NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - There’s possibly no darker moment than finding out a child is seriously ill. But FOX 29’s Bill Anderson tries to find hope, even in the worst circumstances.
He spoke to a family who found out their sick child had more support than could ever imagine -- on social media of all places -- For Goodness Sake
“I asked, ‘Is Honesty OK?’” Catherine Burgett remembered “She said she’s not feeling well. We’re taking her to the hospital and she was in the hospital for a few days.”
What do you do when serious illness strikes your family and you’re hundreds of miles away?
“I wanted her to know that we’re all the way in Philly but you have our support. We’re there, we love you and if there’s anything we can do from up here we’re gonna do it,” Burgett told them.
That’s what happened to a Northeast Philadelphia woman who found out from a phone call her two-year-old niece had cancer.
“I was like, ‘Oh wow.’ So I didn’t, at that very moment, know what to say when you get news like that you never do,” Burgett explained.
Catherine’s niece Honesty lives in North Carolina. She’s known as an energetic happy child who her mother described on social media as “All I ever wanted in one little package. The beat to my heart, the air in my lungs.”
So when she was suddenly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, family in Philly wanted to find a way to surround her with love even if they couldn’t be there.
“I Googled some cancer quotes and the one that I put on the collage says that when a child has cancer, everyone that loves them has it too,” Burgett researched. “Then, I added the #IAMHONESTY.”
#IAMHONESTY started off as just a hashtag -- a way to show that the family shared the pain and was there for support. Each time it was posted and shared, it was meant to send love and prayers from wherever people were. And it began to spread, fast!
“I was so surprised, my Facebook was going off all day long and it’s still going off to this minute,” Burgett said proudly.
The message made it to North Carolina, where Honesty’s mother Precious video-chatted with Bill.
She continues to struggle, dealing with the shock of her daughter going from the little girl always eager to help someone else -- to the child fighting for her life.
“Honesty, Like some people say, she leaves her footprint in your heart,” Precious told Bill. “She’s very accomplished for a two-year-old. She speaks in compete sentences, she teaches other kids in the daycare how to use the potty.”
But she’s also two years old, a little girl who was in surgery while her mom chatted with Bill from the hospital room.
So her mother is appreciative and moved each time she sees the hashtag #IAMHONESTY pop up on her phone.
“It just showed me that my baby has more support than I thought she did. It’s been shared a lot. I never thought it would go this far,” she said, impressed and surprised.
There is a GoFundMe account set up for expenses but Precious seemed much more focused on how appreciative she was of the love shown to her baby.
“Prayer does help, so I really appreciate it,” she explained.
Being supportive is an easy thing to do. This may not be your situation or your struggle, but we’ve all been through something. Something where we would like somebody to have our back to support us. So please join me in wrapping this little girl in a circle of love by saying #IAMHONESTY, For Goodness Sake.