You may have seen it circulating on the internet: a meme featuring a young boy holding a pumpkin, overlaid with the words, "That face you make when your parents are actually cousins." The toddler in the picture is terminally ill Grayson Smith, and his family is fighting back against the cruel use of his image, CBS News reports.
"I just can’t believe that there are people out there who would use a child, especially anyone who has been ruled terminally disabled, like that," says mom Jenny Smith.
The Alabama mom of four has been contacting sites that feature the meme, asking each one to remove it; some have complied and others have refused.
"One by one, it might take me a long time, but Grayson's a fighter, so his father and I have to exemplify what he does for us," she tells ABC News.
Grayson was born with 22 birth anomalies including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, occipital encephalocele, a cleft palate, and congenital anomalies of the lower limbs. "He’s the only child with all of these conditions combined," Jenny Smith says, and doctors gave him just a week or two to live.
Three and a half years later, he's a spunky toddler who's had 24 head and brain surgeries. "He’s so sarcastic and so smart. It’s almost like he’s a little man trapped in a baby body," Jenny Smith says.
His Facebook page has more than 15,000 "likes," and his mom hopes his story will help others. "No. 1, to let other families know that it can happen to them and, No. 2, try to educate people of children with special needs and that terminally ill children are not to be used for a gag or a laugh." (This boy's meme led to good things.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Terminally Ill Boy's Mom Fights to Get Cruel Meme Removed