How Cancer Touched our Family: Diego’s Journey (Part 1)

Many of you were praying for our dear friend and neighbor over the summer. His name is Diego and he is in 1st grade. The same week I had a portion of my thyroid removed, Diego had a kidney and 3 pound cancerous tumor removed. Since he lives next door and is a good friend our girls have spent as much time as possible with him. We have had some hard conversations about cancer and chemotherapy over the last few months.

I was concerned about how they would react and how it would affect them. They are sensitive little girls with tender hearts who hate to see anyone sick or hurting.

We explained as much as we could. They asked a lot of questions.

And then they prayed.

My girls pray for one of their closest friends every meal, every night, and sometimes throughout the day. They’ve stopped me mid-lesson and say, “Mommy, today is Diego’s treatment. We need to pray for him!” So we do. We pray fervently for healing, for comfort, and for peace. What they don’t understand is why it is taking so long for him to feel better.

But still they pray.

They do understand that because the treatments leave him feeling badly we don’t see him every day. We also take caution not to spend time with Diego if there is even a threat we might not be well. At the same time they know he needs lots of friends to encourage him and they invite him over as often as they can. He often doesn’t feel like doing a lot, but every once in a while he enjoys playing in the backyard.

More often than not this is what hanging out with Diego looks like. I’ve lifted my usually strict limit on screen time because Diego is more important. He usually doesn’t feel like doing much active and I completely understand. It doesn’t bother me one bit because I love when he can forget for a little while all that is going on with his small body.

The best times are the days when Diego invites the girls outside to play. We say yes as much as we can! On this day they enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood with their friend and they had a great time. It is so good to see him feeling well enough to be active.

Here are some of the details if you are interested…

1. The official diagnosis was a Wilms’ Tumor which had developed into stage 2 kidney cancer.
2. He is nearing the end of the chemo treatments which has taken a toll on him physically.
3. He is now able to go to school more regularly as the treatments are tapering.
4. He is very susceptible to illness, but has only been hospitalized once since the surgery.

Throughout everything Diego’s faith has remained strong. We try to be the tangible hands of Christ, but so often feel we fall short. He is blessed with a couple of sweet ladies who have never met him, but have been sending him thoughtful gifts throughout his treatment. Many have surrounded them to help financially and with meals. From the very start he talked to his mom about knowing God was with him. God’s blessings have been evident, but the road has still been hard for the family.

So I invite you to join my girls as they pray. Pray he will experience complete healing. Pray there would be no long-term side effects from the treatments. Pray he is able to catch up quickly from the school he has had to miss. Pray he and his mom are able to have restful nights. Pray for the entire family to continue to feel God’s presence.

Click here to keep up with Diego’s Fight on Facebook.

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