By Skyler Lee
A recent Make-A-Wish recipient used his final wish to discuss a life-and-death situation with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Sixteen-year-old Jeremiah Thomas who was diagnosed with osteoblastic osteosarcoma, a radiation-resistant bone cancer, last March was recently advised he was eligible to be granted a wish. Many Make-A-Wish recipients choose to go extraordinary places or meet celebrities, but after Thomas heard he could make a legacy wish — something he could be remembered by — he decided to request a telephone consult with Governor Greg Abbott about outlawing abortion in Texas.
Last Sunday, June 17th, Thomas’ wish was granted as Governor Abbott called him at McLane Children’s Hospital.
Upon receiving the phone call, Thomas thanked the Governor for taking the time out of his schedule to talk to him. “I know, well, I can only imagine — the Government how busy it is and how often you can talk with your citizens,” he said.
Thomas was an all-star athlete and active in pro-life outreach before he became sick. His pro-life roots run deep and his father, Rusty, who has been chronicling his son’s battle on Facebook, is even the National Director for the pro-life organization Operation Save America.
Thomas told Governor Abbott before he was diagnosed he used to go out and minister at his local abortion clinic with his siblings and mother. His mother would film them as he preached, his sister worshiped and played guitar, his other sister stopped the women coming into the abortion clinic to just talk to them and give them counsel, and his brother either held signs or spoke with the women.
“We just did a lot of street ministry,” Thomas explained. He also said, “every Wednesday it was kind of our thing” because the abortion clinic was open and “did most of the killing. Just the thought of 20 babies being murdered right under our noses was enough to make us sick and angry. So for my wish I wanted to talk with you and discuss a bill of [abortion] abolition.”
Pointing to a recent poll showing 68% of Texans want abortion abolished, Thomas told Governor Abbott if he were to consider such a bill he’d be “representing the demand of Texans.”
“In conclusion, we just want you to treat abortion like an act of murder and punished by law and for my wish I just wanted to say that to you and I know that you’re a Christian and you’re pro-life and I know it must be difficult standing against a whole federal beast that kind of forces abortion upon us but I think we could end abortion here and now because that would at least for me make my wish complete before I pass,” Thomas explained.
In response, Governor Abbott, who can be heard via speaker phone in the video, tells Thomas Texas just held the state Republican Convention where the party creates a platform of policy positions and abortion is on the list.
“So your wish is on the Republican party platform and is what we’re going to be pursuing this next legislative session, and that is to outlaw abortion altogether in the state of Texas so your wish is granted,” Governor Abbott informed him.
Thomas absolutely lit up at the news and happily praised God, saying, “amen.”
His phone call with Governor Abbott is just one of the many ways Thomas is helping the pro-life movement. Although Thomas is now paralyzed from the waist down with multiple inoperable tumors and cancer spots which have left him in constant pain and facing a ten percent chance of survival, he has not let it get him down. In fact, Thomas, who gave his life to the Lord a year ago at an event hosted by Operation Save America, says he can still preach from his wheelchair.
“What was truly amazing was the ministry opportunity that was given to me when I got sick. As soon as I got sick, my testimony blew up [in size]. Constantly people were texting me, encouraging me, giving me their testimony and their blessings and prayer,” he said.
Today Jeremiah released a letter to his generation,
There are many ways to be brave in this world.
Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself or for someone else.
Sometimes bravery involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, or everything you’ve ever wanted, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes bravery is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain. It is bearing down through the hard work of every day life. The slow walk towards a better life.
And sometimes it’s letting go.
Hey guys, my name is Jeremiah Thomas. I was raised on the front lines of the ongoing battle for the soul of our nation called abortion. It is a hidden holocaust that has wiped out one third of our generation. I’m from a family of 12 siblings, a stay-at-home mom, and a fiery preacher for a dad. I remember growing up watching my father fearlessly preach and plead with women going into death camps. As a result, I always wanted to grow up to be a preacher.
One thing you should know about my family. We are really big on sports. Both the boys and girls. The football and volleyball seasons are huge for us. I am the youngest of the guys in the family. So naturally growing up meant I got destroyed playing backyard football.
I learned a lot from my older brothers. I watched them all practice. I watched them all play. I watched them all win State. I wanted to be THAT good.
My brothers played for a private Christian school that allowed homeschoolers to participate. For two years, I woke up early and drove with them to practice so I could be the team’s water boy. The school’s athletic policy changed right before I got my chance to play. Only enrolled students were allowed on the team. So, in the fifth grade, my parents enrolled me because they had promised me the opportunity to play football and my Dad never goes back on his word.
