I can’t remember what the question was exactly, but NBC’s anchor, Cierra Johnson, asked something along the lines of, “Brady, what do you think the future looks like? Let’s say in ten years. You will be eighteen and Felix will be 10, can you imagine what things will look like then?”
I held my breath as she asked the question.
She was the sweetest lady there to do a story about Brady giving away his own Battle Pup while at the hospital.
She had no idea the depths of his diagnosis or the road we have been traveling.
So I knew her question was innocently referring to the friendship that had been formed from him giving Nutter Butter to Felix, but I wasn’t sure how he would answer.
I wrote about my inability to dream of Brady’s future a few weeks ago, but I had no idea how he would respond to these questions.
Most kids are dreaming of the future.
Where they will go to college.
Who they will marry.
What car they will drive.
What their family may look like.
But kids with cancer. Well, the future feels like a reality they may never get to realize.
Brady listened to the entire question. Then, his eyes dropped to the floor before answering.
He took a few seconds.
He looked back up at Cierra and answered, “I’m not really looking towards the future right now.” I held back my tears while I looked at Kelley, Felix’s mom, and gently shook my sad face.
“Im just trying to get through today,” Brady finished.
All cancer is hard. Pediatric cancer is gut wrenching.
At some point, our incredible ten year old has stopped dreaming of his future. His childhood innocence has been ripped out of his hands and has been replaced with the cold reality that only 1 in five 5 children will survive their cancer diagnosis.
1 in 5.
And that’s just the first round, no relapses factored in.
So here we sit.
Longing, hoping, praying, for him to be the one in five.
We leave for Philadelphia in just six short days.
Only six more days at home for our Christmas season here.
Next week, Brady begins the initial stage of the HuCart trial. He will undergo lympho-depleting chemotherapy and numerous tests to prepare his body for the T Cell infusion the follow week.
Then. Then, we hold our breath and pray.
Pray that this cutting edge treatment is a success for our son. That it can somehow cure the cancer that has beaten everything else that we have tried to throw at it.
As I think about all of this and the battle before us, I’m still so overwhelmed with gratitude. This little dream we had to give away 200 Battle Pups has changed our lives.
It has multiplied and amplified the love on our hearts more than we could have ever imagined.
In just over fourteen months, we are nearing 3,000 battle pups delivered or shipped all across the world.
Last week when we did a live video, Brady told us his goal for Way To Battle for 2023.
5,000 Battle Pups.
That sounds like a dream.
A dream for the future.
So while his brain is telling him “it’s too scary to dream”, well, well his heart has other plans.
So we, The Martins, are dreaming for 5,000.
We believe God is asking us to take a leap of faith.
To step out onto the waters and trust that we won’t sink.
We are going to go to Philadelphia to share the love of Jesus as much as we possibly can while helping our boy to heal and recover.
Then, well, this is where the big step happens. Chris is going to take a couple more months off from working and together we will grow Way To Battle as much as we can to help Brady reach his 5,000.
We are going to work to form new partnerships with more schools and community organizations as well as children’s protective services and foster care case workers. We are going to work to put together a book geared to helping tweens and parents navigate hard battles. We are going to continue to love on the city of Columbus by traveling to hospitals to deliver pups whenever we can. We are going to continue to ship out love throughout the entire world.
We want 5,000 people to know that no one battles alone.
We want 5,000 people to know that they are loved and seen.
We want 5,000 people to know that they have been armed with strength to fight the most impossible battles.
Above Brady in this picture are some of the lyrics from one of my very favorite songs.
And as I studied this picture I realized just how fitting they are for this new season we are stepping into…
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
Spirit lead us. Let us trust you no matter what our battle looks like.
Let us walk on the water without fear of sinking.
You have called us. You have called us to reach those who are hurting.
So in this new season take us deeper. Let our peace and joy control be multiplied as we trust in you for what is next.
And let our faith be made stronger. Faith in every single piece.
5,000 Battle Pups in 2023.
Oh sweet boy. Go on. Go on and let your heart dream. We are right here beside you.
Your dream is now our dream. No one battles alone.
Dream with us,
We are so excited to have finally made time to work some on the website. If you would like to help Brady and our family fulfill our mountain-sized dream, you can now make a one-time or recurring donation towards our mission and 501c3 nonprofit by going to www.WayToBattle.com.
No gift is too small. Every dollar helps us get one step closer.
And please remember, sharing our story and nominating people who are battling is equally as important as a monetary donation.
We are so incredibly grateful to all of you that continue to support, encourage, and pray for our family. We continue to be humbled by your endless love.