Spiritual Practice


Genna Camiolo and Kayla Gilbert

Genna-chemo-tiaraWhen I was six, I was diagnosed with an optic/hypothalamic brain tumor. I went through seven surgeries, two years of chemotherapy, and numerous other procedures. In eighth grade, I started treatment again because the tumor had grown.

I tell my story so that other people will know what I’m going through. They may not understand that although I have a brain tumor, I’m a normal kid. Though school is hard for me, I can do what healthy kids do. I hope my story will help other kids realize that they too can do whatever they put their minds to.

You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm.
1 Peter 5:10b (CEV)

People may think that my story is sad or scary. But God is with me through it all, and God has been good to me. My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13 (NRSV): “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

—Genna Camiolo, 15


REFLECT: When my father died, my story seemed to have the worst possible ending. I later realized that God was still writing, chapter by chapter through the course of my life, and had plans to use my story for God’s glory. Even when we seem to be missing the “happily ever after” in our lives, God is not finished; and when the last sentence is written, God will use our stories in ways we can’t even imagine.

—Kayla Gilbert, 19

—from devozine (November/December 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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