"The secret is to believe in your dreams, in your potential that you can be like your star, keep searching, keep believing and donât lose faith in yourself." - Neymar
Ah the beautiful game. All through the world, children are dribbling, shooting and playing keepy-ups, dreaming of making it into the big leagues. In Bolivia, 10-year-old Luis loves football and even though he canât afford his own ball, he plays every chance he gets. What makes Luis even more remarkable is that he lost his eye to cancer and yet heâs still the best player in his school.
In 2012, Luis started to have fierce pain and itching in his left eye. His mother Jimena says, âWe discovered the tumour because I took him to the doctor and she requested tomography. It was very expensive. A doctor examined him and said, âThis eye is useless.â I asked the doctors how much it would cost. They noticed I didnât have money, so they didnât pay attention to me. So the [Compassion] project helped me. They provided everything we needed. I went everywhere with the project staff because I canât read or write. Luis was able to receive the surgery with a private doctor.â
After his eye was removed, Luis received a prosthetic eye and glasses. And only having one eye hasnât held him back.
His tutor, Arminda, says âWhen I watch him play, itâs impressive. He and his friends play really well. Despite his eye, he plays very well. We admire him for being a little boy playing with big boys and trouncing them. He hasnât lost his passion. This boy inspires other to go ahead.â
To the excitement of the family, Luis was recently sponsored and has already told his sponsor all about his love for football. His mother is thankful for his sponsorâs support. âThey are like a father and a mother, maybe depriving themselves from some things in order to send something for their sponsored children,â said Jimena.
Through child sponsorship, Luis has been given the opportunity to dream beyond his current circumstances and to discover his God-given talents. So hereâs to the dreamers, the ones who believe, who strive and who never give up.