Mom Delivers Rainbow Baby, But Doctors Notice Mark On His Skin & Mom's Heart Instantly Sinks
FaithTap Staff 3/14/2017
Sheryl and Jon Blanksby welcomed their newest baby boy to the family just a few months ago. But when happy and bubbly baby Thomas Blanksby was just six-weeks-old, his parents were given news that shocked them to their core. Their new baby, little brother to William, 3, was facing an uphill battle--one that he would not win.
When Thomas, who was born in November, went to his six-week-old newborn well-child visit, the doctor discovered a lump on his abdomen. Thomas then underwent an ultrasound procedure, which detected a large tumor on his kidney. His parents, Sheryl and Jon Blanksby, were frightened.
But the news just got worse from there. After baby Thomas underwent surgery to remove his left kidney, they discovered the tumor was a malignant rhabdoid tumor. A suspicious skin lesion was the only clue the family had that something was different. By the time it was detected, the cancer had spread to both lungs and his hip bone, which caused his right femur bone to break.
This rare and aggressive form of cancer most often afflicts infants and toddlers. Only a couple dozen cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. The survival rate is less than 30 percent, and no successful treatment has been discovered.
In Thomas's case, doctors told the family there was nothing they could do for him. So for now, the family is making the most of the time they have left with their sweet baby boy, however long that might be.
"We film him, stare at him, kiss him. We, as a family, are trying to cope the best way we can, but it has been very hard."
The family doesn't know just how much time they do have with Thomas. So for now, they're trying to cram a lifetime of memories into a very small window. They want to capture these final weeks, days, even hours, on camera and in the recesses of their mind--to pull out and relish after Thomas is gone.
"We want to travel with the boys, go on weekend trips to the beach, picnic at the park, drive down to Margaret River or go further down to Albany. Go on fruit picking trips, outdoor movies, family photo shoots, water parks, or even a hot air balloon if that's allowed for three-months-old."
Sheryl and Jon Blanksby tell William that his baby brother has an "ouchie." It's difficult to explain what is wrong with him to William, but the family believes he understands as best as he can, they said.
"He is aware that Mummy and Daddy are very sad because Thomas is not well. William also said that maybe the doctors can't help his baby brother, that's why Mummy and Daddy are sad. So we think he knows in his own way."
In fact, when the family took a vacation, Sheryl was in the bathroom getting ready while Jon was in the kitchen. She realized both kids were quiet--too quiet. What she discovered melted her heart and brought tears to her eyes, she posted on Instagram.
"I tiptoed to the lounge with my camera ready to catch anything they are doing. I was expecting my baby to be covered in Nutella or something but instead I saw this. My preschooler is telling his baby brother "Kuya (big brother) is here. Everything is ok."
The family wants Thomas' short life to be a reminder to others that life is truly too short to fret over little things. Everyone should focus on the here and now, to be full of gratitude and love, they say.
"We often get caught up in our own little world of first problems and we sweat the small stuff, or complain about things that don't matter. We forget how to be grateful of the things and life we have. We must live with a purpose, gratitude, and magnitude of love."
Hopefully, the medical field gains more understanding of rhabdoid tumors and develops a treatment plan so that no other families must endure the heartache the Blanksbys are going through right now. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
Sources: Instagram/mschikee, Daily Mail FB Image Credit: Instagram/mschikee, Instagram/mschikee