MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — They grow up fast, but sometimes, children don’t get a chance to grow up. That’s the case for a 1-year-old Bloomington boy.
Brice McArdle has a rare form of brain cancer. He’s been given 2 to 10 weeks to live.
Thanks to an outpouring of love, he’s living what’s left of his life to the fullest.
They say life is like a merry-go-round, round and round, up and down. For Christine and Chris McArdle, life took a turn in 2015. Chris and Christine met on Christianmingle.com, they married two years later.
In 2018, their greatest dream came true, his name is Brice. Christine reflects on the birth, “I called my Mom and I said, ‘Mom, I was made to be a mother. Like this is my purpose. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life’.”
For the first nine months, it was a smooth and glorious ride, until what seemed to be an ear infection turned out to be so much more.
“It really was we need to act fast and a rush of surgeons and doctors came in,” Christine recalls.
Brice has ETMR, a rare brain cancer. After five months of surgeries and chemotherapy, doctors say Brice has only a few weeks left to live.
“We got the news that basically it’s a done deal, we both just decided we are not gonna work. We are going to spend every waking moment with him we can and we trust God with the results of that,” Chris said.
And that’s what brought them to the Mall of America — the quintessential Minnesota kid experience. The mall hosted them for an exclusive private tour of all things kid-friendly.
“All the things we imagined doing with Brice, all in one 4 to 12 week period. All the things we thought we’d be doing when he was a toddler, we want to do now,” Christine said as she made her way through the mall.
And now will last forever at the Mall of America as the family was gifted a “Brice was here” plaque to be mounted on the playground. Chris was speechless, “that touches my heart, I honestly don’t even know what to say.”
Another item the family can check off on their long list for Brice’s short life.
“Just because we have a bucket list doesn’t mean we’ve given up hope (on cam) it just means doctors have given us a certain time frame and we are going to live life fully for that duration,” Chris said.
Coworkers, families and friends donated PTO time and thousands of dollars so the McArdles could go all in, from the science museum, to the railroad museum, a Star Wars experience and a WCCO-TV debut. The family is checking off the firsts that will also be lasts.
“When it happened we thought, ‘do we trust God? Yeah.’ And that’s when your faith is tested. Either we trust him or we don’t,” Christine said.
“You never dream that something so terrible will happen, but I think when you are presented with that, you have to do it and they’ve done it with grace. I can’t cheer them on enough because they have just been spectacular,” Brice’s grandmother Cory Vail said.
And little Brice has been the biggest champion. Through all the pain Brice has not shed one tear since the day he was diagnosed.
“It’s impossible to be sad with this child, he’s so happy,” Christine said.
While there will always be time for tears there may not be for hugs.
“I squeeze him. I did before, but now I love holding him nice and tight and I can tell he like it too. Every time I hold him tight I think, make a mental note of this, remember this moment,” Chris said.
And they will have so many moments to remember, because life is fleeting and the McArdles have decided to enjoy the ride.
Brice is on hospice care and enjoying precious family time at home. Brice’s parents say they hope to have more kids and no matter what happens in their family, Brice’s love will forever live on.
We know some of you may want to send your support to Brice, and we’ve set up a place where you can comment, either by commenting below or leaving a note on Facebook.