The internet can be a place full of rage and intolerance, but it can also be a place where heartwarming gems of stories blaze right through the muck. This moment in the lives of an otherwise regular family, the Newmans, in one of those stories. A spark of love and beauty in a sometimes depressing world. Where the simple act of a man sitting outside of his wife's door can bring everyone to tears...
A Family Bands Together
This simple yet incredible story has come to the public's attention thanks to the 17-year-old Mackenna Newman. Back in October of last year, the first stroke of bad luck touched her life and the lives of her entire family. A diagnostic test revealed that her mother had contracted thyroid cancer, and in an instant their lives came crashing down. With this news and the months and years of treatment, there was every possibility that this beautiful family could be driven apart.
But despite the intense chemotherapy treatment that Mackenna's mother required, her dad's love and care for his wife never wavered. Through his selfless devotion, Mackenna's dad became the rock of the family. And it was never more typified than when Mackenna posted this image of her father sitting outside her mother's door for hours, just to keep the ailing woman company. It was a simple act, but it revealed so much...
The Severity of Cancer Is Horrible
It's all the more significant considering the severity of the cancer that touches so many lives across the world. In the U.S. alone, there are some 1.7 million diagnoses of cancer per year, and close to 600,000 deaths - a tragic figure. And thyroid cancer is especially deadly. There are a couple of different types of this cancer, and while stage one of the cancer is treatable, when it becomes more prevalent survival rates are as low as one in four.
Treatment for most types of cancer usually involves some form of chemotherapy - i.e. irradiating the body to kill off the malignant cells. The problem is, of course, is that chemotherapy is especially punishing on the body. It doesn't just target bad cells but good cells, too, meaning that the patient's immune system can be very weak. If anyone enters the patient's 'sterile space' and transmits even a minor bug or bacteria, it can have devastating effects on the patient. Which is why Mackenna's father couldn't be in the same room as his wife.
The Entire Internet Melts Down
Just because he couldn't be in the same room as his wife, didn't mean that Mackenna's father was going to abandon her. Instead of leaving her to her quiet misery, he pulled up a chair and desk and sat outside her door, keeping her company for hours upon hours, never complaining. And it's exactly this touching act that had the entire Twittersphere in absolute tears.
Consolation, support, and love for Mackenna and her family came in from hundreds of people across the globe. "This is the sweetest!" one commenter said, while another simply commented "my heart is melting". In fact, the entire internet melted down with this unbelievably poignant story. It was a wonderful reminder that we can be wonderful human beings, and that even in the darkest of days, we can shine a ray of light into the worlds of others.