“It has been a bonding experience for the both of us, especially because no day is guaranteed," says the heartbroken mum.
Photos of breastfeeding mothers usually generate a fair amount of positive emotions from their viewers, but for this one photo of a mum nursing her daughter, it has gone viral for one heartbreaking reason.
Mum Anastasia Pittis’s cancer-stricken daughter is undergoing through chemotherapy, and breastfeeding is the only thing that is giving her comfort through this difficult time.
The photo first appeared on the Facebook group called Breastfeeding Mama Talk. When she uploaded it, Anastasia did know the impact it would create.
“The reaction has been pretty incredible,” she said in a Babble story. “I was really surprised that the picture got so much attention and that others were being so supportive.”
Captioned in the viral photo was six-month-old Xenia’s story.
"My daughter was born with stage 3 brain cancer,” it says. “I am incredibly happy to have the opportunity to breastfeed her while she goes through chemotherapy. It has been a bonding experience for the both of us, especially because no day is guaranteed."
In the photo, one could see the scars on Xenia’s head from her past surgery.
The cancer had been diagnosed when Xenia was two-months-old, and her daughter noticed that her head seemed unusually large.
“An MRI scan revealed that she had hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain), caused by a very large brain tumour,” said Anastasia in a Facebook page called Xenia’s Journey. “We were then rushed to the Children’s Hospital Colorado to seek treatment. The aggressive and large size of the tumour indicated to doctors that Xenia was born with it.”