In 2017 Governor Greg Abbott of Texas made a promise to grant the wish of a terminally-ill 16-year-old boy.
What was the promise?
That Governor Abbott would be “pursuing this next legislative session to outlaw abortion altogether in the state of Texas.”
What led to the governor of the largest Republican-led state in America making such a promise? And what can we do to help him fulfill it?
After the end of his high school football season, Jeremiah Thomas was having trouble sleeping and could not get comfortable because of a pain in his chest. His parents, Rusty and Kendra, took him to be seen, thinking that the doctor would say that it was only a minor sports injury. But that’s not what happened.
On March 24th, 2018, 16-year-old Jeremiah Thomas’ life changed forever. After the doctors ran a series of tests, they said a word Jeremiah had never dreamed of hearing: Cancer.
What started as bone cancer quickly spread throughout Jeremiah’s entire body. After 3 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of treatment, the doctors told him there was nothing more that they could do to save him. As Jeremiah’s body continued to decline, he lost his ability to walk. Jeremiah’s response: “Well then, now I’ll just preach from my wheelchair!”
His friends and family began rallying around Jeremiah to support him. On social media, they used the hashtags #FightWeShall, #GodsGotThis, #PrayForJeremiah, #GoingBaldForJeremiah and #JeremiahStrong with posts telling his story and how he has impacted people.
As Jeremiah continued to decline, he was approached by a foundation to make a wish. But every time Jeremiah would think of possible wishes, the wishes would be granted without him even asking for them. Through his story spreading, he got to talk to many of his heroes like Tim Tebow over the phone, and even received private concerts from famous musicians like Natalie Grant. A “FIGHT” shirt was sent to him directly from his favorite football player: Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys.
As Jeremiah thought more about what he wanted, he started considering his legacy. If he could leave behind one thing as his dying wish, what would it be? That was easy for him. He had felt called to stand up for the preborn children of Texas and often ministered outside of abortion clinics, calling on mothers to save their babies and turn to Jesus. So what would his wish be?
The complete abolishing of abortion in his home state of Texas.
Though the foundation could not help with “political” requests, word about Jeremiah’s wish quickly spread all the way to Cecilia Abbott, first lady of Texas and wife of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. She arranged for her husband and Jeremiah to have a phone call. During that call, Governor Abbott promised to pursue outlawing abortion altogether in Texas during the 2019 legislative session and to fulfill Jeremiah’s wish.
Jeremiah never got to see the fulfillment of is wish. He died in August 2018 at the age of 16, but his life and wish continue to inspire people worldwide.
And although Jeremiah’s life on earth is over, his legacy here is not. The legislative session in which Governor Abbott promised to fulfill Jeremiah’s dying wish begins January 8, 2019.
For the first 60 days of the legislative session, the Governor can create a perfect opportunity for the legislature to outlaw abortion. During those first 60 days, the only bills which may generally be voted on are “emergency matters” submitted by the Governor. These items are typically declared in late January or early February during the Governor’s State of the State address.
This provides us an opportunity to urge Governor Abbott to keep his promise to Jeremiah by making the outlawing of abortion an emergency item for State of Texas.