After some years of flag football practice, my turn to play tackle football finally came in the seventh grade. We went 9-1 ending my junior high career on a good note. My parents pulled me out immediately after my last game and brought me back to homeschooling. I skipped 8th grade and went straight into my freshman year. I played with a different Christian school, the Parkview Pacers. I played with them my freshman and sophomore year, winning state my sophomore year. This meant that all the Thomas’ boys had won State. I received awards and got selected both years to play in the “All Star Game.” I don’t say this to brag but to share what my life was before cancer.
Growing up, I always had one foot in Christ and one foot in the world. I attended church, did Bible study, and ministered with my family but when I was at school or hanging with friends you couldn’t tell that I knew Christ.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky that I experienced revival. I was baptized along with forty-eight other kids (and some adults). I came home to Waco, Texas on fire for Christ.
I immediately ran to the roar of the battle and began to do ministry outside our local abortion clinic. With my Bible and a handheld microphone, I began sharing the Gospel on high school and college campuses.
Football came and went way too fast. It was a great season. We won State! Football season became basketball season. I continued to minister and play sports.
One night before Christmas, our family watched the Muppet Christmas Carol. I cried through the whole film. I thought I was feeling the Christmas spirit, but I soon realized it was the presence of God.
I was so moved, after the movie, I offered to do all the dishes for my siblings. My dad told me, it was our “Christmas miracle.” There were a lot of dishes and it was late. My tired sisters mumbled a “thank you” as they went off to their bedrooms. My parents and older brother went to bed too, leaving me alone to do dishes.
As I started washing the dishes, I regretted my decision. I decided to worship the Lord. I started to cry again, which then turned to weeping. Soon it was too much for me. I couldn’t do the dishes. I tried to run to my bedroom, so I could collapse on my bed. But I didn’t make it; I collapsed in my dad’s office.
For the next two hours I was pinned to the ground, shaking in the presence of God. At that point, deep intercession and travail filled me, leaving me undone. I knew God was demanding more of me. I began to hear a Voice. It was almost like it was speaking into me. I recognized the words the Voice was saying, when I knew that I shouldn’t. It spoke in a different language, saying the names of the Lord. It was the Lord! He was speaking to me! I woke up to see my brother, Valiant, and my dad sitting in chairs around me.
“What just happened?” I heard my Dad say.
After I recovered, Valiant and my other brother, Josiah, had about an hour-long worship session in our bedroom. The presence of the Lord was in the room. It was so thick, you could cut with a knife. But this time His presence was sweet and convicting, causing my brothers and me to weep and hug each other as we confessed our sins to one other.
Fast forward, basketball season was almost over. After a game, I came home with a small injury. A little bump on my ribs. Thinking it was your average rib injury, I wrapped it up and finished the basketball season. It was hurting a lot more by baseball season, but I had already started playing, so I kept my commitment.
I kept my ribs well wrapped and it didn’t give me too much of a problem. It wasn’t until I got home and tried to fall asleep that I would have major problems. I couldn’t sleep to save my life. My ribs hurt, and my back hurt as well. The back pain was excruciating. Sometimes I would pound the ground with my fist and cry out. My mom or dad would wake up and hold me as I grimaced in pain.
The first doctor said the pain was scoliosis in my back and a contusion on my ribs. But the pain only grew worse. We went back to the doctor’s office and they took a CT scan. The doctor said we would have to wait for the radiologist to read the scan. We went home expecting to come back sometime next week. As soon as we entered our house, the doctor’s office called us saying we needed to get back A.S.A.P.
My parents and I headed back with a bit of anxiety. The doctor received us back into his office and sat us down. The next few moments were a blur as my world was turned upside down and inside out. The only thing I could really understand was that I had a tumor in my front chest and it was malignant. I was dying.
My dream to play college football was DEAD. My dream to minister was DEAD. We were absolutely blindsided. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was in my prime! I had so many plans and goals for the year. I couldn’t accept the news that I had a malignant tumor, not yet. Not now. Maybe a tumor at seventy years old; I could die at seventy. Not at sixteen.
I was in fulltime ministry mode at that time. I went out to my local abortion mill, Baylor college, and high schools. I would share the Gospel of the Kingdom with complete strangers to fulfill the Great Commission. I was pursuing the call that was on my life. I thought I could only serve God if I was healthy. I thought if I was hospitalized, I would lose all opportunity to minister to others. Little did I know that God was going to use my sickness to reach the lost and encourage brethren throughout the world.
