Friday, February 16, 2007

A story of hope

A young freshman at Notre Dame decides to give a couple of years in ministry as a catechist, when he discovers he has a malignant brain tumor.

A powerful story of faith. And it really brought me some comfort as I swim through my own grief. [Hat tip to Amy.]
He wanted to share with his family and friends that if “this wasn’t necessarily going to work out the way they wanted it to … that didn’t mean that God wasn’t working. It didn’t mean that they were being ignored.”

Ballintyn received radiation treatment for his tumor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in October 2005.

Because of the nature of his tumor, Ballintyn was treated in its pediatric ward. Seeing children battling

cancer was a “wake-up call” for him.

“They were so happy,” Ballintyn said. “I expected a lot more crying.

“But it was quite the opposite. I was made keenly aware of the children’s optimism, of the children’s desire to live.”

Ballintyn’s own desire to live was strengthened when he learned that the probability of a total elimination of the cancer was 90 percent or more.

“That’s actually [when] my prayer requests ended up shifting,” he said. “I sent out e-mails and I said, ‘Listen, I’m going to be fine. We need to pray. We need to pray for these kids.’ ”

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