Khecy: You Make a Dream Come True
It was November 4, 2008 when Khecy’s life turned upside down. It’s safe to say that Christmas was her hardest ever.
As the oldest of three siblings, Khecy was often tasked with overseeing her younger siblings while her parents worked. They were a very poor but happy family. Khecy was enjoying her life. She says, “I thought I had the perfect life . . . at least, until the day I learned I had leprosy.”
That morning, Khecy and her mother left their remote village to visit our partner clinic in Cebu, Philippines. “I had a persistent, growing lesion on my face which I thought was just some ordinary fungal infection. But after a few tests, I was told I had leprosy.”
“I could not believe it! I immediately fell into a depression and could not sleep well. What had I done for God to punish me in this way? I was lost!”
With support from the staff and her family, Khecy slowly began to realize she was not alone in her battle. Concerned that she might get bullied at school, her parents decided to keep her illness a family secret. But after a few months of treatment, the lesions got darker and people started asking about it.
“It felt awkward. I had no answers for all the questions . . . I wanted desperately to hide and just quit school. But my mother encouraged me to stay until I finished high school. My family didn’t have the money to send me to college, so I just hid at home after graduating.”
A Scholarship Changes Everything
“One day during a visit to the clinic, somebody from American Leprosy Missions saw me and interviewed me. Moved by my life story, they accepted me for a scholarship program for patients like me! I was overjoyed. I had always wanted to be a nurse and take care of the sick and needy – and here I was, able for the first time, to take a step in that direction. I enrolled in nursing school the next year!”
Physical and Emotional Pain
“College life was exciting . . . until the second year when I started having recurring bouts with leprosy reaction, a physically and emotionally debilitating effect of leprosy. I always had high fever and body pains. Sometimes I could barely walk – and with all the pressures of studying nursing, life was nearly unbearable. One day, in a severe moment of depression, I confided my secret to a close friend. Unfortunately, she betrayed my trust and the news spread like wildfire. Classmates and friends stayed away from me – even the school guard was hesitant to let me in.”
“I was in deep physical and emotional pain. I almost committed suicide. But the prayers of my family kept me going. My concern for them eventually outweighed the trials I was battling. From that point on, I decided that God, family and school were my priorities . . . I wanted to make my family proud, so I studied hard until I finished college.”
Thanks to the generous help and prayers of friends like YOU – Khecy is FREE of leprosy and has graduated from college! She is now a full-time nurse and making a good living – she even provides financial help to send her younger siblings to school. The trials have made her a stronger person – and she even joins beauty pageants to inspire others with her story!
“Now I know that being a person with leprosy can be a blessing . . . Because of my experiences, I now understand my purpose in life – to inspire and help people in need. Even if I were to turn back time, I would choose the same path because it has made me a stronger and better person.”
God has truly worked a transformation in Khecy’s life. But it never could have happened without friends like YOU making it possible for her to be cared for, counseled, cured and sent to college. Thank you for making this precious girl’s dreams come true.