Dad's heartbreaking photo of his daughter shows the 'true face of cancer'
"This photograph was made in a moment that we as parents could offer her no comfort, her pushing us away whilst she rode out this searing pain in solitude"
Cancer is painful. This simple truth often gets clouded under the inspiring stories about cancer survivors that are all over social media. However, one brave father chose to show the side of cancer that most people don’t want to see.
His daughter only has weeks to live. This is the True face of cancer
Andy Whelan, father of 4-year-old Jessica Whelan wants people to see the ‘true face of cancer.’ He posted the heartbreaking photo on facebook after he found out that his beloved daughter only has weeks left to live.
He wrote, “This photograph was made in a moment that we as parents could offer her no comfort, her pushing us away whilst she rode out this searing pain in solitude.”
“This is now a familiar sight that we see regularly through each day and night, its frequency now more often. This is the true face of cancer, my baby girls blood vessels protruding from beneath her skin, a solitary tear running down her cheek, her body stiffened and her face contorted in pain.”
“We’re going to lose my daughter”
Little Jessica has been fighting her cancer, stage 4 neuroblastoma for well over a year. Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that targets the nerve cells.
Both Andy and Nicki Pendergast, Jessica’s mom, have decided to stop her treatment since doctors informed them that there’s nothing more that they can do. Her mother said, “We are really struggling and it’s hard to know that we’re going to lose my daughter.”
She adds, “She is a four-year-old child who has no idea and we want it to stay that way. As long as she sees us with smiles on our faces, she’s OK. But how do you cope with losing a child?”
Go to the next page to learn more about the family’s struggle.
“No family should have to go through this hell”
Nicki has said that her family has been hurt over comments that criticized the image of her daughter struggling with cancer.
“We are trying to raise awareness about childhood cancer and this is the realisation. It is not all about children smiling in hospital. There is real suffering.”
Andy wrote in his blog, “Perhaps by seeing this photo people not in our position will be made aware of the darkness that is childhood cancer, perhaps these same people may be able to do something about it so that in the future no child has to suffer this pain, so that no parent has to bear witness to their own flesh and blood deteriorating daily.”
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