Eight-year-old Wyatt Gillette took his last breath last weekend.
The little boy was born with Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome Type 1, a fatal disease affecting the brain and immune system. But before he died, his dad made sure his bravery in the fight against the disease was acknowledged.
Dad Jeremiah served as a Marine drill instructor in Iraq eight years ago, but he always felt that his son fought harder than he ever did.
When fellow Marine Anthony North heard of Jeremiah’s son’s plight, he got a petition going to make little Wyatt an honorary member. Touchingly, it paid off, after more than 4,500 people signed it.
The boy received his award last Saturday – just one day before he passed away.
“I truly feel that Wyatt has faced more hardship than any Marine has gone through, and for that should be given the title,” Anthony wrote on his change.org petition.
“I have seen more Marines come together because of him, and feel he has truly earned the right to be among the best fighting force in the world.”
Before the boy passed, Anthony said that he had “the driving spirit, determination and love for life that we all wish we could have.”
After the ceremony, dad Jeremiah thanked his wife for making their son’s life as enjoyable as it could be.
He said that Wyatt probably wouldn’t have lived to eight if it hadn’t been for his loving mum.
“The way she’s fought…it’s amazing what a woman can do when she’s determined,” he said.
Aww. What a bittersweet story but it’s nice to see Wyatt’s strength was acknowledged.