Mom blasts ‘disgusting’ internet trolls for turning photo of terminally ill son into a cruel meme
An Alabama mother is fighting back against online bullying after learning that photos of her terminally ill son are being used to make cruel internet memes.
Jenny Smith—whose son Grayson was born with a host of diseases including occipital encephalocele, craniosynostosis, and micronathia—told WREG Memphis that when she created a Facebook group called “Grayson’s Story,” she did so with the hopes of sharing her family’s experience and connecting with other parents facing similar difficulties.
Smith said she began to see a meme appearing online featuring her son and the words, “That face you make when your parents are actually cousins.” The mother told WREG she Googled the image and realized it had circulated on a number of websites.
“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,” Smith said, adding at first she wanted to delete the Facebook page and hide.
“Some people think it’s funny, but I don’t find humor in hurting someone else for a laugh,” she told WREG. “Honestly, I’m just so ashamed that people actually find it to be entertaining. It’s disgusting.”
But Smith said she turned to her sarcastic, smart three-year-old son Grayson, who’s consistently defied the doctor’s predictions that originally gave him a week or two to live.
“We could wake up one morning and he could be gone,” Smith said, noting doctors are “actually shocked that he’s made it this long and doing as well as he is.”
Smith said she’s taking on the trolls in honor of her son’s resilient spirit. “He’s not that type of kid,” She said. “He would fight back.”
Despite the crushing experience of watching her son’s image twisted for a cheap laugh, Smith told the new station her family has experienced overwhelming support since the meme surfaced.
“We have to stick together and fight back,” she said. “We’re not the first family that’s been through this and we’re not going to be the last.”