Mom's heartbreaking photo raises awareness about childhood cancer

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Emily Apicella will never go back to school.

She died of a rare kidney cancer when she was 7 years old in December 2015, and her mom, Julie, was robbed of all that the future held – including the traditional back-to-school photos that have been clogging Facebook feeds for weeks, FOX25 reported.

So Julie delivered a heartbreaking ode to her daughter – and a word of caution to parents everywhere – when she posted a side-by-side split: Emily smiling for her last back-to-school photo in 2015 next to the same location a year later, with nobody standing there.

“Imagine if your school photo this year is the LAST you will ever be able to take and will just be a memory to remember,” Julie wrote on Facebook.

Julie said she posted the haunting images to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The post has been shared more than 10,000 times.

“Nearly everyone on my list has children or family members,” Julie wrote, “and this could be your reality.”