He wanted to show the world the ‘true face of cancer’.
Andy Whelan, an electrician from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire shared the black-and-white image of Jessica on his Facebook blog about her illness, to show others the ‘true face of cancer’.
On his Facebook post, Jessica’s father says it is the hardest photo he has taken. “This is 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,” he adds.
Jessica has been fighting stage four neuroblastoma for 13 months, but has now been given just weeks to live after Andy and his partner Nicki Prendergast decided to stop treatment in a bid to allow her to enjoy whatever time she has got left.
‘I asked the doctor how long she had left, and he said he couldn’t give a figure but it was likely to be a couple of years,’ explains Andy.
When the trial came to an end, Andy and Nicki were told that the tumour hadn’t shrunk, but it hadn’t grown either.
‘The consultant told us that there was more treatment they could try, but they were now looking at prolonging Jessica’s life – not curing the cancer.’
Now, Andy wants to raise awareness of childhood cancer, which is why he’s sharing a picture of his daughter during her final weeks.