This photograph sums up one family’s grief, as a five-year-old girl fights a losing battle against an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Ally Parker’s daughter, Braylynn, has been given just weeks to live with ‘no hope’ of survival after being diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) on December 6, while her father is terminally-ill with Motor Neurone Disease.
She uploaded a gut-wrenching photo to Facebook on Sunday showing her father, Sean Peterson, wailing by his granddaughter’s hospital bed.
The grandfather and granddaughter are both fighting terminal illness, and the expression of Peterson’s face at the hospital bed says it all.
Ally, who is also now facing the loss of both her father and daughter within weeks of each other, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise $300,000 to help pay for the numerous rounds of $30,000 treatments, reports The Daily Advertiser.
Determined to take an unbearable situation and raise awareness, Parker has been posting updates about the little girl’s plight and rapidly deteriorating health.
Under the tag line ‘Braylynn’s Battalion’ Ally wrote:
We all thought that they would outlive the rest of us…and we certainly never thought that my precious little Braylynn would be the first to go. Last year was hard for us, but I can’t even begin to explain how difficult this year will be and has already been.
In a few days I will have to bury this beautiful little girl. Months, maybe even weeks, later, I will have to bury my father.
Parker posted the following message on Facebook on January 7:
Today is the day… Today will be the worst day of my life so far, and in less than a week, I will have a day that is even more terrible.
Today is the day that everyone will have to say their final goodbyes, to a FIVE year old. This should never happen to anyone. There is no one in this world who is evil enough to deserve to feel what I am currently feeling. My baby girl deserves to live a full, happy life, and so does every other child who has had to face DIPG.
We have to put an end to this. No more kids can get this disease and be allowed to die from it. We HAVE to find a cure, not a damn band aid. These kids deserve so much more than that, someday soon someone needs to find out what that cure is.
In an update shared on Thursday, January 11, Ally said there’s still hope for Braylynn as the family are set to meet a new doctor who is ‘not willing to give up on her’.
The possibility of her death is still very likely, but once again, we have been shown a glimmer of hope. During this meeting, we will discuss which facilities would be best for her at this stage, and we WILL find one to accept her.
I couldn’t be more proud of my Braylynn, she’s always been a tough kid but I severely underestimated her strength. I will never make that mistake again.
According to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, just 4 per cent of US federal funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancer research.
Ally Parker hopes this photo – and her daughter’s story – can help raise awareness and hopefully lead to more funding initiatives dedicated to finding a cure.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.