Jeremiah’s Battle for His Life“Definitely the underdog here,” was how Jeremiah’s oncologist described his cancer. “Got to fight harder.” Preliminary pathology suggests that Jeremiah’s cancer is Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer resistant to radiation.Jeremiah (16) is used to being the underdog. He suffered the loss of his mother to cancer when a little boy. His father is in fulltime ministry to abolish abortion, so financial struggles were a normal part of growing up. He’s from a large homeschooling family of thirteen brothers and sisters. The youngest of five brothers who all played football, Jeremiah learned to fight. Years of losing on the football field trained him to fight hard. His hard work paid off. He is an all-star, state champion. But it was his love for Jesus and the family ministry to abolish abortion that taught him to fight harder. Now he’s in the battle for his life. In July 2017, Jeremiah rededicated his life to Christ and was baptized at an Operation Save America ministry event in Louisville, Kentucky. In March 2018 he was diagnosed with cancer. The MRI revealed two tumors on Jeremiah’s spine, between zones T6 and T7. Picture a pair of hands pressing together, crushing his nerve endings. These tumors are in addition to the one in his chest. Without surgery, the tumors will cause Jeremiah to be permanently paralyzed from the waist down. With surgery, there is a still risk of paralysis because of the location of the tumors. He can also lose the ability to go to the bathroom normally. Finally, following a successful surgery there is no guarantee that Jeremiah will regain the mobility he’s lost. According to the neurosurgeon this type of surgery has a range of outcomes. Some patients regain the former use of their legs. Others do not. The goal of the surgery is to stop further paralysis.Following the surgery, Jeremiah will then face the monster of cancer. He has a tumor in his chest and two spots on his lungs. Jeremiah is in severe pain, without proper medication. His pain radiates down his back and around his side, so he cannot lie on his back or turn to the side. With the tumor in his chest, he cannot lie on his stomach. Often the only relief he finds is standing- but with the tumors in his back causing paralysis that is no longer possible.But as Jeremiah’s father, Rusty explained to the oncologist, “With God all things are possible.” Jeremiah’s bone cancer is aggressive. Whereas the tumor is his chest was a barely noticeable under his skin, it is now the size of an lemon that can be cupped in a hand. Its growth seems to have happened almost overnight; Jeremiah’s pain is growing too, radiating throughout his body. Jeremiah is a brave young man. There is no anger, self-pity or a woes is me attitude . He is more concerned about how others are feeling. When he sees his mother’s concern, he forces a smile or winks. When he sees a worried friend, he stops what he’s doing to pray for them. He posts daily Scripture verse to encourage those who are praying for him and who are following his story on social media. Jeremiah posted this prayer on Facebook:I don’t deserve Your healing but Lord You will always deserve my praise. Through death or life, may Your great name be lifted up and everything that is of me fall to the waste side. Oh Lord, strengthen me that I may fight the battle with a courage Satan cannot tamper with. If You take me home or leave me here to fight a little longer, may it be Your breath in my lungs and Your song on my tongue. Lord I consecrate myself to the full advancement of the Kingdom of God! Lord, I love You and I can’t wait to see You face to face. Amen.As you can imagine, fighting this battle is taking resources the family doesn’t have. Your love, prayers, and support are greatly appreciated.Matthew 19:26 reads, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'.”The Thomas nation’s stand is simply, they are entrusting the life of their son to the Lord. They believe for a miracle. But even if, that does not take place, they want everyone to know, their faith in Jesus Christ is not for sale and non-negotiable. To God be the glory, no matter what the future holds.
- Trevor Waldner
Organizer and beneficiary