CNN correspondent Rene Marsh announced the death of her 2-year-old son from brain cancer in a heartbreaking Instagram post Thursday, saying she'd "lost all the dreams and hopes that a mom has for a son."
Marsh's post included a carousel of photos of the toddler, Blake, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2019.
“To my dear sweet Blake aka ‘Blakey’, 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,” she began. “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.”
Marsh wrote that Blake had an impact on her that went beyond his short life.
“I am forever changed because of you, my son,” she wrote. “I feel blessed and honored to have been your mom. I wish we had more time together but I’m grateful for the time we had.
“In just two years you mastered the ability to bring laughter and happiness into whatever room you were in. Your party tricks included telling me ‘no,’ no matter what question I asked, hugging and kissing on demand and your dance moves were top notch.”
Marsh also chronicled what brought Blake joy, while trying to come to grips with being a mother who has lost a child
“The good times we shared are forever in my heart,” she wrote. “You loved being outside. You loved cruising the neighborhood in your drop top electric car, with the music on as you tried so hard to snap your fingers. You loved humming classical music. Your favorite was Mozart’s Serenade no. 13.
“I didn’t just lose you Blakey, I lost all the dreams and hopes that a mom has for a son. I lost my motherhood and I’m mourning it all.”
Marsh said she will now make it her mission to eradicate childhood cancer so no one else has to endure what she has.
“I am dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer for the rest of my life,” she wrote. “I will do it not just to spare other parents from this unbearable pain but I will do it to forever honor you, Blake. Your life was not in vain my sweet angel. Mommy loves you and I look forward to holding and kissing you when we meet again."
Marsh has been outspoken about Blake’s cancer. In June, she penned a piece about the importance of wearing a mask to help protect people from the spread of COVID-19, particularly those who were more vulnerable, like her son.
“As a mother who is watching her toddler fight brain cancer, I have had to confront a sad realization,” she wrote on CNN.com in February. “Vulnerable children, like the ones I see here on the pediatric oncology floor every day, may become collateral damage of this pandemic without ever contracting the virus.
Marsh is the second CNN reporter to lose a child from cancer in the last few months. Andrew Kaczynski and his wife, Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Louise Ensign, lost their 9-month-old daughter to cancer on Christmas Eve.