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Besides the fact that my heart is crying for this, and I’m holding back tears. #FUCKCANCER. I want to talk about how brave, compassionate, self-less, loving, and giving this young man is. Below I have included a post written by his mother that gives the heartwrenching and heart bursting story of Ian.

Facebook excerpt by Shannon Bailey – Ian’s mom (@Ian’s Army – August 7, 2022)

This is one of the most difficult posts to write. As many already know, we met with Ian’s oncologist to review his scans. In the smallest room, 5 of us sat listening to words no parent should ever have to hear. But of course, even in one of the longest hours of our lives, my husband, one of my best friends, and myself sat there in amazement watching Ian confirm with his Dr. that medically speaking, he is on his journey home. So brave to discuss, at 15 years old. Tears, so many tears, so many thoughts of this can’t be his story; thoughts that our EE still has big plans for this world and to help other children fighting this awful battle with the ugliest word, cancer. It’s so easy to look at EE and see how healthy he is, his head full of hair, his beautiful blue eyes, his heart of gold and convince ourselves that this is not real, and we must be in a nightmare and just waiting to wake up. It’s so easy to forget, that even the healthiest looking children could be fighting battles that you can’t see. EE always is quick to remind myself and his dad to give grace to others, because we can’t see what battles they are fighting. My 15 year old son has taught me more in my 46 years than any text book ever has. His soul, his wise, all loving, selfless, beautiful soul is always wanting to take care of and help others. In that tiny room where we all sat feeling smothered by emotions, Ian only still thought of others. He started crying and said, “I only want to do one good thing in this world before I leave you all.” I responded to him, “sweet boy, you have already done a million amazing things.” Ian has made the decision to not return to school (in which he maintained straight A’s from elementary all the way through 9th grade, while battling cancer since 6th grade and has made 5s on every FSA-proud mom and dad), and to spend his days seeing and doing things he loves or has wanted to do or experience. He has chosen to do an oral chemo at home which we pray will slow his disease progression. He said he is not giving up, but he also understands his prognosis and wants to experience joy for whatever time God gifts him. I read something earlier today that said, “I did not gift my son life, God gifted me my son.” There is no statement truer than this. We continue to ask that you pray strength over our family, that if it be God’s will, Ian will be healed and be a testimony for God, and pray for his 2 younger brothers as they walk alongside their EE. Ian chose to be the one to tell his friends and his brothers. Watching and listening to him speak to his friends and brothers, and apologizing to them for not being able to beat this and telling them he has fought as hard as he could, both shattered my heart and made my momma heart so proud at the same time. Even in his devastating prognosis, he was apologizing and consoling his friends-but if you have ever met EE, you understand that this is who he his. So many have said that he’s an old soul in a young man’s body. Ian has said he will not sit around dying, but instead he will be busy living. He told me last night, that he oddly is okay with all of this, that he is sad, but he is okay, because for 3 years, he has always known that leaving us was always a possibility. The wisest, bravest, smartest, most eloquent speaker, writer, caring soul is mine to call son. #joshua1nine, #childhoodcancer #riseupwithIan, #noOneCriesAlone

In a world filled with hate, and fear, this young man has chosen to fill it with love, compassion, hope, and light. Ian, knowing that he is on his final journey home to God, has chosen to be a beacon of love, light, and living his days, being the best he can, to the fullest he can. Feeling lovingly, alturistic, reflective, and living life. This is something we should all strive for.

None of us know how long we have, or our loved ones generally. We hope no one has an illness that feels like a life has been robbed of time. We should focus on living life the best we can. Loving life, and all it has to offer. Loving others, for all lives are so precious. Compassion for others, for you never know their pain. Giving to others, philanthropy is not always monetary, sometimes it is just being there for others. Not feeling self pity. For it is ok to feel sad for one’s self. However to feel self pity does nothing but rob you of joy, however short it may be. Today, I was today’s year old, when I learned the unconditional love of Ian. God Bless You young man.

Thank you Ian.

HEARTBREAKING photo shows boy, 15, comforting his little brother after he told him he was dying:


You can also follow his story on Facebook at Ian’s Army. I’ve included the link below.