In a small town in La Paz named âJerusalĂ©nâ, lives a 7-year-old boy whose faith has taken him on an incredible journey. Despite a diagnosis of terminalÂ leukaemia, Cruz isÂ continuing to trust God.
â[Before Christmas] doctors gave Cruz only two more months to live,â explains Brenda Alegria, Cruzâs Compassion project director. âRight at that moment we were crushed with the hard news âŠ but it gave us the chance to pray even harder to see a miracle before our eyes.â
Cruz was first diagnosed following a regular health check-up at his Compassion project in 2012. âWhen December came, he started to run very high fevers,â recalls Sara, Cruzâs mum. She immediately took her son to hospital where he underwent a series of tests. Cruz was diagnosed with leukaemia.Â
â[At that time] doctors talked with my husband and me privately to tell us that his spinal cord was 80% clean from the bad cells causing him a mild leukaemia, " Sara explains. "That gave us hope that this was treatable and curable.âÂ
But the visits to the childrenâs hospital in San Salvador turned into weekly trips of about 54 miles. âThey take two buses to get to the hospital. Itâs a long way, but weâre glad to help them with transportation costs,â says Brenda. âAs they take the first bus at 3am, Cruz sleeps all the way until they get there by 7am to start with the treatment.â
Due to the severity of his medical condition, Cruz isnât able to attend school. On weeks when he is well enough, he can however go to his Compassion project. Here he receives love and encouragement. Itâs where he first put his trust in Jesus and where heâs continued to learn about God. âMy favourite Bible verse is Jesus and the paralyzed man,â Cruz explains.
As well as Compassion programme activities, Cruz has received food supplements, vitamins and medicines. And even when heâs too weak to attend lessons, project staff have encouraged him through home visits.
âWe take turns to visit Cruz no matter the time of the day. Even at night weâve been holding his hand, crying with him, praying for the fevers to break. When he runs those fevers, his body weakens so much that he is not able to walk for days,â explains Brenda.
Cruzâs battle against leukaemia seemed to be reaching an end in December 2015 when Sara received the sad news about her son. âThe doctors extended a letter explaining that Cruzâs spinal cord was too weak to stand the treatment, so they decided to suspend the intravenous chemotherapy; he couldnât make it to the radiation sessions. Doctors will still monitor him every 8 days but Cruz will take oral chemotherapy [pills] from now on.âÂ
Cruz looking after his neighbour's goat.
âHe is a happy child with an unbreakable faith, and often tells me to not to cry anymore because Jesus will heal him, he encourages me to believe that as well,â Sara continues through the tears. âThis is my desire, that God gives me my son for the rest of my life. Every day I pray for a miracle, the miracle of staying with me, because losing him would be the hardest thing ever. But because he has suffered enough already, if itâs Godâs will to take him, I will accept it.â
As an affectionate little boy, Cruz hugs his mum and replies, âI love you, mum. Jesus told me in my dream to be brave, therefore I will be brave.â
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