Mom shares heart-wrenching photo of cancer-stricken son to 'get real' about the disease
Drake Medinger, lovingly called 'Stinky Joe' by his mom, is in the midst of his second battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia B-Cell, according to a Facebook page dedicated to keeping his supporters updated on his fight.
On February 15, Drake's mother, Jessica Medinger, took to the group Stinky Joe's #1 Pit Crew to share a heartbreaking and raw photo of her 10-year-old son in order "to get real" about what the disease's ravaging effects look like.
"This was this morning after carrying Drake to the bathroom," she explained. "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."
Her post continues:
This is having middle of the night conversations with a ten 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. 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 yogurt 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, 'mommy, 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.
Medinger's original photo racked up an incredible 59,000 shares and 88,000 reactions since it was posted on Wednesday -- and it seems her family's story is really resonating with people around the web.
The photo has since accrued an additional 55,000 shares and 300,000 reactions after it was uploaded on the Facebook page Love What Matters on February 20.
An outpouring of love and support has flooded the comments sections on both the original and the subsequent posts.
"I'm sitting here at work, tears just rolling down my face," commented one woman. "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."
"My heart hurts for you both," wrote another. "Thank you for sharing, as there are so many out there, including me, who really need to reevaluate how lucky and blessed we are."
Medinger's post ends with a touching note on how much her son means to her.
"This is him, Drake, Stinky Joe, my whole world," she wrote. "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."
To donate to Drake's fight against cancer, click here.
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