An Alabama mom is speaking out against the cyberbullies who targeted a photo of her 3-year-old terminally ill son and turned it into a disgusting internet meme.
Grayson Smith was born with a number of life-threatening conditions — including occipital encephalocele, craniosynostosis, micronathia, ASD of the heart and congenital anomalies, among many others.
When he was born, the doctors gave him a week or two to live. Now, three years and several surgeries later, Grayson has defied all odds and is living happily with his parents, Jenny and Kendyl Smith, in rural Ranburne, Alabama.
Recently, his parents decided to create a Facebook page to update friends and followers about their son’s journey through dozens of medical procedures and to connect with other parents facing similar situation.
The Smiths regularly posted Grayson’s photos on the social media group, “Grayson’s Story,” to share his progress. Sadly, one of the pictures, which showed the toddler holding a pumpkin, was turned into a heartless meme saying: “That face you make when your parents are actually cousins.”
When the child’s mother found out about this atrocity, she was so disturbed she wanted to run and “hide under a rock.” But, she then decided that her brave son would not want that.
“I just can’t believe that there are people out there who would use a child, especially anyone who has been ruled terminally disabled, like that. It really just hit home with me,” Smith told WREG. “Some people think it’s funny, but I don’t find humor in hurting someone else for a laugh. Honestly, I’m just so ashamed that people actually find it to be entertaining. It’s disgusting.”
Instead of ignoring the trolls, the family decided to contact all the online platforms that had shared the image, requesting them to remove it and send a confirmation.
“We could wake up one morning and he could be gone,” Smith continued, noting that doctors are shocked that her son made it this long and is doing so well. “We have to stick together and fight back. We’re not the first family that’s been through this and we’re not going to be the last.”
More information about Grayson’s condition can be learned at the YouCaring page his family has set up to raise money for the child’s surgeries.