‘This is him telling me, he’s not going to make it’
FOR many people, their first reaction when looking at this gut-wrenching photo would be: "Why would on earth any parent in their right mind share this image to the world?"
The powerful picture, as featured on Kidspot, shows Drake, 10, in the bathroom wearing a pull-up nappy. He is standing over the toilet clearly in excruciating pain as he battles the insidious disease that is cancer.
This may seem intrusive to some, but when his mother who captured the heartbreaking moment explains why she decided to share the photo, it all makes sense.
"For anyone battling cancer or enduring chemotherapy, for anyone going through this horrible disease - it is about to get real, real hard and real quick, she says on her post that was picked up by Love What Matters," she said.
"The picture I'm posting is from this morning, and before you scream and cry 'why would she post a picture of him in a pull up, the indecency', well ….
1. It doesn't show more than swimming jammers would
2. Because life is not always politically correct and pretty, it is real life isn't pretty, and cancer destroys a person."
She goes on to describe how truly devastating it is to have your child going through a cancerous hell.
"Yes, he is in a pull up because 75 per cent of the time he can't control his bathroom habits. This is skin and bones, because I have to beg him to eat ONE green bean for supper, or drink a cup of water throughout the day," she says.
"This is having your son sleep with you at night because he is afraid of something happening and being alone, and by something I mean dying. This is having middle of the night conversations with a 10-year-old, asking if he dies will he go to heaven and will he see his dad there and be able to talk and play with him."
Drake's broken mother goes on to paint an even more heartbreaking reality of the torture that her beloved boy endures every second of the day.
"This is him being too weak to get out of bed or walk and needing to be carried or in a wheelchair. This is him falling asleep as someone is talking to him, because he is too exhausted.
"This is him, throwing up every medication I give him and him dry heaving because his stomach is empty except for the spoonful of yoghurt I just gave him with his pills. This is having to take 44 chemo pills last week in a matter of 24 hours.
"This is him telling me, 'Mummy, I'm not going to make it'. This is him not wanting to be touched, because it hurts too much, and using morphine to get through his day. This is him telling me he is scared and thinks he won't see his 11th birthday. This is him and me, telling him that I will continue to fight for him when he can't. This is him and me, and our world."
Drake is very lucky to have a mother who will love him - no matter how tough life can be.
"This is him, Drake, Stinky Joe, my whole world. From the moment I found out I was pregnant till future forever, he has been my reason for life. He is my smile, my love, my heartbeat. He is also my tears, my heart ache, my frowns. He is my life."
The post has resonated with hundreds of thousands of people with 155,000 reactions and more than 17,000 comments:
"I'm sitting here at work, tears just rolling down my face. There is nothing in this world I could say that would even express how much my heart goes out to your family and families like yours."
"Your little man is EXACTLY the reason I am running the London marathon in the UK in nine weeks to raise money for Children with Cancer UK in the hope it will help to find a cure and further research into childhood cancer. Sending lots and lots of love and cuddles to you, your boy and your family x."
"No one knows unless they have taken one step in your shoes, slept one minute in your bed or spent one minute holding that head. Post your pictures and tell your story. No one will know unless you show them as some people need pictures to get it in their head. Cancer is not glamorous. It's mean and ugly and hateful and it doesn't care if you're old or young. Tell them everything. You go Drake!"
If you would like to donate to Drake and his family go to Help Drake Medinger and Jessica kick cancer.