By Melissa Wuske
Unexpected Star Under the Friday Night Lights
Noah Kennedy has struggled with severe health problems his whole life. “When I was younger, my mom was told that I wouldn’t make it past my second birthday. Then she was told that I wouldn’t live past 4, then 8, then 13, and then 16. And here I am at 17, about to turn 18, proving all of those doctors [wrong].”
Because of his health, “I was told that I was never allowed to play contact sports, so I simply accepted that. But I wanted to do something with football when I got to high school, so I joined the football team my freshman year as a football team manager.”
This past fall Kennedy, who is 4 foot 5 inches and 75 pounds, got the chance to start as a wide receiver for his team, Colerain High School in Ohio, in a 48-20 win against Oak Hills High School. “It felt amazing to be on that field and play against our good friends from Oak Hills. I was absolutely speechless, and it was truly a dream come true . . . I had worked hard and dedicated my life to this team to get that moment, and I loved every minute of it.”
Potential Drug for Brain Injury
A new medication has the potential to treat Alzheimer’s, poststroke pain syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Its key ingredient is cannabidiol, which comes from cannabis. “One of the effects of cannabidiol is decreased inflammation,” said Ronald Tuma, who leads the testing team for the drug at Temple University. “Cannabinoids can play a role in mitigating secondary nervous system trauma.”
The researchers hope that the drug can mitigate the harmful effects of repeated concussions and CTE often suffered by football players, as well as prove helpful for other health problems stemming from brain inflammation.
Football Star Cheers Up Kids in Hospital
Seattle Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson visits Seattle Children’s Hospital almost weekly to encourage children. Late last year he also gave them his latest Nike shoes. On his visits he meets young patients like Hallie, who’d had a heart transplant the week before, and Michael, whom Wilson called an “XBox Legend” on Instagram. The encouragement goes both ways, as Wilson described another child in one Instagram post: “Avery has watched every play since my Rookie Year! . . . She’s @StrongAgainstCancer.” During a special visit the previous year Wilson was joined by actor Chris Pratt, and Pratt asked people to pray Psalm 37:3, 4 for the children.
Christian in Myanmar Faces False Charges
Brother Xi is a worker with Voice of the Martyrs in Myanmar. Last year he met a widow and her teenage daughter while he was in a small village sharing the gospel. The women converted to Christianity, and they along with Brother Xi received threats from Buddhist officials in the village. The girl decided she could no longer attend the Buddhist school in the village, so Brother Xi helped the teen attend a boarding school. As a result, officials in the village filed human trafficking charges against Brother Xi.
While Brother Xi was in jail, he wrote: “I have peace in the Lord, though I was falsely accused because of my faith and Christian activities. The opposition has tried to cause me problems in many ways. But the more I face persecution in my life, the more my church members and I grow in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
His case was posted on iCommittoPray.com, and three days later, the charges were dropped. The village officials have been warned that they’ll be arrested if they file any more false charges against Brother Xi.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work at melissaannewuske.com.