A beautiful show of solidarity!
Rayshawn Mims and his son Akheem have a close bond, which has supported them as they've navigated Akheem's battle with cancer. The 7-year old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in August of this year after his mother, Shannae Mims took him to the hospital for what she thought was a sprained knee. The x-ray showed a form of bone cancer, which the family has been helping him to navigate.
"I took an extended leave of absence [from work]. Due to his immune system being compromised from chemotherapy, I am unable to work as I run the risk of possibly infecting him with Covid," she wrote on a GoFundMe page.
Before his diagnosis, Ahkeem was an avid football player who loved to spend town with his friends. Since the diagnosis, however, he's been confined to crutches and a wheelchair. When Akheem began to lose his hair after undergoing chemotherapy, his father decided to show his love and solidarity by cutting his long locs after cutting his sons on Facebook live.
Akheem looked at his father with sad eyes, but his father reassured him with loving words.
"Anything that you gotta go through in life, I got to go through with you," Mims told Ahkeem. "And I gotta stay strong, and you gotta stay strong. Do you understand?" he said as he streamed.
The family set up a GoFundMe hoping to raise $5000 to support his treatments and other expenses.
"I took an extended leave of absence. Due to his immune system being compromised from chemotherapy, I am unable to work as I run the risk of possibly infecting him with COVID," his mother wrote. "I have four other children home I have to send with family when I'm in Pittsburgh, have to make sure they're transported to and from school, plus gas money There and Back To Pittsburgh. Anything will help for me and my kids. I will gladly Appreciate it."
The internet rallied around the family, providing the family with more than five times their fundraising goal.
Every 36 minutes, a family's life changed in the United States when their child is given their diagnosis. However, coupled with the fear of the unknown is hope. These families search for a cure with the help of doctors, scientists, and nonprofit organizations like Hyundai Hope On Wheels, which donates money from every vehicle sold to fight pediatric cancer. Since they were founded in 1998 by a group of New England Hyundai dealers, more than $185 million and over 1,000 research grants have gone to hospitals across the country.
We're highlighting a few brave children, like Akheem, who bravely battle childhood cancer with their families by their side, hoping for the best.
Photo Credit: Rayshawn Mims