Wayne Osmond is the fourth child of a large Mormon family consisting of eight boys and one girl. The seven youngest members of the family formed a world-famous, record-shattering rock music group as teens in the 1970s. The two oldest sons, Virl and Tom, are deaf, but participated behind the scenes in the family’s many professional activities and sometimes today appear with the family, using sign language to perform the songs their siblings are singing.
Wayne had suffered from headaches his entire life, but in his adult years, they became much worse. One evening, while performing with some of his brothers in Branson, Missouri, he realized he couldn’t blow into the saxophone without suffering excruciating pain, and his knees began giving out on him while he was performing. Things became so bad so quickly he knew he had to find the cause. He was diagnosed with ependymoma, a brain tumor often found in children, which might have been growing slowly much of his life. Hospital staff, having reviewed his x-rays, privately nicknamed him Dead Man Walking. However, that name soon changed to Miracle Baby when they were able to remove all but two percent of the tumor, despite the fact that it had attached to the cerebellum. What remained was destroyed by radiation, leaving him cancer free. Within six months, he was able to perform again.
When he awoke from the surgery, he was pleased to realize he was still alive, since it had been uncertain he would survive. Although he hadn’t known for sure he would survive, he had enjoyed the faith to know it was all in God’s hands. His primary fear was not for death, which didn’t frighten him, but, naturally, for the well-being of his wife and children when he was gone. His Mormon faith taught him families can be together forever, so he knew he would not be taken from them forever. Mormon beliefs teach that marriage was never meant to be only until death, since God does not approve of divorce and knows that in Heaven, we will be happier than we’ve ever been before. For that reason, our families will be an essential part of that experience. After all, could anyone who truly loves his family be completely happy without them? God created families and made them an essential part of our lives—not just for now, but forever. This was undoubtedly a comfort to Wayne Osmond as he went into his surgery.
Near the end of his cancer treatment, he experienced something he considers too sacred to discuss, but he explains it left him with no doubt at all that Jesus Christ was real and his Savior, and that the church he belonged to was true. You can read his personal testimony in his own words on Wayne Osmond’s official website.
During a brief appearance at Brigham Young University, Wayne said,
“I’d like to let you all know that it’s fun to be a Mormon; it’s fun to have something to believe in. The things that are worth having aren’t always the easiest to keep; you have to stand up for them, but they are worth standing up for. We’ve had an opportunity to travel around the world and do many things, but the things that give us the most joy are having our families and the gospel of Jesus Christ and knowing that the Lord hears us when we kneel to him in humble prayer. We’ve had to call on him many times. We’ve had airplane engines go out on us, we’ve had stages collapse on us, at times we’ve been so sick we’ve hardly been able to make it on stage. We’ve had to call on him often, and it’s good to know that he’s there. How great it would be if everyone had a personal relationship with him. It’s so important that we maintain that relationship, especially today.” (Press Forward)
McKenna, Julie. “Wayne Osmond Celebrates 10 Years of Cancer Survivorship.” Coping Consumer Healthcare Magazines and Websites. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://copingmag.com/cwc/index.php/search/articles/wayne_osmond/>.
Osmond, Wayne. “Wayne’s Independence, MO Talk.” Osmond Lane . N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2010. http://www.osmondlane.com/wayne-fireside.html.