Sheryl and Jon Blanksby are the proud parents of three-year-old William and four-month-old Thomas.
The western Australian family said that Thomas was born a happy baby boy with a distinct “birthmark” on his right arm, or so they thought.
According to The Daily Mail, Thomas was six weeks old when tests revealed a lump on the newborn’s abdomen.
Doctors later learned the lump was a large tumor on his kidney and after finding more tumors on his legs and one on his hip bone, Thomas’s “birthmark” on his arm was diagnosed as a malignant rhabdoid tumor.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder Center describes malignant rhabdoid tumor as “a rare childhood tumor that commonly starts in the kidneys but also can occur in other soft tissues or in the brain, where it is referred to as atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor”:
Malignant rhabdoid tumor occurs most commonly in infants and toddlers; the average age of diagnosis is 15 months old. There are about 20 to 25 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Cells from malignant rhabdoid tumors in children can spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
Sadly, there is no clear cause for these types of tumors, and they are considered very aggressive and difficult to treat.
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Your relationship with your partner changes dramatically after your first child is born and yet again after your second child is born. Whatever hardships we are about to face, I know in my heart I found the right guy to ride this roller coaster of a life we are in. #documentinglittlemoments #mummyblogger #childhoodcancersucks
Thomas’s cancer has since been labeled as terminal, but they don’t know how much time he has left.
One of the hardest parts for Sheryl and Jon, besides knowing that someone they love so much won’t have the opportunity to spend a lifetime with them, was telling William about his little brother’s prognosis.
Sheryl told The Daily Mail that William knows Thomas has an “‘ouchie’ that doctors are trying to fix”:
“He is aware that mummy and daddy are very sad because Thomas is not well. William also said that maybe the doctors can’t help his baby brother, that’s why mummy and daddy are sad. So we think he knows in his own way.”
William has been by his little brother’s side every step of the way and Sheryl was able to capture the one picture that shows just how much the big brother loves Thomas.
While getting ready for the day, Sheryl noticed her house was much quieter than usual. Knowing that could only mean her preschooler was up to something, she quickly grabbed her camera and went looking for him.
She wrote on Instagram:
“I was expecting my baby to be covered in Nutella or something…”
Instead, Sheryl walked in on this:
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#Throwback to when we were on our holiday. I was getting ready in the bathroom and husband was in the kitchen. The kids were quiet, especially Mr preschooler. You know the rules about when kids are quiet. I tiptoed to the lounge with my camera ready to catch anything they are doing. I was expecting my baby to be covered in Nutella or something but instead I saw this. My preschooler is telling his baby brother "Kuya (big brother) is here. Everything is ok". #myboys #bestbigbrother #documentinglittlemoments #mybabyloves #myheartandsoul #luckymummy
As William stroked Thomas’s cheek, he was telling him everything was going to be just fine:
“Kuya (big brother) is here. Everything is okay.”
For now, Sheryl, Jon, and William are doing everything they can to make sure Thomas stays as comfortable as possible during his fight. They are also making the most of their time with Thomas still on this Earth.
She said Thomas has taught them many things in his short life so far:
“We often get caught up in our own little world of first problems and we sweat the small stuff, or complain about things that don’t matter. We forget how to be grateful of the things and life we have. We must live with a purpose, gratitude, and magnitude of love.”
The family plans to go on as many trips possible and do many things with Thomas. In order to do so, they started a GoFundMe account to help pay for his past and future medical expenses.