I Want to Be Normal

I Want to Be Normal

By: Brandy Campbell, with Elvia Garcia in Mexico   |   Posted: February 27, 2008

A child in Mexico benefits from surgery, thanks to sponsorship
Compassion provided medical care for Daniel, who had flat feet and deformed knees. He is now able to play with his friends and lead a typical life.

Daniel stood at the edge of a busy soccer field, watching other boys run after a faded ball. He turned to shuffle home slowly, their happy shouts pressing at his back. By the time he arrived home, tears pooled in his dark eyes. "I just want to play with the other kids," he told his mother as she wiped his streaked face with the hem of her apron. "I want to be normal."


As an infant, Daniel was diagnosed with flat feet and deformed knees. His bones grew at odd angles causing his knees to turn inward. While not life-threatening, his condition worsened over time and prevented him from running and playing with his friends. If he had been a child in the United States, Daniel's condition would have been treated simply, with physical therapy and leg braces. But in his hometown of Loma Bonita, where families struggle to live on U.S.$8 a day, doctor visits are reserved for the wealthy.

Eventually, Daniel's condition worsened. His deformed knees made even walking painful. He became withdrawn, unable to play with other children and embarrassed by their schoolyard taunts.


When Daniel was 6, his parents registered him at the Compassion-assisted Caminando Junto con la Ni񥺼/span> Student Center (ME-857). There workers helped Daniel's parents find an orthopedic doctor, who fitted Daniel with corrective shoes and braces. A physical therapist taught him exercises to strengthen his knees.

As Daniel's condition improved so did his outlook. No longer withdrawn and sullen, Daniel, who is now 8, plays with his friends and eagerly attends the student center each week. He loves writing letters to his sponsor, a nurse in the United States. Those letters, along with the hours Daniel spends at the physical therapist's office each month, have inspired him to be a doctor when he grows up.


"I know God will give me strength and that I will keep getting better," says Daniel. "God is all-powerful, and He will help me be a doctor one day."

Daniel's parents, who are not Christians, do see the miracles God works in their son's life. "Daniel is so much happier now," says his mother, San Juana. "He tells his father and me Bible stories, and he loves learning about God."

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