Gabriel Marshall and his dad, Josh, first stole hearts across the internet when they shared a photo of the father-son duo rocking matching scars along with the heartwarming story behind it.
Gabriel had undergone brain surgery to fight a malignant brain tumor and when his dad learned that his son was self-conscious about the scar above his ear, Josh decided to get an identical version tattooed on his head. However, now Gabriel is the one giving his dad strength after learning that six months later, his cancer is back.
"Pretty much we were told that the tumor is becoming more active," he told KWCH. "Because of the location that it's at, it's inoperable. The not knowing is what really hurts."
As his dad struggles to cope with the devastating news and the uncertainty that it brings, Gabriel has no doubt what he needs to do and is ready to fight. "Keep up the prayer," Gabriel said, according to CNN. "And I'll get through it."
Gabriel is moving forward with the motto of "Don't try to whine through it, and just be strong," as he focuses on his Christmas wish list and not letting cancer define him. "He is my superhero," Josh said. "He has [shown] me what life really is about and how to cherish the most out of everything.
After watching his little boy battling a rare form of cancer, Josh Marshall was left devastated when Gabriel shared how he was feeling: like a monster.
In order to fight the malignant brain tumor, the now-8-year-old child had to undergo surgery to remove part of the tumor. While the operation successfully stabilized his condition for the time being, it also left a large scar above Gabriel's right ear. When Gabriel disclosed to his dad that he was feeling very self-conscious about the new scar, his dad immediately knew that he needed to do something.
"This broke my heart," Josh told BuzzFeed. "I told him if people wanted to stare, they could stare at both of us." The dedicated father got an identical version of Gabriel's scar tattooed on his head in the exact location as his son's mark. After Josh shared a touching photo showing off their matching heads — along with his unconditional love for his child — the moving image won St. Baldrick's Foundation's #BestBaldDad competition.
Josh captioned the photograph with a simple explanation that he got the tattoo to help his son's self-confidence, but it's clear to see that this dad will be doing everything he can to support his son every step of the way.