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Derek Mansen, from California, was diagnosed with last stage of neuroblastoma. This is a rare form of cancer that generally affects children.
While his friends and cousins were planning on summer holidays, young Derek and his mother were planning to fight the deadly disease...
His final moments were captured in pictures by a photographer Renée C. Byer, who captured the boy's last journey and we bet, these images will melt your heart.
Check out his struggle, pain and the bits of joy which are just a memory now to his loved ones.
In this picture, it is seen that Derek's mum Cindy was seen taking him for a walk to make him happy. According to reports, it is said that the boy was waiting for his bone marrow test results to see whether he's eligible for a transplant or not at the UC Davis Medical Center.
This Heart Breaking Moment When...
Cindy is seen confronting Derek in a quiet manner, where she is telling him about his disease. The doctors revealed that he would need day and night care. Cindy decided to close her saloon to stay with her son.
Cindy is seen giving Derek a hug and comforting him after she broke the news that little Derek needed to undergo an operation to remove the tumour from his abdomen.
The Peppy Moments…
Even though Derek was terminally-ill, he was a kid at heart and loved to surprise his mother. This picture is so special, where Cindy is trying hard to get him down from a ledge.
Also Read : She Still Wears His Jacket When She Misses Him
The Operation Moment…
Cindy wanted to be by his side during the operation. She is seen in the operation theatre when Derek was being administered anesthesia. Once anesthesia kicked in, she had to leave.
His Brother's Support…
Derek's brother Micah was always his support system. In this picture, he is consoling Derek by holding his hand, as he is being prepared for radiation treatment. His pain is clearly visible...
When He Had Weak Moments…
Undergoing such a painful treatment, made little Derek feel demoralized. In this picture, Cindy is seen consoling him, as he was feeling low and demoralized. He just wanted to go home.
The Happy Bits…
Cindy had promised Derek that she will let him drive the car if he continued the treatment. After this picture was clicked, Cindy received a call from the doctor stating that Derek had just a short time to live.
When His Cancer Got Aggravated…
The cancer had spread aggressively in his body and as a result, he was left with a tumour in his left eye. In the picture background, one can see a note hung on the wall. This was a gesture from the servers from his favourite restaurant.
When Cindy Had
Cindy and her best friend Kelly are seen consoling each other as Derek didn't have much time left and was growing weaker day by day. Even though Cindy tried to control her emotions in front of Derek, it was just not possible.
His Painful Struggle…
Cindy is seen guiding Derek as he was mustering every bit of his strength to walk. The tumour in his stomach had gotten so bad that it started to bloat his stomach. By now, he had another tumour in his head, which had started affecting his sight and balance.
He Became Weaker And Weaker By Each Day…
As his cancer spread aggressively, Derek became too weak to walk. Cindy was by his side 24 hours and in this picture, she is seeing giving her brave son a kiss during a benefit event.
His Final Moments…
Derek became too weak and could hardly speak. In this photo, we can see his caregiver preparing to give him a sedative which would allow him to sleep peacefully forever. We salute the bravery of Cindy who being a mother was witnessing her son's death.
His Final Goodbye…
After he was given the sedative, he was surrounded by his loved ones and Cindy was seen giving her final farewell to her son. She kept singing his favourite song and kissed him goodbye.
He Was Laid To Rest...
Derek was laid to rest and it was Cindy who led the procession. At his gravesite, brave Cindy quoted: "I will forever carry your memory in my heart and remind others to give their time, energy and support to other families like ours."
These pictures make us realise that we need to appreciate love and joy in our lives, which are true blessings that we seldom appreciate.
All Images: Source
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