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Blessed to Be Alive
Photo: Studiomill

A few months ago, I was extremely fortunate to play with a one-year-old cancer survivor. His name is Sebastian, and he has a smile that will make you fall in love. Which is exactly what happened to me.

Sebastian is, in simple terms, extraordinary. He’s quiet and timid at first, but once you bond with him—which I did through an hour of repetitive toy car games—then you get to see the smile.

When Sebastian was a few months old, doctors discovered a neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue, near his coccyx. It was a large tumor on a small body, so it occupied a lot of space. The doctors said his chances of survival were slim and, if he survived, he probably wouldn’t be able to walk since the tumor was so near his spine.

Well, not only does he walk, he runs, jumps, and smiles. He smiles hugely, a bright smile like if he knows he’s blessed to be alive. But I wonder, aren’t we all?

My friend Hannah has asthma. She’s learned to manage it, but sometimes it sneaks up on her. Like it did when she was running the trail close to our university.

Asthma Attack

Not wanting to be weighed down by her inhaler, she didn’t take it with her while she ran. A little while later, my friends and I received a call from Hannah’s mom, saying to rush Hannah’s inhaler to her as soon as we could because she had had an asthma attack.

We got over there as soon as we could, where a campus security guard was waiting with a nearby ambulance, making sure Hannah stayed calm. There was something about the first breath she took with her inhaler, a deep breath of relief as if coming up for air from under water. That breath was special, it was the breath that ensured her she was still alive. She took that breath and the few following like she was so grateful for them. But, shouldn’t we feel that way about all our breaths?

I’ve heard it said that our bodies are like complex machinery. One little thing gets altered and a million things can go wrong. As you are reading this and I am writing this, it’s a miracle we are alive. That last breath we just took meant our complex machine is working right, that last breath we took was a miracle.

Our Creator made us wonderfully and causes little miracles—no less amazing than those written in the Bible—occur in our bodies every day. A million things can go wrong, and sometimes unfortunately they do, but if you are reading this, you are a living miracle, just like Sebastian and Hannah’s inhaler breath. You and I are miracles, and maybe it’s time we start living like we know it.

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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