Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Cancer Stricken 4-year old Jessica Whelan, whose Photo "True Face of Cancer" went viral, has died

While her photo "True Face of Cancer" broke the Internet's heart, 4-year old Jessica Whelan fought the disease bravely for over a year, but sadly passed away last Sunday in her father Andy's arms, just three weeks after he had shared the heartbreaking photograph of his little girl as "the true face of cancer." 

In the black and white still, Jessica is seen wrenching in pain, with a tube coming out of her right nostril and a single tear cascading down her right cheek.

 On Sept 23, 2015, 4-year-old Jessica Whelan was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that typically affects children 5-years-old and younger, usually found in the adrenal glands but also in the neck, chest, or spinal cord.

 While this photo might be a rare and challenging perspective for Facebook viewers, it's part of Whelan and his family's routine: "A familiar sight that we see regularly through each day and night," he wrote on Facebook, "its frequency now more often."

"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," Whelan explained. "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 girls blood vessels protruding from beneath her skin, a solitary tear running down her cheek, her body stiffened and her face contorted in pain."
He added that he was sharing the photo to raise awareness. "If this serves as a purpose to make people think twice about this evil and put into perspective what [cancer] does to a child then it has achieved its purpose. Research needs to be done, cures need to be found, too long now has this been allowed to happen." 

In recent weeks, Whelan and his partner took Jessica off of treatment, hoping to spend their daughter's final days at home, watching Disney movies or playing in the park, Inside Edition reports. Although Jessica's hair grew back at one point, her condition deteriorated, as heart-wrenching updates Whelan shared on Facebook made clear. And in a post from early Sunday morning, he confirmed her passing: