Jude has leukemia.
Each day has been a frightening, heartbreaking ride for Jude and his family since the diagnosis entered their lives this year. His mom, an old childhood friend of mine, shares updates via Facebook, and things do not seem to be going well of late. Jude’s fever, which came on the heels of his last and most potent chemotherapy session, has not lysed. They will need to check his bone marrow on the 19th to check for traces of cancer cells so he can receive his brother’s bone marrow. Right now, we are praying very hard for him and his frail little body, and I ask all of you, kind readers, to please take a moment from your busy day to say a prayer for him too.
I have not met Jude. I have not seen his Mom since we graduated from seventh grade many years ago. But Jude’s spirit, spunk, charm, and intelligence shine through his Mom’s stories. Let me share some with you so you see Jude as I see him- a bright, bedimpled six year-old with a future that cancer should not be allowed to take away from him and his family.
His Mom’s FB status on October 14: “He heard me say ‘i’m tired of my life’. And he tells, ‘why mom, life is good!’. Here’s a boy with leukemia, who is poked by needles 5x/week, sick with nausea, vomit, and headaches. But still reassures his parents that life is worth living. And after a difficult night he still can dance like this the day after just to m…ake his mommy smile. life is good”
His Mom’s FB post on November 12:
“Jude: look I’m UNHOOKED!
“A*: oh yeah no wonder you look different today!! I can’t stay until closing I gotta do chemo at 3pm
“Jude: so lucky you don’t have to pee in a bottle!”
“Jude talking to me (noticing his hair slowly falling): mom it’s good that I am going bald– now I can look like A*! (A* is his friend, a young girl who also has cancer.)
And later the same day: “Jude kicked us out of his room. “you two come back in 2 hrs! I like playing with the babysitter!”
These are little vignettes from an extraordinary life of a ordinary family. Despite the grief and heartbreak, faith, hope, and love keep this family strong and united. Yet I think they have one more weapon in their arsenal and it is their strongest weapon: Jude himself. For such a young child, Jude shows us uncanny wisdom and an appreciation of life few people ever find in a lifetime. Life is good, he says, despite pain and an uncertain future. He displays an amazing sense of humor and courage during times that test one’s soul and faith. And if Jude carries this cross with a clear acceptance of God’s will, then who are we to doubt His Will?
I’ve been thinking of Jude every day since I found out about him. I am all too aware of the uncertainty each day brings. But I keep faith that God hears our prayers and if there are enough of us asking the exact same thing- that Jude be healed completely- perhaps Heaven will pour out blessings for Jude and for his family.
There will be an online prayer rally for him tomorrow, November 19, and I would like to ask each and everyone of you who pass by this blog to join us at 11 am Manila time. Please pray with us. Wherever you may be at that time- whether you are at work, at home, in a cab and stuck in traffic, whatever you may be doing- cooking, shopping, cleaning your car, walking your dog, reading a book, playing on FB, answering your e-mail- please pause and whisper a prayer for Jude Cobler.
Get well soon, Jude! You may not know me but I love you already.