Learning to run again
"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathise with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude." 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)
Bratner lives in Villa del Rosario, Colombia with his mother, his maternal grandparents, aunt and cousin. When he was first registered at the local church-based Compassion project he was a healthy and happy child who enjoyed learning and loved playing football. Months after being registered, he began to feel pain in his right leg and had difficulty walking. The staff at the project noticed the change in him and arranged for Bratner to see a doctor.
After running tests, Bratner and his mother received the devastating news, he had cancer. They faced the difficult decision of whether to allow surgeons to amputate his leg, or fight the disease with treatment at the risk of the cancer spreading. They decided to go ahead with the amputation.
The surgery went well and Bratner began a course of chemotherapy treatment. However, months after the treatment ended, cancerous cells were once more found in his body. Thankfully, these were detected early and with further treatment he was finally given the all clear. Throughout the treatment, the family received regular visits from the staff and the pastor, who encouraged and prayed for them. “I thank the project very much. I am so grateful because of their help and support. I cannot imagine our lives without them,” says Bratner’s mother.
Today, Bratner is an outgoing 12-year-old. He goes to the Compassion project on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons where he joins in with the football matches using his crutches. All the children treat Bratner with great kindness and humility. They do not make fun of his disability but treat him as an equal – playing and spending time with him.
Loving God, we thank you for Bratner’s recovery and pray he will continue to be free from cancer. Thank you for the love and acceptance he received from the children at the project. Amen.