Beckett Burge was diagnosed with acute Lymphoblastic leukemia, in August of 2018. The disease is a type of blood cancer that begins within young white blood cells in the bone marrow. Beckett was only two years old when he received this devastating diagnosis.
Since that time, Beckett has had to endure long periods spent in the hospital. He’s undergone chemotherapy as well as platelet and blood transfusions. But through it all, this brave little man has had the love and support of his older sister Aubrey every step of the way.
Despite being 14 months older, Aubrey has proven to be a mature and profoundly caring big sister. According to their mom, Kaitlin Burge, 28, Aubrey has formed an “incredible bond” with her younger brother, who she describes as her “best friend.”
Kaitlin, who resides in Princeton, Texas, has also mentioned how Aubrey prefers to stay in and keep her little brother company rather than go out and play with her friends.
In January, Kaitlin took a touching and heartbreaking photo of Aubrey taking care of Beckett while the little boy leans over the toilet to be sick. The kindly older sister is seen rubbing his back while offering the toddler reassurance.
After the photo was taken, Aubrey reportedly went to wash her hands before carrying her ill brother to the couch. She then asked her parents if she could help out in keeping their bathroom clean.
Kaitlin decided to share the powerful photo with the world to illustrate the importance of strong family bonds during the most challenging times.
Kaitlin recalls the moment she took the photo:
“She didn’t know what was happening, but she knew from experience that when she was sick, we would rub her back and help her through it.
She just picked up from experience and took over. She’d rub his back and tell him it was going to be okay, clean his face up and wash his hands for him.
Right after that happened, she also carried him back to the living room and put him on the couch. She asked me she could clean up the bathroom too, but I told her to go and sit down because that wasn’t her job.
She takes it upon herself to help and make sure everything he comes into contact with is clean. She’s another set of eyes.”
“When I see them together, it makes me happy but at the same time it makes me sad. They have an incredible bond. To this day, they are closer, she always takes care of him.
A child that’s four or five years old should be outside playing with their friends. She loves gymnastics and we had to put a stop to that because of the financial burden, it got too expensive with his situation.
She should be out doing gymnastics, running around the neighbourhood with the kids, playing in the playground, swimming in the pool – but here she is taking care of her brother.
They’re very close – they always played together. He’d play dolls with her and she’d play superheroes with him. We encourage her to go outside and do things, but she’d rather have her eyes on him.”
Beckett’s changing appearance made Aubrey become concerned about her little brother, who was once full of energy, and the “smart girl” began asking her parents a lot of difficult questions.
“She’s watched a dozen doctors throw a mask over his face, poke and prod him with needles, pump a dozen medications through his body, all while he laid there helplessly.
She wasn’t sure what was happening, all she knew was that something was wrong with her brother, her best friend.
We explain that he got really sick, this is what happened, it was nothing he ate or did, nothing she did, it can’t be prevented and it’s not going to happen to her. We explained everything to her and got our social worker involved.
We’ve been very open with her so any questions that she ever has we talk through it with her, we explain it with Beckett in the room as well. He’ll tell people ‘I have cancer’, he knows what he has. We make sure she’s very supportive and knows it doesn’t make him any different.”
Doctors estimate brave Beckett, who’s now four, will need to go through at least another two years of chemotherapy. However, he knows he can count on his big sister and best friend Aubrey being right there by his side, as always.