Parents Of Baby With Terminal Illness Spent His Last Weeks Alive Completing Bucket List With With Him



Losing a child is hard no matter what, but one family sadly lost their child when he was a mere 1-year-old baby. This is the story of the McArdle family from Bloomington, Minnesota. Parents Christine and Chris had been overjoyed at starting a family together but when their son was just 9-months-old, he'd been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Their story first went public in March 2020, after they made it their mission to help Brice complete a bucket list of experiences before he tragically passed away, in a bid to spend as much time with their precious boy in his last weeks as possible. Back then, Brice was given only four to 12 weeks left to live. The dying baby boy had received treatment for brain cancer but his prognosis confirmed the sad news.

At 9 months, Brice was diagnosed with Embryonal tumors with multilayered rosettes (ETMR), before undergoing five months of surgeries and chemotherapy. But eventually, doctors confirmed to the McArdles how little time the youngster had left, anywhere between four to twelve weeks.

Once they received Brice's prognosis, the McArdles took time off work to spend with their baby boy. Colleagues were kind to donate work shifts and also money to the family so that they were able to share his precious last weeks with him.

During that time, Brice stayed at a hospice as his parents endeavored to fulfill his bucket list and spend the maximum amount of time with him that they could before it was time to say goodbye.
During that period, the family went on a private tour of the Mall of America –– one of the United States' largest malls –– where they enjoyed themselves while Brice was able to play in the mall's kid-friendly attractions, including the merry-go-round. Other items on Brice's bucket list included the science museum, railroad museum, a Star Wars experience and to appear on the local TV station with his parents.

Chris opened up to Valley News Live about the moment they decided to spend Brice's last weeks completing a bucket list for him:

"We got the news that basically it's a done deal, we both just decided we are not gonna work. We are going to spend every waking moment with him we can and we trust God with the results of that."

Mother Christine added:

"All the things we imagined doing with Brice, all in one four to twelve-week period. All the things we thought we'd be doing when he was a toddler, we want to do now."

Both parents knew how precious the time they had left with their son was. Christine mentioned that "It's impossible to be sad with this child, he's so happy," while Chris added:

"I squeeze him. I did before, but now I love holding him nice and tight and I can tell he likes it too. Every time I hold him tight I think, make a mental note of this, remember this moment."

The Mall of America gifted the family a "Brice was here" plaque that was mounted on the children's playground. Chris said he was speechless as he said, "that touches my heart, I honestly don't even know what to say."
Sadly, Brice passed away on April 10, 2020. The McArdles have mementos of their beloved son all over their house so that his memory is not forgotten. Christine told CBS Minnesota, “So we have his hand size and foot size and we can just feel those markings of his little fingers." She added:

“Oh gosh, I miss everything about him."

Chris added:

“Yeah me too, the warmth, holding him ... There is not one thing I don’t miss about him.”

The couple talked about how devastating it was to lose their son during the pandemic, which meant that planning his funeral was difficult and Chris and Christine weren't able to find grief counselors due to how overwhelmed mental health services were. But they did speak of having each other to help them through. Christine said:

“Our marriage has grown so much. Through fire, trial, I know that’s when I’ve grown the most in my life but I think that’s what’s made us grow the most is the pain, as bad as that sounds.”

They've also managed to see the positive in what their son brought to them. Chris said he feels "heartbreak and sadness" but when he thinks of his son, he feels "joy." Christine added:

“Brice just exuded happiness ... He was just the happiest little boy.”

Then on the anniversary of Brice's birthday, the couple found out they were expecting a daughter. They spoke of how "bittersweet" it was but that "it felt like a blessing from him." Brice's sister Cora was born in Aug. 2021 and the family couldn't be more in love. Christine told the news outlet:

" ... she is gonna know Brice was a brave, happy, strong big brother, that he could get through anything."




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