There has been an outpouring of support and prayers for Oscar Knox - the five year-old Belfast boy battling cancer - since his mother revealed they had made the agonising decision to move him to a hospice.
Known as ‘Wee Oscar’, the young boy has been fighting Neuroblastoma since 2011.
He was given the all-clear last April but, in a matter of months the cancer had returned and his family described how their world had come “crumbling down around us” again.
Oscar’s parents Stephen and Leona have driven a strong social media campaign throughout his illness, documenting his progress and raising awareness around blood donation as well as fundraising for cancer.
On Wednesday Leona said the cancer, which she described as “a cruel, ugly and despicable disease” was “finally beginning to win”.
The Knox family has moved to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice in order to allow them to be close to Oscar as he continues his battle.
Leona said: “Once again, we are so grateful to everyone who has supported or helped us in any way. Particularly the amazing teams in both the Children’s Hospital and now the Children’s Hospice. Nothing can take our pain away but some people really make a difference.
“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Oscar and Izzie (Oscar’s younger sister) - you deserve our biggest thanks. You are amazing people and we love you more than words can say.”
Since then more than 90 people have sent words of support through the blogsite, while others have tweeted their support for Oscar, including pictures of candles lit in solidarity.
One woman tweeted: “Our thoughts&prayers with u @Wee_Oscar & family. You’re an inspiration to us all. Stay strong wee guy” (sic) while another person hailed Oscar as having united people across the political divide.
“@Wee_Oscar has done something many people have tried and failed. He’s united our wee country. Everyone is behind him,” said the man.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “Our prayers & the candle on our windowsill tonight are for @Wee_Oscar & his wonderful family.”