Real Life

Father shares heartbreaking reality of childhood cancer

Some readers may find images included in this article distressing.
child with neuroblastoma

child with neuroblastoma

A devastated father has shared the “truth and reality” of his beloved daughter’s fight against cancer.

Andy Whelan, an electrician turned photographer from Lancashire in England, was left heartbroken when his 3-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.

And after a year long fight, in 2016 the family were given the tragic news that little Jessica had just weeks left to live.

In the wake of this devastating news, Andy shared a heartrending image to his Facebook page, entitled: “Jessica Whelan – A fight against Neuroblastoma.”

“As a photographer it is important to capture the truth and the reality of the situation,” wrote Andy.

“This is the hardest photograph I have ever made, it is in fact my own four-year-old daughter.

“This photograph was made in a moment that we as parents could offer her no comfort, her pushing us away whilst she rode out this searing pain in solitude,” he continued.

“This sadly, for us as a family, is not a sight that we see rarely. This is now a familiar sight that we see regularly through each day and night, its frequency now more often.

“This is the true face of cancer, my baby girl’s blood vessels protruding from beneath her skin, a solitary tear running down her cheek, her body stiffened and her face contorted in pain.”

“If this photograph only serves as a purpose to make people think twice about this evil and put into perspective what it does to a child then it has achieved its purpose,” Andy wrote.

“Research needs to be done, cures need to be found – too long now has this been allowed to happen. Please, I beg of you, as a heartbroken father, it is too late for my daughter, but childhood cancer needs to be cured.

“No family should have to go through this hell.”

The family have set up a donation page, in order for them to give Jessica as much joy and happiness as they can in her last few weeks on earth.

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