I occasionally watch the evening news, but it is becoming harder to do because the majority of the news is negative: mass killings, divisive politics, destructive weather, etc. The world does have many problems, but it also has many inspiring events. More balance in the news is needed. The major news networks sometimes close with uplifting stories and recently I learned of Quinn Waters, a three-year-old boy diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer.
Quinn’s parents, Jarlath and Tara Waters, had Quinn treated at Boston’s Children Hospital and endured the emotional roller coaster of surgeries and chemotherapy on their young son. The treatment’s side effects compromised his immune system and Quinn was forced to stay inside his home without visitors. He could not play with other children, go to the park, or visit his friends. It was June and for Massachusetts residents, this was the time to enjoy the outdoors
If you can’t go outside, how does a little boy experience community? The community answered by coming to Quinn’s big picture window named “Quinndow.” In the September 29, 2019 Patriot Ledger article by Joe DiFazio, he describes a typical Quinndow day:
“Sunday was no exception. About 300 souped up sports cars, hot-rods, vintage cars and any vehicle you could image belonging to the Spindles Auto Club drove by Quinn’s house. Engines revved and horns honked to the delight of the boy known as ‘The Mighty Quinn.’ Friends and family gathered for the impromptu parade on the Waters’ front lawn. Batman and group of Disney princesses even came to greet Quinn, who received a number of presents including a car signed by NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Neighbors gathered around a folding table, stacked with coffee and donuts.”
Day after day, the community paraded in front of Quinndow. What started as a few friends and family members grew to “well-wishers including members of the Dropkick Murphys, New England Patriots cheerleaders and Boston Bruins’ center Charlie Coyle, a Weymouth native.” Eventually, national news heard about Quinn and televised his story. Slowly, Quinn’s immune system recovered, and his doctors allowed him to go outside in the early fall. Quinn’s wish was to go to the beach and feel the sand between his toes.
His parents reflected on the hundreds of people who helped this family in need. “We couldn’t ask for a better community,” his father stated. The community also felt blessed to be able to assist Quinn. Andy Best, a member of the veterans motorcycle club, stated the feelings of his fellow residents: “Everybody is coming together. … Weymouth is special. There is no other town like this.”
The words – Christian or religion – were not mentioned in the televised news or the local paper’s article as community encompasses believers and nonbelievers. We know from historical writings that the early Christians, a small minority under Roman rule, cared for abandoned children and widows, regardless of their religious beliefs. It was faith in action, along with the good news, that uplifted communities. Traci Keith who lives on Quinn’s street and witnessed Quinn’s communal love: “It’s amazing. … It just lifts the spirits for Quinn and his parents.” That is Good News!