This may sound cliche, but this story is a testament to the notion that not all heroes wear capes. In fact, most real heroes don’t. When one teenager realized he had no chance of surviving his cancer, he dedicated the rest of his days to raising funds for another little boy who also had cancer. He hoped he would be able to save his life, even though he had terminal cancer. Interestingly, the two boys had never met each other. This is the amazing story of Rhys Langford.
Selflessness at its finest
Rhys Langford was 19-years-old when he found out that he only had a few months left to live. Most people would be thrown into a pit of despair, realizing everything they had not with their lives. Rhys however, was more focused on what he may still do with the rest of his time. He had heard of a little boy named Jacob Jones who had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma. He was only six years old. Even though Rhys had never met Jacob, he wanted to do something to help him. “Rhys found the story of little Jacob. He called me upstairs and he was crying in bed reading the story,” said Rhys mother, Catherine.
This is when Rhys knew what he would do with his remaining time. He dedicated his time to raising money for little Jacob in the hopes he would overcome his disease. “He said, ‘Mum, I want to donate some money to him,” said Catherine. “He’s six years of age and he’s been ill since he was two. I’d be over the moon if someone would save him.’ I couldn’t believe he was thinking about someone else when he’s on death’s door himself.”
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Rhys set up a GoFundMe page in Jacob’s honor. This way, people could read his story and donate money to the cause. The money would help pay for the little boy’s treatment in America. Rhys himself donated £1,000. That was his life savings. The GoFundMe is now closed but was able to raise over £67,350. That’s over $79,000!
On the GoFundMe website, Rhys wrote: “Reading about little Jacob and his own fight and his cancer relapse has really upset me. I know nothing can be done for me now but as one of my many last wishes, I would like to help Jacob and help him fight this awful disease… Jacob is now six and has been fighting this disease most of his life. It should not be this way! Jacobs’ family is looking to raise money again for treatment. I have transferred £1000 to Jacobs family privately but it’s still not enough. Please help me, help Jacob! ❤️”.
Rhys made his parents proud
No doubt, Rhys’s parents were very proud of their son, despite their grief over his worsening condition. Rhys’s mother, Catherine, told the Daily Mail what Rhys had said. “He said, ‘There’s nothing more they can do for me so if I can help save this little boy.’ Our hearts are breaking because we are losing our son but bursting with pride because considering his diagnosis he is thinking of other people,” said Catherine.
Unfortunately, Rhys passed away in February this year. His mother wrote a tearful social media post that read: “My warrior, my hero, my son, my baby, has given up his fight. He lay down his sword and died peacefully at home with all his family around him, he closed his eyes for the last time at around 7 p.m. yesterday evening.”
Little Jacob’s family also paid tribute to their son’s hero who raised the money for their little one’s treatment. “I wanted to let everyone know that jacob’s hero Rhys has sadly passed away, our thoughts are with his family at this sad time,” their post read. “Fly high Rhys and we are all so proud and thankful for what you did for our Jacob.”
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- “Terminal teen selflessly donates his life savings before death to help 6-year-old beat cancer. .” Newsner, Shilpa das Gupta. February 2022.
- “Brave teenager, 19, dies from cancer after he donated £1,000 of his own life savings to help six-year-old boy with neuroblastoma that he had never met.” Daily Mail. Jack Wright. February 9, 2022.
- “Cancer: Ebbw Vale teen raises £28,000 to help boy, six.” BBC. January 22