The Heartbreak of Pediatric Cancer: Parents Share their Pictures and Stories

Parker Eckburg never allowed his parents to be sad

It can be hard for a child to stay strong in the face of dwindling health, but many feel the need to keep up a brave front for the sake of their families. Parker Eckburg is one such case: when he was 12 years old, his mother noticed something wrong with his left eye, and he been unusually tired as well as suffered from severe headaches and double vision. An ophthalmologist sent the family to a children’s hospital, where he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.

A few days later, he went into surgery, followed by sessions of radiation and chemotherapy, after which he seemed to be doing better. Unfortunately, in 2015, Parker had a routine scan that revealed his cancer had come back, and on January 6, 2016, he passed away. Throughout it all, though, he kept a smile on his face, doing his best to hide any fear or sorrow he felt. Parker chose to stay strong for his family, and despite his absence, his mother still holds him in her heart.

Photo: Parker Eckburg