Family Gathers to Say Emotional Final Goodbye to Age 5 Girl with Inoperable Cancer


Ally Parker’s father, Sean Peterson, has ALS. He can no longer speak, and Parker knows her time will soon come when she has to bury her father.

He is one of the strongest people she has ever known. The only other person Parker knows who is comparable in strength is her 5-year-old daughter Braylyn.

Like any parent to a seemingly healthy child, Parker never thought she would be the one to also bury her daughter.

But then Braylynn was diagnosed with the most aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer.

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It’s called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. It also means this heartbroken mother will likely say her final goodbye to her daughter even before she says goodbye to her sick father.

“We all thought that they would outlive the rest of us…and we certainly never thought that my precious little Braylynn would be the first to go.

“Both of my heroes, gone, within the same year,” Parker wrote on Facebook about her father and daughter.

The family was raising money for Braylynn to receive experimental treatment in Mexico, but the focus of her care has shifted. On Christmas Eve, the young girl was opening presents.

By Jan. 7, the family was being told to say their final goodbyes. As the family gathered around Braylynn, a heartbreaking image was captured.

The dying 5-year-old was in bed and hooked up to machines. She barely had a pulse.

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Sitting at her bedside was her grandpa, Peterson, who is also struggling to survive because of ALS.

He physically cannot speak, but his face shows the pure anguish and grief over saying goodbye to granddaughter. If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you know that same agony.

When Parker posted the photo on Facebook, she also wrote: “Nurses say she may not make it through the next hour, but miracles can still happen.”

The family understands the likelihood of Braylynn’s death, but they have found a miracle.

According to the update that Parker shared on Jan. 10,  Braylynn is still here. They will be meeting with a doctor who believes the young girl has a chance.

Parker concluded, “I couldn’t be more proud of my Braylynn, she’s always been a tough kid but I severely underestimated her strength. I will never make that mistake again.”

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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