Toddler cancer patient’s vision inspires prayers to Mother Teresa for miracle

Baby Joe Wahlin and the Whalin Family CNA US Catholic News 3 10 11 Dressed in a orange and white striped shirt, Joseph Whalin appears with his family. Photo courtesy of the Whalin Family

Family and friends of a two-year-old boy suffering from severe cancer are seeking a miracle through the intercession of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. They believe the child has seen an apparition of her and two angels.

Joseph “JoeJoe” Wahlin is the seventh child of Chad and Kim Wahlin, who are stationed at the U.S. naval base in Naples. On March 2 doctors discovered that the toddler has category four cancer.

“Without a miracle, and barring a misdiagnosis, he may not have long to live,” reported Fr. Mark Withoos, a friend of the boy’s parents.

But the parents have seen signs for hope.

Chad Wahlin told Fr. Withoos that one afternoon he was lying in bed with his two-and-a-half year-old son.

“Joe looked past the foot of the bed and told me ‘Mommy's grandma is there’,” the father said. The boy had only seen photos of the woman.

“Kim's grandmother looked exactly like Mother Teresa,” Wahlin wrote.

Joseph also said he saw “angels” at his hospital room in Naples.

His father had been crying at his sleeping son’s bedside when Joseph awoke and asked him why he was crying.

“Don’t you see the two angels standing next to the bed? They are bewdiful,” the boy said.

He told his father the angels said to him they would be back.

Joseph has returned to the United States and has undergone surgery and chemotherapy. He and his parents are presently at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity have been frequently visiting Joseph and have brought a relic of Bl. Mother Teresa. They placed it on the boy while praying for him.

“Joe was perky and silly while there were there and enjoyed playing with a balloon with them,” reported Fr. Withoos, who is telling Joseph’s story in several e-mails requesting prayers for a miracle.

Joseph presently has tumors above his kidneys, in his spinal area, in the lower part of his lungs and in his skull. Tests show he has bone marrow disease and he will need marrow rejuvenation, though his white cell and platelet counts remain normal.

He is in “good spirits.” He can turn himself in bed and push himself up without pain because the chemotherapy has reduced the size of the tumors pressing on his nerves.

“The family and many around the world are asking Mother Teresa for a miracle,” Fr. Withoos said. “Perhaps she has already visited, based on the story above. Maybe she was ready to accompany JoeJoe to his eternal home.

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“We will pray nonetheless for a miracle, because if we don't ask, miracles won't happen. Our World needs miracles sometimes. But in the end, the Lord's will be done!”

The family is asking that prayers for a miracle cure be directed specifically to Mother Teresa to help advance her cause for canonization. The religious woman of Calcutta needs one more recognized miracle to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

In a March 10 e-mail, Chad Wahlin told CNA his son is visibly better. The family is on day five of a novena to Bl. Mother Teresa.

“We are praying fervently and are thankful for your prayers,” he continued. “Bl. Mother Teresa, we ask your intercession for full and miraculous restoration of JoeJoe's health. Please let JoeJoe be the second miracle.”

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