Teen Shares 'Last Dance' With His Mom in Heartbreaking Video Viewed 2M Times

Thirteen-year-old Adrean Hawthorne has been battling muscular dystrophy ever since his diagnosis in 2018. Now, a video of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana teen dancing with his mom has gone viral on social media, racking up 2.3 million views and over 129,000 reactions in a matter of days.

The term "muscular dystrophy" refers to a group of conditions that affect one's muscle mass. The disease stems from genetic mutations that "interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle," explained the Mayo Clinic.

While there are several types of muscular dystrophy, each with their own distinct symptoms, the main signifier of the disease is "progressive muscle weakness."

For Adreana Hawthorne Anderson and her son, dealing with the condition has been no easy feat. When Anderson posted the video of her and her son dancing, found here, she did so in an effort to be "transparent" about Hawthorne's health.

"Got a call from the [doctor] this morning about Adrean with news that rocked my world!" she wrote. In response to the new information, the teen reportedly asked if the two of them can start making some more memories together—including fulfilling Hawthorne's wish to dance with his mom one more time.

"I said ok!" wrote Anderson. "As we danced he just kept saying 'don't let me fall ma.'"

In the clip, Anderson holds her son, supporting his body and cradling his head as they dance to what she described as their "favorite" song. According to her post, Anderson saw that her son was crying as they danced, and she asked him what was wrong. His reply was heartbreaking: "I know this is our last dance ma just please be ok when I go," said Hawthorne.

The video has received an enormous outpouring of support on the platform, and viewers were beyond moved by Hawthorne and Anderson's emotional strength.

"It just was me and my son having a moment," explained Anderson to Newsweek. "I didn't know what was going to happen. I just thought we were going to do a dance and record it for a memory. But it turned out to be something else."

Anderson said that the responses to the video have primarily offered "love and support" from viewers around the globe—but she added that there have also been several "hurtful, disrespectful messages."

"I'm trying not to focus on the hate," she said.

According to BRProud, Anderson had Hawthorne when she was still a teenager herself. "I had him when I was 16-years-old," she said. "That was hard, I was a baby raising a baby, he taught me how to be a mom."

Describing the context of their dance, she told the news outlet: "I sat him down and had a one-on-one talk with him."

"I was completely honest and let him know that the doctors are saying he only has a few months left...but as we talked, he asked if we could start making memories," she said.

"He asked if we can have one last mother and son dance to our favorite song like we did at my wedding."

BRProud reported that before Hawthorne started his school year, he told his mom that he felt his medication wasn't working and wanted to stop taking it.

"Adrean never liked taking medicine...he told us since he does not have a long time he wants to be a normal kid and he wants to do what normal kids do. He's been off the medication and he's been happier, it's like he's his old self again," she said.

Added Anderson in a conversation with Newsweek: "Enjoy every moment you have with your kids and your family members because it can go from being perfectly fine one day to your worst nightmare the next."

She hopes Hawthorne's story can serve to raise awareness about his condition, and help those in a similar position. "Read up on muscular dystrophy, know the different signs, symptoms, and effects," she said.

"Talk about it, do research, find a cure," she added. "So that no other family has to go through this."

Dancing
Adreana Hawthorne Anderson and her son Adrean Hawthorne are seen in a video viewed more than 2 million times sharing their "last dance." Two people dancing in Glasgow, Scotland, 2010. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images