PUBLISHED: 04:15, 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:24, 23 December 2013

Farewell old friend: The touching moment man, 21, who is dying of cancer was allowed to say last goodbye to his beloved childhood dog.

A tear-jerking photograph showing the moment a man dying of cancer said goodbye to his beloved childhood dog has touched hearts across the nation.

Mike Petrosino, 21, was diagnosed with cancer in the eighth grade. He has been in and out of Massachusetts General Hospital since then but last week doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

So on Friday, his family brought his dear dog Rusty to the hospital to say a final goodbye. The emotional image of the pet by his bedside was shared on Reddit and has since gone viral.

Moving: A tear-jerking photograph showing the moment Mike Petrosino, 21, said goodbye to his beloved childhood dog has touched hearts across the nation

Mike’s friend posted the picture Friday with the comment: ‘My friend Mike was diagnosed with cancer in the 8th grade. He was given a 3% chance to survive the first year.

‘Two days ago we found out that after 8 years, the amputation of his leg, and four rounds of cancer that there’s now nothing that they can do. This picture was taken by his brother yesterday.’

Doctors expect Mike’s battle with cancer to end in the coming days.

The friend, who uses the Reddit name 7th Evan, added in the comment thread: ‘I just got back from Mass General and got to say goodbye with a bunch of old friends. He’s the bravest guy I’ve ever met and all he did the entire day was make sure everyone else was okay.’

He added: ‘Seeing Rusty come visit was one of the few things that has been able to make his brother, John, smile.’

Long battle: Petrosino, pictured, was diagnosed with cancer in the eighth grade. He has been in and out of Massachusetts General Hospital since then but last week doctors said there was nothing more they could do

John Petrosino told TheBlaze the moment was deeply moving, and Rusty, who is now 10 years old, seemed to understand the gravity of what was going on.

‘That was by far one of the most touching moments of my life,’ he told the website.

‘Rusty was very emotional when Mike said his finale goodbye. Every time I come home these past two days, he sits near Mike’s favourite couch and whines, which is rare from him.’

Mike’s mother, Paula, agreed seeing the best friends say goodbye was almost too much to handle.

Aware: John Petrosino, pictured right with Mike and other family members, said Rusty, who is now 10 years old, seemed to understand the gravity of what was going on

‘It was a very touching moment,’ she told TheBlaze. ‘Mike and Rusty grew up together and are very close.’

The family who has had eight years of medical bills has set up an online website where individuals can donate to help with the cost of his treatment.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2528218/Touching-photo-dying-man-saying-goodbye-childhood-dog.html#ixzz2oL4VKkJY
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