Believing in Miracles Helps Me Overcome Despair

Believing in Miracles Helps Me Overcome Despair
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“Do you believe in miracles?”

Sports announcer Al Michaels uttered that sentence on national television in February 1980 during an Olympic hockey game between the United States and the Soviet Union.

During the game, which was later dubbed the “Miracle on Ice,” the Americans were heavy underdogs. But that day, a team of predominantly college-aged players beat the heavily favored, more experienced Russian team 4-3, which led to Michaels’ exuberant question.

After posing it, he empathically answered the same way I do: “Yes!”

I have faith, so I believe, as stated in the Bible, that “nothing will be impossible with God.” Thus, I expect miracles to occur. I pray for one in the lives of my wife and daughter, who both have Huntington’s disease (HD). I pray  they will be healed or a drug will be invented that will provide a cure. This mindset is natural for those who want a loved one to become healthy again.

However, I’m also pragmatic, which is why I was not surprised by recent news that an experimental therapy that had shown great promise for the HD community failed in a late-stage clinical trial. This led the pharmaceutical company, Roche, to stop giving study participants doses of the investigational antisense therapy tominersen.

The logical part of me realizes the following:

  • Huntington’s, like many rare diseases, is a complicated puzzle that has proven extremely difficult for scientists and drug companies to solve.
  • The discovery of a cure or therapy that can halt the disease’s progression may take a monumental effort and big bucks similar to Operation Warp Speed, the juggernaut program that fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine development. However, the chances of this happening seem low.
  • The reality is that a cure may not occur in my family’s lifetime.

That thought is devastating. I do not want to see my wife and daughter suffer. I want them — and others who deal with HD — to live long and productive lives. My faith, however, leads me not to despair, feel anxious, or dwell on what may not occur. My faith leads me to believe in miracles.

The obvious one is a cure. But I don’t dwell on that, because I would rather focus on the miracles I experience.

A short list of those miracles includes: my wife’s and daughter’s superior intelligence, my wife’s smile and marvelous sense of humor, their presence in my life, their big hearts, their acceptance of their illness, and their ability to love life and live in the moment.

I could go on and on, but the point is that miracles occur every day in our lives. They may not be grandiose, but they are incredible. They are the little things that bring joy, love, peace, and happiness. I used to take them for granted; I don’t anymore.

Even when their suffering increases, I expect there will be more miracles. I envision neighbors and family members stepping up. I picture every moment spent with them to be precious. I see them continuing to teach me how to live.

Because life can be so short and difficult, I have been diligently trying to understand and see where the miracles are in my life. These miracles represent hope to me. When I hear disappointing news, such as Roche’s recent announcement, I do not despair. Instead, I put my hope in the many daily miracles that flow into my life.

As French author Georges Bernanos once put it: “The highest form of hope is despair overcome.”

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Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.

Carlos is a journalist in the Midwest, who through the grace of God has been blessed with a brilliant, beautiful, and courageous wife and daughter. His wife found out she was gene-positive for Huntington’s Disease (HD) at the age of 41, while his daughter found out she was gene-positive for HD when she was 22. Carlos’s aim in writing column is to offer a caregiver’s perspective while also trying to inspire those families who are dealing with Huntington’s. He loves to evangelize, read, play soccer, and share — according to family members —really bad puns. (For the record, Carlos thinks his puns are really punny and funderful.)
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Carlos is a journalist in the Midwest, who through the grace of God has been blessed with a brilliant, beautiful, and courageous wife and daughter. His wife found out she was gene-positive for Huntington’s Disease (HD) at the age of 41, while his daughter found out she was gene-positive for HD when she was 22. Carlos’s aim in writing column is to offer a caregiver’s perspective while also trying to inspire those families who are dealing with Huntington’s. He loves to evangelize, read, play soccer, and share — according to family members —really bad puns. (For the record, Carlos thinks his puns are really punny and funderful.)
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2 comments

  1. Elena Navarro says:

    I have learnt that God speaks to us in the most incredible ways. Today I heard his voice and message through this article. Thank you so much Carlos Briceño for giving the words hope and miracle a new meanining, a new perspective. I like to think that beyond the limits of our bodies, there is a connection between us and our surroundings. We are linked in a unity, beyond time and space, in which each individual learning is an evolutionary advantage for all of us. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts Carlos. A big hug from Argentina.

    • Carlos Briceño says:

      Your kind words were amazingly beautiful and deep. Thank you for sharing all that, Elena. I appreciate what you wrote, especially on your description of the unity and community that exists between people, with no limits because of space and time. This is part of the greatness of humans: that our imaginations make us understand that which we can’t see, but we know is true. Sending you a hug in return from the U.S.

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