Duchenne muscular dystrophy slowly robbed Daniel Escalona of his ability to run, walk, and move his arms. Yet it didn’t dim his determination. Daniel graduated from his Chicago high school in June 2012, and is now a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The school has a state-of-the-art dorm and support system for 24 students with disabilities.
Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Daniel’s father, Alejandro, reflected on the bittersweet, but proud experience of sending his disabled son off to college. He wrote, “Our hearts have been broken…seeing your body diminish to a point now where you can move your fingers only enough to type into an iPad or dial your cellphone. Still, you have written papers, essays and newspaper articles without once complaining about your condition.”“I have had the privilege of taking care of you as your body has weakened. I have bathed you, dressed you, carried you to your chair and moved you at night so that you can sleep comfortably…We don’t know what the future will bring. But as a relative put it, you haven’t come this far to fail, Daniel.”
Happy are those who persevere. (Daniel 12:12)
Keep me striving for my goals, Lord.