It’s an emotional viral video radiating with joy from its two subjects: A 2-year-old boy repeatedly running into his mother's arms after she returns from her weeks-long stay at a hospital treating her for cancer.
Laura Martancik, a single mom battling Hogdkin's lymphoma, recently underwent an intensive treatment that separated her from her son for a “very brutal” three weeks.
When she returned home, the joyful reunion with her toddler was captured by Martancik’s sister and posted on YouTube, as well as on a blog written by a close friend and cancer survivor.
“What did I tell you, Mommy always comes back! I’m all back from the doctor,” says Martancik, on her knees as she embraces her son, James.
She tells him “again!” and her son slips from her arms and backs away — only to charge at her again with squealing delight. The two hug and then repeat the exchange several more times. At one point, Martancik looks at the camera and holds her hand to her heart.
Martancik was admitted into the hospital on New Year's Eve. She was given six days of "nonstop chemo that almost completely wiped me out. It was this gnarly, insane crazy chemo treatment" that set her body up for a stem cell transplant, she told TODAY.com in an interview Tuesday.
"It was just so crazy. When you’re sitting there alone, you feel like you’re never going to make it and all you want to do is be home with your baby," she said. Coming home to her son's embrace, she said, was all she could think about.
"There's no describing it. It's the best feeling in the world. Absolutely nothing better than seeing him and getting those hugs."
Martancik has battled cancer since July 2013. After her initial chemotherapy and radiation treatments, she went into remission for three months only to learn last September that the cancer had returned. Although she and her son live in Hawaii, they went to live with her sister in Connecticut to undergo the stem cell transplant at Yale Cancer Center.
Martancik, who returned to the hospital on Sunday and currently is undergoing tests, expressed gratitude that the video of her reunion with her son is being seen so widely, after it was shared by the Huffington Post and other outlets, because she wants it to inspire others in similar situations.
“I wanted to have it up there because that way if anybody is stuck in the hospital with the chemo blahs or however you want to call them, they'll know you can make it through," she said. "It's really important to stay positive and to stay happy. People need to know you do make it out, you really do get to go home."
Martancik also expressed optimism that she would soon be well enough to make the cross-country trip home.
"All of our stuff is in storage, but we are going back to Hawaii ASAP!"
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