Monday, August 20, 2007

Matthew Rager Update.

If you've read this blog for a while, you'll remember the story of the little boy with a brain tumor that I found at Michelle Malkin's website. I've been following his story at Caring Bridge, and I thought I'd update all of you on his progress.

Matthew's tumor was discovered when he had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. He had surgery to remove the tumor, but the pathology report has proved problematic. The pathologists determined that the tumor was malignant (what they call a 'high-grade' glioma, or cancerous brain cells), but they have not been able to determine what exact type of brain cell it is. The family is now in Houston, where Matthew is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

My heart goes out to them, and it's a joy to see how strong they are in their faith. Their other son has had a history of seizure s, but has not had one since Matthew's ordeal began. If anyone needs proof that God doesn't throw more at us than we can handle with his help, then there it is. The Ragers are an inspiration to me because of their faith and courage in trying to maintain as normal a life as they can at their home away from home.

Matthew also touches me because when I look at his pictures I'm reminded of my oldest son. They both have the same joy on their faces, in spite of what they must endure. My son has an Autism Spectrum disorder as well as a brain tumor. Thankfully, my son's tumor is not malignant, but it's location in his brain means it would be inoperable if it became so. He must have an MRI every nine months or so to monitor the status of the tumor. Yet like Matthew, my son has that same joy of life and of other people. Matthew's parents have remarked that Matthew is always more concerned one of their Caring Bridge friends that with himself. My son is the same way.

I spent a lot of my youth in the children's hospital undergoing surgeries to repair a cleft lip and palate. That's nothing compared to what some kids go through, and I met many who had terminal cancer or otherwise untreatable or difficult to treat conditions. I'm amazed at the resiliency these kids display in the face of situations that would cow most adults. Indeed, I've seen adults whine and moan about going to the dentist more than kids who have had multiple open heart surgeries.

Please take time to pray for Matthew and his family, and for my son as well. His name is Josh. Pray for their doctors and nurses, and pray for them to be healed. With God, nothing is impossible.
Image from Matthew's CaringBridge album.