"DJ's Story"



(Written just after Dylan's diagnosis was confirmed- April 2003) 

My name is Dylan James Manning, my Grandpop likes to call me "DJ". I am a 2 year old little boy in need of your prayers. The doctors thought at first that I had a developmental disorder. I have other problems with my brain too, but I am not old enough to understand those yet either. 

My physical & occupational therapists have all been working very hard to teach me how to do things like crawl and walk but I am just not quite ready for that big kid stuff yet! I love to be cuddled and I'm trying really hard to say my daddy's name. Even though I don't say a whole lot right now, it seems that everywhere I go, people seem to be magnetized to me & my dimply smile. Apparently, they say it has a lot to do with my punk rock hairdos!!  I say it just adds to my sparkling character!  

On Monday, April 7th, my mommy and daddy received heartbreaking news of my illness. The doctors confirmed that I had "Tay-Sachs Disease" which is the very worst thing we had hoped for. Tay-Sachs is a pretty scary thing and it will most likely take my life after about 4 years. This has all been so difficult to put into words from a light-hearted point of view but we figured it would be easier coming from a child's perspective. 

They tell me there is no cure for this icky disease and that things are going to get pretty bad for me. As most of you already know, God sent me to be with my family on Thanksgiving Day, 2001- a most appropriate day for someone like me to arrive! "Tay-Sachs babies" are better known as ANGELS, magnets to God. I was sent here to my mommy, daddy, grandparents, aunts, uncles, my puppy dog Maddie, and everyone who meets me to carry out a purpose. They say I have the GLOW that these other angels possess and that my giggle fits are really times when I most enjoy talking to the other angel babies who have already received their wings. That's what makes us UNIQUE. In the short time that God allows us to stay here on Earth, he makes certain that we bring joy, peace, love and happiness to EVERYONE we meet in order to deliver his message and to do our jobs. Mommy has always had a passion for collecting angels and God knew what he was doing when he sent me to be her very own REAL LIVE ANGEL.

Please don't cry for me, instead, pray that my family finds the strength to comfort and care for me so that I may accomplish my mission. My mommy and daddy have spoken with other parents of Tay-Sachs babies through the National Foundation and they comfort them by saying that everyone I meet is truly in "the presence of an angel". They said that we should cherish our blessing who is a "Magnet to God." I guess they mean me! Hopefully they will find a cure for the next generation of us babies so that no other child has to live this way. The only cure is prevention and pregnancy termination at this point. 

Our family has already taken a pilgrimage to see the St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Quebec the weekend of April 11-13th to pray for a miracle. Apparently, my great- grandpa's distant cousin is said to perform miracles and is expected to be canonized a saint. His name is Brother Andre Bessette and we pray that he could make another miracle happen with me! Go to his website at http://www.holycrosscsc.org/csc/andre.html to find his prayer for a miracle.

We also visited the Padre Pio shrine to touch the hand where Padre bled the stigmata (The Bible says that is the 'Five wounds of Christ'). My picture now sits under his relic for hope!  WE had a VERY TOUCHING and emotional experience from everyone we met that day. I even gave him a "HIGH FIVE" which is one of my favorite things to do!  If anything, we found the strength and peace to carry on.  

I wanted to especially thank each and every one of you for your prayers, thoughts, well wishes, special gifts, mass cards and so on that you've sent to me. People have actually gathered funds together so my mommy and daddy can take these spiritual journeys of healing for me and it has truly touched us to see how many people come together in tough times like these!  

My mommy and daddy have a lot to do with the successful operation of the summer league DRiB-L. They both enjoy being in the presence of children. I will be visiting the basketball courts at Kerr Park on many occasions throughout the summer, so feel free to come on over and say ‘Hello’ to me whenever I am there. I would enjoy that.

So, if it is truly God's will that I must go, PLEASE ask God to let the miracle be the strength my mommy and daddy will need to HONOR my life. Let me complete whatever mission was to be in this life as I have been blessed with such wonderful family and countless friends! God knows how much mommy and daddy love children so HE will be sure to reunite me with my other brothers and sisters that have gone before me so that we can be a family forever in God's kingdom.

May God Bless You!
Lots of Hugs and Kisses,
Dylan James "DJ" Manning















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