Johnny, played by newcomer Jerry Phillips, is a 10-year-old leukemia patient and ward of the state whose unwavering faith and trust in God are an inspiration to everyone he meets. The movie opens with Johnny awakening from a recurring dream, one in which he runs and smiles as healthy young boys do, but Johnny’s day-to-day life is nothing like his dream. Instead, his tired body is constantly subjected to the scrutiny and evaluation of countless doctors, not to mention grueling chemotherapy. What’s worse, he doesn’t have a family to support and strengthen him through his exhausting sickness.
On the way to his next doctor’s appointment, Johnny’s caseworker, Glenda, asks the boy if he’s worried. Without missing a beat, Johnny responds with a Proverb, “An anxious heart weighs a man down.” Throughout the movie, the young hero readily quotes Proverbs as well as other pertinent scriptures, to the wonderment of those around him.
At the appointment, Dr. Miller, played respectably by Lee Majors, informs Johnny he’s referring him to Dr. Carter, an oncologist with substantial problems of his own. Dr. Carter (Mel Fair) lost his son, Robby, two years ago in a tragic car accident. His wife, Julia (Musetta Vander), who was driving the vehicle in which her son died, has been emotionally absent ever since and continues to blame herself for his death.
Told by Dr. Miller that Johnny is “specialer” than other patients, Dr. Carter quickly learns from Glenda that Johnny considers himself on a mission from God and believes that, one day, he will be given a family.
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