Owen: This Little Boy Has a Special Wish at Christmas
“I wish to be well before Christmas so mother will be happy on Christmas,” says Owen, a precious little seven-year-old boy who came with his mother to Cebu Skin Clinic, our partner in the Philippines.
There was a white lesion on his backside that never seemed to go away.
“After a number of tests, the doctor came back and told us Owen has leprosy, and I just burst out crying – I felt so bad for my son. He is still very young and life seems so unfair to him,” his mother said. “Of all my children, he is the most challenged. He is always teased and bullied because of his size and learning disabilities,” she said.
A Big Heart for Others
His mother continues, “But we love Owen because he is sweet and has such a big heart for others.”
“Yes, that’s true,” his sister said. “One time, he gave his meal to a classmate who had nothing to eat for lunch. We asked him why he did that; but Owen assured us he was fine because he had a full breakfast that day while his classmate had nothing since dinner the night before. He said his friend needed it more than he did.”
“Owen is such a joy to be with. He is very positive about life. He soothes our troubles and always puts a smile on our face. That’s why I felt so terrible learning he has leprosy.” Misty-eyed, the mother continued, “He must have gotten this from his father and older brother who both had leprosy many years back.”
A Family Secret
“When my husband and older son had leprosy, it was an overwhelming experience. So I think we will keep Owen’s illness a family secret because we don’t want people to bully him more than they do already. He is too young to handle that. I just hope and pray that before his friends know it, he is already cured of the disease.”
“The doctors tell us we need to be extra careful how he reacts to the medicine because of his age – but I am glad they gave us so much information – I was so worried about disfigurements and wounds and other things I know could happen.”
Only $12 a Day
At seven years old, Owen is the youngest of four children. His father is a construction worker while his mother works as a street food vendor. Owen loves to help his mom sell street food in the neighborhood. The family’s combined income is only $12 dollars a day – hardly enough to feed a family of six three times a day. Because of extreme poverty, his parents struggle to send all four siblings to school.
The Faith to Persevere
Owen started with Multi-Drug Therapy several months ago and looks forward to completing his treatments soon. Despite all odds, the family’s strong faith keeps them going.
Owen promised to take his medicines and come to his clinic appointments with diligence, “I wish to be well before Christmas so mother will be happy on Christmas and I promise to study hard so I can finish become a policeman one day. I want to be a policeman so I can find the man who stole the only $3 dollar bill we had for lunch . . .”
With a faint smile, his mom said, “Despite all these trials, we will never give up. I know that in God’s perfect time, we will be okay.”
Thanks to the help of friends like YOU – Owen will soon be healthy again.
Your gifts are providing the treatment and cure for Owen’s leprosy, and your continued support will give him the care he needs. THANK YOU and may God bless you for helping to make his Christmas wish come true!