FRANKFORT, Ky. — Nine-year-old David Turner Jr. from Louisville has a simple message when it comes to wearing masks in public.
“If people don’t wear masks, they’re not protected,” Turner said. “And if they have COVID, we can get COVID.”
It’s a message that caught the attention of Governor Andy Beshear, who allowed David to address the public during his coronavirus update Tuesday.
“I wear a mask to protect other people and so should you,” Turner said during the press conference.
In April 2018, David was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It is a cancer of the brain stem that mostly affects young children and has a low survival rate.
The governor has worn masks produced by the family at some of his briefings.
“The fact that we wear these probably means more time for David and his family, and as a father, I can’t think of anything more important in this entire world,” Beshear said. “David Turner Jr., you’re one of my heroes.”
The masks include the rallying cry David’s family has used during his treatment: “Make Every Day The Best Day Ever.”
“That has been our theme since David’s diagnosis, so we thought what better way than to put it on your face,” David’s mother Elizabeth Turner said.
Elizabeth said David was not doing well around the time the pandemic hit. On top of therapy and treatments either being significantly altered or canceled outright, David had trouble swallowing and breathing, and the doctors warned his parents they might only have a few weeks left with him.
“So during the pandemic, we went from not being able to walk and talk and having a hard time breathing to completing (a third round of) radiation and he is as feisty as ever,” Elizabeth said.
She said David has no issue voicing his opinion about masks when the family is out in public, and David has no plans to be quiet about the need for masks anytime soon.
“If other people do not wear a mask, they are not helping,” David said. “Which (means) other people will get more and more and more and more COVID.”
More information about David’s journey can be found on the David’s Adventure Facebook page.