A heartwarming photo captures the moment a 16-year-old was told by his doctor that he is no longer a cancer patient and could officially join his hospital’s cancer survivorship program.
Jacob Moore, 16, has lived with Down syndrome and autism his entire life, Fox 13 reports. When he was 10 years old, he was diagnosed with a blood cancer called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Jacob’s mother, Heidi, said the years following her son’s diagnosis have not been easy.
“Children with Down syndrome don’t react to chemotherapy the way a typical child would,” Heidi told Fox 13. “He lost all his abilities. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t eat. He couldn’t go to the bathroom.”
Jacob was treated at the AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta by Dr. Glen Lew. Lew helped guide Jacob and his family through more than three years of treatment and hospitalization.
“He has overcome battle after battle after battle,” Lew said.
After years of working together, Jacob and Lew grew close.
In February, Lew informed Jacob that he is officially a cancer survivor.
“I think I said, ‘Congratulations, you don’t need to see me anymore,’” Lew said.
Heidi said her son became very emotional -- worried that he would see his doctor again. However, Lew assured Jacob that they would be seeing each other socially from then on, rather than at the hospital.
“It was a beautiful moment,” Heidi said. “I just happened to take my phone out and take the picture of the two of them holding hands.”
After being posted on the hospital’s Facebook page, Heidi’s photo received 1,000 likes in just one hour.
Heidi said after his long fight, Jacob now likes to spend his time playing baseball and music and reading books. She shared a photo of Jacob in his tuxedo, getting ready to go to his school’s prom with his best friend.
According to Cancer.gov, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL, is a type of cancer in which too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are made by the bone marrow. It can affect white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.