Childhood Leukemia Story - Jason - Introduction

Jason Story of Child LeukemiaINTRODUCTION
Every mother believes her child is special. In the first moments of life, something magical happens. From then on, a mother feels she is watching part of her heart perform outside of herself. Having given birth to seven children, I understand that each one is special. The feeling is the same regardless of the child’s place in the family. This book is not an attempt to impress others with Jason’s exceptional qualities. Its purpose is to present the remarkable way God comes in to meet our every need. Jason, in simple faith, bowed to the Lord’s will and thus became an example to us all. His story is not one of tremendous sadness and defeat but an account of the triumph one can experience through trust in God.
Wes and I want to express our sincere gratitude to everyone
who played a part in Jason’s story. It was impossible to name each
one in the pages of this book — that does not mean that anyone has been forgotten.
We owe a great deal to the medical personnel with whom we
worked so closely for many years. Their unsurpassed compassion
and support will long be remembered.
To our families, and the many Christian friends who treated
us as family, we owe so much. We cannot imagine what this story
would be like without their part in it.
To the people of New Hampshire and the Merrimac Valley, we owe our deep appreciation. The outflow of love and concern that came through the mail was incredible. Children drew pictures, wrote letters, and sent photographs and good luck charms to brighten Jason’s days and warm our hearts. People we had never met took time to write letters to a little boy they read about in the pa— pers. How could we ever thank everyone personally? We can only hope the message of thanks is transmitted clearly in the writing, because it will remain in our hearts eternally.

Jason Vitale

PREFACE
I can’t imagine any of us who knew and loved Jason ever trying to describe him without focusing on his acceptance of God’s having allowed his illness. His assurance came from a settled realization that the Lord knew what He was doing when the disease was first detected. His faith was indeed childlike: completely dependent upon someone else to do the planning and arranging, Someone who knew far more and was absolutely in total control of the whole situation. He lived with the hope that life would go on for him as normally as possible, but if it didn’t, as he put it, “It’s all in His hands.”
He talked confidently of going to heaven, as though it were an upcoming trip he would be taking soon. He looked at things in a manner most unusual for a child. The window through which he saw life was not fogged by unreality and passing toys. A most engaging, lively little boy, he enjoyed all the typical childhood activities — having fun, going to school, playing with friends, reading good books — but there was also a seriousness about him that drew the attention of those around him. When asked to write a tribute to their friend, Jason’s fifth grade classmates didn’t remark on the four- wheeling adventures he loved; it was his kindness, sincere friendliness, thoughtfulness, care for others, and “his not being like other children” that they remembered.
Jason used the reality of his sickness to make others realize
that having Christ as Savior is the only possession in life that we can take with us into eternity. I sat with him in his final moments, and watched his little ship slowly move away from this shore to another. It went safely across, with no long, stormy voyage, but was immediately “with Christ, which is far better.” He was welcomed home by the One he had never seen, yet knew so well. The Savior Jason trusted as a young child was not only his Friend through life, but was also there to meet him on the other side.
Joey Procopio