Mack Porter and Payson Altice are both in remission and the two never give up on an opportunity to hang out with the other.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 16, 2021. It has since been updated.
A cancer diagnosis at any stage is devastating; but what's even more upsetting is when children are diagnosed with the horrible disease. Those who are diagnosed with cancer at a young age tend to count on their peers for some support, because only they know what the other is going through. That's why 3-year-old Mack Porter, who was back home after finishing his cancer treatments at Phoenix Children's Hospital, kept saying he wanted to go back to the “doctor house” to see his best friend, Payson Altice, also 3, according to TODAY.
The two pals, who are currently in remission, just couldn't bear to stay away from each other. “Every morning, his first question was, ’When can I play with Payson?’” mom Dani Porter said.
Finally, the day came, and the best friends were reunited, for the first time outside of the hospital, away from the world that brought them together. The heartwarming reunion was caught on camera and shared via social media. During the reunion, Mack gave Payson flowers and the two friends hugged and danced, states ABC News.
3-year-olds Payson Altice and Mack Porter met in the hospital while battling cancer. This is the beautiful moment they reunited. pic.twitter.com/IaoNLH4mA0— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 15, 2021
Mack, who was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, spent the morning of their reunion picking out toys that Payson —who was battling B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia— would love. Both of them are now gearing up to start preschool in the fall.
The two of them first connected when Mack first noticed Payson, a “spunky” little girl, while she was walking down the hospital hall with giant mylar balloons. “I just knew Mack would like her,” mom Dani Porter recalled. Later that day, Porter approached Payson’s mom, Traci Barrett, to see if they would be interested in taking a walk. “The playroom and the family room were closed because of COVID,” Porter explained.
Barret is so glad that Payson and Mack had each other to help and heal. “Payson was so isolated. It was so hard to meet people because of the pandemic. She was asking for new toys every five minutes," Barrett said. “And then Mack came along.”
The two were inseparable from the start, even with IV lines attached to their bodies. “Traci and I were both teary watching them just be kids,” Porter said. “As soon as Mack got up from his nap he was like, 'I need to find Payson and bring her a present.'”
Ever since the reunion, Mack and Payson—who live just 30 minutes away from each other—have been catching up at every chance they get. “It’s just a really special relationship,” Porter said. Added Barrett, "It's indescribable."
Watch their adorable reunion below:
Oh to have a friend like this!
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WUSA9