When toddler Daniel Farbrace died last month, his grieving mother took one last photo as she kissed him goodbye.
Ali Farbrace, of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England, shared the heartbreaking photo with the Daily Mail to honor her son’s short life and raise awareness about child cancer.
Farbace and her husband, Dan, said Daniel fought like a “warrior” throughout his life. He died in June during a battle with leukemia.
Ali said Daniel was born very prematurely after just 26 weeks in the womb on Sept. 29, 2015. Little Daniel spent several months in the hospital and breathed with a ventilator before he grew strong enough to function on his own. Finally, right before Christmas, Daniel was well enough to go home, his parents said.
The family celebrated Daniel’s recovery, but a year later, they received more devastating news.
In April 2016, Ali, a nurse, said she noticed little marks on his skin that looked like pin pricks. When it got worse, she took him to the hospital; there, doctors discovered that Daniel had leukemia, according to the report.
“It was unusual because the leukaemia was presenting as something else,” Ali said. “They told us it was treatable, they gave him a 68 to 72 per cent chance he would survive.”
Throughout the trying ordeal, Ali said Daniel encouraged them with his smiles. He underwent four rounds of chemotherapy and was able to return home for his first birthday, but the leukemia returned earlier this year, according to the report.
In June, Daniel died after contracting parainfluenza at Demelza Children’s Hospice in Sittingborne; he was undergoing another round of chemotherapy at the time, the report states.
Daniel died after several days on life support. His parents said they are grateful that they did not have to make a decision about keeping him on life support or turning it off.
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“If we had had to make the decision to turn the machine off then we would never have forgiven ourselves. I do think he has saved us from that but that was Daniel, he gave so much and did it with such grace,” Ali said.
Here’s more from the report:
‘It would have broken us to go home straight away with nothing. When we got to Demelza it was just perfect. To spend that time with Daniel was lovely.
‘We sang, and talked to him and read to him. We got so much more time. I didn’t want to leave him on his own. He was so beautiful.’
The family recently held a funeral for Daniel, and they have been raising awareness and money for child cancer. Their story is a beautiful testament to the value of every human life. Even though Daniel lived for only a few years, his smiles and his life made a huge impact on his loved ones; and now his legacy continues to make a difference for other children who are suffering from cancer. His parents said they have raised about £25,000 for charity in Daniel’s name.
“He was amazing, he was such a joy,” his mother said. “We just want to remember him as a happy, beautiful little boy. Before him everything was so busy, but he made me stop and look around.”