Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — A star athlete. An Irish dancer. The number one student in her high school class. President of her Junior Year.

Maria Middleton was 16 years and four months old when she was given nine more months to live on January 31, 2019.

Here is what her mother Susan said:

As much as I wanted to shut the world out, because the pain was so great, and close myself in, I realized that that was not the right move. We needed prayer.

So [my husband, Maria’s father] Brian and I sent some messages out and before we knew it, the requests for prayers for Maria spread like wildfire around the globe. Saint John Paul II said, “Grace means love and the gift of God Himself.” We opened our hearts to the rays of God’s grace and His love flooded our lives.

On October 31, 2019, exactly nine months after her diagnosis, Maria, Brian and I boarded a plane for Uganda.

On June 3, 2020, being bed-ridden at home now for more than a month, she aspirated and was taken to the emergency room of the hospital. Her heart rate was off the charts high, she couldn’t clear her lung secretions and she was very unstable. A pulmonologist performed a bronchoscopy after Maria was sedated and temporarily intubated in order to clear the secretions. We thought that night God would call her home. After a few hours when she was stabilized, I ran to her side, and I said, “Maria!” and she looked at me and said, “Mom, were you scared?” And I said, “Are you kidding? I was petrified! Weren’t you?” And she looked at me calmly and said, “No, Mom. God has this.”

Maria surprised her doctors and lived until a month after her 18th birthday.

After she entered eternal life, her parents found a journal she kept privately. The first entry by a girl of 11 years: “God is merciful.” The last entry, poorly scrawled due to the progression of her disease: “Think hope.” In between, a wealth of insight into the natural struggles of a teenager and the supernatural quest of a soul.

In December 2016, at age 14, Maria wrote: “Remember to pray for the wisdom to understand the mysteries in our lives and the understanding to do God’s Will.”

On January 8, 2017, Maria quite prophetically wrote two years before her diagnosis: “God just wants us to do the best that we (as individuals) can. We don’t have to compare ourselves to other great saints because we may get discouraged. We can look up to those saints and follow their example, but we shouldn’t compare. Just do the best that you can do and God will be happy.”

On January 31, 2019, Maria was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Her journey of Hope began. The power of prayer became evident to her from the very first day of this new journey. Maria said this shortly after her diagnosis: “Whatever happens will be God’s Will.”

In February 2019, age 16, Maria wrote: “Life is a prayer! Every action can be offered as a prayer to God.”

“I think the main reason why I don’t know how I feel about everything that is going on and the fact that I am surprisingly calm is because of all of the grace and love that is overpowering everything around me and surrounding me. I can physically feel the peace and power of everyone’s prayers.”

Then approximately one month after her diagnosis, Maria wrote about this in her poem entitled:


The overwhelming power of prayer
Revealed in dark and scary times
When one is blinded by fear and confusion
God’s radiant light penetrating throughout
Revealed in dark and scary times
Providing hope in shining armor
God’s radiant light penetrating throughout
Swaddling His children in comfort and peace
Providing hope in shining armor
As one enters their journey into the depths of the unknown
Swaddling His children in comfort and peace
Complete trust and faith given to persevere
As one walks their journey into the depths of the unknown
When one is blinded by fear and confusion
Complete trust and faith given to persevere
The overwhelming power of prayer.

In early 2019 Maria said this shortly after her diagnosis: “No matter the circumstances of my life, my purpose remains the same, that is to know, love and serve God. Faith is not an emotion. Emotions rise and fall. Faith is a commitment. I will not despair.”

On August 27, 2019, nearly 7 months since her diagnosis, Maria wrote: “I’ve kind of accepted the fact that maybe I’m sick for a greater purpose, and that’s pretty cool. Maybe I’m being used as an instrument to help others find God.”

In 2020 Maria wrote: “Spend more time in the present moment…..that’s where God is.” “Whenever faced with worry, turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Especially when you’re worried about not getting better, just look at Jesus’s face.”

The last words Maria was physically able to write were two: “Think hope.” Click here to visit, the official website of the Think Hope Foundation.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

Featured Image

John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.