This is Bill. He’s shy and soft-spoken, and has one of the sweetest smiles I’ve ever seen. I first got to know Bill last year, as he was in my small group on Monday afternoons. Though he was usually quiet in the big group, he’d often come alive during one-on-one time, asking lots of questions and working hard on whatever project was put in front of him. He likes coloring and drawing, writing and being creative, and has dreams of going to university one day.
Last year, Bill started complaining of “bone pain.” None of us were really sure what that meant or what to do for it, but we definitely could see that it was real, and that it was greatly affecting him. Hearing him cry out in pain, tears streaming down his face, broke my heart. I can remember going with Ashley to take Bill to the hospital one day; he was sitting on lap, terrified and hurting, crying softly to himself. They released him later that evening, but he still continued to suffer.
A few weeks ago, Mary and Piko, two of our Liberian employees, suggested to Deb that it might be sickle cell disease. Apparently, they knew a girl who had suffered with many of the same symptoms, and that had been her diagnosis. Deb then made the arrangements to have Bill taken to the hospital and tested. Sure enough, Bill was diagnosed with sickle cell disease this past Wednesday.
I don’t know too much about sickle cell, but I do know that Bill has a difficult road ahead of him. Many of the treatments are simply not an option in this country, and the complications of the disease are extremely serious, sometimes even life-threatening.
So I’m asking that you would please remember Bill and pray for him regularly. He is such an incredible kid, and I want him to have a full, long, and healthy life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe these very things for Bill’s life. Please stand in faith with me.