Texas with her family shared the sad pictures on September 3rd of 2019, saying how much childhood cancer affects the whole of the family, and not only the patient. According to her, the only aspect that gets into the public’s notice is the financial struggles as well as the medical struggles associated with the medical condition, but the story of the collective family struggles of a patient’s family never gets told. She said that her kids, who are only 15 months apart, always go from playing together in school and at home to sitting in hospital rooms together. This, she said, occurs regularly and is a very strenuous ordeal.
Her 4-year-old kid suffers from Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL). This type of cancer is a common type of cancer that affects children mostly. The ALL type of cancer accounts for about 30 per cent of all recorded cases of cancer. Cancer affects the immature white blood cells, the lymphocytes, that identify and destroy foreign proteins in the body. When a child suffers from Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia, their bone marrow produces too many immature that lack the ability to fight body infections, thereby rendering the child weak.
When a child suffers from Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia, they might experience some symptoms like bone and joint pain, recurrent fevers and infections, swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, breathing difficulties and so on.
In a post she made in honour of Childhood Cancer Awareness, the mother of the two kids, Burge said that she had received a call from the daycare where Beckett was enrolled on the 23rd of April 2018. The daycare had called the mother to come and pick the little boy up as he was said to be running a fever. He was then taken to an after-hours paediatric centre where he was diagnosed with an ear infection, and antibiotics were prescribed for him. The paediatrician told Burge that if after some days, the symptoms still remain without improvement, she has to bring the boy back to the centre or go to the emergency room. The following day, however, Beckett’s fever shot up to 104, and the doctor referred them to Burge and her Child to a Children’s health care centre in Plano.
Going to the clinic, Burge thought and expected that the child will be diagnosed with a possible punctured eardrum or other related ailments that will be easily treated in a few days with antibiotics. But she, however, was informed that the CT scan taken came back with pneumonia in Beckett’s left lung and that his labs came back with a haemoglobin of 5.5 and a white blood cell count of 150,000. The paediatrician then further revealed to Burge that her son, Beckett is suffering from leukemia.
From there, they were transferred to Dallas hospital as Beckett was suffering from acute respiratory failure. After a short say at ICU, Beckett got transferred to the cancer unit and in September of 2018. His treatment timeline was shared with his mother, and it showed that the treatment will end by August of 2021. It was during this treatment that the post was made by Burge, showing her son, Beckett getting ready to vomit in the toilet bowl and the elder sister, Aubrey, 5 years old, was gently supporting him.
She related how the little girl, who was then 4 years old watched as her brother was been transferred from the ambulance into the Intensive Care Unit, how doctors put masks on his face and give him medications through injections while the innocent little Beckett laid helplessly on the bed. Aubrey didn’t understand what was happening to her brother, but she was there all the way.
After a month and some days, Beckett was relieved from the hospital, but he was unable to walk, or play. Burge noted that it was hard for the little girl who did everything with her brother until then.
Explaining why they allowed Aubrey to be present during all the treatment process of her little brother, Burge noted that it is important that they allow her to be with her brother as a form of support and togetherness. She said it is important to show to the sick child that he is been cared for, no matter what the situation might be.
Aubrey stood by her brother most of the time, helping him in the bathroom, toilet, and through everything. She supported her brother, took care of him and they have grown even closer than they were.
The post made by Burge has been shared almost 30,000 times, motivating her to share updated pictures of Beckett. Like when he was getting ready for his first day of school, where he was passionately hugging his sister, Aubrey, and a lot more. These pictures have been shared by Burge has served as an inspiration to a lot of supporters who have taken to sharing photos of their children helping a supporting a sibling through their illness. She portrayed the otherwise faded part of the aftereffect of cancer and has become a source of motivation for a lot of others.