But these disorders are fairly rare. Cancer, though, reaches across boundaries.
It attacks the young and the old, those in poverty and those with wealth. It’s the ultimate leveler, and it exacts a horrible price on those who suffer from it.
Just look at Keith Burkett, from Stow, Ohio. According to The Independent, Keith’s mother, Taylore Woodward, noticed that her son wasn’t feeling well on Christmas Eve in 2010. His appetite was off, and his color looked poor.
Doctors discovered that he had fluid on his heart. He also needed to have part of his liver removed because, in Woodward’s words, “it looked like hamburger meat.”
That was only the start of Keith’s travails. About a year and a half later, physicians found the real reason for his physical problems: undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma.
Despite chemotherapy and radiation, the cancer continued to spread. By August 2018, Keith’s family knew he wouldn’t make it.
“It’s hard to watch your son die and know that you’re not going to have another Christmas with him,” Woodward said. “No mother should outlive her child.”
Woodward and the greater Stow community brought Christmas early for Keith, decorating their houses in mid-October and arranging a ride in a fire truck that headed a 100-car parade. “It was awesome,” Keith said.
“The fire truck was my favorite part because I’ve never been in one before. I got to beep the horn.”
When Taylore asked if he had any dreams he wanted fulfilled, he gave a surprising answer. “He said, ‘Well Momma, I would like to walk you down the aisle before I die,’ and then I was like you know, we’re making it happen,” Woodward said to Fox News.
When she and Keith’s stepfather, Adam, got married, they eloped. But when Keith revealed his wish to see his parents get married and walk his mom down the aisle, they decided to stage an in-home wedding ceremony just for their little cancer warrior in early November.
There was a flower girl and Woodward wore a wedding dress. Family and friends surrounded the couple.
A wan Keith was able to be wheeled down the hall in his wheelchair. He held his mother’s hand as she exchanged her vows.
In a post on Facebook, Woodward said, “This was the most bitter sweet heartbreaking emotional day of my life. But my baby boy got to walk me down the aisle and we got to honor his final wish.”
Just days after the touching ceremony, Keith passed away on November 12.
“I hope Keith showed each and every single one of you that life is short and you should NEVER take that for granted,” Woodard wrote. “I hope Keith showed each and [every one] of you that love always conquers evil.”
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