“I am brave. I can do this.”

I am brave. I can do this. Josue* repeated the mantra to himself for a fifth time that day. He felt his heart fluttering fast in his chest as he and his mom waited to be called back by the doctor. Today was a day he’d thought of often over the course of his 11 years, but one he wasn’t sure would ever come.

Josue is part of the Strong Families Program with his mom in Cancun. A bright, joyful young man, Josue has fought against odds and overcome obstacles as he was born with multiple fingers adhered together. Freedom to move each of his fingers has long been something Josue has hoped for, but without funding and the right doctor, he wasn’t sure it would ever come to fruition.

Recently, an opportunity for a life-changing surgery arose for him. Back2Back staff members Lili Guzman, Josue’s Social Worker, and Ersy Caporali, one of his teachers, traveled with Josue and his mom four hours away for the procedure. “Lili and Ersy stayed with Josue and his mom and provided emotional support and care through Trauma Competent Care strategies,” shared Amy Kelly, Back2Back staff. “Regulation was a big part of keeping both Josue and his mom calm before and after the surgery. Lili and Ersy were faithful to make sure both felt safe and heard leading up to this big moment.”

Staff who remained back in Cancun sent voice texts of encouragement to Josue, helping him realize he is strong and capable. “Each time he felt discouragement or fear rising within him, he would remember the messages sent to him and knew he wasn’t alone. He trusted God was guiding his every step,” shared Amy.

Josue took those messages to heart and reminded himself of his own bravery as he was wheeled back to surgery. Today, staff is happy to report his surgery was successful. Josue is recovering at the right pace.

The power of your sponsorship, prayer, and advocacy cannot be understated in situations like this. Josue’s life will forever be changed for the better through this procedure, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the team of people around the world who love and fight on behalf of Josue and other children like him.