(Photo: Facebook/Watermark Church)
A North Carolina pastor is rallying support from his church and community to grant a boy's top 10 wishes after being diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer a few weeks ago.
Pastor Joel Settle from Watermark Church in Troutman, N.C., has taken the challenge to help Matthew Bailey's dreams become a reality, one of which was the chance to go to the NCAA Final Four. Bailey is attending the championship round this weekend in Texas.
"We just want to try to give Matt and his family reason to smile these days, some of these top 10 things will do that," Settle told The Christian Post.
Bailey, a seventh grader who attends Watermark Church with his family, started oral chemotherapy on Monday and radiation treatment just a few days prior. His exact medical condition was not disclosed to CP, however, Settle noted that his cancer requires aggressive treatment.
In an effort to inspire Bailey to fight through his illness, Watermark Church has been working hard to spread the word about his wishes. Some of them include sitting courtside at a Miami Heat game, "Tebowing" with Tim Tebow, and more.
In a Facebook post published Tuesday night, Settle said Bailey's family received a phone call from Tebow's staff.
"Tim and his staff have read his story and prayed for him today in their weekly devotional," wrote settle. "They promised he would remain on their prayer list and that they would be in touch again soon…so Matt is getting closer to his hope of Tebowing with Tebow!"
Make-A-Wish also got word of Bailey's list and recently offered to take care of one wish. In addition, people interested in helping Bailey have reached out to Michael Jordan, Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, and others listed on his list. However, Bailey's greatest need is prayer, says Settle.
"I know we toss that around a lot as believers, but a friend who is a cancer survivor, reminded me today that prayer truly is the best antioxidant," said Settle. "Matthew and his family need our prayers right now. This has been a tough season for them with an uphill battle ahead, but God is showing them how loved they are through the many who are praying for him."
Recently, Bailey has been feeling physically well, says Settle. His headaches have subsided and he has even enjoyed the warmer weather in North Carolina by playing basketball with friends.
However, his radiation treatments are daily and he will most likely begin to lose his hair within the next few weeks, says Settle. The church and community continues to pray his treatment does not deteriorate his health any further.
Earlier this week, a North Carolina news station created the #Top10forMatt hashtag on Twitter along with his list, creating a wave of support from the virtual community.
Bailey's top 10 wish list is below:
1. Throw a football with Cam Newton
2. Play H-O-R-S-E with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan
3. Tebow with Tim Tebow
4. Play a pick-up game with Kevin Durant
5. Meet Johnny Manziel
6. Go to the NCAA Final Four
7. Visit Cameron Indoor Arena, meet Coach K
8. Sit courtside for a Miami Heat game
9. Go to the Super Bowl
10. Go to an NBA Finals game