Facebook | Holly Denine

Mom Furious After Anti-Vax Facebook Page Uses Dead Daughter’s Photo As Propaganda

When Nevaeh Denine passed away at the tender age of 9 last August, her community mourned the loss of a vibrant, charismatic, and overwhelmingly positive little girl.

According to CBC, Nevaeh had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an incredibly rare form of cancer, when she was just two years old. She would then spend the next seven years of her life fighting the disease and raising money to help other sick children, like herself.

While she underwent treatments, she established "Nevaeh's Lemonade Stand."

Unsplash | Rod Long

The modest fundraising effort for sick children quickly turned into a massive, annual community event that raised more than $100,000.

Two weeks before she passed away, Nevaeh had just completed her latest and ultimately last fundraiser.

In August 2018, Nevaeh lost her battle with cancer.

The little girl's community in the Goulds neighborhood of St. John's, Newfoundland, rallied together to help remember and celebrate Nevaeh's life.

The city was decorated with her favorite colors, yellow and purple.

A massive crowd gathered along the procession route to the church the day of Nevaeh's funeral.

Mourners wore bright colors and held signs, streamers, and balloons in Nevaeh's favorite colors.

"I want Nevaeh to be remembered for her strength, courage, and determination."

Facebook | Holly Denine

In an interview with The Newfoundland Herald, the little girl's mother, Holly Denine, shared her hopes for her daughter's legacy.

"She always found the good in even the worst day," she said. "She lived every day like it was her last."

Less than one year after Nevaeh's death, Holly was outraged to discover a Facebook page misusing her daughter's photo.

Unsplash | Tim Bennett

According to CBC, she came across an anti-vaccination Facebook page that had taken a photo of Nevaeh post-treatment in which all her hair was gone.

The page used the photo to promote their message of people forgoing vaccinating their children.

In block text posted on top of the photo of the smiling girl, the page wrote, "My Vaccines Gave Me Cancer", as well as the caption, "Now I'm being poisoned to death with nitrogen mustard gas."

"I was enraged at first and extremely upset."

Unsplash | Con Karampelas

Holly said the Facebook post was "an intentional misuse" of Nevaeh's image and that given her initial feelings about the photo, her "first goal was to get it taken down immediately."

Holly said she always knew Nevaeh's spotlight ran the risk of her daughter's image being misused.

Unsplash | Ben Wicks

"I see it a lot on watchdog groups -kid's images being stolen, people misusing children with cancer," she said. "I think it's a really cruel way to get people to support your cause."

"I hope it never happens again."

Facebook | Holly Denine

Holly said she wishes for her daughter Nevaeh's, whose named spelled backwards is "heaven", legacy to be only positive.

"I only ever want Nevaeh associated with kindness and caring, not this cruel garbage," she said. "And that's what this is, garbage."

Before Holly was able to make the falsified image disappear, it had been shared over 600 times.

Unsplash | NordWood Themes

"We went into the page and reported it over and over again. We also had a lawyer friend draft a letter that we hope will make this anti-vaccine group rethink using other children's images to support their propaganda."

Since Holly's outrage at the post first went viral, Facebook has reportedly taken down the anti-vax page.

Unsplash | William Iven

A spokesman for the social media site told The Globe and Mail that the anti-vaccination page has been disabled. They also apologized for any distress caused by the post.

h/t CBC