In March, American couple Adrianne and Jason Stewart went viral after the world learned that they adopted a Filipina girl who had no limbs. People were amazed at how they willingly undertook such a challenging task, even if this girl wasn’t related to them at all.
What they didn’t know is that their challenges would grow bigger because weeks after going viral, they faced a new one: their first adopted child was diagnosed with cancer.
The couple had two biological children but they wanted to adopt less fortunate children from the Philippines.
Joshua, a Filipino boy, was still 1 year old when the Stewarts adopted him from an orphanage.
Last March, the couple thought that Joshua had a flu but the doctor told them it was strep throat; however, even after weeks of treatment, his symptoms persisted.
On April 4, he was admitted at a hospital for suspected anemia but further tests soon revealed that his results were not normal. He was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
It was a huge blow for the couple, especially because they also have to care for Maria, their adopted daughter with no limbs.
“After a year of paperwork we waited 3 years to be matched with our only son, Joshua. He had just turned one year old when we picked him up, and we bonded almost instantly with him. He has been an amazing addition to our family and we cannot imagine life without him,” the Stewarts said.
Despite the new challenge they are facing, the couple maintains a positive outlook in life and didn’t regret their decision to adopt Joshua and Maria. They even felt that Joshua was meant to be theirs because if he had been with his parents in the Philippines, he wouldn’t stand a chance against cancer due to their impoverished condition.
“We feel that God led Joshua’s mother to give him up for a greater reason than what she originally thought. She was hoping to give him a chance at a better life, but the reality now is that in her giving him up she has given him a chance at life.”
While they had big hearts, the Stewarts didn’t have a big bank account. So, their friends have pitched in to help save Joshua. A friend also started a GoFundMe campaign for the treatment.