Lessons in courage…from a 10 year old

It’s been a rough week for me as I battled a nasty sinus infection/bugaboo that has left me wheezing and whiney. After a weekend down flat watching lots of Harry Potter movies on television, I was chugging my way through writing my weekly column, cursing the germs that hit me with the misery stick.

I took a break to check my email and found that my friend Mykel had added a new journal entry on Caring Bridge. Mykel was a week shy of his 10th birthday when a hit in gym ruptured a Wilm’s tumor growing on his kidney, spilling cancer cells into his body. Since that Halloween day last year, Mykie has endured chemotherapy that attacked his liver, he is hooked up to an IV for ten hours of fluid every night, had surgery that removed his kidney, a softball size tumor and part of his diaphragm, endured radiation, and has had a few scary emergency trips to Roswell Park Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital when he needed transfusions or other treatment. Weekly chemo trips and nightly IVs continue.

So what does a 10 year old with all this pain and suffering complain about? Not much. Myke is always more concerned about his caregivers and others and hates to be a bother. He wants to go to school and is keeping upwith his work and church studies, even if no-one would mind if he took a break. Like the Energizer Bunny, my friend Mykie keeps going, and going, and going.

So, while I’m feeling sorry for myself, I read Mykie’s journal entry. Here it is- untouched.

hi everyone its mykel , just wanted to let you know that i am doing well! i have been very busy. I am making my reconcilliation next saturday. also i went to shool last week on tues and friday not all day but it sure feels good to be around my friends and teachers everytime i go in my class i sit and look around and see everyone face they look so happy to see me sometimes when this all first started you know when i first found out that i had cancer sometimes i was afraid i might not of got a chance to ever go back to school . but here i am beating this and now i am feeling like a kid again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thankyou all for your prayes and please keep praying for me and all my frinnds at Roswell !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One day i will be able to donate my time and take care of kids just like me !!!!!!

Thank you Mykie, for making me remember that my problems are small compared to those of others. Thank you for reminding me that being with friends and loved ones is what really makes us feel better. Thank you for looking toward the future and joining the fight against cancer! We’ll be behind you all the way, as “Mighty Myke Whips Wilm’s” and goes on to fight for the other kids who endure their battles so bravely.

You humble me, Mykie, and you make me proud. Very proud.

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2 Responses to “Lessons in courage…from a 10 year old”

  1. John Says:

    Thank you, Julie, for sharing such a beautiful story of courage–and for all that you do for so many touched by cancer in our community.

  2. The Meaning of Existence (and all that) » Gratitude Watch - 2009-03-10 Says:

    […] for ‘Rainy Days & Mondays,’” an personal exercise in gratitude adjustment, “Lessons in courage…from a 10 year old,” in which an adolescent shows us what grace is made of (get your tissues for this one, you might […]


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