Heartbreaking photo shows brutal reality of childhood cancer

Posted: Updated:
GULF BREEZE, Fla. -

Just a month ago, Braylynn Lawhon was a seemingly healthy little girl about to celebrate her 5th birthday. But doctors now say she could pass away at any moment.

In December, the Gulf Breeze, Florida, girl was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a deadly form of brain cancer, Yahoo reports. Braylynn is now in hospice care. 

Her grandfather, 49-year-old Sean Peterson, who suffers from bone marrow cancer and ALS, visited his ailing granddaughter and was immediately overcome with grief.

A photo posted by Braylynn's mother shows the girl in a hospital bed unresponsive as Peterson sat crying in a chair next to her bed. 

“They wheeled him in to see Braylynn. He can no longer speak, he can’t move his hands and he has a feeding tube,” Beth Peterson-Hickman, Braylynn’s grandmother and Peterson’s ex-wife, told PEOPLE. “When he saw her, he was crying and it was heart-wrenching. I broke down and I had to turn around.”

Braylynn, 5

The grieving grandmother says Braylynn was in high spirits in the days after her diagnosis, but within the last month, her health has declined rapidly.

Braylynn

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help with medical and funeral expenses for little Braylynn and Parker shares updates on her daughter’s health on the Braylynn’s Battalion Facebook page.

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • Sumner County deputy critically injured in crash

    Sumner County deputy critically injured in crash

    A Sumner County Sheriff's deputy suffered critical injuries in a crash Tuesday night near Mulvane. The crash happened while the deputy was working traffic enforcement along K-15, when his vehicle was hit  He was pinned for awhile in his vehicle. He was taken to a Wichita hospital in critical condition.

    A Sumner County Sheriff's deputy suffered critical injuries in a crash Tuesday night near Mulvane. The crash happened while the deputy was working traffic enforcement along K-15, when his vehicle was hit  He was pinned for awhile in his vehicle. He was taken to a Wichita hospital in critical condition.

  • Paramedics work to help frostbite victims

    Paramedics work to help frostbite victims

    Jonathan Piper has been a paramedic in Sedgwick County for more than five years, but admits this winter is one of the toughest. 

    Jonathan Piper has been a paramedic in Sedgwick County for more than five years, but admits this winter is one of the toughest. 

  • Kids find ways to stay active during snow day

    Kids find ways to stay active during snow day

    Normally a weekday at the local YMCA isn’t as busy as it was during the Tuesday’s snow day. Instead of parents trying to squeeze in a workout, it was kids filling the gym floor.

    Normally a weekday at the local YMCA isn’t as busy as it was during the Tuesday’s snow day. Instead of parents trying to squeeze in a workout, it was kids filling the gym floor.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Sumner County deputy critically injured in crash

      A Sumner County Sheriff's deputy suffered critical injuries in a crash Tuesday night near Mulvane. The crash happened while the deputy was working traffic enforcement along K-15, when his vehicle was hit  He was pinned for awhile in his vehicle. He was taken to a Wichita hospital in critical condition.

    • California couple's ordinary home held torture chamber

      A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were...
    • Even the eyelashes freeze: Russia sees minus 88.6 degrees F

      Authorities in the Russian region of Yakutia where temperatures have dropped to record lows are not reporting any disruptions of heating or crucial supplies.
    • Couple carjacked outside Wichita bar

      Officers were called at around 1 a.m. Tuesday to a carjacking at The Stop bar at 1450 South Woodlawn, near Harry.

    • Closings & Delays

      The latest list of school and weather-related closings and delays.

    • Wichita police captain on leave after incident at Augusta basketball game

      Wichita police say a captain with the department is on paid administrative leave after he allegedly pushed a teenage referee at a basketball game.

    • Wichita man is hospitalized for severe frostbite

      Eddie Chronister’s hands are bandaged tightly and they're slowly healing after a severe cast of frostbite He said, "at first they were like we don't even know if you are going to be able to keep your hands because they were that bad. God is good, I get to keep my hands." Chronister, who lives on the streets, says on New Year’s Eve he had little too much to drink and fell asleep and later woke up in a hospital bed. Photos he posted to his Facebook show just h...

    • Police: Man held woman at gunpoint, forced her to drive him around

      Wichita police are searching for a man who reportedly kidnapped a woman and forced her to drive to several different places Monday evening.

    • Paramedics work to help frostbite victims

      Jonathan Piper has been a paramedic in Sedgwick County for more than five years, but admits this winter is one of the toughest. 

    • Suspect sought in Wichita armed robbery

      Wichita Police have released photos of a man who robbed a convenience store and injured an employee.