Contunued From Here


Saturday, September 17, 2005 3:43 PM

Justin is out of surgery and back in his room.  Initial pathology findings believe it may be the CMV Virus we had explained months ago.  It is the 2nd leading cause of fatality to these immunosuppressed bone marrow patients.  The first one is Graft vs. Host.

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Justin has been checked for this virus weekly.  It has not shown itself.  Of course, this is only a preliminary diagnosis.  We will have a more accurate one, probably by Monday or Tuesday.  The doctor said Justin's lungs are quite diseased.  I specifically asked if lungs in his condition can turn around and he said yes!  We will have to wait and see how Justin's body responds to treatment. 
He has already been on a drug to deal with this and has still gotten progressively worse.  All we can do is wait. 
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord, will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40: 29-31  Those are the words our Lord left us for times like these....we are trusting in every one of them. 
Right before that in verse 28 it says that "the Lord Himself will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom."  He never tires of hearing our concerns....even if they are the same old concerns that we bring to Him day after day....
Isaiah 41: 13  "For I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.  Do not be afraid," He asks us to not fear...He knows how fragile the human spirit can be in traumatic times.  He never tires of holding Justin or us or you.  
He says in Isaiah 40: 11 that "He carries us close to his heart and gently leads us. 
These are times when the Lord picks up the slack for us and bears the burden.  He actually picks us up and carries us.  Like the footprints in the sand poem....
 Right before that in verses 4-5 the Lord promises us that "Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain, And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
This is one of the most tremendous promises God could have given all of us.  He doesn't say maybe this will happen, He says "it shall be." We are not sure where we are... in a valley, on a mountain or hill, a rough ground or a rugged place.  It is just comforting to know that God knows and he is all over it to bring about resolve.
So you can see we are drawing great comfort from your prayers and from the Word of God. 
It is one of the most painful things to see your child on a ventilator.  They are having to tie him down to prevent him from pulling it out.  Again, nothing a parent wants to envision but a necessary step to bring about his healing.  When a patient is on the ventilator they have to wrap your legs as well and place them on a machine to keep the blood in the lower extremities flowing.  This will prevent blood clotting.  This is all new to Mike and I and it is a very traumatic experience.
Thank you to each of you ....for standing with us, for covering our backs. and for not being afraid.  Let's throw our faith out there really far...and believe God to do the impossible in Justin and in His church.  We are His church and through us He can accomplish many miracles....especially when we stand together and believe.
Much love,


Saturday, September 17, 2005 9:54 AM

Justin had a rough night. He is now in ICU on a BiPap breathing machine. He is requiring so much oxygen that he will be put on a ventilator around noon.

We have seen many specialists this morning. One of them is Jay Standerfer who is a lung surgeon. He will be doing an open lung biopsy on Justin at noon. They remain hopeful that this will identify the root cause of Justin's pneumonia and they will be able to treat it more aggressively. This will require Justin to remain on the life support for a few days. They will make him as comfortable as possible.

To the students at Valley Christian....thank you for your kind letters of affirmation to Justin. We want you to know that he read them this morning and drew much strength knowing that you are all praying for him.

This is hard and scary for all of us. Please remember to pray for our daughter Carissa too.
She is 13 years old and this is her only sibling.

We continue to stand in our faith and to trust God even though the road ahead looks quite unstable. I am thankful that God has shown us through the years how to trust him anyway when emotions run rampant.


Justin is in Your care. We don't know what else to do. You have blessed us with such a great son. We ask You to let him stay with us and to be completely healed from this infirmity. We know You have our backs covered as You lead many to pray in our behalf during this time. We want to pray according to Your Will for Justin's life. Lead our prayers in that direction......We pray for Dr. Standerfer. Lord, direct his hands during surgery. Allow him success and please Lord give the doctors wisdom today on what is ailing Justin.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, September 16, 2005 7:12 PM
Justin's condition has gotten worse not better. His need for oxygen has increased to 15 liters. We saw an infectious disease specialist tonight to try and figure this out. They are also prepping Justin for surgery in the morning. They are preparing to have the open lung biopsy done in the morning if things do not turn around over night. They are also preparing to move him into ICU.

The doctor has ordered a high dose of steriods and a new medication. If they see a substantial improvement over night, he will not have to have the surgery. If not, we have waited long enough and we need to move on this.

James 1:5 says that "If any man lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all....." We are lacking wisdom tonight. The doctors are in need of wisdom tonight. Important decisions must be made to save Justin's life.


We are in great need of Your Wisdom tonight. Justin's life is hanging in the balance and we need Your Intervention. I pray Lord that the steriods would kick in and do the job tonight. Lord, we are desperate......we don't know what else to do. We have our eyes on you....Help!!

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, September 15, 2005 1:43 PM
I have heard it said that children are the part of the mother's heart that beats outside.

There are days that my heartbeats sting like Mary's must have as she watched Jesus suffer so. Like any mother, she felt a huge portion of the pain her son endured. God has created inside the heart of a mother an enormous ability to recognize danger and to guard her "cubs" against it. Try messing with a baby bear cub and see what the momma bear will do. We have all heard of mothers intuition. I believe that God gave mothers, of every species, this divine insight. Mothers have the ability to nurture their children and to make them feel loved and safe. But, with the flip side of that, they will also feel to a certain extent every blow and pain their children encounter in this lifetime. It doesn't even matter how old they become. The mothers heart will embrace that child forever. It is a God thing.

None of us want suffering to be a part of that process. But, for many it becomes that...usually not by choice. Jesus suffered. He said that we would identify with a portion of that suffering in our journey to become like Him. How long and how much is up to His Sovereign plan for each of us. I just heard on the news that Haley Knutson, the 9 year old girl, needing a liver transplant has passed away this morning. This child endured suffering for 7 years as she battled leukemia and three bone marrow transplants. Wow!! There is no answer to the "why" question as long as we are upon this earth. Perhaps when we are in heaven and Haley is running the place, we will know more. For now, please pray for her family as they sort through enormous emotions and prepare for her funeral.

I wanted to give you the latest update on Justin's condition.

The doctors are doing the best they can to determine the root cause of Justin's illness. Since they were not able to get a good sample from the lung biopsy, they are contemplating an open lung biopsy if they cannot determine this in the next few days. It is never a good idea to expose the lung to the air. Plus, it is very painful....I pray that Justin will not have to endure that.

The specialist has said Justin's lungs look worse today. He has pneumonia on both sides.

They also have a positive test culture with a bacterial infection in his blood. This is separate from the pneumonia. Sometimes these cultures can be contaminated so, until they have two positive cultures they are not certain of its accuracy.

Justin continues to remain strong. His fevers seem better. He is requiring 8 - 10 liters of oxygen to breathe. Any movement, even the slightest sitting up to go to the bathroom, causing his heartbeat to race to up to 250 beats per minutes. With his fevers down...he seems a bit better to me but, the doctors are still very concerned.


Here it is Lord..... the status for today. I hurt terribly for Haley's family. Their suffering has been extended to outrageous lengths. Please Lord, love on Haley for all of us today as You welcome her to her beautiful home in heaven. I believe she is healthy and whole and in Your Presence even now. In Haley's honor, we continue to press on and believe You to heal Justin completely. Thank you for her life and the example she left for all of us to emulate. She brought together an entire community, even beyond that. She taught us to stand together and face whatever life throws at us....together. There is so much more power we have as Your Body when unity and a corporate strength prevail. So Father, let Your Church arise in these desperate times of pain and suffering all across our nation and the world. You have our attention the people of America turn their eyes back to You with a reverent spirit.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, September 14, 2005 12:56 PM
Justin has been diagnosed with pneumonia. Now we have to wait until the cultures grow out to determine which kind. He is being treated for the three big ones....fungal, bacterial, and viral. Until we hear back. He has a barrage of medication being pumped through his body to cover all the bases. He has developed an allergic reaction to one of them. This has appeared as an itchy rash on his skin. When they are confident as to the root, they will wean him off of the medications that are not necessary.

He made it through the night and that is a good thing. He did not get worse as they had anticipated. Prayer is working!!! More oxygen is necessary to keep him breathing. During this time, he is wearing an oxygen mask to help his lungs heal. We are thankful that a respirator was not needed.


Thank you for helping Justin breathe. Thank you for allowing this treatment plan to help him turn the corner. We continue to ask for Your divine intervention. Give the doctors and nurses tending to him, wisdom and compassion. We will continue to stand in the gap for him. How thankful we are for prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool that You have given us. No matter where or when....Your Comfort, comforts us when we are weak....You rejoice with us in strength....You delight in hearing our praises and petitions. We acknowledge Your Presence here with us......

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, September 13, 2005 1:29 PM
Justin was admitted to the hospital last night with a fever and what appeared to be an infection of some sort in his respiratory area. There was initial tests ordered to try and narrow down the cause.

This morning those results showed lungs that are in serious condition. He is undergoing a battery of tests including a lung biopsy. We will have those results back later in the day.

You can pray for Justin's oxygenation and that his body will respond to treatment. We have to wait for the results to know how to treat him. Right now he is on antibiotics. All we know to do is trust in the Sovereign plan of the Lord for Justin's life.


There is no doubt that it is hard to walk through shaky times. Times where we don't know Your answer. Today is one of those days that all we can offer up to our faith. We believe Lord in Your healing power. We believe in Your Sustaining Grace. So, we will wait......No matter how many tears roll down our cheeks, it will never change the fact that You are Lord and You hold each of our lives and our destinies in Your Hand. You have our complete trust.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8:23 PM
Justin's liver enzymes have decreased by 50%. Wow!!! This is the best news!! His numbers dropped from 544 to 264 and 100. Usually when the liver enzymes spike, it can take months for them to come back into the normal range. The doctor's experiment worked. It still doesn't really tell him what caused the increase though. It seems to me. that it might have been the green tea after all. Justin was consuming over 16 ounces a day. Either way, I hope that this experience will help others recovering from bone marrow transplants to hold off from drinking green tea until they are completely off their medication.

