I’m Eric Eckert and my story begins on May 29th 1986, I was born from a biological mother who abused drugs & alcohol and put in jail twice while pregnant with me. I was born with a cancer called Fibrosarcoma throughout my body and even in my chest cavity and coming out throughout my back. I was expected to die in several months according to the doctors. The State of Arizona took me away from my birth mother immediately at birth. Several months after my birth the doctors chose to amputate my right foot below my ankle because it was completely full of cancer. I spent the first 3 months of my life in a hospital and a total of 11months of my life on Chemotherapy.
About 3 months after birth I was placed into a foster home with a lady that was about to retire, but the state told her I would be dead in a few months, so she took me in and placed me on a prayer chain in her church that I would live and that the chemotherapy wouldn’t cause my hair to fall out. At about 1 year old the doctors realized the cancer went into remission and it looked like I was going to live.
When I was 22 months old my foster mother took me into the doctor’s office that makes prosthetics for amputees and I got placed in one room and another girl who was 13yrs old was sitting in another room and this girl said to her father “I want a little brother just like him”. So my dad went to talk with the lady who he thought was my grandmother with me to just encourage her that I would turn out ok with artificial leg, because his daughter had a artificial right foot as well and she turned out well and there’s not much she can’t do. When he was approaching her, the Lord put it on her heart let him know he that was adoption and that we were the answer to her prayers.
So my sister went home and told my adopted mom (my mother) about me and she went and visited me and came home and said no way were aren’t adopting this child because he has had cancer and being a Chemo nurse worried the cancer would come back. Then the next morning she told my adoptive father (my dad) “I’m going to go back and visit Eric and I never knew how to hug or respond to hugs I’d just hang there, because I never got attention in the hospital and while she was visiting me I reached up on my own and held her hand and after that visit my mom came home and said “I have to have him”. So then the adoption process began and the normal red tape process was circumvented due to the uniqueness of my situation and the fact that my adoptive father was a Mesa Police Detective and my adoptive mom was a Chemo nurse.
I ended up growing up Wickenburg, AZ and my dad was a pastor of a church there for 16yrs and during that time he was my Pastor and the principal of the Christian school I went too and a retired cop. So I never could get away with anything, but my parents were very loving towards me and each other. Growing up I struggled in school with being bullied and academically and I was kind of rebellious in high school and getting myself into trouble making friends and looking for love in the wrong places.
In 2010 I moved to Payson, AZ and I lived in a house next door to my parents with my wife at the time and then on Jan 2012 my mother died unexpectedly overnight and a month later my wife walked out of our marriage and we ended up getting a divorce. My Dad and I stayed close daily and he was dealing with his own grief as well, But I still felt like my world had completely fallen apart and was in a big depression and I tried everything from suicide to going out to bars and drinking just to try to numb the pain. Since then I have grown much closer to Jesus and he has given me new hope in my life.
– Eric Eckert