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These Terminally Ill Children Teach the World a Thing or Two About Life

Kids who grow up with severe illnesses often have much of their childhood robbed by their diseases. However, on their journeys, many gain immense wisdom about what matters most in life! This doctor asked his child patients what makes life meaningful, and their responses are as brilliant as they are heartbreaking. Their words will inspire you to connect, spread love, be grateful, and eat plenty of ice cream!

A Doctor’s Daring Question

Dr. Alastair McAlpine is a pediatrician in Cape Town, South Africa. He focuses on palliative care, meaning that he helps children with serious illnesses find relief from the pain and stress of their sickness. Recently, the kind-hearted doctor decided to ask his terminal patients what they found to be most meaningful in their lives. He posted their responses on Twitter, and their touching words of wisdom stirred hearts across the world!


Kicking Technology To The Curb

One of the biggest themes amongst the children was that they didn’t want to dedicate any more time to mindless technology. “NONE said they wish they’d watched more TV; NONE said they should have spent more time on Facebook,” McAlpine wrote. Rather, the kids were interested in more enriching, joy-inspiring experiences!

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Enjoying Enriching Activities

Many patients praised activities that existed outside of the hospital. Majority loved experiences like going to the beach, listening to stories, playing with toys, and eating ice cream! The children also all “loved people who made them laugh,” reinforcing just how vital humor is when dealing with their diseases. But their passions in life weren’t simply limited to physical manifestations of joy!


Always Encouraging Kindness

Every last child held kindness, acceptance, and love to the highest standard. They all wished they hadn’t spent so much time worrying about the opinions of others! Many of the kids expressed gratitude for the friends who didn’t judge them after they lost their hair, had scars after surgeries, or started treatment for their illnesses. Above all, however, the patients seemed to be grateful for the comforting presence of their families.

David’s Space

Fostering Familial Love

According to McAlpine, “nothing was more important” to the kids than their siblings, parents, grandparents, and other family members. They loved them for making them laugh, hugging them, preparing them food, and simply spending time with them! A vast majority of the children were selflessly concerned with how their parents were coping with their illnesses. However, these bright kids have certainly made an impact with their wisdom that their family will carry with them for the rest of their lives!


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