By Veronica Lay, CFCA Sponsor Services
Imagine complete darkness, a life without sight where it is necessary to depend on other senses and other people for help.
This is the life of Milton, a young boy who lives in Guatemala, in the small town of El Rodeo.
Milton sings during a 2010 CFCA mission awareness trip to Guatemala. His mother is holding the microphone for him.
Milton, 11, was born with cancer in his right eye. He underwent surgery to have that eye removed.
Less than one year later, the family learned that the cancer had spread to Miltonís other eye. The only option was to remove it as well.
Left untreated, the cancer could have spread to his brain, and he could have died.
Though he lost both eyes at an early age, Milton has some memories of sight.
ìI could not see much with my left eye, but I did see the moonlight,î Milton said.
After his second surgery, Milton went through eight painful chemotherapy treatments. He became thin, frail and lost all his hair.
The only other person to experience as much pain was Miltonís mother, Ana, who found it extremely difficult to see her son suffer without being able to help him.
ìI thought he was going to die,î Ana said. ìI had to be strong. Öî
Thankfully, Miltonís cancer was treated successfully, but now, he had to face the prospect of living with blindness.
Milton jams with musicians on an accordion during the mission awareness trip.
On Miltonís fourth birthday, his life was changed forever by a small toy piano his grandfather purchased for him.
Interested in music, Milton started learning to play the piano by listening to the instrument during church. Milton enjoyed playing the piano. When he turned 6, ìthe music started to flow.î
Milton is interested in many instruments and he also likes to sing in church. He has learned how to play the accordion, and, his favorite instrument, the drums.
During a mission awareness trip in August 2010, Milton had the opportunity to showcase his talents.
He told the audience about his condition and his passion for music. His mother was on stage with him, helping with instruments and encouraging him with her presence.
Ashley Boone, a CFCA Sponsor Services representative, witnessed Miltonís musical abilities during the trip. Ashley said that Miltonís performance was remarkable because of the relationship that he and his mother shared.
Milton reads in Braille.
ìYou just knew that she was very involved in his passion for music,î Ashley said. ìThe love his mother displayed for Milton was written all over her face.î
Milton and his family are grateful for the support they have received in the CFCA Hope for a Family program for the past four years.
Sponsorship enables Milton to go to school in his village and attend a special school every other weekend, where he is learning to read Braille. He hopes to become a music teacher one day.
ìI thank God for touching so many hearts of good and generous people that have helped me up to this day,î he said.
Through sponsorship, this young boy was able to find a positive outlet through music. Milton may be blind, but he does not need sight to make his music come alive.