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50-50 Chance

David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by his mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman?s prognosis was devastating: ?He has a 50-50 chance.? The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous drugs, the fear and pain?the mother?s ordeal can be almost as bad as the child?s because she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room, and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him, he hustled in ahead of him mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got. When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap?a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. ?If it hurts, remember it?s because he loves you,? Deborah said. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and gasped, ?Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting.?

Miracles of Courage, Monica Dickens, 1985.