We are thrilled with Justin's transition back into school. He has more than enough stamina for all 8 periods, including a weightlifting class towards the end of the day. Like many of his classmates, Justin now has his drivers permit. He has been driving all week. He is actually very good. He is growing up but, these experiences mean more to us than the average parent because of the possibility that they were never going to happen.

Today was also unique in that we initiated a letter to our donor. After inquiring about how to go about doing this, I learned that she has already been receiving status reports about Justin. I am glad that she knows he is doing well. Perhaps she will have a desire to meet us some day. That would be so awesome. In case you forgot, all we know about our donor is that she is a 30 year old female. All she knows of Justin, is that she donated to a 14 year old male. We do not know where she lives or any other information. She does not know our names or where we live either.

I am attaching the letter that I sent to our bone marrow representative for approval. Our donor should get it soon. If she does respond, I will let you all know. Since we have shared so much of this experience together.....I wanted to include my prayer warriors in this process too.


To Our Donor,

We recently learned that we could initiate a letter to you before the one year anniversary protocol. We need to be discreet and not divulge too much personal information but, my heart is busting at the chance to say thank you.

How do you say "thank you" to someone who sacrificed to the extent that you did? I am awed and so humbled to have learned that a perfect donor match was found for our son. I've wondered what was going through your mind when the registry contacted you? What made you join in the first place? We held three large bone marrow drives in our hometown. Time was of the essence. Thanksgiving was more that just a time of gratitude as that is when we learned that you agreed to be our son's donor. Wow!!! You can't possible know what that did to our family. You gave us hope that maybe our son could live. All we were told is that you were a 30 year old female. My guess is you were told that you would be helping a 14 year old boy. Our son lit the purple candle of Hope at our church. This was aired on the news and in print of our local newspaper.

I prayed for you alot as you were enduring the neprogin shots. I ask God to ease the discomfort. In fact, we had an army praying for you. I prayed for your family too. Without hearing your side of this story it will only be half told. He received your cells on Dec. 16th 2004. What a day!! I held that bag of life in my hands and I wept. I asked for permission to pray over it and to thank the Lord for answering our desperate cries for help. Our son had two friends in the room at the time. They broke down too. Perhaps you have gone on with your life and their are days you forgot what you did. But, there is not a day that goes by over here that we don't remember. Your sacrifice gave me back the life of my first child. The journey was rough....but today he is doing excellently. He just got his drivers permit and started school again. He is a typical teenager for the most part. But, when he tells his story you can hear a pin drop.

His real birthday is in January. They tell me he will forever have two birthdays now. The natural one....and the rebirth one. I might have had something to do with the natural one......but you clearly are the one that made Dec. 16th a forever rebirthday for him. We bought him birthday balloons on that day and celebrated with such joy!!!!!!

Dec. 16th is not too much longer to wait. Our hope is that someday we can thank you in person. We would love for you to meet our son. We will completely respect your wishes in this matter.

We are open to receiving letters from you should you wish to do so. As far as we see it, you are an adopted member of our family. Who knows.....the chances of you being such a perfect match for him makes me wonder if somewhere in our ancestor there is a connection.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

With love,

The mother of your recipient

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:36 PM
Well today was awesome until I went to the hospital. I had my blood drawn after school and my liver enzymes are the highest they have ever been. They are at 544 and 191. I think my liver has just had enough medication. The doctor said we can try coming down on my anti-rejection meds for a week and see if that will help. He also gave me another pill to help calm my liver. I have to stop drinking one of my favorite drinks, The Green Machine. It is a really healthy drink but it has green tea in it. The doctor has had four other patients whose livers acted up like this and they were all drinking green tea too. So, for the next week we will experiment and pray that this works. I still feel really great!

This could still be serious like the Graft vs Host disease. The way I see it is, if I was going to die from cancer I would have years ago. God didn't bring me this far, just to leave me and let me die now. I will over come this.

I really feel in my heart that I will be used just like the prophet Ezekiel was. God told him twice to blow on a pile of dry dead bones. The first time he did it, they reformed into bodies but, there was no life in them. The second time he blew on them, breath entered them and they stood up on their feet as a strong army. If you don't know what I'm talking about just read chapter 37 of Ezekial and you will understand. My own body went through this experience. I was the valley of dry dead bones when my marrow couldn't create new cells properly. Before I was born, my mom told me that a visiting prophet to our church, Cindy Jacobs, blew on her and she became pregnant with me. Then, when I was really sick in ICU and very close to death, she happened to be in town again and came.....and guess what, she blew on me again. I feel like I am living this story out with my life. That second breath means a lot to me because of the power and life that came into these lifeless bodies. God has breathed new life in my body and I hope that God will use me to blow on others and watch him heal them too.

I'm so glad to be back at school!!!! Today was my second day and I'm just loving being with my friends. It has been a long time since I've seen them.

Again, just please pray that I will be off my meds before October and that my liver enzymes will come back down to normal. "These knuckles break before they bleed". Nothing can come against me now.
later -Justin-

Dear God,
Please help my liver enzymes to come down. Please give my doctor wisdom on how to come off of my meds. I would like to be off of them by October.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:46 PM
YAY!!!!!! My liver enzymes have come down they are 397 and 157. What an answer to prayer!!!!!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

Time has gone by so fast I'm at about day +230 and I feel great. I went dirt biking again on Saturday for 3 hours. On the 15th I start school I'm so stoked

Please pray that my liver enzymes will continue to drop..

Dear God,
Thank you for bringing my liver enzymes down and please continue to bring them down....

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 5:47 PM
I had my blood drawn today. Unfortunately..... both of my liver enzyme counts have come back up. They are at 482 & 237. These are too high. My liver is working too hard. I am praying for my liver enzymes to come back down. Physically I feel that there is nothing wrong with them. I feel strong and I have gained 5 lbs over the last two weeks.

I am really looking forward to starting school on Aug. 15th and seeing all my friends. I even went riding on Saturday for 3 hours and felt great. The next day I wanted to do it again. I wasn't too sore like I've been in previous weeks.

So, I said all of that to say this.....I have to take these counts seriously but, I sure don't feel sick or weak or anything. They said if it is Graft vs Host in my liver that could be fatal. My liver could also be reacting to all the medication that I have been on. My vote is for the second one.


Please help my liver enzymes to come down to the normal range. Let this be only medication related and not Graft vs Host. I am asking You to help me to be off all my medication before my one year anniversary on Dec. l6th.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 3:43 PM
I had a blast last night. I spoke at a local church in Oceanside. The church is called New Song. I'm so glad I'm finally using this disease for God's glory

Finally... I just my counts back today. My counts have come down even more!!! They are checking two different liver enzymes. The one that was 400 on Thursday, has come down to 335. The other enzyme which was at 200 is now at 113.

Thank you so much for praying that my liver enzymes will come down. God really does answer prayer! Please continue to pray that they will keep coming down until they hit the normal range of 21-41.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 9:56 PM
Today was really cool! We had a change of plans. We chose not to go to Disneyland because of the heat. We went to Tijuana, Mexico with my friend Daria and my family. Here is a picture of Carissa, Daria, and I just after we crossed the border. It is different there. It made me appreciate what we have here in the United States. It took us one hour to re-enter the United States. That part felt wierd.

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Could you please pray for me as I'm coming down off my medication? I hope to come down smoothly with no trouble at all.
I will get my blood drawn on Tuesday again. Please pray that my liver enzymes will come back down to normal. The normal range is between 21 - 41. I was at 400 last Thursday.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers they mean a lot to me.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 3:04 PM
YAY!... My counts have come down from 498 to 400 and 298 to 200. I'm so happy! I can stay in Cali for as long as I want now!!! Looks like I'm going to Disneyland with my friends on Saturday. Thank you so much for your prayers, they mean so much to me. I still have to get my blood drawn on Tuesday, so please pray that my liver enzymes continue to come down.

Father God,
Thank you so much for healing me and bringing my liver enzymes down. Please continue to bring them down. Help me to grow stronger every day and to get off all my medication. Thank you so much!
In your name amen

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 8:59 PM
Well, just an update since I wrote last. I got my blood checked on Tuesday the 12th . My liver enzymes were up a little but the doctors let me go to California anyway.

On Monday, I got my blood drawn in California and my liver enzymes were up even more. My doctor took me off Prevacid and Bactrium (some of the meds. I'm on). to see if this would reduce it. I need to go on Thursday morning to get my blood drawn again. Please pray that my liver enzymes will come back down to normal. If they are still high, I may need to go back home to Arizona on Sunday.

I'm planning on going to Disneyland this Saturday with Carissa, Daria, and Joey.

It has been a month since I last rode my dirtbike. I am getting a little anxious to get back out there and ride. Please don't forget to pray for my health and that my strength would get better and increase everyday.


Right now I pray for my liver enzymes that they will come back down to normal and that my endurance will increase every single day. Please help me to be able and stay in cali so I can recover in cooler weather. Please use me to your will and please help me to tell people about my story so that they will know you some day.

In your name amen


Sunday, July 10, 2005 9:36 PM
I have an upcoming clinic appointment on Tuesday the 12th. I still have 25% more medication to come down off of. I hope to have most of it off before school starts in August. I have been feeling good.

I have been in California for the past three weeks. Last week, my family and I went to a Christian Family Camp Center called Forest Home. It is in the San Bernadino Mountains. About 15 miles East of Yucapai. It is alot of fun. Here is a picture from the camp of my friends and I. They are Shelby, Maddy, Colin, me, Tiffanie, Joey and Teagan.

