You don’t have to be big to be brave. These ten amazing tots have battled serious illnesses, inspiring thousands upon thousands of Facebook fans —and a whole lot of love — along the way.
At just six months old, little Brendan was diagnosed with a Pineal Parenchymal Tumor, a rare type of brain tumor. His family recently shared the joyous news on their Brendans Superhero Fight Against a Brain Tumor Facebook page that the tumor is responding to chemotherapy and has shrunk. Don't let his unbelievably cute little face fool you -- bright-eyed "Brenny" is one tough cookie.
At just 8 and a half months old, Sophie was diagnosed with optic pathway glioma, a brain tumor affecting the eye. With the support of Sophie's oncologists, her parents decided to hold off on chemotherapy for the slow-growing tumor and pursue alternative treatments instead. Recently, her vision has improved and her family prays for continued healing. Check out beautiful pictures of Sophie on her Facebook page and send donations to her family through their GoFundMe page.
Does this photo look familiar? Earlier this year, this picture of 2-year-old Matthew Ouimet, by photographer Mandi Raymond, went viral and inspired at least a dozen people to register as organ donors. The full view of the photo includes a chalkboard that reads "Become an organ donor." At the time, Matthew, who suffers from a life-threatening genetic condition called Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1, was badly in need of a kidney and liver transplant. Just a month later, he got one! His recovery has been a difficult one, but the sweet-faced tot has made great progress and touched fans across the country, who read about him on his mother Kristi's Facebook page.
Baby Lilly Bumpus spent most of her young life battling Ewing's sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Just shy of her first birthday, the Bumpus family announced wonderful news: Lilly won! Now cancer-free after more than a dozen rounds of chemotherapy and several surgeries, Lilly's adorable smiles have inspired tens of thousands. She conquered cancer; we can't wait to see what she conquers next! Support Lilly and her family through their GoFundMe page.
Little Scott, born in the spring of 2012, has seen more frightening diagnoses in under two years than most people see in a lifetime: cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease and infantile spasms, among other health issues. But you wouldn't know it from his shining eyes and radiant smile. "He's a fighter and he is going to keep going," his family wrote on his Facebook page. For information on donating clothes and supplies to Scott and his family, visit their Facebook page at Prayers for Scott.
Hazel, a.k.a. Hazelnut, is a two-year-old charmer who, earlier this year, was diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumor in her abdomen. Getting rid of it means more than a year of tough treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy, but little Hazelnut is persevering with high spirits and an infectious grin. Does her name sound familiar? Hazel made headlines when she inspired strangers to send pizzas to her hospital. To donate to Hazel's family and read more about Hazel, visit the Our Little Hazelnut website and the Hope For Hazel Facebook page.
Brantley was born premature with a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot. He's endured multiple heart surgeries and must have his heart measured regularly , but in between check-ups, the adorable tow-headed tot can be seen scaling up playground equipment, playing with the family dog and trying on his daddy's hat, as his Facebook pics show.
In January, 2013, Emileigh Grace was born 17 weeks premature and weighed just over one pound. But this miracle micro preemie fought for her life and, though she's faced many serious complications, the smiling little beauty continues to impress her parents every day and delight the followers of her Facebook page, Team Emileigh. Emileigh has lived all of her young life at the hospital but her family has faith that one day they'll all come home together.
Little Johnathon beat the odds: Diagnosed with stage 4 hepatoblastoma, a liver cancer, in 2012, today Johnathon is cancer free and, through their Hope For Johnathon Facebook page, the spunky little boy's family is raising awareness of childhood cancer while sharing heartwarming photos of Johnathon having a blast doing everything from hanging from the monkey bars to eating pizza. Talk about a slice of hope!
Andrea is a strong, happy little 2-year-old girl who is fighting leukemia -- and winning! Though she's not yet done with chemotherapy treatments, her family recently announced that she is in remission and "on the road to recovery and a cure!!" To learn more about Andrea visit her Facebook page, Prayers for Andrea, and to support her and her family, visit their GoFundMe page.