Rene Marsh‘s 2-year-old son lost his battle with brain cancer, the CNN correspondent said on Thursday. The journalist shared a heartbreaking yet surprisingly hopeful message following the passing of her “sweet angel.”
The mom explained that her son was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer in December of 2019. His name was Blake and he was lovingly referred to as “Blakey.”
Rene Marsh Wrote That Her Son Taught Her a ‘Depth of Love’ That She Had Never Experienced in His Short Life.
In a gallery-style post on Instagram, Rene Marsh shared the news of her son’s death along with a lengthy caption that acts as a letter to her deceased baby boy. The images she shared show her toddler enjoying all manner of toy and time spent with his family members.
“To my dear sweet Blake aka ‘Blakey,'” the letter begins. “In your 25 months on earth you taught me how much strength I had stored up in reserve that I didn’t know I had. You taught me endurance. You taught me a depth of love I have never experienced. You inspired me to keep going when I wanted to give up. You helped me prioritize what is truly important in this life.”
Rene, who welcomed Blake with her husband, Kedric Payne, in March 2019, goes on to write that her son’s special talents included “hugging and kissing on demand,” and that he possessed “top notch” dance moves.
“I didn’t just lose you Blakey, I lost all my dreams and hopes that a mom has for her son,” she shared. “I lost my motherhood and I’m mourning it all.”
Rene concluded the address by saying that her experience has made her “dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer for the rest of my life.” She also added a deeply moving sentiment for Blake, “Your life was not in vain my sweet angel.”
In June of 2020, Rene wrote an opinion piece for CNN’s website entitled, “Wearing a mask isn’t political. It could protect my son’s life.”
“Living through a pandemic, as a mom of a child with a cancer diagnosis, is terrifying,” she admitted in the essay for CNN in which she explained that her baby was currently undergoing chemotherapy as a treatment for his illness.
In another piece she wrote for CNN that was published in February, the journalist shared that she had been assured by doctors for six months that Blake’s cancer was in remission. However, in November they were “blindsided” by the revelation that her son’s cancer had returned.
After the announcement of Blake’s death, Rene tweeted, “Thank you to all the doctors and nurses at #JohnsHopkins who cared for and loved Blake over the past year and a half.”
The tweet was met by a flood of condolences from colleagues, friends, family, and her readers.
“Rene, please accept my condolences,” Lisa Mirando, an executive producer at CNN replied. “I am so deeply sorry for your loss. It was pure joy to see Blake’s pictures, his adorable smile and all the videos. A fighter and such a sweet angel to the end.”
“I’m so sorry you’ve lost your beautiful son Blake,” a fan of Marsh’s wrote to her. “In your message, you said in part, ‘I lost my motherhood…’ Please know, you will always be Blake’s mother … I lost my son 1/27/70; he’s still my baby, loved forever.”
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Rene, please accept my condolences. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. It was pure joy to see Blake’s pictures, his adorable smile and all the videos. A fighter and such a sweet angel to the end.— lisa mirando (@LisaMirandoCNN) April 16, 2021
We are so saddened to learn of the death of “Blakey.” However, judging from his mother’s steady letter to him, it seems that she is on as stable a footing as could be expected in this tragic situation. We appreciate her sharing her grief publicly as it will help other parents who have lost a child find solace in their solitude to learn that they are actually not alone.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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