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Thank you for bringing us home safely from California. Please help my doctor's appointment to go well on the 12th and that I would be able to come down on my medicine. Thank you for giving me such a fun week at Forest Home with great friends. Please help me to grow stronger every day.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, June 15, 2005 7:04 PM
Hi ....this is Justin. My family and I are on vacation in California. Yesterday, I took Carissa on the California Screamin Rollercoaster at California Adventures with me. It was her first time and she was nervous. She did good though and now I have someone to ride it with. Here are a couple of pictures of me that were taken today. My hair is finally growing back and I'm getting stronger everyday. I want to thank you for all your prayers. I am living proof that prayer does work!!!

Your Friend,


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Thursday, June 02, 2005 8:44 PM
It is hard to believe that 16 days have gone by since our last update. Justin is doing excellent! He continues to rebuild internally and externally. He has been going to the gym a couple of times a week in an effort to rebuild the 27 pounds of muscle he lost during the transplant. If all goes well, he will be brought down another step off his anti-rejection drug on Tuesday, which will leave him with only 25% more to go.

We had an opportunity to hear a heartwarming story from Bonnie Jones. Our children attend school together. Their family just recently moved here to Arizona from Montana. Back in 1999, Bonnie was called upon by the Bone Marrow Registry to be a possible donor for a 16 year old girl living in France. She ended up donating her marrow and went through great sacrifices to do so. First, she was flown to Utah for the procedure leaving her two small children. She endured the pain of recovery and did so all for the glory of the Lord. She so looked forward to meeting this young girl or at least talking with her however, a meeting never panned out. We are not sure the conditions of "why" as the bone marrow registry tells us that she left the hospital healthy.

As I listened to Bonnie tell her story and heard her heart, I couldn't help but think of our own donor. She too has a story. But here standing in front of me was a real person of flesh and blood not just some imagined person in my mind. Bonnie had a life that she was willing to halt for a time period....and did an unselfish act for a stranger she may never meet. That act may never be acknowledged by the recipient or the recipients family, but God saw her kindness and her bold step of faith. She is a beautiful person with a lovely family and I would like to pray for her that God would open up the portals of heaven and release upon her blessing upon blessing for her obedience to Him in following through with the donated marrow.


Thank you for Bonnie and for allowing me the opportunity to hear her heart and listen to what she endured. Someone went through that for Justin Lord. It stills stops by heart for her kind act and look forward to the day that I can thank her. However, Bonnie looked forward to the same opportunity which never panned out. So, Father I release our donor to You and ask that if it be according to Your will, a meeting in the future may be something that could consummate our story. If that never comes about I thank you for allowing me the privilege of hugging Bonnie's neck and thanking her, in stead for her recipient. I pray that as she looks at Justin she will feel a portion of the reward You have planned for her. You used her as an instrument to restore life to another human being. Wow!! We love You excellent You are!!

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, May 17, 2005 1:38 PM
Tomorrow Justin will continue the decline off of his anti-rejection medication. So far, so good!! His body is adjusting well to these incremental changes. At his last doctor visit, all of his blood counts were in the normal range. We have much to be thankful for.

He continues to ride his dirtbike every chance he gets. As each day passes, he is growing stronger and stronger. He has gone to school, for most of the day, for the past week. He was even able to attend the yearbook assembly and have his classmates sign his yearbook. Much to our surprise, there was a whole page dedicated to Justin. Thank you to Valley Christian High School for this gesture of love.

Justin would like to inscribe on his forearm a cross with the words, "In Loving Memory of Justin Cude." When he first told me sounded a bit morbid. I asked him why he would want to do that when he was still alive. His answer confounded me. This was his response, "Mom, the Justin Cude you knew no longer exists. In fact, I'm not even your blood son anymore. I'm a brand new person inside." At first, my heart sank into my stomach but, then I realized that this was his story and it was powerful and far-reaching and would be his unique way of telling it. He said that his life is now all about Galations 2:20....listen to this, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

We are in the month of May and we are allowed to contact our donor this December. Legally, we have to wait one year before we are allowed to request a meeting. We are waiting patiently but, our story is not finished until we have met her and hear her side of it all.


Justin is doing well and we thank you for that. You have come in response to our prayers and have displayed Your love in such a tangible way by restoring Justin's health. Your love confounds even the wisest among us. It is the kind of love that is not based on the conditions of whether WE are good enough to receive it. We could never be good enough.....It is not the kind of love that we can read about and then manufacture on our own. Your love is in the most purest sacrificial form that all we can do is be grateful for a God like You. Thank you Lord for displaying this kind of love to us...we are so humbled by Your provision.


Monday, May 02, 2005 6:34 PM
Justin was taken down another step off of his anti-rejection drug since we wrote last. We are 50% of the way be off of them completely. He doesn't go back for another two weeks.

Mike took him over to Barona Indian Reservation near El Cajon, CA to ride his dirt bike. They have a nice track there situated between pine trees with lots and lots of shade. He met up with some friends and enjoyed the weekend. Weather wise it will be better for Justin to ride in California over the summer, than to battle the temperatures that can soar as high as 120 degrees in Arizona. He still tuckered out easily...but he was able to do 4 laps or so. We are taking it slow and have the mentality that alittle is better than none at all.

He woke up on Sunday with a stomach bug and had nausea all day until about 8:00 pm He had to drive home like that....poor guy. Mike and I started to get concerned around 4:00 pm when it didn't seem to be letting up. We phoned the doctor and he instructed us to hold out until the morning and see what his body would do. Well, the doctor called it right....Justin woke up feeling much better and with an appetite. His immune system kicked in and did what it was designed to do. He healed himself. God has created our bodies to do that and it is a miracle each time. Most of us just take it for granted...

I wanted to wish all the mothers a Very Happy Mother's Day this weekend. Carissa and I will be going to a lovely Mother/Daughter brunch at our church on Saturday. On Sunday...I plan on holding both of my children in my arms and telling them how much I love them. There are no words to describe what I feel in my heart to have this opportunity.


As this weekend approaches, I am speechless. You have allowed my son to live and you have allowed me the privilege of celebrating my role as his mother. Wow!! You have moved heaven and earth for us and now the question in our hearts is "What can we do for You? Father, Use our pain and get as much mileage out of it as you want. We are serious Lord..."What can we do for You?"

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, April 23, 2005 8:03 PM
Justin accomplished something HUGE today!!! He went to the track and rode his bike. The entire family went to watch and cheer him on. His friend, Joey, and his family were there as well. It was awesome to see him doing what he loves. It takes a lot of energy to ride that bike and do the jumps, etc. His body fatigued long before his mind. He wanted to keep riding but, he still needs time to build up endurance and strength in his muscles. We were sooooo proud of him. Wow....I wished you all could have seen him.

Justin and Mike have been busy rebuilding a garden railway in our backyard. It has been a fun family project for about 7 years now. I have attached a picture of a garden railway that both of them went to see last night. It is a train lovers paradise.

As we all know nutrition plays a major role in our maintaining health at any age. Justin is taking serious steps to eating properly....lots of veggies and fruits and meats full of protein. He has been inhaling salmon lately. His body is screaming for these nutrients to complete the healing process. He is doing a great job at listening to his body and making wise choices when those hunger pangs strike. Sometimes his appetite decreases and other times, like today, after riding....he was famished!

He goes back to the clinic on Tuesday and we hope that he will be able to take another step down from the anti-rejection drug. We will let you know.

In so many ways...he is like a brand new baby. Every cell is he noticed that although he was hot at the track.....his body was not sweating. We will ask the doctor about that....but infants don't sweat either. It takes time for them to grow and mature in many ways and the sweat glands just open up when they are ready. It truly is amazing to observe all of these new life beginnings.


Thank you for today and for holding back the rain so that Justin could enjoy the track. He had anticipated it all week and relished the opportunity to ride again. Wow!! I bet You had a smile on Your face too as You watched him. Thank you for protecting him from injury. Lord, you see all that needs to happen inside of Justin's body to complete his healing and for his cells to begin to secrete all the necessary enzymes to keep his system in a pH balanced environment. Help him to make the proper choices in nutrition. Give him the appetite for grains and nuts and every good thing that will give his muscles back their strength. Let this new internal environment keep all cancer cells from multiplying. We love you Lord...thank you for healing Justin. What an awesome God You are.....

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, April 12, 2005 8:09 PM
Justin had a healthy clinic visit today. The doctor took him down another step off of his anti-rejection medicine. Each time this happens, we have to watch him closely to see how his body will respond. He will stay at this new level for the next two weeks....and if all looks good at that point, he will be taken down another step. It is all a process and we are thankful to be at this stage of it.

The bracelets are doing well. We have been shipping them out all over the United States as far away as New York and as close as California. Tennessee and Louisiana have taken the lead. This is a result of all the motocross riders that have heard of Justin's story in these areas. These riders are supporting Justin as a fellow brother. We are truly proud to have their support. Thank you so much.

Justin continues to beg for us to take him riding. His Dad said if all looks good, he may take him on Saturday, April 23rd. This will be a big deal for our family and we will all go and watch him. He will have to take it slow and allow himself to adjust back to the bike but, for Justin even 5 minutes on the track is a dream come true.


It's as if Justin is a modern day Lazarus....You have raised him up from the grave! The thought of seeing him again out on his bike doing what he loves is more than a dream come true. You have rebuilt him and caused his body to repair itself. There are not enough words of gratitude to thank You for this display of Your Holiness and Your Power. It is by Your Hand of Grace and Mercy that Justin will ride again...and we will never stop telling the story of how You carried us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and brought us back to the land of the living. Only You are God and we worship You....

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, April 06, 2005 5:32 PM
Here are a couple of pictures that were taken of Justin today.

