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Family of three-year-old chemo patient who went viral in heartbreaking photo give incredible update

Mother Kaitlin Burge shared the happy news

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Bridie Wilkins
Senior Health & Fitness Writer
October 4, 2021
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In September 2019, mother Kaitlin Burge from Texas shared a heartbreaking photo of her then three-year-old son Beckett, being comforted by his then four-year-old sister Aubrey as he vomited over a toilet during his battle with cancer. The picture went viral, and for anyone who saw it, you'll be pleased to hear that Beckett has been given the all-clear.

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Three years since Beckett's battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia began in 2018, he is now back at school, and a new image – this time of Beckett ringing the chemo bell to mark the end of his treatment in hospital – has been shared.

Beckett's mum Kaitlin said she released the gut-wrenching photo of Beckett and his sister Aubrey in 2019 to remind others of the importance of family during tough times, and she adds that the siblings now have an "irreplaceable bond", while Aubrey has "had such a huge impact on helping Beckett get through this".

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Beckett, mother Kaitlin and her husband Matthew were pictured in hospital as Beckett's treatment came to an end

"They developed a bond that only siblings have that I couldn't replace," she explained, adding that now Beckett is well enough, Aubrey has felt less responsible. "When he was going through chemo she was more of a motherly figure, but Aubrey's starting to notice that now he's off it, he's wanting to be a bit more independent.

"She's struggling with that as he's now found his inner voice and any time she tries to help him he says, 'I can do it by myself'. It's a change for her because she's not used to that."

Of course, Aubrey, along with the rest of the family, is overjoyed Beckett is back to full health.

"When we heard he'd got the all clear, it was so exciting," Kaitlin recalls. "His oncologist came in and said, 'No more chemo – we're done. Get rid of everything'.

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Beckett, now six, with his sister Aubrey, seven

"Beckett was shocked. His face lit up but then he said he didn’t want his port out because he knew it'd kept him alive. He has a bit of nerves. You think you'll be all happy but now it's kind of scary because you don't have that chemo as a reassurance the cancer's going to stay away. It'll be a whole new world.

"Beckett's great. He's in a much better place now. He's happy, he's more of a normal kid now. He can do the things his friends are doing. He's playing baseball. He doesn't have a lot of restrictions now and can go out and do as he pleases."

As for his education, Beckett's nightly chemo pills meant he suffered from major brain fog for the past few years, but he's excelled at school since treatment ended.

"It's interesting to see," said mother Kaitlin. "We were sitting at the table the other day and he was reading. I thought, 'You know how to read? What's going on here?' You give him a spelling word and he'll spell it all. We're seeing more of a normal kid – things we never thought he'd ever do. It's really cool and boosts his confidence."

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