The money Langford raised for little Jacob will go towards his future treatment, who may have to travel to America for experimental treatment.
Rhys Langford, from Ebbw Vale, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma—cancer that starts in the bones—in October 2020 and was given only a few weeks to live. But when he came across the story of 6-year-old Jacob who was also fighting cancer, Langford wanted to do something for him.
The 19-year-old read the story of Jacob Jones from his town in an online news report. Doctors believe that neuroblastoma—rare cancer that Jacob has been fighting—has now returned even after Jacob had gone through grueling treatment earlier, per Wales Online.
"Rhys found the story of little Jacob. He called me upstairs and he was crying in bed reading the story. He said, 'Mum, I want to donate some money to him. 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," Langford's mom Catherine said.
Immediately, the teen, who earlier worked as a laborer for a water supplier, donated over $1,300 from his savings for Jacob's treatment. He has also set up an online GoFundMe to raise more money for him.
"Although our hearts are breaking because our son is dying, our hearts are bursting with pride," the 38-year-old mom said of his son's kindness at the time.
Langford was a budding athlete before he fell ill. Concern arose when he lost his balance and fell after a sprint race with his friends. What his friends and family thought was a sprain initially, turned out more serious when he kept limping even after almost two months.
After diagnosis, Langford underwent intensive rounds of treatment for cancer but it had already spread. His family, however, tried their best to keep his spirits up. "He had all these ambitions. We always kept him motivated. We told him, 'You're still here. You're not dead, you've got your life,'" said his dad, Paul.
Unfortunately, on February 8, 2022, Langford passed. His mom shared the heartbreaking news on Facebook. "Rhys Langford 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 pm yesterday evening 08/02/2022. We are heartbroken my life will never be the same again a part of me has died also. He battled a long hard fight."
Meanwhile, the money Langford raised for the little boy will go towards future treatment for Jacob, who may have to travel to America for experimental treatment not available on the NHS, per BBC.
After the news of Langford's death, a Facebook page for Jacob shared a heartwarming tribute to the late teen. "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. Fly high Rhys and we are all so proud and thankful for what you did for our Jacob."
To be this selfless even when you are suffering is a rare thing, and Langford will be missed dearly. Hopefully, he is in a better, pain-free place now.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Rhys's dying wish! To help Jacob fight again