He is so ready to go riding....but his dad his holding him back because of potential fungus issues that is in dirt. He is being backed off of his anti-rejection medication. So, when he gets down a bit further.......race track here we come!

In the mean time, he is getting stronger and increasing his endurance. He continues to do his school work at home. His visit at the clinic went news is good news at this point.

We appreciate all of your concern and support during this battle. We are recovering as a family right alongside of Justin. It feels good to be home and to be getting back into a normal way of life.

How are the bracelets? We need to continue to increase awareness of Justin's story. Let your churches, friends, neighbors and family know that we will ship them bracelets if they place an order. We know of two teenage boys that are right now in need of a bone marrow transplant and are looking for a donor. Let's do our part in helping them find a one.....


Thank you for the strength we see in Justin. Thank you for the healing in his body and for the recovery that our whole family is embracing. We lift up these two young men who are looking for a bone marrow donor....Lord, please help them find one.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, March 28, 2005 7:48 PM
Justin's bone marrow biopsy results declare NO leukemic cells! That is good news!

Since we have achieved day 100, the next step is to begin a gradual decline off of his anti-rejection drug. Bone marrow transplants differ from other organ transplants in that the patient is not on life-long rejection medication. The side-effects we will be watching the Graft vs Host rash returning on his skin or having it present itself in the gastrointestinal tract. We are starting that today.....and should be coming down for the next 80 days or so. This is a much needed prayer request and will be ongoing for the next few months.

He is still adjusting to the decline of the steroids. In the beginning, it stimulated his appetite but, now it is having the reverse appetite. He has 5 mg left to go to be off of them completely. That will be done gradually over the next several weeks.

In the interim please pray that Justin will maintain his hydration and be able to eat. Those are both very important and necessary for him to stay healthy.

He is still trying to do some homework but, the fatigue has been extra draining this past week. However, he had a visit from his teacher today and will be trying extra hard to get caught up a bit.


We ask that You would restore Justin's appetite and cause his body to thirst. Grant him that sweet satisfaction of meeting both of these essential needs. I pray that there will be no more presentation of Graft vs Host in his body anywhere. I ask in faith that Your favor would rest upon him as the anti-rejection drugs are slowly removed. Let this bone marrow transplant be a success. Grant Justin many years of health....

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, March 26, 2005 4:02 PM
Today is a day to celebrate----100 days post-transplant!! Here is a picture from one of our friends Brian Budd. He is an elementary PE teacher who just so happened to be celebrating 100 days of school not too long ago. Each of the children are holding $100.00 bills (fake, of course). Thank you Brian for celebrating this huge milestone with us.

It is not coincidental that on this Easter weekend, Justin celebrates health...his body is living proof that the resurrection power of Jesus is alive today! We believe that the Lord has spared Justin and has raised him up to display His power in him.

Physically, Justin continues to gain strength. He even went to school for an afternoon this week.

Bless each of you this Easter weekend. Enjoy your family and your friends and remember how lucky we are to be alive and to enjoy health.


Thank you for letting Justin reach this milestone of 100 days. We are truly celebrating Your goodness as we look at him with our physical eyes and yet know that inside of Justin, in the place we can't see, resides the power of Your Resurrection. Thank you for allowing this marker to coincide with the celebration of Easter. Happy Resurrection Day, Lord!!

In Jesus Name,


Monday, March 21, 2005 9:12 PM
Thank you for your encouraging words today reminding Justin and our family that your prayers were still ongoing for him. It is such an encouragement to know that others are praying for us. It is like a blanket that comforts us as we continue to step one foot in front of the other and walk out this recovery process.

Justin had his lst bone marrow biopsy at City of Hope. He was a bit concerned as this is an "adult" hospital. They do not sedate as much as he was accustomed to at Phoenix Children's. However, it all went very well. The nursing staff has now convinced him that he will be taken care of during these types of procedures.

His blood counts came back in the normal range. This is great news! To top it all off, his broviac was removed today as well. He was taken off some of his medication. So, Justin had a very successful day. All he could think about was how much closer he is to riding his dirt bike.

Day 100 is this Saturday! Wow!! It is a real milestone to reach this day.

He desperately wanted to go to school today. I can only imagine what it must feel like to want to return to his normal way of life. It takes 24 hours at least for the drugs he was given to wear off and we just don't want to expose him to any potential illnesses too soon. So we kept him home. We don't know how much longer we can hold him back.....the doctor said maybe at the end of this week. Perhaps we will start with just one class and see how he does.


Today was the first official day of Spring! We know that the change of the season brings with it new growth. We ask that new growth would continue to be seen in Justin's physical body as he continues to recover. We remember the example of the trees during the fierce winter and how they shed their leaves and give the false appearance of death. Justin has endured the intensity of a fierce winter storm. BUT GOD, spring is now upon we rejoice in today's good report. Let Justin's youthfulness return to him, bring back to him stamina and endurance. Thank you for healing him Lord...we love You.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, March 14, 2005 9:52 PM
Justin is responding well to the medication to knock down the CMV virus. He will need to continue taking it for a few weeks. This medication will make his counts drop but, once we get him through this part of recovery, he will be weaned off this and many of the other medications he is taking, including part of the anti-rejection drug. At that time, we should see his counts returning to normal and his spunk too!!

He is not as tired as in previous weeks, but he is still limited in his energy levels. This will take time to recover from.

On Monday morning, March 21st...Justin will be having a bone marrow biopsy and will have his broviac removed. This will be the first biopsy he has had since the transplant. Please pray that he is free and clear on any and all leukemic cells. We will update again on that day unless something else comes up.


We are rejoicing in the recovery that Justin is having. Thank you for clearing the CMV Virus from his body. We continue to intercede for him to recover with remarkable speed and for his strength to return to him. Rejuvenate him with a double portion of strength as he sleeps. Allow his youthful vigor to return to him. We ask that his bone marrow biopsy be free and clear of leukemic cells and that Justin's new life will continue to emerge with no complications. Thank you for teaching us how to pray and to stay focused in prayer. We ask that Your will be done in Justin's young life and Lord we still have our eyes on You. Come Lord and show Yourself to be strong as Your healing power heals Justin's body.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, March 07, 2005 7:23 PM
Justin had his weekly clinic visit today. There continues to be a decline in his platelets. It appears that his body is responding positively to the CMV Virus that I described a few weeks ago.

The doctors are not surprised as they assumed it was just a matter of time for it to show up. The discrepancy between Justin's old immune system being positive for it and his donors immune system being negative for it was a collision waiting to happen.

The good news is they have caught it early...and Justin is on medication to knock it down. They have caught it so early that Justin has no symptoms. All that is happening inside his body right now, is the virus is beginning to divide into cells. Twenty-five years ago this silent division and multiplication of cells went undetected in post transplant patients. It would eventually blow up into a very serious pneumonia and often cause death. How thankful we are to be living in this time period where the knowledge of CMV is known and catching it early, removes its fatality.

The test taken earlier last week shows that Justin is now 98% his donor. That is good news. Remember today is day 81 post transplant and around March 26th (day 100) they will begin to taken Justin off of the anti-rejection drug. It will be a slow decline as well. This drug is causing other side effects that Justin must deal with. It is affecting the central nervous system and he is unable to hold his hands steady. As hard as all the side-effects are...we keep in mind that they are all temporary.

Justin did not have his broviac taken out today. The doctor wants to make sure that his body responds to this treatment first. The decrease of his steroids was minimal. He only went down 5 mg. The side-effects are severe enough to go very slow once you reach even just a few mg's a day. He is fatigued. The doctor told me it is a fatigue unlike you or I could know. It is not like working hard all day and feeling exhausted and going to bed for a good nights sleep. It is so consuming that Justin could sleep all day and still wake up feeling incredibly depleted. He is not even acting like himself. But, this too shall pass...and so we wait.


The Justin we see today is not the Justin that will climb up out of this fatigue and into a new life that You arranged for him to live. All that we see today is temporary. All of it requiring time for his new immune system to become strong. Thank You for helping the doctors keep on top of everything that could turn out of Justin's favor. They are working hand in hand with You. You created his body to defend itself with its immunity. Allow his immune system to become strong. Raise up his blood counts. Cancel the devastation of the CMV Virus. I don't think any of us can fully understand all that Justin has endured. He is one focused young man who is totally dependent on You. Reward him Lord.....greatly!

In Jesus Name,

Saturday, March 05, 2005 7:50 AM
Last week the server for our web-page was down and I'm beginning to think we lost of few bracelet orders during that time. If you placed an order for bracelets and have not received them yet please send us an email and we will check on it for you.

Justin continues to heal and recover. The decrease of steroids is a continual challenge of fatigue for him but he is almost there. On Monday he will decrease again. Also, if you could pray for Justin this Monday morning, March 7th, they will be removing the broviac from his chest. The last time they did this it came out easily. He is concerned as this broviac has been in his chest longer (since Oct. 19th). Having this removed will give Justin many more freedoms. He can swim and when stronger he can start riding his dirt bike. It is the next important step in his recovery. Justin will completely stop taking steroids on Monday, March 14th. The fatigue may last for awhile beyond that but we can direct our prayers to his ability to be resilient and bounce back. We have taken a short break from homework as his ability to concentrate seems to be affected.

His blood counts are on the low end. This will change when he is off of the steroids. Please pray that his body will continue to heal in an upward fashion. When he is low like this, he is more susceptible to other infections. God has been more than gracious to Justin and has covered him and protected him in ways that we may never fully know.

This week alone, three other young patients, have lost their lives to complications from this disease. This has deeply touched our family. More patients seem to lose than those that appear to triumph. You cannot go through something this traumatic and not be touched by the lives of others struggling right along side of you with the same thing. The pain their families are enduring have brought me to my knees for them on more than one occasion. I have had to mentally go through a process of grief and acceptance for their losses and continue our journey. I will wear an invisible lapel pin with the names of these children inscribed on it and will not forget.


