Peterborough's Harrison McKinnon lived a short life but had a huge impact on so many.
The little boy who we wrote about last year during his battle with lymphoma—he and his parents helped raise awareness about the vital need for blood donors—died on Saturday (June 17th) at the age of 2 years old after a brief and unexpected battle with infection.
"Our hearts have shattered into a million pieces... after a brief and unexpected battle with an insidious and relentless infection, today we kissed and held our darling Harrison for the last time," his mom Shannon wrote in a Facebook post.
"On June 17, 2017, 2:15pm, at the age of 2 years, 9 months, our beautiful, sensitive, thoughtful, cuddly, funny and infinitely brave firstborn baby boy peacefully gave up his fight and left all his pain and suffering behind. We are left heartbroken that we will never know the amazing person he was destined to become, but so honoured and thankful that he chose us as his parents so we could know how full our hearts and lives could be. Because of him, we know a love we never guessed was possible before he became ours for his short time in this world. 'Mamoo' forever, Little Love"
Harrison pictured last year with his parents Barrett and Shannon
The powerful obituary for Harrison speaks of an "army of people"—family and friends and caregivers and community—that has been so supportive of Harrison and family during his battle, and praying for them. And that included the teams at PRHC in Peterborough and SickKids in Toronto.
"From the beginning of our fight the paediatric team at PRHC have been our number one champions and supporters - doing everything and anything in their power to help make our path a little bit easier to walk and whatever they could do to help make Harrison well... We would like to express our heartfelt and endless thanks to our exceptional medical team at Sick Kids, who treated us with amazing compassion and kindness, and more like family than patients."
Harrison with his baby brother, Jack
"Harrison fought cancer relentlessly for more than half his life, with a remarkably sunny disposition and with an incredible bravery and strength that left us in awe of him in his short time here with us," his parents write in the obit. "In the end, he beat the beast twice, but ultimately lost his fight to a fierce and opportunistic infection that was able to overcome his body as a result of side effects of treatments he received to help him win his battle with cancer."