More than 15,000 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. every year, with over 300,000 new cases worldwide.
And every three minutes, a new family is told that their child has cancer. One mom received the devastating news that her son, Drake, had acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September 2012, and it's been an uphill battle for both of them ever since. Many people have no idea how difficult it is to watch children deal with the debilitating disease, so she recently decided to post a heartbreaking photo to show the toll it takes on her now 10-year-old boy. She has a powerful message to share, so we'll let her say it in her own words.
"Life isn't pretty, and cancer fucking destroys a person. This was this morning after carrying Drake to the bathroom. Yes, he is in a Pull-Up because 75 percent 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 through out the day."
"This is having your son sleep with you at night because he is afraid of something happening and being alone, and by something I mean dying. This is having middle of the night conversations with a 10-year-old, asking if he dies will he go to Heaven and will he see his dad there and be able to talk and play with him."
"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 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.' 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."
"This is him, Drake, Stinky Joe, my whole world. From the moment I found out I was pregnant 'til future forever, he has been my reason for life. He is my smile, my love, my heartbeat. He is also my tears, my heartache, my frowns. He is my life."
We wish Drake and his mom nothing but the best in their fight against this horrible disease. Please consider sharing their story to show them your support.
If you'd like to donate to finding cures for childhood cancers, go here.