A selfie of Robert Selby and his son, Chace Elijah Selby, would be adorable all on its own. But it’s not just mirror mugging that has people hitting “like” on a photo of the adorable pair.
Three-year-old Chace has a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), and as a result, he’s underweight and uses a feeding tube to eat. In a show of solidarity, his dad cut up one of Chace’s old feeding tubes and glued it to his own stomach, before snapping a photo of the two in the mirror and posting it to his Instagram account.
“I did it to show him that I support him and his condition, that he’s never in a fight alone,” Selby told HuffPost.
“My Mr. #stealyourheart #teamchace is sucking in his stomach, trying to show off his abs like his daddy but all you see are his little ribs,” Selby wrote. “I just cut and glued one of his G-tube on me to show support for him and bring awareness.”
Selby posts a similar shot every year on social media to show off his son’s growth and “how far he has come in life.” (Chace has had two open-heart surgeries since birth.) Selby also asks people to repost and share to help spread awareness of congenital heart disease.
“My message is to let my son give people hope in knowing that he has been through a lot at such a young age and look at how far he has come. So just don’t give up, stay strong, keep fighting and everything will be alright,” Selby told HuffPost.
The photo of the father and son has been liked over 9,000 times since it was posted on Selby’s account on May 22nd, and received over 119,000 likes when it was posted on the inspirational Instagram account @MiraclesandMesses.
“I support him by not letting him limit himself to anything in life,” Selby says of Chace. “He can do anything a normal kid can do, so I don’t let him allow self-doubt in his mind,” he said.