Thank you very much to all for coming to share with me in this celebration of my fifty years of life. This is more than a celebration for my half century of life on this earth, it is a testimony of gratitude to my God the Almighty. To me this feat is a great gift of God!  I feel very blessed to be able to enjoy this moment.  The joy I feel is huge! Can you imagine how I feel being alive 30 years after my coffin was built?  Just to be here alive, today celebrating my 50th birthday, is a privilege for me. I thank God with all my being for the miracle of my life!

If it were not for the mercy of my God, these little bones would have turned to ashes 30 years ago! But God had a plan for my life.  I’m still here to testify how God by His great power works in our lives! God does not care how you’re born, or if you have physical disability or a condition. Each of us has a purpose on this earth, and no door can be shut as long as our God entrusted mission is not yet accomplished.  No medical diagnostic test can tell you when the day of your death will be! Our destiny is not determined by life circumstances or any doctor.  God has given you life, if you’re here, it is not by chance.  God has a plan for your life, and your destiny is determined by God alone!

I think many of us are here on this earth to witness the wonders that our Lord Jesus Christ continues to do.  And I can tell everyone present here that I am a witness of those wonders because I am a living miracle of His great power! Many of you know that people who suffer from Xeroderma Pigmentosum cannot expose themselves to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, not even for a second.  God has allowed me to survive the deadly ultraviolet rays, and to also survive more than 40 radiation treatments and he did not allow this little body to be put in that coffin built for me thirty years ago.  Without a doubt God left me here so I can fulfill my mission of helping people with my condition.  My mission is to bring a light of hope to lighten their pain a little.

When we think of having a dream, we speak of the things that are not possible as though they were possible!  We all know that our dreams require effort and sacrifice, and we often must rise above the voices that tell us we’re crazy and that we will never achieve the dream. By focusing intensely and objectively on our goals, we can break the negative thoughts and overcome any barrier that stands in the way. No matter how dejected we feel, with the power of God, our souls become invincible.  Even pain becomes an ally for victory and with faith we shall win.  God has delivered me from death on several occasions.  I feel victorious because I have been able to incorporate the organization XP Grupo Luz de Esperanza (XP Light of Hope Group), which is my mission on this earth.  My hope in God is that someday doctors can find the cure for this severe disease.

I hope many of you will see the reports about the Children of the Night in Yulmaka, Guatemala. These people have no medicines to ease their pain.  I heard the reporter say that many of these children hope to improve but others live daily with a death wish.  That saddened my heart deeply because during my childhood and adolescence I often felt like them.  Without medical help or hope of improving, my will to live was becoming extinguished. But God already had a plan for me.  He filled me with bravery and courage, and strengthened my faith.  He has allowed me to live for these fifty years!

I now ask my dear God, the Almighty, to continue to give me life even though these fifty years have been a constant struggle for survival.  I have many dreams to achieve, many places to visit, and many people to embrace. These fifty years have been years of perseverance.  The years filled my heart with happy memories, and other memories that still make me cry.  During these years, I enjoyed my wonderful parents who even with limitations always gave me the best they could.  It has been fifty years of learning.   I’ve carried a heavy burden and on some days the burden felt light.  It has been fifty years of enduring many humiliations, rejection and scorn.  It has been fifty years of crying desperately, but also much laughing.  I took a leap into the dark in the face of the challenges that have most intimidated me.  Sustained by my faith for fifty years, I have managed to get up after every fall victoriously!  Thank you, my God, for my fifty years of life!

My message is for all the moms with children who cope with XP.   Protect your children from ultraviolet rays, whether from the sun or artificial lights.  Keep routine dermatologic check-ups.  Your child can get to live fifty years or more!