Four-year-old Dyrk Burcie has terminal cancer. What started out as a lump in his abdomen turned out to be pediatric liver cancer, and that cancer has spread to his lungs. The prognosis looks dark for this sweet little boy. And that's why people are flocking to Facebook to send him messages of love.
It started out with photos from father Dameon's firefighter colleagues. They send Dyrk images of his name in flames, others with his name spelled out by people in uniform -- and soon there was a Facebook page with dozens of photos from all over spelling out Dyrk's name and sending the boy best wishes and love for the last months of his life.
After nine months of chemotherapy and a liver transplant, Dyrk's parents decided to end treatment and make the most of their son's last days. That's what makes these messages so heartbreaking -- they're not "get better soon" messages. Dyrk is not getting better. He is leaving this world, soon. These messages are telling Dyrk goodbye.
Dyrk's father Dameon says, "In a horrible situation like this, it's nice to see that it is bringing people together, bringing communities closer together. At least something positive can come out of it." Supporters are also raising funds for a medical trust for the family to help them with the costs of Dyrk's treatment (though if you ask me, any time a small child dies from a terminal illness, their medical bills should just be waived).
There's just something perfect about seeing Dyrk's name in flames, especially. It's so fierce and vital -- the last flickering force of a child's life. The Burcie family plans to eventually download the photos to help them remember Dyrk. "They're going to be something that we're going to treasure and be able to look at for the rest of our lives."
Do you know any children who have died of a terminal illness?
Image via Fundraiser for Dyrk Burcie/Facebook