A man’s final Facebook post thanking his friends and family for support during his battle with a debilitating disease has taken off online — and prompted an outpouring of support from people paying tribute to his life.
Ian Davis took to Facebook on Oct. 31 to write a farewell post, sharing a photo of himself in bed with his son, Archer. Davis wrote, “Today I say farewell. Thank you everyone for all the support, love, and compassion over the years during my fight. It has been some ride. I will leave this broken body with a full heart. Please tell my boy i love him and I’m so proud to be his dad. This photo taken yesterday is our final moment together.”
Davis, 40, a retired doctor living in Melbourne, Australia, was diagnosed in 2011 with motor neuron disease (MND), which is also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), when he was 33, news.co.au reported. In 2014, he founded the Cure For MND Foundation to “pursue his passion for seeing MND awareness grow,” his bio on the website reads.
“Since the Foundation was established following Ian’s own diagnosis, his tireless work, passion and commitment to the ongoing fight to find a cure has impacted and inspired people affected by MND worldwide,” FightMND chairman Bill Guest told news.co.au.
MND is a “debilitating disease gradually takes away the patient’s use of their arms and legs, their ability to eat and swallow, their speech and ultimately their ability to breathe,” according to the FightMND website.
In response to his message, hundreds of commenters have left messages of gratitude, compassion, and appreciation for Davis and the work he’s done to raise awareness for MND.
“Sending love, a heartbreaking but beautiful final image. The fight goes on for a cure, thank you for your amazing efforts in raising awareness,” one woman wrote.
“You fought this fight so bravely, so courageously, so honourably and so full of Love – this is not the end, just a new beginning – you will live on in all of us, especially your precious family, and you have taught us all so much – MND is so much closer to a cure because of you,” another person said.
“Your impact extends far beyond Australia, this is global. Bigger than that is your love for your family and son, we will let him know you were a brilliant and courageous man who loved him dearly,” one man wrote.
Just one day after his final message, Davis “died peacefully just before midday surrounded by family and friends,” according to a post written on his account. “A life cut short, but lived to the fullest. Our MND warrior finally free to walk amongst the giants. Have a beer for him, it’s what he would have wanted.”
Davis’s wife, Melissa Yang, also paid tribute to her late husband in a post to Facebook on Friday.
“He was a force of nature, swept me off my feet and took me on the ride of my life. It’s been wild. No one knew how to have fun quite like Ian, and we had a lot of it. I was privileged to be by his side in this life, and as he passed into the next. Determined, courageous, generous beyond measure, the most clever person I have ever known, with a will of steel and a heart capable of expansive love,” she wrote.
In Davis’s final note, he had implored those who read his final message to do two things to honor his memory. The first was to make a donation in his honor to his foundation, and the second was to email his son.
“Tell my boy about me,” he said.
Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to FightMND for comment and will update this post when we hear back.