I can understand how others can get stuck in the grief process. It has caused me great pain to hear of the deaths of these innocent children. We all realize that for now You have allowed Justin to continue living. Father, if You would help us, we will raise a torch for You and use Justin journey's to health as one for Your side. We will hold it loosely and will never minimize the pain that others have endured. Please raise Justin's blood counts. Please continue to allow him to heal and recover with remarkable speed. You have kept infections far from him. Thank you Lord. Grant him Your mindset as he prepares himself to have his broviac removed. Allow it to slip out with no complicatons. I pray for nurse Gail and Peggy and Julie as they tend to him during this procedure. Restore his strength and never let Justin forget that this life You have allowed him to live...should be lived out with incredible grace and compassion for others. Let him treasure each day and help him to find Your purpose in all of his suffering. Our words seem few to express gratefulness to You for allowing us the privilege of carrying Your torch for his healing.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, February 24, 2005 2:52 PM
Today is day 70 post-transplant! Each day is rolling one into the next and day 100 will be here before we know it.

Justin's clinic visit went well this week. He has tested negative for the CMV Virus. Praise the Lord!! That is good news!! Other than being quite tired and low on energy, his body is continuing the recovery process. The majority of his fatigue is due to the decrease in the steroids. Please pray that he can safely be removed from these powerful drugs soon. He can only go down so many milligrams a week until his body adjusts to that new level. This is quite an experience and fatigue is just part of the package. Justin and I both decided we will take tired over many of the other side-effects he has endured...any day! Tired is easy...just go to bed and sleep it off. But that is a bit more of a challenge for Justin mentally because his natural bent in life resembles more of the energizer bunny. He usually only sleeps when necessary.

The "I'M NOT AFRAID" bracelets are in!! For all of you who ordered bracelets over the web-page we will be mailing them out this weekend. If, for some reason, you picked yours up at school please send us an email to cancel your order.


We pray that the message of the bracelets will increase with Your favor. We are no Lance Armstrong...but, we pray that You would allow opportunities for Justin's suffering to impact many, many people in a positive way. Lord, help Your people to decide beforehand that they will not be afraid when unexpected events try to frighten them. Let them declare that with You by their side and having this enormous family of Yours to lean on, we will never face this life alone. You are more than enough. Let love permeate from our hearts for this world. Lord, You loved each and everyone of us to such an extent, that You gave Your life so that we could live. Knowing that makes me want to carry out Your message through this life You have given me to live. Thank you for bringing us to day 70. We continue to trust Your provisions for Justin. We believe that You are working behind the scenes and preparing many good things for him to come. Thank you for sparing him this CMV Virus. Thank you for not allowing fever or infection to ravage his body. We lift up his healing to Your all-seeing eye and will trust that he will be released from these steroids soon. Please Lord protect his kidneys and organs from damage of these powerful drugs. Only You are God and we worship glorified in Justin's healing.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, February 16, 2005 8:14 PM
We wanted to let everyone know that Justin is doing well. He has been enduring fatigue from the decrease in his steroids. The doctors say this is normal and it will be a process to be able to safely get him off of them. They are only taking him down 10 mg a week so to have this kind of reaction signifies the power these drugs can have on the human body. We are glad to be getting him off of them. There is always that chance that the Graft vs Host disease rash can come back in the interim. We can strategize our prayers that this rash will be behind him and we can continue to move upward during this recovery time.

His blood counts have all decreased significantly. They are running tests to see if by chance Justin has what they call the CMV Virus. It is a virus that commonly shows up after a person has tested positive for the Graft vs Host disease. It is in the pneumonia family. He is showing no symptoms but the decline in his counts could possibly be this. It is all normal to see this and the doctors are not too concerned. They even graduated him to only coming in to the clinic once a week. Two-thirds of the population have this virus dormant in their bodies and have been exposed to it at some point. Before his transplant Justin tested positive for this CMV. All that means is sometime during his 14 years he was exposed to it. The problem is his donor has tested negative to it. So, there may be a disagreement inside of Justin's body. He is not quite all his donor yet...there is still some of him in there. They have sent off a test to see what percentage of his counts are him and what percentage of his counts are his donor. Soon, he should be all his donor cells if he is not already. Another specific prayer is that Justin will not have CMV and that the potential pneumonia would be kept far from him.

He also has lost a few pounds but his appetite continues to remain strong. His body is working 10x harder than yours and mine to complete this transfer of his donor cells. He is on day 62 and we keep looking forward to day 100.

He enjoyed going to church this last weekend. Pastor Kinnaman has started a new series on the cross based on a book he has just written. It was part 1 of 7. We can relate to the topic as we feel like we have been camped out at the foot of the cross for quite some time. There is something mysteriously wrapped up in suffering that is not integrated until it is experienced.


Thank you for getting us to day 62. We ask that as Justin's body does the hard work of completing this transfer of cells, that You would keep him free and clear of infection and disease. Keep the rash far from him and the potentiality of pneumonia to be kept at bay.
Help him to gain weight. Grant him strength when fatigue is all consuming. You are always His source of strength and You will continue to walk with him. When it seems too heavy for him to bear, You will carry his load. You and only You are God and there is none like You.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, February 11, 2005 6:46 PM
Today is a day of remembrance! It was two years ago today that Justin was diagnosed with leukemia. I remember the striking shock as the sting of a death sentence was being poured out upon him with no ability to make it stop or control it. There was no clear indication that a future existed for him, only pain...either the pain of his impending death or the pain of having to walk this thing out with no guarantee that the treatment plan would work. BUT GOD!!!!

There is a lot to be said in that phrase, "BUT GOD!" No matter what this world throws at us...God will have the last word. This time, His last word was "Yes, and Amen!" He allowed Justin to live and not die. He rescued our family from the devastation of death. He came and walked with us through the entire journey comforting us and caring for us when the pain hurt so bad we thought our insides were coming out. He didn't shield us from the journey....He certainly could have. He could have healed Justin instantly. Should we be angry at Him because of that?

I think there are those who indeed would be angry. The displacement of our lives for two years was costly. BUT GOD!! God has had our hearts, our attention, and the depth of our prayers and He has changed and transformed us. Would I want to do it again? Absolutely not! But, I will say that I treasure the experience of having sat at the feet of our Lord. There is nothing as sweet than to be comforted by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Himself. The message of the cross has been embedded in our spirits. All we could see was Him dying in place of Justin. Taking upon Himself this dreaded disease, and rising again victoriously.

Life may throw curve balls at us BUT GOD is more than able and willing to teach us how to swing at them sending them right back into the game of life. Curve balls can come in all different shapes and sizes. Some strike us so hard it knocks the wind right out of a terminal diagnosis or the death of a marriage or the tragic death of a loved one. There are others that are smaller but, threatening just the same. They may look like a financial crisis threatening the loss of our job and home. Still others are easier to live with but annoying and frustrating just the same.....relationship balls. They come at us in every direction, every day. There is the pain of having been lied to, lied about, and deceived beyond our comprehension through what we considered to be a friend. The discovery of our spouse having an adulterous affair. The unexpected pregnancy of our teen daughter. Life is not always easy....

When these times come we can either run to the phone or we can run to the Throne.....God will have the last word for you if you let Him. All He wants is for us to trust Him unswervingly. When things don't line up or events and circumstances don't go the way we had anticipated...we can chose to remain steadfastly faithful to His promise. He said that all things would work out for our some point. That timeframe is according to His appointed time. It is God's part and He doesn't need our help. He just wants us to believe Him and go about our day as though we know He is working things out for us.

As we reminisce about the last two years...the journey has been rough with many unexpected scary situations. It reminds us of the yellow brick road. It was our intended purpose to run to God for help and the journey to get there reminded us of the lion, scarecrow, and tin man's adventurous journey to reach Oz. But, here we are...and what did we do today? We registered Justin for the 10th grade. Wow!!


It is unbelievable at times to comprehend that for two years we have walked out this journey to health with Justin. You have gone before us and guided us through every place. You didn't shield us from the pain but, I know You eased a lot of it. You prevented many more numerous scenarios, that could have been, and kept them at bay. Thank You. Thank You for allowing him to live. Our lives are in Your hands. Father, even if You would have taken him home, I believe with all of my heart that You would have helped us walk through the grief and eventually helped us to find the good that would have come from it. BUT GOD You showed Yourself to be strong and more than able to bring us up from one of the worst case situations. For that Lord, I declare...Be Glorified God!! Glorify Yourself through our family! We love You...

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, February 10, 2005 2:36 PM ____Click To Enlarge
These are the new bracelets that we ordered to raise awareness for bone marrow donation. The phrase, "I'm Not Afraid," was the first thing Justin said when he was told that he had leukemia. (Click the image to see more detail). We thought a bracelet would be an appropriate place to inscribe it so that others could be encouraged to have a similar response when life throws unexpected events their way. We hope to increase the awareness for bone marrow donation especially in the collegiate arena. These young people meet the age restriction and could remain on the registry for their lifetime. If we could help save one more life....our efforts will be worth it.

These bracelets are in route to us from China. We would like everyone to have one and to pass some out to your friends. We will try to mail them to you, our prayer warriors. Please click here to e-mail Justin and request your bracelet(s). Leave us your address and how many you would like. As soon as they come in, we will mail them to you.

Justin's clinic visit today went well. His white blood cell count is 5,336. This is normal as is all of his other blood counts. They removed some of his restrictions today. He can go to church as long as he sits up in the front. He still needs to not touch doors or shake hands with others. He is very excited to get out of the house and worship God. He has much to be thankful for. They increased some of the things he can eat...which widens his choices and helps me as what I can prepare for him.

