A photo of a young boy saying goodbye to his dying sister has broken hearts around the world today.
The moving image was shared by the children's father, Matt Sooter, on Facebook. Accompanying the image was a caption, so raw and tragic that it would turn even the most stoic among us to jelly.
"A little boy should not have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his play mate, his best friend, his little sister. This isn't how it's supposed to be. But this is the broken world we live in," the caption reads.
"Addy's symptoms have progressed rapidly over the past day and a half. Yesterday she woke up as her spunky playful self. While we still see short instances of our girl she can no longer eat or swallow without difficulty and she's sleeping most of the time now and we've admitted her into inpatient care. Most likely she doesn't have much time left."
"For our family and close friends if you feel you need to tell her goodbye we recommend you contact us and do so soon. Pray for Jackson. He doesn't want to leave her side and we won't make him. Pray for us. That we have the right words and can make the necessary arrangements in time."
On June 3, four-year-old Addy passed away after a long battle with Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), which causes highly aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumours.
Before Addy passed away, her family created a Facebook page called, Hope for Addy Joy - Fighting DIPG, where they shared updates on their daughter's ongoing fight. It was here they confirmed her passing.
Epting Funeral Home of Bentonville later shed light on what an amazing little girl Addy truly was.
"Addy loved princesses, shopping, dancing, and singing. She loved being outdoors and playing with animals. Addy enjoyed spending time with big brother, listening to him read books and playing games. She was a very joyful little girl who brought an infectious happiness wherever she went. She was strong and determined and fought with so much grace. She will be missed."
In a bid to save other families the heartbreak of what those who loved Addy most have endured, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation have announced that newly diagnosed Aussie kids with DIPG will no longer have to travel overseas to receive cutting-edge, experimental treatment for their deadly tumour; instead, they can take part in a new adaptive clinical trial called BIOMEDE.
This clinical trial ensures that there are world-class experimental treatments for DIPG here in Australia. Previously, the only option was palliative radiation.
Our thoughts are with Addy's family, who continue to do everything they can to raise awareness for DIPG.
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