Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A cancer diagnosis is devastating. It can upset the bravest and most stalwart of hearts. We know. This is our second time around the block. Today, I learned that cancer is truly no respecter of persons.

While at the gym I saw a poster for a Beef 'n Beer for a little boy named Sam. Figured he had leukemia or some other "childhood-type" disease. I didn't read the whole thing. Hey, I had to go around that circuit twice and since I've been sick, it wasn't the easiest thing to do. I was more than a little bit self-absorbed. I couldn't shake that cute little face, though. Then I started talking to the lady next to me on the circuit. Turns out she was his Grandmom. She told me his story.

Sam Hornikel is three years old. He is one of those cute little guys with bright eyes and a smile that goes from here to eternity. Sam was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a subject near and dear to our hearts lately. I can hear you now. . . prostate cancer in a THREE YEAR OLD??? That was my reaction, too, as I rudely interrupted her. Turns out, it wasn't really prostate cancer, but bladder cancer. It was pretty bad when they caught it, so they took out little Sam's bladder, prostate and urethra to give him the best chance at life. Reconstructive surgery has started and will get him back to as normal as possible. They even took his sperm and froze it. There is apparently new technology on the horizon that makes it pretty certain that by the time Sam finds the girl God has for him, she will be able to bear his children. He will need a few more operations. He just finished a round of chemo.

Through it all, this kidlet is amazing. He doesn't cry much. He runs around like crazy, dragging his tubes and poles with him. He loves everybody and keeps his nurses and doctors cheery. Three years old. Hit with a Mack truck before he barely knows he's alive. Through it all, Sam just knows he's going to be okay. The faith of a child.

In the movie "The Santa Clause," a wise little girl elf tells the main character that children have it right; adults have it wrong. She tells him that most people say "Seeing is believing," when, in fact, it's the other way around, "Believing is seeing." The faith of a child. It's like a child that we come to Jesus. Not the easiest thing for adults. Our heads are too clouded with other extraneous information that gets in the way. We know too much (or so we think). Kids see things clearer, cleaner, simpler. "And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matthew 18:3, NIV) Oh, would it be that I had Sam's simple faith!

The faith of a child. And this brave child's already seen more pain and suffering in three years than most of us will see in a lifetime. Can you help me get a few gazillion prayers ascending heavenward for Sam? I asked his Grandmom if that would be okay. She said, "I believe in the power of prayer." She didn't say it haltingly or softly. She made a definitive statement in a clear, strong voice. By the way, she's also a cancer survivor. She's doing well, many years later. I pray Sam will be, too. She obviously passed her strength on to this little one. Jesus will give him the rest of what he needs. Sam already knows that. Do you?

Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.


  1. Powerful story. I loved reading about Sam. Wow - children that have to go through things like this are incredibly strong. It's AMAZING. We could all learn so much from them - it's very humbling. I will remember and pray for him and the family - thanks for passing this along to your readers, Carla.

  2. I am adding my prayers to yours for Sam. Continuing in prayer for Ray as well and for both of our families.

  3. Carla,

    Great and very warming story!!! I too will both pray for this lil one and pass it along for the Body to take up to the Feet of Jesus!!


  4. Sam sounds so sweet!!!! Many prayers being said for all of you.


  5. Sometimes little ones can be role models, too. Sam is in my prayers - as are you and yours.

  6. Sometimes little ones are role models. Sam is in my prayers, as you and your family are.

  7. Wiping tears from my eyes.......
    Words I sing to my daughter every night.
    Today I sing them to little Sam, to Ray, to me, and to everyone. Powerful and comforting. Thanks for sharing, will be praying for him.

  8. Praying for this sweet child. Sam is a very strong young man...he is strengthened by God.