“Friends You Can Count On,” New Era, Mar. 2014, 44
Josh C., a 13-year-old from Alberta, Canada, loves hanging out with his tight-knit group of Church friends as often as possible. All in the same deacons quorum, they love to play basketball, hit the ski slopes, and do all sorts of other activities together. They also look out for and support one another.
About a year and a half ago, when Josh’s life took an unexpected turn, his deacons quorum was there for him every step of the way. Toward the end of sixth grade, Josh began having small seizures. Despite trips to the doctor and antiseizure medication, the seizures grew worse over the summer. Several months into seventh grade, Josh had to drop out of school for health reasons.
Throughout this time, his friends helped him every chance they could—even if that meant just taking him treats and playing games with him when he wasn’t feeling well enough to leave the house. “I feel lucky,” Josh says about his quorum members. “They are always there for me.”
Ultimately, neurologists recommended surgery to remove the lesion in Josh’s brain that was causing the seizures. Josh’s friends decided as a group that they would fast for him on the day of his surgery. The eight-hour surgery took place during a school day. His friends went to school and spent lunch together as they normally did, but they didn’t eat. “It was neat they thought of doing it on their own,” says Josh.
The surgery was a big success. While Josh’s recovery hasn’t always been easy, his friends have stayed by his side all along.
Now in eighth grade, Josh hasn’t had a single seizure since the surgery 14 months ago. He feels so grateful for his friends and for the gospel. “People are there for you. Heavenly Father is there for you,” he says. “Look at your blessings—not at your trials—and see how Heavenly Father is helping. You don’t have to be afraid.”