There are few instances in life where you tear up just reading about something. Jessica Medinger’s note on Facebook is one of those times.
On 21 February, the mother of 10-year old Drake Medinger, shared a photo of her son in pull-ups standing in the bathroom.
“This was this morning after carrying Drake to the bathroom,” she wrote, sharing her story with the page, Love What Matters. “Yes, he is in a pull up because 75% of the time he can’t control his bathroom habits.”
See, Drake was diagnosed with testicular cancer in September last year.
This is his second battle with the illness – the first was when he was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia b-cell in 2012. But in March last year, the cancer went into remission and he was taken off chemotherapy.
It is heartbreaking that 6 months after that, he has to once again endure the disease.
Since September, Drake, whose nickname is “#Stinky Joe”, has gone through medical treatment which include spinal taps, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and surgeries.
And his mother chose to post that photo of her son with a shaven head because she wanted to show the reality of the effects of cancer.
“[Life] is not always politically correct and pretty, it is real,” Jessica says. “Life isn’t pretty, and cancer destroys a person.”
The photo was first posted on Drake’s Facebook page, as Jessica explains.
“His page only had friends and family on it,” she said. “A few shares later and it exploded. I shared this picture because it is real life for us and his family. Both Drake and I are completely honest and open with his treatment and what he goes through. IF, and that is a huge IF something happens to my son, I would be honored that this picture brought awareness to childhood cancer.”
Her post has gone viral and been shared more than a 100,000 times on Facebook.
Her moving and heart wrenching post is best read by itself in full. So here it is:
Drake’s mother does not want anyone to see her son as being helpless.
“He hit a road bump and drifted a little bit,” she says. “He is on the road to recovery when overcoming some viruses he caught. It is a long road, but with positive thoughts and a strong medical plan, he WILL get better and IS getting better. The picture on the viral post was not of a dying child, but rather a FIGHTING child. My son is stronger and braver than anyone else I know. He is a fighter and refuses to give up.”
Drake’s aunt, Ericka, has set up a website at You Caring to help with the medical costs, and to provide updates on Drake’s condition.
She too shares Jessica’s thoughts on Drake.
“The picture that went viral is A PICTURE OF A CHILD FIGHTING, NOT OF A DYING CHILD,” she said on the You Caring site. “Drake and Jessica fight every minute of every day. They are my heroes [in]more ways than one.”
The Facebook post has attracted some 55,000 comments, many of which express support for the 10-year old boy, and parents who have also lost their children to cancer.
“This is what a warrior looks like!” said one of the comments. “There is no harder battle then fighting what is happening inside your body.”
You can write to Drake at:
PO Box 1725
Tomball, TX 77377-1725