The goal is to slowly weaned him off of the steroids he has been on to settle the Graft vs Host disease down. The rash looks like it is pretty well gone. The doctor has prewarned us that each time they decrease it....Justin will feel as though he has been beat up by 5 people and run over by 5 trucks. They will start that on Monday. So, fatigue withdrawal is on the horizon and we can begin to prepare Justin through prayer. The steroids were necessary because of the rash but, to be on them for too long is not good. The reason they are waiting until Monday is the liver enzyme continues to be high. We don't think that the Graft vs Host is in his liver but, in case it is....the doctors are going to be cautious.

Philippians 3:13

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Phillipians 2: 3-11, 14-16

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.......Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."


It is truly our desire to forget the past pain of this challenging experience and reach toward a healthier future with Justin and our family using what we have gone through for Your glory and for Your purposes. Father, we dedicate these bracelets to You in hopes that we will have success in creating awareness for bone marrow donation. You already see those that will need a bone marrow transplant even years from now....use our efforts to bring about success and health to those individuals. Let Justin's life be as one of these stars that shine in Your universe as he displays Your healing grace just by living day to day. We ask together that his liver be spared any damage from these drugs or Graft vs Host disease. We ask in advance, that the fatigue that awaits him will pass quickly. Resiliency resides inside of him simple because of his youthfulness. Restore to him Lord all that was taken health wise. Allow him to heal, grow new muscle tissue, and strength. Create the right balance of hormones so that he can continue to grow into the man that You envision him to be. We dedicate the life of Justin Tyler Cude to You for Your kingdom purposes.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, February 07, 2005 9:22 PM
Justin continues to thrive!! His clinic visit went well and his blood counts continue to remain in the normal range.

They are beginning to cut back on the medicine to control the Graft vs Host rash. We can pray that Justin's body will respond positively and that the rash would not come back.

His liver and kidney enzymes are high because of all the work they are doing to filter the anti-rejection drugs and the rest of the drugs he is on. These are two major organs that take a big hit from the chemotherapy and transplant process. Please pray that his liver and kidney will continue to work optimally and remain neutral. Please pray that they will filter out all the toxins and not hold on to them, creating more problems.


Thank you for each day and the healing that Justin's body continues to do. You have used science and medicine as tools to bring about his healing. Thank you for the scientists and the experiments that went on for years before Justin was ever diagnosed to bring about a regimen of drugs that could halt his leukemia. Father, there is so much You do for us behind the scenes. Thank you for circumstances and people that You send just at the right time and in the right place to bring about Your intended purposes in our lives. How I anticipate hearing from our own donor's voice why she donated her marrow to Justin and what You spoke to her perhaps years prior to prepare her for such a sacrifice. Bless her tonight Lord and her family. Father, we continue our prayer vigil for Justin and ask that order be in his liver and kidneys. Allow these two organs to function properly without strain or buildup of toxins that could cause subsequent issues even later in life. Heal Justin Lord and let him become a newly rebuilt piece of art that no one would know by examining his internal organs that he has gone through what he has gone through. Let each organ, including his heart, remain strong and full of Your anointing to carry him through this time of recovery and the rest of his life. Lord, this is day 53 since he received his new cells. March 26th will be day 100.....we continue to reach for that day with anticipation that it will be pivotal and celebratory and a true solidified turning point in his healing. We love You Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, February 02, 2005 8:30 PM
We are happy to say that Justin continues to thrive. He is eating and gaining new strength each day. He is getting a good jump on his homework. He really wants to go back to school. We will have to see what the doctor thinks about that. Perhaps that may work out in a few months if all is still looking good.

He will be going back to the clinic for a checkup tomorrow and we will let you know the results. I found this article, written by Catherine Brown, called, "Even Now!" It relates the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to what we have been talking about, standing firm in our faith through tragedy. I hope it ministers to you as it did to me.


Thank you for another day of recovery and the new strength gained in Justin. It is wonderful to have him home!!

In Jesus Name,


by Catherine Brown
Gatekeepers Prayer & Mission

"Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, 'Lord, the one you love is sick.'" John 11:1-3


Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Twice, in just a few verses (v3, v5), we learn that Jesus cared deeply for the sisters and their brother. It's important for us to acknowledge this because, otherwise, the family's circumstances and Jesus' initial response to them might cause us some bewilderment. We can depend on the Lord's love to be our strong foundation in times of trouble. In times of desperation and devastation, we can rely completely on Jesus.


Jesus was in close proximity to the village where Lazarus lay extremely ill. It was perfectly achievable for Jesus to go and visit Lazarus and heal him from whatever sickness or disease was afflicting him. However, despite the severity of the situation, Jesus delayed His visit to Lazarus for two days and, in the interim period, Lazarus passed away.

Without a firm underpinning of Jesus' love in our lives, God's timing and chosen method of response might seem puzzling and, perhaps initially, frightening to us.

Do we look at delay and become concerned that the Lord is somehow negligent in our circumstances? Jesus' disciples also wrestled with similar questions.

One evening, during a terrible storm, the Lord and the disciples were out in a boat on the lake. The Lord was completely exhausted and fell into a deep sleep. Meanwhile, the waves and the wind became higher and the disciples became exceedingly afraid. Still the Lord slept on, utterly spent and unable to waken.

When the Lord did not immediately awaken, the disciples cried out in terror, "Don't you care about us, Lord?" Jesus stood up, commanded the waves and the water to be still, and restored peace in the elements and peace in the hearts of His men. Both Jesus' actions and His words demonstrated the depth of His love for them and the authority given to Him by Father God.

Jesus is not neglectful; he has intimate knowledge of every detail and facet of our lives. Jesus has the words of life and knowledge that are our anchor in life's storm, which bring us out of defeat and into victorious living. When doubts and anxieties arise in our hearts, the Lord wants to reassure us and give us peace. At times like these, we just need to rest in the love of God and remember to trust Jesus. Jesus comes to us today and says to the storms that rage around us, "be still." Precious one, receive His peace.


Jesus had the word of knowledge about Lazarus' life locked deep in His heart. He knew that, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." John 11:4

The Lord wants us to view our lives through this Kingdom perspective that, no matter what we face, He is our everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. We need to ask the Lord for His perspective in our circumstances.


"Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has not light." John 11:9, 10

Life is not always sunshine and laughter. There are times when our hearts are broken by unexpected tragedy. At such times we may stumble and be in great need of God's help and healing. It is possible to become so preoccupied by circumstance that one can forget to focus fully on Jesus.

However, it is not with a rebuke, but with words of tenderness that the Lord beckons to us, calling us out from the shadow of melancholy into the glorious Light of His love. The shadows may be feelings of doubt, helplessness, hopelessness, heartbreak, or fear. They may be shadows of worthlessness, shame, pain, or loss of vision. In our weakness, we come to Jesus, in whom we find rest for our souls and hope for our hearts. We do not need to feel strong and have all or, indeed, any of the answers.

Jesus is THE answer. He is our ever present strength and shield. Jesus is compassionate towards us and loves us with an everlasting love. Jesus is with us whether we are aware of His manifest presence or not. His promise to us is that He will never leave us or forsake us -- no matter what. There is nothing in heaven or earth that can separate us from His love.

"Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." John 11:11


"On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 'Lord,' Martha said to Jesus, 'if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.'" John 11:17-22


What an incredible transition for Martha! Martha had once been disciplined by the Lord for having a wrong attitude towards Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus, whilst Martha was busy around the house (Luke 10:38-42).

Here was Martha, now a champion of faith, being the first to make her way towards Jesus. Martha's heart was overshadowed with sorrow at the sudden death of her brother, yet she pursued the presence of Christ in her difficult circumstances. Her attitude towards Jesus was one of love and respect. She did not blame Jesus for her brother's death or look for someone to accuse. She refused to feel sorry for herself, but instead, chose to hope in Christ, being full of faith for her dead brother to be healed.

Her magnificent words, "even now," are surely a wake up call to the depths of our beings, to rise up and say "even now," Lord we will believe you for a miracle in our personal situations, whatever they may be. Even when all looks dark, as we are confronted with death and despair, as we weep with those who are suffering, will we say, "even now!" Jesus is our strong deliverer, the Resurrection, and the Life.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005 9:36 PM
Justin continues to thrive!! Thank you for all your words of encouragement and praises to our Father in heaven. I choose these three passages in Psalm and Proverbs to continue to the give our Lord all the glory and to learn directly from His Word what to do what trouble strikes.

Psalm 61

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your Name."

When I read this passage, I can almost see King David growing weary in his persistent prayer to the Lord. He doesn't understand why King Saul is pursuing him with the intent to kill. He comes to the end of his own ability to deal with the stress of it all. He asks God to "lead him to a rock that is higher than himself." I have found that place too! It is a place of stability to stand and live while all of life swirls around us.

Proverbs 18:10

"The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."

Both this verse and the one above speak about a strong tower. I find this to be a real place of security. I love the way this Psalmist gets there. He runs!!! When trouble hits us, and the adrenaline kicks in to help us find the way out....those serious in their relationship to the Lord, will make this their first place of seeking refuge. It is a place where we can live and survive the harsh elements of circumstances beyond our control.

Psalm 103

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy Name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He forgives all my sins and heals al my diseases; He redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion. He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.....The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children's children---with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts. The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey His Word. Praise the Lord, all His heavenly hosts, you His servants who do His will. Praise the Lord, all His works everywhere in His dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul."

What a beautiful love letter to us....God's creation!


Thank you for Your Word and for the strength it gives. You are and will always be a strong tower and a rock that is higher than we could ever be. Thank you for not leaving us here alone to figure life out by ourselves. (Song that we sing at our church) "Only a God like You could be worthy of our praise and all our hope and only a King of all Kings, do we bow our knee and sing and give our everything...Our Father, Our Maker, Redeemer, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder only a God like we give our praise."