After a few months of cancer and a bunch of different treatments, here I am. I’m lying down in bed, typing this letter. I have lost my hair, my ability to walk, fifty pounds of healthy muscle, the sensation in my legs and back, and my football career. But I haven’t lost my faith and hope in God. In fact, my faith in Him has been strengthened. I have grown so much closer to my Savior, knowing full well my life is in His hands. He has been with me every step of the way, guiding me and teaching me.
I’ve learned no matter what you get hit with in life, you sometimes have to lower your shoulder and keep trucking, just like in football. Trust God to keep your feet and sustain you. In less time than it takes to play a full football season, my life has been taken over by cancer. I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth, but with what time I do have, I want it to count for God and my generation. This is my call to my generation, “Leave it all behind and come back home!”
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
We have grown up in a culture of death, sexual confusion, immorality and fatherlessness. This culture of death I speak of consists of abortion, homosexuality and suicide. One third of our generation has been wiped out due to abortion. Over 25 million people have died as a result of AIDS. Even without AIDS, the life expectancy of a homosexual man or woman is about 33 years shorter than that of a heterosexual. More young people die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined.
We have been handed a bill of goods that has completely destroyed us. In our nation, we have chosen death and received the curse.
I would like to use a parable of the Prodigal Son to describe our generation. We have taken our Heavenly Father’s blessings and have turned from Him. We’ve squandered our godly heritage and we still haven’t turned back to the Father. How bad does it have to get in order for our generation to wake up and realize that we are a long way from home?
My call to you today is to come back to the Father. Leave behind the darkness, deception and despair. We are a fatherless and lawless generation searching for identity. Meanwhile, our heavenly Father is standing with arms wide open, beckoning to us to return to Him through the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If you’re going through depression, there’s hope in Christ. If you’re battling disease, there’s healing in Christ. If you’re contemplating suicide or abortion, there’s abundant life in Christ.
Abortion is more than wrong. It’s an abomination. It’s the murder of an innocent baby. It turns mothers into murderers and men into cowards. Abortion goes against everything God intended. He made men to protect women and children. He made women to love and nurture.
So, in conclusion, abortion is more than just a “woman’s issue.” It’s an act of murder that should be penalized by law. It is our generation’s duty to rise up and abolish abortion.
It’s time to wake up and stand against the evil in our day. There’s a battle to fight and souls to save. Everybody else is joining in the confusion and chaos that is ruining our nation. They are literally killing themselves and others trying to prove that they are right. True rebellion is going against the flow of what everybody else is doing.
Finally, to the liberal student activists who think they are fighting “the establishment” on college campuses- you are the establishment! Your professors are liberal. Your parents are probably liberal. Your friends are liberal. The music you listen to is liberal. Hollywood is liberal so the movies you watch are liberal.
Who or what are you truly rebelling against?
To the college kids who complain that they can't trust our government- you’re doing everything in your power to make it bigger. The government is taking away our natural, God given rights. You’re making the problem worse. This is insanity.
If you want to be a rebel on college campuses fight for freedom! Stir the status quo, don’t go along with it. True examples of counter culture are the Christians who fight against abortion. They’re actually fighting to end the grave evil in our day.
Look at history. Over one hundred million people have been murdered under the ideologies of Democratic Socialism and Communism. When we forget our history, history will always repeat itself. That’s why one third of our generation has been wiped out by abortion. That's why our rights our slowly being ripped out of our Constitution. That’s why the establishment is evil.
It’s time for my generation to wake up. It is time leave our sin, unbelief, rebellion, and lust behind. Let’s make a journey of saving faith back to the Father’s House. It is there and there only that we will find light, love, and life through Jesus Christ our Lord!
It is my sincere prayer that you who read this will take my words to heart, change your mind, and be reconciled to the Lord through the merits of Jesus Christ. May God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven in Jesus’ name!
June 24, 2018
Thomas is encouraging people to attend the Operation Save America “Lead Justice to Victory” event hosted July 14-21 in Indianapolis, Indiana to pray for an end to abortion, although he cannot attend.
“We’ll have an awesome group of youth there. If you’re truly looking for change, you’re sick of what you see of your generation and culture, and you want to see God move in mighty ways, come join us. Let’s end this holocaust in the mighty Name of Jesus,” Thomas declared.
As we pay close attention to the upcoming pro-life bills, one thing is for certain: Texas is forever grateful for and will never forget Thomas’ selfless wish.
The Human Defense Initiative team has reached out to the Thomas family and will be supporting them any way we possibly can.
Click here to watch Jeremiah's conversation with Governor Abbott.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.