Cancer is a devastating and cruel disease that claims the lives of hundreds of thousands across the globe every year.
But imagine contracting COVID-19 while having cancer? Well, tragically, this was a reality for one man, who succumbed to the virus after telling doctors to "save someone else's life" instead.
Keep scrolling to read the heartbreaking reason he came to this decision.
Out of all the illnesses in the world, cancer is by far one of the most devastating.
via: GettyA result of the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, cancer develops when the body's normal control mechanism stops working.
Instead of old cells dying like they're supposed to...
via: GettyThey instead mutate, forming new, abnormal cells.
Cancer can occur anywhere in the body.
via: GettyBut breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer are by far the most common.
And the treatment is grueling.
via: GettyThe goal of treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells as possible, all the while avoiding any damage to the normal and healthy cells nearby.
However, this isn't always possible.
via: GettyThe most common treatment, chemotherapy, acts as a "poison" and kills off the abnormal cells. However, it can often kill normal cells, too, which makes people incredibly ill, resulting in hair loss, weight loss, and general sickness.
Though chemotherapy has been proven to have positive effects on eliminating cancerous cells from the body...
via: GettyIt isn't a cure... And we are yet to discover one.
We are a long way off from finding an official cure for cancer...
via: GettyAnd the numbers of those being diagnosed with the illness keep on rising every year. In 2019, an estimated 1.8 million cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States alone.
And, out of those diagnosed with the devastating illness...
via: GettyAn estimated 606,880 sadly passed away.
These numbers are simply devastating.
via: GettyMedical researchers have been working hard for decades to find a cure for the illness and, though they haven't found one officially, they have come up with many alternative methods to combat the disease.
This week, a heartbreaking story has come to light.
via: FacebookThirty-year-old British man with leukemia had died from coronavirus.
Liam Downing had been battling with leukemia for 2 years.
via: GoFundMeAnd sadly, had been told he only had a few months left to live.
Liam was determined to not let his cancer dampen his spirits.
via: FacebookAnd had just created a bucket list of what he wanted to do before he passed away.
But tragically, he ended up contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus.
via: FacebookCancer patients are particularly susceptible due to a weakened immune system from the illness itself and treatments.
Liam reportedly told doctors to "save someone else's life."
via: FacebookAnd tragically, just days after his thirtieth birthday, on Friday, March 27, he passed away.
He apparently didn't "want to use up NHS money."
via: FacebookAfter testing positive for the virus, before he died, he had to move wards and be isolated from his family. This is absolutely heart-wrenching.
Liam then spoke with specialists about what his options were.
via: FacebookAnd he made the brave decision to move forward with end of life care instead of treatment.
His heartbroken sister, Laura, paid tribute to her "selfless" brother in a touching Facebook post."He has fought leukemia for nearly 2 years and last week, we were told there was nothing more they could do to help him. "To then be told he had coronavirus was just devastating."
via: Facebook"I'm so unbelievably proud of you Liam! You fought so long and hard but now's your time to relax! You're now out of pain! I'm so glad we had so much laughter together as we got older. I'll forever cherish those memories!"
A GoFundMe page has been set up in Liam's memory to raise funds for his plot, headstone, and flowers.
via: FacebookOn the fundraising page, Laura explained: "On Monday, March 16 [Liam] was admitted back into hospital with an 'infection.' Tests were carried out [and he tested positive for] COVID-19. "Liam had to move wards and be isolated away from anyone he knew or [was] used to looking after him. He was also not allowed to see any of his family due to the risks of spreading the virus."
"He had fought the battle for as long as he could with the leukemia and did not want to waste any more of the NHS' money and selflessly said, 'Save someone else's life with it'."
via: FacebookAt the time of writing, Liam's family have managed to raise nearly £5000 ($6,190.72). Utterly devastating. R.I.P Liam. Keep scrolling to learn about a brave 6-year-old who received a standing ovation by his classmates after beating cancer…