A photo of a 3-year-old boy comforting his baby brother who has terminal cancer is going viral.
The moment was captured by the boys' mother Sheryl Blanksby, the Daily Mail reported. She took to Instagram to share the photo. She wrote:
#Throwback to when we were on our holiday. I was getting ready in the bathroom and husband was in the kitchen. The kids were quiet, especially Mr preschooler. You know the rules about when kids are quiet. I tiptoed to the lounge with my camera ready to catch anything they are doing. I was expecting my baby to be covered in Nutella or something but instead I saw this. My preschooler is telling his baby brother "Kuya (big brother) is here. Everything is ok."
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Baby Thomas was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer when he was just six weeks old. The discovery came after doctors found a lump on the baby's abdomen.
An ultrasound revealed that Thomas had a large tumor over his kidney. When doctors removed the baby's kidney, they discovered he had a malignant rhabdoid tumour as well.
Doctors also found rhabdoid tumors on Thomas' skin lesions, along with tumors in both of his lungs and another on his hip bone. Thomas had a fractured hip bone on his right femur bone as well.
"There are tears and that immense pain of losing someone you love so much," Sheryl and her husband Jon told the Daily Mail. "We film him constantly and stare at him and kiss him. We as a family are trying to cope the best way we can, but it has been very hard."
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Rhabdoid tumours occur mostly among infants and toddlers. They are extremely rare, with only about 25 cases reported every year in the U.S. The survival rate is below 30 percent, and there is no known successful treatment.
The couple told their 3-year-old son William that his baby brother has an "ouchie," and that the doctors are trying to help.
"He is aware that Mummy and Daddy are very sad because Thomas is not well," they said.
"William also said that maybe the doctors can't help his baby brother, that's why Mummy and Daddy are sad. So we think he knows in his own way."
Sheryl and Jon do not know how much longer they have with Thomas, but are trying to make the most out of every moment.
"We want to travel with the boys, go on weekend trips to the beach, picnic at the park, drive down to Margaret River or go further down to Albany," the couple said in an interview with Daily Mail Australia. "Go on fruit picking trips, outdoor movies, family photo shoots, water parks, or even a hot air balloon if that's allowed for three-months-old."
Friends of the couple have started a GoFundMe page to help them with hospital bills. The page has raised more than $21,000 in three weeks.
Sheryl and Jon said the ordeal has taught them a lot.
"We often get caught up in our own little world of first problems and we sweat the small stuff, or complain about things that don't matter," they said. "We forget how to be grateful of the things and life we have. We must live with a purpose, gratitude, and magnitude of love."