Medical condition almost keeps pilgrim home

by Katie Hyde
Special to The Leaven

Jessica Luna, a parishioner of All Saints Church in Kansas City, Kansas, and an incoming freshman at Benedictine College in Atchison, almost missed out on coming to World Youth Day.

After working with a Totus Tuus Catholic catechetical camp all summer, Luna began feeling sick. A doctor’s visit revealed evidence of a potential kidney disease.

The day before the group left for Poland, Luna had a kidney biopsy. Then she received some heartbreaking news from the doctor: She could not go on the trip due to her uncertain medical condition and the potential of complications while abroad.

After the doctor had left Luna to ponder the news, a nurse walked into the room. The nurse told Luna that she knew of another nurse who was making the World Youth Day trip. She said that this nurse would look after Jessica while she was traveling.

She would be able to go to World Youth Day in Poland after all.

“At first, I thought God was just saying, ‘OK, fine, you can go,’” said Luna. “But now, I think that I’m here to offer up all the pain I’m feeling on this pilgrimage. I’ve been praying with all the saints from Poland — St. Maria Faustina, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. JPII.

“I’m here for a reason, even if I don’t know it yet.”

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