Tragedy for little girl in heartrending cancer photo

By Litaletu Zidepa
21 November 2016

Jessica's family shared the news with "both sadness and relief".

The little girl whose heartbreaking portrait made headlines all over the world has died, after a year-long cancer battle.

The father of four-year-old neuroblastoma sufferer Jessica Whelan, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire in the UK, shared news of Jessica's death with "both sadness and relief".

"Jessica finally found peace at seven o’clock this morning," Andrew Whelan wrote on her Facebook page.

“No longer does she suffer, no longer does she feel the pain of the physical constraints of her body. Now my princess has grown her angel wings and has gone up to play with her friends and loved ones.”

"She will now watch down over her little brother and ourselves until one day we are reunited again."

Just weeks ago, Jessica made headlines after Andrew shared the tragic portrait of his daughter writhing in pain, in a bid to “capture the truth and the reality of a situation”.

"This is the true face of cancer," he captioned the image, which has since been shared over 17 000 times.


Read more: Dad shares heartbreaking photo of terminally ill daughter to show ‘the true face of cancer’


"My baby girl’s blood vessels protruding from beneath her skin, a solitary tear running down her cheek, her body stiffened and her face contorted in pain.”

“This photograph was made in a moment that we as parents could offer her no comfort, her pushing us away whilst she rode out this searing pain in solitude. This sadly, for us as a family, is not a sight that we see rarely.

“This is now a familiar sight that we see regularly through each day and night, its frequency now more often.”

Brave Jessica died on Sunday morning after battling stage-four neuroblastoma; an aggressive tumour of the nervous system that commonly affects children.

Andrew (30) and Jessica’s mother Nicki Pendergast (28) started the A Fight Against Neuroblastoma Facebook page in October this year to raise money to cover Jessica's medical costs and “to give Jessica as much happiness and enjoyment as possible”, in the little time she had with them.


Read more:‘Cancer doesn’t stop me from being a princess’


According to Metro online, more than 3 300 users raised up to £75 000 (about R1,33 million), which the family will now donate to a children cancer research program.

The Whelan family have set up a petition calling for the UK government to place child cancer in the forefront of their funding schemes in hope of helping other families.

According to The Guardian, over 114 000 people have signed the petition, passing the 100 000 threshold for the case to be discussed in parliament.

The meeting has been scheduled for 28 November, 2016.


Read more: Lash of love: what a single eyelash meant to one doting dad


Sources: Metro.co.uk, TheGuardian.com, Facebook

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