Dallas, TX – Dyrk “Strong” Burcie’s battle with cancer inspired his father’s firefighting crew to post photos of their support for him on a Facebook page. The heartwarming campaign first spread to fire departments across the country, and then fans of the four-year-old boy’s strength from around the world added images for the child to view. The little boy was known to always have a smile on his face, despite his battle with the disease. Dyrk’s father, Dameon Burcie, announced on Monday that his son passed away at their home.
When the child was 3, his parents noticed what they thought was a mass on his abdomen while giving him a bath. Doctors later diagnosed the brave young man with pediatric liver cancer, which eventually spread to both of his lungs, according to The Blaze. He underwent a liver transplant and nine rounds of chemotherapy.
In April, the family posted on Facebook that they had decided to end all intensive treatment and make the most of the time Dyrk had left. Fellow Dallas firemen, Ronnie Roe, came up with the idea of sending the boy photos of them posing with signs depicting his name. The Dryk Strong photo project caught on quickly as firefighters from around the country crafted incredibly elaborate scenes organized around the sick little boy’s name. A fire department in East Texas spelled the child’s name in hay, set it on fire, and then climbed a 100-foot-tall ladder to take a photo from above.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans marveled at Dryk’s resilience and said the boy taught everyone a lesson on how to approach every day of our lives.
Dameon Burcie had this to say about his son:
“He was one of the happiest kids you could ever find. The last few weeks, he had some discomfort with all of his surgeries and chemotherapy. Dyrk would ask almost every day if he could see the pictures that had been posted that day. It was absolutely incredible.”
The boys funeral is scheduled for Friday at the First Baptist Church of Midlothian. The photos below are just a sampling of the outpouring of love which helped brighten the days of the Dallas boy with an undeniably uplifting spirit and a smile which brightened the day of everyone he encountered, both in real life and virtually on the Facebook page which brought so much awareness about childhood cancer.