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Answered Prayers for a Young Cancer Survivor

After suffering from cardiac arrest, a young girl prays to attend the 50th Anniversary of the Church Of Christ and to meet the Executive Minister.


Myla Cunanan (14 years old – Alameda, California): I felt really happy because I’ve always – for a long time, I always wanted to see and hug [Brother] Eduardo. Since we found out we were going to see him there, I was very happy and I was hoping that I would get to hug him, and I actually did.

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On August 5, 2018, the Iglesia Ni Cristo celebrated its 104th Anniversary and 50th Anniversary in the West at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

Leyna Cunanan (Myla’s mother): I still can’t believe he was there.

[Video – Brother Eduardo V. Manalo preaching at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California]

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: That’s why we joined the Church Of Christ. We learned that in the Church we will receive God’s promised salvation.

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But 3 months ago, this moment didn’t even seem possible for Myla and her family. In May, during a visit to the hospital, Myla went into cardiac arrest.

Leyna: We thought we were going to lose her.

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A month later, she went into cardiac arrest, for the second time.

Leyna: That was one of the hardest days of our lives. My prayer was, “God, we know You have a purpose and You know what’s best for us, what’s best for Myla. But if You can still give her to us—but of course, not what we want, but whatever You want for us, because You know what’s best for us.” That was just my prayer.

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For Myla’s family, prayer has gotten them through tough times. In 2014, Myla was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia – a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. Myla battled cancer for two years. But she was never alone. Through the lessons in the worship services, and the ministers the Executive Minister would send to pray for Myla, Myla and her family learned how to cope and to trust.

Interviewer: When you think about the worship services that [Brother] Eduardo leads, what are the lessons that you’ve taken away from the worship services that he’s led?

Robert Cunanan (Myla’s father): The one in Oxnard. You really feel it. It makes us stronger in our faith. It’s really a good lesson.

Leyna: The verses that he mentioned about knowing God better and knowing our purpose in this life – it really speaks to my heart, because I want to know God better. And know His purpose in us, know what He wants for us to do. Which gives meaning to our lives. Which gives meaning to our membership in the Church. That’s really what I remember from the past lesson. Jeremiah 29:11 – To have purpose. It’s not to harm you, but to make you prosper, knowing that God is always there for us. Learning that whatever our condition is, or circumstances are, how we respond to it – it doesn’t matter if we’re sick, it doesn’t matter what our trials are, but how we serve God, how we put our trust in God, because He’s there to be with us in our journey.

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Myla’s victory over cancer gave her the confidence to face her recent condition, and this did not stop her from wanting to share her faith.

Myla: I always understand that these things happen for a reason. So, we just thought it was a good opportunity to share our faith there. The nurses there would always visit. We’d always meet new people in the hospital. There was always an opportunity.

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Myla always shared cards with inspiring verses. Myla was admitted in May of 2018. For 3 months, she missed hangouts and birthday parties. As August 5th neared, her family prayed even more, determined to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Church in the West with her.

Myla: We would pray for, if I could attend Anniversary Thanksgiving and 50th Celebration. So, those were the main things we would always pray about.

Leyna: Thursday, I sat down with the whole team in a conference room, planning for her to be discharged. We went through a lot, but they still couldn’t promise if she would be discharged on Saturday. I told them that Myla does not want to miss this event. I would regret it for the rest of my life if I could not take her on this special day.

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Saturday, August 4th, just hours before the 50th Celebration, Myla was given the greenlight they had been praying for.

After the worship service, Myla and her parents were given the chance to meet the Executive Minister.

Robert: I thought he would wait for us in the room, but he came right away to us.

Leyna: We thought that was enough already just shaking hands with [Brother] Eduardo, we were already happy to meet him and Myla was able to meet him on that day. But when he said, “I’ll pray for Myla,” it was just overwhelming joy that we felt.

Robert: It was really… very joyous, you can’t explain how you feel.

Leyna: [Brother] Eduardo, we thank you so much, po, for all the love and care that you’ve given us. Thank you so much, for everything. We love you so much.

Robert: [Brother] Eduardo, thank you. Thank you for all the love you give to all of the brethren inside the Church. Thank you, especially for praying for my family. We believe that our Father heard your prayers. Our daughter is getting better.

Myla: We love you, and thank you.

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Since being discharged, Myla has only returned to the hospital for dialysis. Recently, she moved from 4 days a week to 3. She’s still using every opportunity to share her faith.


Available downloads

Answered Prayers for a Young Cancer Survivor