Nate and Lexi Solder did not have it easy with their son Hudson.
At first, the little man — offspring to a New York Giants offensive tackle who won two Super Bowls using his 6-foot-8 frame with the New England Patriots — was just like normal.
Until one night Solder felt a lump on Hudson’s otherwise healthy body. The family’s pediatrician was more curious than concerned at first, but then came medical exam after medical exam. CT scans. Ultrasounds. Anything to figure out what was wrong with Solder’s baby.
It turns out Hudson had tumors in his kidneys. The Solders were told their son would likely need to undergo 19 weeks of chemotherapy, a follow-up surgery and then another round of chemo. He ended up enduring 54 weeks of treatment. And after about a year off chemo, his tumor started growing again.
It was around that time, however, that Nate and Lexi attended a conference by The Increase, which highlights stories of Christian athletes, and heard about Compassion International, the nonprofit centered on “holistic child development through sponsorship,” with a focus on “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”
After hearing stories of impoverished children overseas, the Solders realized their own son was actually blessed to receive treatment in his own country, where he has a privileged family with limitless medical connections.
“If that were Hudson,” Lexi said of the children, “if that were our son, he would’ve been a goner. Like, forget about it. They just don’t have anything. They don’t have anything to survive.”
Fast forward to 2018. As NFL players prepare to represent charities, nonprofits and other interests through the league’s “My Cause, My Cleats” week, Nate Solder has announced that he and his wife, Lexi, are teaming up with Compassion to bring eight new service centers to three different countries and more than 1,000 kids aided by the program.
“We figured, why not start some of these centers in places that haven’t had them yet?” Solder said in partnership with Compassion, noting that his efforts begin in conjunction with work from local churches.
“We have an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty,” he said, “to provide hope into their communities and to hopefully, over time with the relationships and the love that we show them — not just through our money and through the things that we provide but through the relationships that they build over time — that you can begin to change these communities for the good.”
Compassion International, per its website, is “a child-advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty,” with programs to release children from “spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty.” The organization’s goal is “for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult.”
Compassion’s work has grown from modest beginnings in South Korea in 1952 when American evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson felt compelled to help 35 children orphaned by the Korean conflict. Today it is a worldwide ministry where millions of children are now reaping the benefits of one man’s clear, God-given vision … We partner with churches and denominations in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America to help them provide children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.
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