Ryan Kennedy (second from right) poses with his family. Kennedy has battled brain cancer since he was 4 years old.
A 9-year-old cancer patient fed up with years of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy has told doctors and his family he is done fighting the disease - and is ready to focus instead on making the most of his remaining days.
After fighting a rare form of brain cancer for more than half his life, Ryan Kennedy of Clarkston, Mich. has made the decision to stop treatment. When doctors told his mother about yet another surgery - one that could give him just three more months to live, but possibly with a breathing and feeding tube - he refused.
"When I told him about it, he said, 'No. I told you, Mom, I don't want to do anything anymore," Kimberly Morris-Karp told the Oakland Press.
"He literally screamed and cried in hysterics, saying, 'I'm done. I'm done with this.'"
Appearing on CNN Sunday, Morris-Karp explained how her son reached his decision.
"He just decided he didn't want to take any more pills, he didn't want any more surgery because it hurt," she said. "He just wanted to live the rest of his life."
Now, the young boy's family is focused on making the most of what life he has left.
"We booked a family vacation and he wanted to go swimming, so we went swimming," Morris-Karp told CNN. "We've just tried to accommodate and fit as much in as we possibly could of things that Ryan has wanted to do."
Doctors don’t expect Kennedy to live past his tenth birthday on May 24, according to ABC News.
Kennedy was diagnosed with ependymoma in 2007, when he was just 4 years old. It's a rare and cancerous brain tumor that hijacks the central nervous system.
"He was walking into the walls, his head was tilting to the left and he was vomiting quite frequently," Morris-Karp told CNN.
From the beginning, she says she was honest with her son about his condition, even as it worsened.
"There's no sugarcoating that he had cancer," she told CNN. "There's no sugarcoating that you have to have surgery and that you have to have radiation treatment and that you have to take medication all the time to try to get rid of this cancer.
"So we have always just told him the repercussions and what could happen from this whole entire journey we've been on."
As his family struggles to enjoy what time they have left with Kennedy, the 9-year-old's heartbreaking story has swept over the Internet.
When his name began to trend on Twitter, a representative for the popular micro-blogging site even reached out to Morris-Karp.
"He just shared with us the statistics of how he was trending, and he was trending worldwide. It wasn't just ijn North America or Detroit, it was all across the globe," she said.
Morris-Karp, who has two other children, says Twitter is helping the family cope.
"My kids and myself, even, and I think my whole entire family are just overwhelmed at the compassion that we've seen," she told CNN. "And the community, the things they want to do to bring awareness to brain cancer.
"It's just an awesome thing, to see my kids ... it's nice for them to see the outpouring of compassion people have."
on May. 23, 2012 at 2:29 AM