In Jesus Name,


Monday, January 31, 2005 9:00 PM
Justin's visit at the clinic was awesome! We learned that his new white blood cell count is now in the normal range at 4466. His platelet count is also in the normal range as is his red blood cell count. It has been 30 days today since the first few white blood cells showed up. You can go back and reread the update on Christmas Day. Remember the story of Elijah and the impending rain he was waiting for? We have been waiting too! On December 25th we saw a small glimpse of what we see know. Justin's body has indeed been raining all the necessary blood counts for his optimal health and recovery. Thank You Lord for all of the work You have been doing inside of Justin!!

Even though Justin's counts are up in the normal range, they are still being suppressed and not working at full strength. That is because of the anti-rejection medicine he must take for awhile. He will not be on this his whole life. After 3 months, if all is okay, the dosage will decrease and then after 6 months, if all is still okay....he may be taken off all together. What a glorious day that will be!!

As far as his rash looks a whole lot better. It is responding nicely to this treatment. But, it has had an enormous response to the prayers.


You have come in response to our prayers. You have canceled the potential damage that Graft vs Host was capable of doing. How can we thank You Lord? I feel so humbled that I just want to kneel before You in silence. Words are too few to show my gratitude. We sense Your love for us Lord...and if this world could only know You in this way....they would fall on their face too. We know You created us with a free moral choice to love You but, once Your love is experienced with such intimacy.....there is no other love on this earth that can compare to it. We are enthralled with who You are. Be glorified!

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, January 29, 2005 5:18 PM
Justin's rash seems better in the initial areas but, it has spread to new areas. The doctor told us to just keep doing what we are doing. He appears to be fine...not feverish...and he is eating and drinking. The prayer strategy is focused upon this rash, that the Lord will curtail it and not allow it to take Justin's life.

I was thinking more about the concept of "Expecting Miracles," as a natural realistic response to life's dramas. I have learned that God is not a puppet on a string to be manipulated through prayer. He is holy and in control of all things. However, we have a part of agreement with God as He works among us. If there was a door that separated heaven from this world it may look similar to one of those adjoining doors that connect two rooms in a hotel. There is a lock and a handle on each side. Our job is to get to our side of that door, unlock it, reach up for that handle and open it extending our faith to a Sovereign God. Now we have set ourselves up to receive a miracle from a holy, immovable, unshakable God. In that moment of reverence, we must trust that God's ultimate response to our request, whether it be miraculous or not, is His part. That answer will rest upon His Sovereignty, His providence, and His will. He sees our circumstance, and will come in response to our prayers but, His answer must be received with trust. A trust that will not waiver should His answer be "no" when we wanted a "yes" or "yes" when we wanted a "no." We can trust God that even when life hurts, He will help us. He provides comfort to us when we cry. He evens laughs with us when we laugh! He is not a God who is so separated from the understanding of how He created us...that He deals with us harshly. He is a God of love and if we would give him our wounded hearts and not blame Him and become embittered against Him...He will give us the strength to keeping digging into our circumstance and find the "good" that He fully intended for us to find. It is His promise..."All things WILL work out for good to those that love the Lord." In the process, our hearts will heal...and life will continue.

I share those thoughts with you which have come not only from Justin's experience but, from a life where I have had to live in painful situations and God has proven Himself to me time and time again. Most incidences I have had to wait for the Lord's response. But, He taught me to hold on to His promises and keep walking and to trust that He would bring my answer in His time. Have you ever heard the phrase..."Well, whatever happens, was just meant to be." Those words have been spoken to me on more than one occasion in a sincere attempt to bring comfort and perhaps acceptance of the severity of Justin's illness. There is some measure of truth to that...after the fact. But, before that final curtain has been drawn, I don't think we should leave things up to chance and just wish for the best.

Life is not all full of intense dramas of life and death. We can apply these truths of expecting miracles in our everyday life and begin to move out of complacency and into a life that waits for God's wonderful promises to be exalted upon our homes, our businesses, and our lives. He died for us to have it....we just have to reach up for it.


We thank You for Your great and precious promises that You died for us to thrive on. We want them Lord...all of them...Pour out upon my brothers and sisters all that You have stored up for them. Let us trust You in the good times and help us to stay quiet and diligent during the harder places in life. You will help us Lord...that is a fact. Get us to the place where we can live with unanswered questions and continue to bask in the warmth of Your love anyway. Remove the intense need to is hard to grapple with that with our limited human understanding. Many times, it sets us on a path of separation from You. I have heard it said...during situations when loved ones have died after requesting Your help..they cry out to You, "Lord, where were You when my son died?" Your answer was, "In the same place I was, when mine died." We know that many others before us have not lived through this experience but, Lord, today we have our hand on that adjoining door and we continue to plead with You, to let Justin live. You have performed numerous miracles to get him to this point. Remove this rash...bring complete and total healing...give our family the opportunity to carry Your torch. We will give You all the glory and honor.

In Jesus Name,

Friday, January 28, 2005 9:38 PM
Justin's rash continues to respond to the medication. He is only bothered by the itching occasionally. James 5:17 encourages us to keep up the prayer vigil. It talks about continued heartfelt prayers of the righteous making tremendous dynamic power available. I pray that the Lord would strengthen us to never give up. Believe Him to do great things in your life....He is just waiting for His people to tenaciously trust Him and to expect miracles! A big thank you to Dana Johnston for a beautiful bracelet that says, "Expect Miracles" on it. I love it and will wear it often. After having gone through the last two years together...certainly each and every one of us can push our faith to a higher point of belief. Believe God to do great things through you and those around you....I would rather believe God for a haul and get some of it than to believe Him for nothing and get all of it.

Much of what we are doing is waiting......we are prayerfully waiting upon a Sovereign God who is and has been moving in response to our prayers. He has been healing Justin in His way and in His time. I like the way James 5: 7 reminds us how to patiently wait like the farmer. After planing his seeds, he expectantly cares for the land and waits for the precious harvest to present itself. It is never easy and there is always much work to be done before, during, and after the harvest. There is something profoundly hidden in the struggle part. The part that is the part that stretches us beyond our human capacity. It is the part where the fire of God Himself comes in response to desperation. We have been desperate...and I want to learn to stay desperate. Desperate for the intervention of God's presence in our lives and our churches, schools, and nation. Circumstances can drive us to our knees or we can chose to live there.


We want to pray desperate prayers and believe you to intervene in our world. We want to live lives that will expect miracles, signs and wonders. Here we are Lord....a group of people connected over the internet...directed by Your Hand to pray for Justin's healing. Move each and every one of us out and into the world around us...keeping this experience tucked inside our heart of faith. Help us to see what You see and to cover in prayer that which You lay on our hearts. You have shown us a much bigger picture here...Life is very little about us individually and much more about our corporate bond. There is a strength in our numbers...a vast army has been awakened....and we are ready Lord to believe You for whatever next assignment lies ahead. Until then we confirm with our mouths that Justin is healed.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, January 27, 2005 9:12 PM
The mysterious rash has a is Graft vs Host disease. The doctors rated it a grade two. It is not in the fatal stage but, there is enough of it present to take seriously and to get under control.

So far so good. The rash does not seem to be getting worse. The treatment he is on seems to be halting its progress. We need to watch Justin carefully for fevers or any spreading of the rash into new areas. He will be going back to the clinic on Monday. They will be increasing his preventative medication to guard against fungal and airborne viruses. He can get ill from this medication to save his life. This may be taxing to his liver and other he is need of our continual prayers.

You can find out more about what Graft vs Host is by surfing the web. I'll explain it in terms unlike no other (My made up version) .... these 84 billion new baby stem cells that Justin received on Dec. 16th have been happily running through the new home of his body. The welcome mat has been out for them but only they can decide to move in for good. Everything must seem so foreign and unrecognizable to them. Perhaps I can better describe it through the eyes of a foster child who is being adopted. All the memory is there of what use to be....but given enough time, nurture, and love this child can learn to thrive in his/her new environment. Graft vs Host begins when these baby cells start moving in....just like children calling out...."I call this room"..."Why do you get the biggest room?"..."I wanted that room!"....They are actually penetrating deep into Justin's marrow but, they are finding themselves uncomfortable there. Just like the first few weeks of an adopted child. Perhaps nighttime is the hardest and the scariest to feel secure and feel like you belong. Out of fear, the T-cells in the blood are rising up and declaring "this is not our home." Perhaps in this state, they are acting out in an ornery sort of way. But, just like a loving mature adult can recognize this and extend more love until the storm has this is what the T-cells need. They need to feel like they belong so that they will settle in and settle down to protect Justin and not harm him. Just like an adopted child will build esteem and connectedness through time and experiences, so our prayers can be directed toward these lively and most powerful T-cells. They will decide whether the family stays or not.

As an intercessor I look at this through a different sort of lens. We are still in this battle and strategies are necessary to ensure victory. For one thing....this mysterious illness now has a longer is it in hiding threatening Justin's life. It has been brought out in the light and exposed. This is always a good thing and specific, strategic prayers directing towards its downfall will weaken its hold. Besides, there is no other name that can exalt itself above the name of our the name of Graft vs Host will eventually bow its knee to the Mighty Name of our God....Jesus!


Thank you for the exposure of the threatening Graft vs Host disease. We pray that Justin's body will quickly respond to this treatment and that the lively T-cells will settle down and settle in. We speak Your peace to these mighty T-cells. Just like ornery children who act out of insecurity...we extend our prayers of love to comfort them and ask for a sense of belonging to be imparted into their memory. Let these T-cells make warm memories of their own here in their new home of Justin's body. Let them learn to accept it. Let them learn to defend it. Lord, impart Your healing into this process. So much can be learned about the blood and how You created it to cleanse and purify our bodies. Thank you for Your arms extended and the blood You released upon the cross so that even now in 2005 one young life can be set free from a spirit of infirmity. There is no other name that can exalt itself above Yours and at the mention of Your Name ---Jesus----the name of Graft vs Host will bow its knee in surrender.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, January 26, 2005 8:48 PM
Justin is doing well. Despite the rash, he continues to eat and is gaining new strength each day. He is working on homework and getting into a routine. One of his teachers is meeting regularly with him at our home and is the liaison for the classes he is making up.

