(10/17/2002) We all want to do what we can to help a sick child - it's human nature. The story of little Michael Novenche is true, but there may be a better way to spread the word.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Subject: Special Prayer Request
Prayers needed for Michael Novenche, and his parents. They don't have a large forwarding list but I'm hoping that some of you do. Everyone with a large mailing list, please forward what I am writing to you now to ask for your help. I do not really know how to start a prayer chain, but we need a miracle. Michael Novenche is a 2 year-old beautiful little boy in Clifton Park, New York, and the grandson of a very dear friend of mine.
A few months ago, he started throwing up and telling Mommy "boo boo in my head." He was brought to the doctors and tests were ran on him, later that week he started losing feeling in the left side of his poor little body.
They found a large tumor in his brain. He was brought to a hospital in Boston where doctors told his family the tumor was too big and it was too risky to operate on it.
His aunts and uncle would not give up, they called Beth Israel, then E-mailed Dr.Epstein for him to look a Michael's films. Michael's uncle then drove the films to New York City himself for Dr. Epstein to look at.
Dr. Epstein operated but couldn't remove the entire tumor and now he has to go through chemo to keep the tumor from growing and hitting the brain stem. We need all the prayers we can get for the chemo to kill the tumor entirely. As I write this, he started chemotherapy and we are hoping desperately that it works.
We need all the prayers we can get. Please stop and say one prayer for this beautiful baby boy Michael when you read this letter. They need a miracle of God's healing so that their precious baby boy will grow up. I am asking you to send this letter, or copies of it, to everybody you can think of that will pray for Michael. Please also take his name to your church and church groups and ask others to pray for his healing. Many thanks and may God bless each one of you who care enough to pray for a little boy's life.
I am asking that each and every one of you please forward this on to everyone that you know. Just think if this was your little child going through this right now. We all know that God can heal this little angel, if it's His will. Please take time to do this right now. Please just take a minute and pray for Michael. He could be your child or grand child. I know I would want everyone to take a minute if he were mine.
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
On March 28, 2000, two-year old Michael Novenche began waging the most difficult battle of his young life. Michael has an astrocytoma, a tumor growing on his brain stem. Astorcytomas are rare in children as young as Michael and very difficult to treat. In the two years following his diagnosis, Michael has undergone surgery to remove part of the tumor and chemotherapy to control the tumor's growth until he is old enough to safely undergo radiation treatment.
The letter above was written by a family friend who had witnessed first-hand the emotional agony Michael's family was going through. Unfortunately, since e-mail messages cannot be retracted or corrected, it continues to circulate unchanged more than two years later. Michael is now preparing to begin Kindergarten, but still fights a daily battle with his tumor. The various treatments have effectively shrunk the tumor, but he is far from being cured and safe from danger.
BreakTheChain.org is hesitant to address any prayer chain letter because of the strong feelings usually associated with them. Unfortunately, e-mail chain letters are, by nature, flawed and can often do more harm than good. I would certainly never attempt to tell my readers who to pray for and who not to. But, BreakTheChain.org is a campaign against e-mail chain letters, no matter how true or noble their cause may be, so I feel compelled to point out a few reasons not to forward this chain:
E-mail chain letters cannot be recalled, updated, or stopped once they start. Long after he is cured (God willing), pleas for your prayers for a 2-year-old Michael will continue to circulate.
E-mail messages can be edited by anyone who forwards them. The original version of Michael's letter ended with a respectful "thanks for your help." Unfortunately, some earstwhile forwarder felt the need to replace that with a closer that seems to beg and shame you into sending it. While they probably meant well, many find it insulting. This was not the intent of the chain's author or Michael's family.
Luckily, there is an alternative to forwarding this chain letter - something far better. Family friends have established the Michael Novenche Update Site, which contains background on Michael, his family and his condition, as well as updates from his Grandmother about his recent treatments and status. They also provide a way to post your prayer right on the web site.
Instead of propagating this now outdated and altered chain letter, break this chain and encourage your friends and family to support Michael and his family by visiting the site.
Category:For the Kids References: Snopes.com, Michael Novenche Update Site