28th July 2002
God has always been a part of my life from as long as I can remember. I was brought up in a Christian home and have been involved in all the work my folks have done.
I first made my own commitment to Jesus Christ at one of the Ambassadors soccer schools here at Deeside when I was 8 years old. Just to make sure I asked God to come into my heart five times over, just to make sure!
As most of you know my life has not gone the way of a typical 14 year old.
At the age of 9 I was diagnosed with a Ewing's Sarcoma in my left hip. This is a rare bone tumour. During the next year I had surgery and chemotherapy. Unfortunately I developed septicemia followed by total organ failure. My parents were told to prepare for the worst.
GOD HAD OTHER PLANS. That's why I am here today 4 years later. I firmly believe that me being here was partly due to the commitment a lot of you had in praying for me. During this time and many, many, more times I have known the power of prayer and the presence of God in my life.
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank you for all your prayers through the years. The letters the cards the phone calls all have made such a difference to me.
Wherever I have been I have always known that God has been with me. There have been many times when I have been alone in hospital or at home and I could just talk to God and thank him for keeping me safe and for being with me.
But just like everyone else I have had my highs and my lows. It's at the low times that I realise how real God is. Sometimes I get really frustrated with the limitations that I have. When I turn to God he meets me in all that and sometimes provides me with something else to think about or he encourages me through a letter from someone or a tape or some verse in the bible.
I can remember being in hospital and being thankful for having cancer. My mum was astounded but I went on to explain that I could look around at some of the other children in the ward and see how much worse off they were than me. It made me appreciate my life and the quality of life I have.
So often people compare themselves to someone who has more than they have and become discontent. What we should be doing is comparing ourselves to those who have less than us and that would make us thankful for who and what we are. God has made us all different with different paths to follow through life. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing; it is far more important that we stay on the path that God has got for us.
Mum and Dad have been pretty worried at times about all the things that have been happening to me. They couldn't understand why some things did not go according to plan. The thing is that God had a different plan. I would often say, " Don't worry, I'm in God's hands". Worry can so often take away the peace that only God can give. My advice to you is . . . DON'T WORRY. Our lives are in God's hands.
As to my future I don't know what is going to happen. I have been free of cancer for the last three and a half years. But I still have a few mountains to climb. I know that God will be with me guiding me along the path. Next month (Sept 2002) I am due to be in London for the removal of the prosthesis which has become infected. They have to remove the old one and put in a temporary one for 6 to 8 weeks. I will probably have to be on skeletal traction during this time and then back to London for more surgery to remove the temporary one and put in a new one. During all this time I have to have a central line in through which the antibiotics will go.
Please pray for me because your prayers do make a difference.
Life is precious. I became close to four young people during my time in hospital who are now no longer with us. I am here today to tell you that I believe my future is firmly in God's hands. I want my life to count for him. My hope is in God and I hope that yours is too.