Mom Shares Photo of Son Battling Cancer to Show How "It Gets Real, Real Quick"

February 22nd 2017

Almie Rose

One mom recently shared a photo of her son who has been battling cancer, and she accompanied it with an honest caption about how their lives have changed - it quickly went viral.

In the United States, there are over 15,000 children ages 21 or younger diagnosed with the disease each year, with about 1/4 who won't survive, according to the American Childhood Cancer Organization.

"It is about to get real, real hard and real quick."



"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," one unnamed mother wrote in a Feb. 15 Facebook post, which was shared on the Love What Matters page. "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 [sic] show more than swimming jammers would and 2. Because life is not always politically correct and pretty, it is real. Life isn't pretty, and cancer destroys a person."

The boy in the photo is her son, who she calls Drake and is also affectionately known as "Stinky Joe." She describes in detail what life with cancer has been like for them both:

"This was this morning after carrying Drake to the bathroom. Yes, he is in a pull up because 75% 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. 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."

"Childhood cancer remains the number one disease killer of children in the United States today, and the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 4 and 14 after unintended fatal accidents. Yet despite this sobering fact, childhood cancer remains a silent disease: hidden in the shadows of modern hospitals, left behind by modern miracle cures," according the American Childhood Cancer Organization's site.

This "silence" is most apparent when it comes to the funding of research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spends only 4 percent of their funding on childhood cancer research, according to the I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation.


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In 2013, The Atlantic reported on the "disproportionate" amount of the NCI's cancer funding: "About $122 million was spent on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (just one form of childhood cancer) in 2010, according to the NCI. But that's low compared to other forms of cancer, like breast cancer, which received $631 million. Since 2010, the budget has continued to decrease."

While there's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September marked by the gold ribbon, the importance of parents - like this one mom - coming out to share their family's experience with the disease helps with increasing the visibility of the subject.

"This is him, Drake, Stinky Joe, my whole world," the mom writes in her post. "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."