DU QUOIN, IL (AP) - A three-year-old Murphysboro girl and her dad are moving the hearts of many on social media, after her frightening cancer diagnosis and his special gift to help lift her spirits.
"We were terrified at first," Jake Lipe, the dad of Blakleigh Grace Lipe explained.
He remembers when his three year old daughter Blakleigh received her cancer diagnosis. "I had been scared like that before with her previous surgeries …that really set in and scared me..it scared all of us"
Blakleigh had her first operation at the age of one for a benign brain tumor. It wasn't until she was getting her physical for Pre-K when the doctor noticed her enlarged stomach.
"They took her to Cardinal Glennon, they did MRI's, CAT Scans and everything and found out that she had Hepatoblastoma, which is liver cancer and then it was stage 3."
After 10 days of adult doses of chemotherapy, the 3-year-old began to lose her hair. Lipe explained, "Her hair was starting to fall out pretty bad...I promised her that if she ever had to cut her hair, ill cut my hair. and after she got her hair cut, I got to talk to her and she was ready to cut my hair...let me tell you...."
For any girl, the big chop was shocking for Blakleigh.
Isabella Looney, the girlfriend of Lipe, said, "She made a comment saying that now that all of her hair was gone she wasn't pretty and nobody thought she was pretty. So people sent her videos and pictures telling her you are beautiful no matter what."
Impressed with her strength, Lipe said, "I've never seen a little girl that strong..she'll tell you, I'm not sick just have cancer." Cancer that can't stop her from being the same energetic little 3-year-old.
"For all the kids battling cancer and not even just children.. adults that lose their hair..it's just a way of showing support to them...If she can lose her hair, I can definitely shave mine. I think she is gorgeous no matter what and she always will be."Next week, the family will get the results of the MRI to show them if the chemo is working.
For more information on Blakleigh's journey, you can follow her story on her Facebook Page.