Alyssa and the Alyssa Ferguson World Changers Fund were featured in the recently released Living Water International’s 2018 Annual Report. Alyssa’s Fund partnered with Living Water by providing a grant to construct a water well in India. Alyssa’s story and the Fund’s partnership is shared on page 15 of the printed report (page 9 of the PDF electronic report).
An excerpt of the story is below. To see the full report and the photos accompanying the story, go to the Living Water International 2018 Annual Report.
ALYSSA: WORLD CHANGER When she was a fifth grader, Alyssa Janae Ferguson read the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park. Even at a young age, she was passionate about finding a way to help those suffering from the water crisis. Not long after, such an opportunity arose—though not in the way she imagined.
Just two days after her twelfth birthday, Alyssa was diagnosed with medulloblastoma—a type of brain cancer. She fought hard against the cancer, undergoing multiple surgeries, radiation, many rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and other treatments. Throughout this battle, her family and friends rallied support with a simple slogan: “Alyssa Wins.” Alyssa’s family often clung to the hope represented by the meaning of her name: “God has answered.” Despite all the hardship, they still trusted that God would provide answers.
During her illness, Alyssa was contacted by the MakeA-Wish® Foundation and offered an experience of her choosing. Alyssa was true to her calling to serve God and humanity. She gave away her wish as a donation to fund the construction of a safe water well for a community in Zimbabwe.
The story of Alyssa’s altruism touched many people’s hearts as it was told in churches throughout the United States. Contemporary Christian artist Matthew West wrote a song for Alyssa called “World Changers.” The lyrics of this song speak volumes about Alyssa’s vision: “From the ends of the earth to your hometown, to the lost, to the hurt, to the broke down, you’re the arms wide open, a love that’s showing every one of us the way…”
Alyssa fought bravely for three years and passed away last year at the age of 15. Her parents established the World Changers Fund in her honor. This fund partners with nonprofit organizations to sponsor the construction and repair of safe water wells. The World Changers Fund partnered with Living Water International to provide a well for a school in India. In the fight to protect children from thirst and waterborne illness, Alyssa won. Because of Alyssa’s vision and her family’s generosity, these students won’t have to suffer from the water crisis anymore.