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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Love, Life, God...and Cystic Fibrosis

The older I get, the more reflective I become on the important things in life. At some point in life, the trivial things I once fussed over have become forgotten morsels of my past, and things like God and family have become the forefront of my existence. I wonder in amazement at the Supreme being that created us, and I become more thankful by the day for the life He has granted me with. His grace has surrounded me my entire life.

One of the things I am most thankful for is the health of my children. When Rachel was born, she had jaundice. This is a common condition of many infants, so initially we were not worried. When Rachel's bilirubin levels became dangerously high, the doctors began to talk about possible blood transfusion. Fortunately, her levels dropped on their own and no transplant was needed. Rachel grew to become a happy, healthy teen. Then the year she graduated high school, she became sick. For months we and the doctor's struggled to figure out what was wrong with her. Why at the age of 19 years was she having trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Why did she physically slide her back down the wall as she descended the steps in the morning, one foot at time? Why did she cry because her joints were hurting her so bad that she could barely move before her morning massage and hot shower? The doctor's finally answered these questions and many more with the diagnosis of Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder. MCTD is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks it's own healthy tissues. After months of trial an error, the doctor's finally found the 'magic formula' of drugs that eased her incurable disease. She took these drugs for 9 years before the doctor's were able to ease her off of them. At current date, she has been drug and symptom free for 6 months. We have high hopes that she will stay in remission for a very long time. I'm thankful every day for the God that placed the wonderful doctor's in her life. She has received exceptional care.

My son, Josh, was also touched by the grace of God when he suffered a broken leg in a car accident in his 21st year of life. Josh's femur was completely shattered, and he underwent emergency surgery. The hand of God was obviously at work through the wonderful doctor who put the permanent steel rod in Josh's leg. The bone has healed itself around the rod, and although he will always walk with a slight limp, his life was spared in that accident and for that we will be forever grateful!

These health issues seemed almost unbearable at the time, but now... looking back, I realize how manageable they really were in comparison to the struggles I see others dealing with. My cousin's daughter was born 31 years ago with Cystic Fibrosis. She is married and has 2 boys, ages 5 years and 18 months. Nedra has been in the hospital countless times throughout her life and currently she is awaiting a double lung transplant. Without the transplant, she will not live to see her boys grow up. My heart goes out to Nedra and her family. Her struggle makes me focus on what's important in this life. Life is important! Love is important! Family is important! God is important!

Nedra's life has taken her down a bumpy road, and it's not about to smooth out anytime soon. Nedra has a gofundme account.... if anyone reading this blog would like to donate a few dollars to help ease the financial burden that she is dealing with on top of the physical struggle she endures daily, please follow the link below. All donations will be greatly appreciated by this family! If you don't have funds to make a donation.. please say a prayer for Nedra! Thanks for reading.. and God Bless!

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