Heartbreaking pictures of a 5-year-old girl gently supporting and comforting her 4-year-old brother as he struggles to cope with the side effects of chemotherapy, have gone viral.
The pictures were first put up by their mummy, Kaitlin Burge, on Facebook, on 3 September 2019, to show how hard it is for little kids to cope with cancer.
“One thing they don’t tell you about childhood cancer is that it affects the entire family,” wrote Kaitlin on the “Beckett Strong” Facebook page, a page she created after her son, Beckett, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in April 2018.
Leukaemia in children: Heartbreaking pictures show sister comforting little brother as he struggles with side effects of chemotherapy
Mummy of 3, Kaitlin, shares how her two kids, who are just 15 months apart, and best friends, 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 little boy underwent chemotherapy, blood transfusions and platelet transfusions as part of treatment, during his stay in hospital.
“She wasn’t sure what was happening. All she knew was that something was wrong with her brother, her best friend,” writes this mummy.
As the young child battled with cancer, and struggled to cope with the side effects of treatment, his sister, who was just a few months older than him, struggled to understand what was happening, and why he never wanted to play with her any more.
“She watched him struggle to walk and struggle to play. The lively, energetic, and outgoing little brother she once knew was now a quiet, sick, and very sleepy little boy. He never wanted to play.”
“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.”
“Why couldn’t they go to their favorite trampoline park anymore? Why didn’t he have to go back to school, but she did?,” writes Kaitlyn in an emotional post.
The 5-year-old girl didn’t quite know why things were no longer the same…all she knew was that her little brother was sick. He was weak, having gone from 14 kg to 9 kg, in a month. She needed to be there for him, and take care of him.
PHOTO: Facebook / Beckett Strong
“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.”
“Vomiting between play sessions. Waking up to throw up. Standing by her brothers side and rubbing his back while he gets sick.”
“This is childhood cancer,” writes Kaitlyn, as she ends her post, leaving us all moist-eyed.
We hope and pray that this little boy gets well soon…
Here is Kaitlynn’s full post on Facebook:
Leukaemia in children
Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. These abnormal and defective white cells crowd the bone marrow and flood the bloodstream.
As leukaemia progresses, the cancer interferes with the body’s production of other types of blood cells, including red blood cells and platelets. This results in anaemia (low numbers of red cells) and bleeding problems, in addition to the increased risk of infection caused by white cell abnormalities.
Leukaemia is the most common type of cancer in children and teens.
With proper treatment though, most children with leukemia will be free of the disease without it coming back.
Symptoms of leukaemia in children include:
- Fatigue or pale skin
- Infections and fever
- Easy bleeding or bruising, experiencing frequent nosebleeds, or bleeding for an unusually long time after even a minor cut, because leukaemia destroys the bone marrow’s ability to produce clot-forming platelets.
- Extreme fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Bone or joint pain
- Swelling in the abdomen, face, arms, underarms, sides of neck, or groin (swollen lymph nodes)
- Swelling above the collar bone
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Headaches, seizures, balance problems, or abnormal vision
- Gum problems