A mom’s heartbreaking photo captures the reality of her son’s battle against leukaemia – as his devoted sister comforts him.
Beckett Burge was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of two in April 2018 and since then has spent months in hospital having chemotherapy.
In the striking snaps taken by mom Kaitlin Burge in January, selfless sibling Aubrey can be seen rubbing her brother’s back while he leans over the toilet being sick – reassuring him everything will be okay.
Aubrey, pictured rubbing her little brother’s back, has taken on a caring role in looking after her brother, Beckett, who was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of two in April 2018. She reassures him that everything will be okay while he’s sick in the toilet
Aubrey takes it on herself to clean up after her little brother and to help him wash his hands after he’s been unwell. Beckett has spent months in hospital having chemotherapy
Mom Kaitlin says that the pair have an ‘incredible bond’ but would like for Aubrey to go outside and play. She says that her daughter would rather look after little Beckett
Despite being just 14 months older, little Aubrey then washed his hands, carried her brother to the couch and offered to help clean the bathroom for her mom and 31-year-old dad Matthew Burge.
Mom-of-three Kaitlin claims caring Aubrey shuns going out playing with her pals and would rather stay at home with Beckett so she can keep a close eye on him.
Sharing the images of Beckett, now four, and Aubrey, Kaitlin says she is thrilled with their ‘incredible bond’ but admits to feeling sad that her little girl has been exposed to so much.
The youngster underwent chemotherapy, blood transfusions and platelet transfusions during his stay at hospital and was unable to see his sister for some time
A mom’s photo shows the heartbreaking reality of a child living with cancer as little Beckett can be seen being sick into the toilet
The Burge family are seen pictured here. Matthew Burge, 31 (left), Aubrey Burge, 5 (second from left), Beckett Burge, 4 (second from right), and mother Kaitlin Burge, 28 (right). Mother Kaitlin took the photos which show selfless sibling Aubrey comforting her brother Beckett while he’s ill
Inseparable siblings Beckett (right) and Aubrey (left) can be seen here sharing a hug in Princeton, Texas. Since her brother came home from hospital, Aubrey has taken care of him
The youngster underwent chemotherapy, blood transfusions and platelet transfusions during his stay in hospital
The 28-year-old has decided to release the painful images to show the importance of family in times of crisis.
Kaitlin, from Princeton in Texas, US, said: ‘When I see them together, it makes me happy but at the same time it makes me sad.
‘They have an incredible bond. To this day, they are closer, she always takes care of him,’ she added.
Kaitlin said that a child of four or five should be out playing with friends.
‘She loves gymnastics and we had to put a stop to that because of the financial burden, it got too expensive with his situation.
‘She should be out doing gymnastics, running around the neighborhood with the kids, playing in the playground, swimming in the pool – but here she is taking care of her brother,’ she said.
‘They’re very close – they always played together. He’d play dolls with her and she’d play superheroes with him.’
Though the parents encourage her to go outside, ‘she’d rather have her eyes on him,’ Kaitlin said.
Beckett came home after more than a month in hospital on Aubrey’s fifth birthday.
The youngster underwent chemotherapy, blood transfusions and platelet transfusions during his stay.
The pair were reunited after Beckett was in hospital for a month at Aubrey’s birthday. He was very small and had lost a lot of weight when he came home. Aubrey filled in, picking him up from the toilet and putting him back on the couch
Beckett can be seen here in hospital making arts and crafts. Kaitlin said the schoolgirl spent the day of Beckett’s return wondering what had happened to her previously energetic and ‘goofy’ brother who had lost weight and was unable to walk unaided
The ‘smart’ little girl will look through pictures of her brother and ask questions about all the medical equipment surrounding him, desperate to have her play buddy back
She’s 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
Kaitlin claims the schoolgirl spent the day what had happened to her previously energetic and ‘goofy’ brother who had lost weight and was unable to walk unaided.
Kaitlin said: ‘There’s a lot going on at the moment. When he’s not tired and worn out Beckett’s a very happy person, he’s very bubbly and goofy.
‘He’s never met a stranger – he will talk to anyone and anybody.
‘But he’s had a rough time and while he was in hospital, Aubrey went to her grandma’s house and his younger sister Chandler, who’s nearly two, went to her uncle’s house.
‘Everybody was split up and they spent some time apart.
‘When he came home it was the day of her birthday, it was her first time seeing him since he had been diagnosed.
‘He was very petite, couldn’t walk and he’d lost a lot of weight. To her it was very odd and he looked different.
‘We weren’t really sure how to handle the situation or if we wanted her to know what was going on.
‘But whenever he came home Aubrey was trying to work out why he didn’t want to play – it wasn’t like him.
‘She wondered why he was sleeping all the time and needed help to the bathroom. He would just be sick and he’d never been sick before.
‘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.
She’s always worried about where he is, what he’s doing, who he’s with. Her having to do things by herself was not something she was used to doing and she didn’t want to do it
‘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.
‘She takes it upon herself to help and make sure everything he comes into contact with is clean. She’s another set of eyes.’
Aubrey, who started preschool this summer, continues to worry about her ‘best friend’, despite her parents’ reassurance.
The ‘smart’ little girl will look through pictures of her brother and ask questions about all the medical equipment surrounding him, desperate to have her play buddy back.
Kaitlin said: ‘We took pictures of him while in hospital and she scrolls through them on my phone.
‘She asks a lot of questions, she’s a very smart little girl.
‘She’ll go to picture and ask ‘why does he have a mask on?’ and we’ll tell her.
‘She’s 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.
‘We explain that he got really sick, this is what happened, it was nothing he ate or did, nothing she did, it can’t be prevented and it’s not going to happen to her.
‘We explained everything to her and got our social worker involved.
‘We’ve been very open with her so any questions that she ever has we talk through it with her, we explain it with Beckett in the room as well.
‘He’ll tell people “I have cancer,” he knows what he has. We make sure she’s very supportive and knows it doesn’t make him any different.
‘She’s always worried about where he is, what he’s doing, who he’s with. Her having to do things by herself was not something she was used to doing and she didn’t want to do it.’
Aubrey and Beckett can be seen here with their little sister Chandler (front). It’s estimated he will be on treatment for two more years but in the meantime he’ll have his loving family, especially doting sister Aubrey, to help him through
Beckett can be seen here playing with toys as he undergoes treatment for leukaemia
Since being diagnosed 18 months ago, Beckett has shown incredible strength despite having chemotherapy pills every night and needing regular hospital treatment.
It’s estimated he will be on treatment for two more years but in the meantime he’ll have his loving family, especially doting sister Aubrey, to help him through.
Kaitlin said: ‘His situation started overnight with an ear infection. There were no things leading up to it that would even suggest cancer.
‘He’s in maintenance right now and he will continue his treatment until August 8, 2021.
‘He has chemo every single night, then has an anti-fungul for an infection he had when officially diagnosed.
‘He’s on the normal protocol – the steroids every month for five days, going to the clinic for chemo through his port, then a pill at home every night.’