PHOTO: Midlothian mom clutches 3-year-old with cancer - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

PHOTO: Midlothian mom clutches 3-year-old with cancer

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This photo, taken of Ariane Grabill holding her son, Aiden, shortly after a round of chemotherapy, has gone viral. (Source: Grabill Family) This photo, taken of Ariane Grabill holding her son, Aiden, shortly after a round of chemotherapy, has gone viral. (Source: Grabill Family)
MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) -

A photo of a Midlothian woman hugging her 3-year-old boy while standing on the beach has gone viral on Facebook.

Aiden Grabill was battling cancer and had just completed a round of chemotherapy when the photo was taken in Boca Grande, FL last year. Now, the image has struck a chord with people all over the world.

Aiden's mother, Ariane, posted the photo on the Today Show's Facebook page after the program asked viewers to post their favorite vacation photos. Producers recognized the photo as something much more special and reached out to the Grabills for more information.

The Today Show then posted the photo as part of their #100HappyDays project, where it generated more than 60,000 likes in a matter of days.

"I think it's the fact that it just shows a mother's love for a child," said Aiden's father, Zach.

The best part of the story is that Aiden's scans are coming back clean. He's happy, healthy, and just celebrated his fifth birthday on Wednesday.

"I was really scared at first, but now that he's better I'm really happy," said Aiden's sister, Caroline.

Other parents of children with cancer have reached out to Ariane to tell her the photo gives them a glimpse of what life might be like for them once their child overcomes the battle with cancer.

"It's so cliche to say, but so true. It puts in perspective the things that are important and the things that are not," said Zach, who is a board member of the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation in Richmond. He says the services they offer have been invaluable to him and other families in the Richmond area.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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