Mum captures 3yo boy comforting terminally ill baby brother
LAYING side-by-side on the lounge while on holiday, a mother has captured a tender embrace between her two young boys.
But while it may look like a candid moment, there's a much more sentimental meaning behind the image.
Four-month-old Thomas, who is battling terminal cancer, was being comforted by his older brother William.
Stroking his cheek, three-year-old William had his hand resting on his baby brother's cheek while looking into little Thomas' eyes.
#Throwback to when we were on our holiday. I was getting ready in the bathroom and husband was in the kitchen. The kids were quiet, especially Mr preschooler. You know the rules about when kids are quiet. 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". #myboys #bestbigbrother #documentinglittlemoments #mybabyloves #myheartandsoul #luckymummy
The heartbreaking moment was captured by the boys' mother, Sheryl Blanksby, who explained how the photograph was taken.
"I was getting ready in the bathroom and husband was in the kitchen," Mrs Blanksby wrote on her Instagram page.
"The kids were quiet, especially Mr preschooler.
"You know the rules about when kids are quiet. 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'."
This smile makes me forget he's sick. It makes me believe I'm not going to lose him and that we got this and in one split second he will do something that pulls me back in reality, the saddest most painful truth that our time with him is definitely not forever. But then he smiles at me again and the cycle continues. #iwanthimforeverinmyarms #terminalcancerwarrior #mybabylove #mythomas #BabyThomas
Mrs Blanksby and her husband, Jon, from Western Australia, were devastated when doctors diagnosed little Thomas with a malignant rhabdoid tumour at 11 weeks old in February.
The aggressive form of cancer is most common in infants and toddlers.
A GoFundMe page set up on behalf of the family detailed his diagnosis, sharing that Thomas underwent surgery to remove his kidney before doctors determined his cancer was terminal.
It is understood that Mrs and Mrs Blanksby have not been given a time frame for how long they have left with little Thomas.
Writing on her blog, Mrs Blanksby described the "pain" she feels every time she looks at little Thomas' face.
"My heart breaks for every big smile he gives me because I know how much I will miss it when it's all gone," she wrote.
"When you think my heart can't take it anymore, it shatters even more when he gives his begging look when he's in pain."
I can't stop the tears today. How do you stop them anyway? Why do I even share it on social media? I don't know but I do know that I want to remember this moment in a photo. Before giving birth to Thomas, I worried about not having enough love to give since I love my first born so much. Turns out a mother's love is abound and limitless. These tears are all love and pain, a whole lot of it for my Thomas. This is real life. I am sorry. #documentinglittlemoments #mumofboys #cancersucks #brokenhearted #tearsforThomas #oncologymum
The photo of the boys has gone viral since being posted three days ago, receiving more than 400 likes and over 50 comments.