When Tazz Jones was visiting her 5-year-old daughter Maliyah at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, she took a sweet photo of the little girl embracing her friend and fellow patient Madelina DeLuca.
"This is the perfect example of love," the mom wrote in the caption.
According to Maliyah's fundraising page, she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma three years ago, soon after her second birthday. The toddler underwent chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, but after a six-month period of remission in 2013, scans detected cancer again in January 2014.
Two-year-old Madelina DeLuca was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in November, her fundraising page states. She recently completed the last of her multiple rounds of chemo at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
When Tazz Jones captured the beautiful moment between the girls at the hospital, they had only just met that day. "She and Maliyah instantly clicked as if they knew one another for some time," the mom told ABC 7. At the moment when the image was taken, "I wondered what they were feeling; what they were thinking and how they felt," she added.
Jones told WPXI that she's grateful for the supportive community she and her daughter have found throughout her battle with cancer. “There’s always someone there, always a friend. Children helping children is always the best support because they don’t know,” she said. “I’ve helped mothers get through their child being diagnosed, and they’ve helped me.”
Ultimately, the mom hopes that this touching photo can help comfort and encourage others battling cancer. She told WPXI, "I want this picture to be seen not just for Maliyah’s story, but for other families going through this.”