September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a month that hopes to increase awareness of pediatric cancers as well as to raise funds to help find a cure. Kaitlin Burge’s son Beckett was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August of 2018, and the mother recently shared a picture of Beckett and his sister Aubrey that shows just how much childhood cancer affect everyone in a family.
Burge runs a Facebook page titled Beckett Strong that she updates to keep friends and family updated on Beckett’s disease. The mom of two recently posted a picture of Aubrey and her brother that shows just how much siblings are affected by childhood cancer as well. Aubrey and Beckett are only 15 months apart, and Kaitlin explained in a recent post that Aubrey had to go from “playing in school and at home together to sitting in a cold hospital room together,” she wrote.
“My then 4 year-year-old watched her brother go from an ambulance to the ICU. She watched a dozen doctors throw a mask over his face, poke and prod him with needles, pump a dozen medications through his body, all while he laid there helplessly. She wasn’t sure what was happening. All she knew was that something was wrong with her brother, her best friend.”
Kaitlyn explained that while Aubrey didn’t always understand what was happening to her brother, it was important to the family that she was always there. ‘Why did we take his sister with us and why did she see all of this at a young age? Children need support and togetherness, and should not be kept at a distance from the person who is ill. The most important thing is to show that they are taken care of regardless of the situation. She spent a fair amount of time, by his side in the bathroom, while he got sick. She stuck by him. She supported him and she took care of him, regardless of the situation. To this day, they are closer. She always takes care of him.”
Kaitlyn shared a sweet photo of young Aubrey standing with Beckett by the toilet and rubbing his back as Beckett braced himself to be sick. “She didn’t know what was happening, but she knew from experience that when she was sick, we would rub her back and help her through it,” Kaitlyn told Unilad.
“She just picked up from experience and took over. She’d rub his back and tell him it was going to be okay, clean his face up and wash his hands for him. Right after that happened, she also carried him back to the living room and put him on the couch. She asked me she could clean up the bathroom too, but I told her to go and sit down because that wasn’t her job,” the proud mother added. “She takes it upon herself to help and make sure everything he comes into contact with is clean. She’s another set of eyes.”
Kaitlyn wrote in a previous post that the reason she shares so much of their journey with childhood cancer is to help people understand that it really does affect everyone in the family. "When we think about childhood cancer, we think chemo, we think hair loss, and we base our conclusions off of the commercials we see," she wrote.
"There’s so much more to childhood cancer. Families are torn apart - specifically those with siblings. Bills stack up. Groceries increase. Priorities change. Houses become disgustingly clean. Parents quit their jobs. Schedules revolve around medication. Friends are lost. Insurance battles happen more frequently than not. Families worry about how they are going to pay their rent/mortgage. Kids are facing unimaginable battles," she added.
"So the next time you see a family affected by cancer, whether it be a child or an adult, pray for them. It may not be visible to the naked eye, but chances are they are struggling in some aspect of their life that, at one point in time, was never an issue."