Luke 10:27 (ESV)
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
In March 1992, Jeff and Kristi Leeland of Seattle, Washington found out that their baby boy Michael had cancer and needed a bone marrow transplant. Little Michael's older sister Amy was a perfect match, but the cost of the operation was $200,000 and Michael needed to have the transplant done within 90 days to live. To make things worse, Jeff's insurance, at the junior high where he taught, did not cover the procedure.
Fellow teacher Joe Kennedy told his class about Mr. Leeland's situation. Dameon, a seventh grade boy who walked with a limp and struggled in special education classes, heard about little Michael and visited the Leeland home.
"Mr. Leeland, don't make a big deal out of this. If your baby's in trouble, I want to help out."
Dameon, the kid others teased, reached out his hand and stuffed 12 five-dollar bills into Jeff's hand. It was Dameon's life savings.
Word got out about "Dameon's gift." Some kids organized a walk-a-thon. Others contacted a local newspaper. Others held a car wash. Soon, the kids' wave of compassion poured out across Seattle. By late May, area TV stations picked up the story. The response from the news stories was overwhelming. Only four weeks after Dameon's gift of $60, the Michael Leeland Fund totaled over $220,000.
Michael got the marrow transplant. He lived. Dameon, the boy who gave sacrificially so another could live, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior after becoming close with Michael's family. Having struggled for years with physical problems of his own, Dameon died from complications after he got an infection in one of his legs.
Michael Leeland lives on to tell Dameon's story, the unlikely hero, who gave his all to save the life of another and in the process, he received life everlasting.
Do you love your neighbor as yourself?
Dear Lord, help us to not sin against our neighbor and seek to love them as You would have us to love them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
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