Grandma Betty's Bittersweet Instagram Reveals Heartbreaking Reality Of A Cancer Battle

17/03/2014 13:54 | Updated 18 March 2014
  • The Huffington Post UK

When 80-year-old Betty Simpson's lung cancer journey took a turn for the worst, her great-grandson decided to document and celebrate the final moments of her life.

He set up an Instagram account and before long Grandma Betty - as the world now knows her - was catapulted to fame. She now has more than 84,000 Instagram followers (and counting).

Her updates - a mixture of photos and videos - receive thousands of likes every day as well as heartfelt messages of support for her and her family.

One of the most popular is of Betty dancing to Pharrell's 'Happy'.

But while the story shows a loving relationship between a great-grandma and her devoted family, it also shows the heartbreaking reality of a cancer battle, which is all too often hidden from public view.

According to Grandma Betty, Zach spends all of his spare time by her side taking pictures and videos.

"He loves me so much," she told ABC news. "He doesn't want to lose me and he's just good to me."

Grandma Betty enjoys the posts and asks daily how many followers she has, according to WRDB.

As well as dancing and posing for the camera, Betty also offers some touching words of wisdom.

"I've been here 80 years, maybe they'll learn something good from me," she told the outlet.

On March 10, Zach posted an Instagram thanking all their followers:

“Going through cancer can be a lonely time so it’s wonderful that Zach is supporting his grandmother through her illness and documenting their special moments on Instagram," Adrienne Betteley, End of Life Care Lead at Macmillan Cancer Support, told HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

“Sometimes people shy away from talking about death but by bringing it out in the open it means those at the end of their lives can get the emotional and practical support they need. They are also better able to express where they want to die and have their needs met."

Macmillan Cancer Support offers a range of support to people at the end of their lives as well as bereaved friends and family. Call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk for more information.

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