The lab has not returned with the biopsy results yet. They have had to do extensive testing and this takes time. They told us that we should have the results when we arrive for our clinic appointment in the morning.

Meanwhile, we have continued treating Justin's rash with baths and ointment and benadryl. It still looks the same. My prayers are for those eyes that are examining this piece of Justin's skin. I pray for an accurate diagnosis.


As tonight comes to a close, I thank You for another day of recovery for Justin. Lord, it is our hearts cry tonight for an accurate diagnosis of Justin's biopsy. I ask that every eye that looks upon his skin sample to evaluate it has been trained for this type of diagnosis. I pray that they would see only what You allow. Lord, let them hit the bulls eye with no shadow of doubting. I ask that Justin be cured from any and all complications that would rob him of full recovery. Thank you for helping him to eat and drink. He is getting better Lord. Each day we thank you for one more day that You have granted us with him. Oh, how You have changed what we view as important in this life......Only You are holy....and all we have, has been given by Your gracious hand. Thank You Father for the lives of our children...

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, January 25, 2005 7:42 PM
Justin was up in the night quite uncomfortable and itchy with this rash. By morning it was still present so he did have to endure the skin biopsy. The doctors are fairly certain that what he has is Graft vs Host disease. The biopsy results should be back in the next 2 days to confirm their diagnosis.

They have started him on a treatment plan today and will see him again on Thursday. You can pray for him to be comfortable and be relieved of the need to itch. We are doing all we can to help alleviate it with baths and ointment.

The doctor said that alittle Graft vs Host is not bad. It can actually work in Justin's favor for the future of keeping leukemic cells from multiplying. So, we continue to take the stance of "No worries." The Lord has written a whole section on it in Matthew 6: 25-34. Refraining from worrying is part our strategy for surviving this illness. We agree with the Lord..that worrying will not add one more day to Justin's life. So when worry tries to crowd out our trust and faith that God is good, we read and reread His Word. I personally think it is even more effective to speak it out loud. Faith is not based on how we feel, it is based on what the Word says is so.


You chose another path for Justin today. He wanted to be spared the biopsy and asked You for it. However, when Your answer matter what it is....we know that we can trust You for Your intentions are for good. I know it pleases You when we boldly ask. Today, You pulled rank on us.....You decided that this would be better for Justin to endure this. You are a good Father and You delight in giving lavishly and giving us our hearts desire. Certainly we do not have a medical understanding to comprehend what the doctors see in "alittle" Graft vs Host working in Justin's favor. Father, we ask that it all be controlled and that this disease will not reek havoc for Justin's full recovery. We ask for a special protection on his liver and kidney and ask that You would continue to keep them working at their optimal levels. We love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, January 24, 2005 1:33 PM
Justin woke up with a rash on his body. We know in this time of recovery how vulnerable he is to Graft vs Host disease. It may be that or it may be a reaction to one of the medications he is on or even a fungal infection.

Either way it is very important that it be diagnosed properly. Time is of the essence and this needs to be taken seriously. The game plan is to bring him back to the clinic in the morning. If the rash is still there he will need to endure a skin biopsy. It is not the most pleasant thing to have done but, it is necessary to see what is happening. This test will be able to determine the root cause of the rash and we will be able to proceed with a treatment plan.

Here is Justin's strategy: He asked us all to pray for a miracle. He is asking God today that He would turn this around in 24 hours and that the rash will miracously disappear as fast as it came. He will be spared the biopsy should this be the case. I will stand in agreement with him and I'm asking you to join me.

His cell count is up to 2448. Everything else is looking very well.


You are a miracle working God. We can't see what is happening inside of Justin's body, but we trust that You do. Justin is pleading with You to display Your miracle healing power upon his skin and to fix what is out of balance and causing it to erupt in lesions. Father, place so much faith in Justin that he will learn to lay his hands on others and see you instantaneously heal them of their illnesses. You have shown Yourself to him in ways most people would never experience in their lifetime. We will trust that You are working behind the scenes and in ways that are hidden from our view. You have our complete trust Lord....Let Your Kingdom come and let Your will be this situation...

In Jesus Name,


Friday, January 21, 2005 5:48 PM
We don't have much news to report. All Justin is doing is drinking, eating, and resting.

He had another free day from the clinic today. His next visit will be Monday. I will plan to post an update then, unless something else comes up.

I have said this before but in many respects he is like having a brand new baby in the house. All they do is eat, drink, and nap a lot, too. Sooner or later this will all catch up to him and inner physical strength will be seen. Just like an infant.....first they roll over.....then they sit up.....crawl...and before you know it they are running out the door. Justin is in need of some serious down time. T - I - M - E -.......he needs major doses of it to heal.....and then to regain his weight....and finally to regain his strength.

In the meantime, please continue your prayers toward those three areas, eating, drinking and resting. We appreciate all of your love and prayers so much.....


Thursday, January 20, 2005 8:17 PM
Justin had a good report at the clinic today. His cell count is up to 1296. He is recovering beautifully. He needs to increase his intake of liquid to keep fully hydrated.

Even though he is eating, he still lost 2 1/2 more pounds since Tuesday (of which he can't afford). They explained that his metabolism is working 10x harder than normal and is requiring more than he could eat to keep up. He is doing the best he can and so.....we will just be skinny for awhile.

Carissa is doing better. She kept up with her breathing treatments all day and will continue through tomorrow. Hopefully she will be ready to go back to school on Monday. Thank you for praying for her.

Ephesians 3: 20

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations...forever and ever! Amen"

I heard the concept of "bathing" prayer illustrated this way. When bathing an infant it doesn't make sense to put the child in the water, wash an arm, then take the child out, dry him off and then put him back in, bathe his leg.....take him out,...dry him off.... etc. No, when we bathe an infant we keep him in the water until his whole body is washed then, we take him out and dry him off. This is a powerful tool to remember when we come before the Father in prayer, especially when we are joining with others in intercession. It is best to put the whole circumstance or person in the water of the Word and cleanse it from top to bottom. If we are restless many times our prayers can become sporadic and disjointed because we have not immersed the situation in its entirety. Our Lord wants us to trust Him to work out details...even down to the smallest insignificant recount.


Thank you for another day of healing. Thank you for the good report at the clinic. We continue to keep Justin bathed in prayer. We continue to wash him in his entirety. You see all that is required for him to heal. We ask that You guide our prayers as we trust You to work out the details of even how to continue praying for Justin. Ultimately Lord we want our prayers to be in agreement with Your will for Justin's life. We ask for that agreement tonight and that Your bigger plan and purpose would unfold as You reveal a glimpse of what Justin's future might look like.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, January 19, 2005 8:44 PM
Justin has done so well they actually gave him a free day from the clinic. I was looking forward to a day off....but Carissa woke up struggling to breathe with the croup. So, it was back down to the doctor and she has been on breathing treatments today. No one in our family has struggled with asthma so this was all new to me. I have had to work to keep Justin and Carissa separated so that she doesn't infect the rest of us.

Justin has had an excellent day eating and drinking. He accomplished some homework and later in the day enjoyed visits from friends. It is all still low key and he is resting a lot.

He will be back at the clinic tomorrow and we will have his counts checked then and let you know how he is doing.


Thank you for helping me care for Carissa today. I feel exhausted from expended so much effort in caring for Justin. I realized that You have kept Mike, Carissa, and I all well for two years. Father, open up her bronchial tubes and heal this viral croup. I ask that You will protect Justin, Mike and myself from being infected with it. I see Your healing happening in our home....I see Your goodness resting upon Justin.....We worship You and delight in giving You our adoration.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, January 18, 2005 8:43 PM
What a great day Justin has had. He woke up and wanted french toast for breakfast. His appetite for the whole day continued. There sure is something about being home and home cooking that is appealing to the emotion of eating.

His outpatient appointment came and went and only lasted 1 1/2 hours. He is doing an excellent job at keeping his body hydrated. He said he is using his mental strength to drink because he still doesn't have a desire for it. All in all, the doctors are pleased with his progress.

I made him a birthday dinner and some birthday cupcakes to share with his friends that stopped by. With all the excitement of the day, we didn't quite get started on his home schooling but, tomorrow we will try and tackle some of it.

Thank you for all the warm Happy Birthday wishes. It is good to have him home and to celebrate his 15th birthday together and outside the walls of a hospital room.

Remember Justin's birthday life verse...the entire chapter of Psalm match 1/18/90


Verse 23 of Psalm 118 says, "This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." Lord, we look at Justin and can't help but think of Your handiwork and Your all-sufficient power resting upon him. What is happening in his body IS Your doing and it builds tremendous faith as we marvel at it. You are supernaturally restoring him and bringing about order. Reveal Your best work in Justin...and let him be to You a trophy. A trophy that inspires others to fight back and to trust You when life gets hard. We love You Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, January 17, 2005 7:48 PM
Day 40.....WE'RE HOME!!!!! Justin walked all the way out of the hospital, into our car, and arrived on his own turf around 2:30 pm. We are so proud of him. The procedure to remove his broviac went very well too. Thank you for your prayers. He will eventually need the other one taken out some time soon.

Carissa had been out of town at a winter retreat and we got her home around 4:00 pm. One of the first things we did together is have dinner. Justin ate alittle but, that is still an area that needs our prayers.

After unpacking and starting everyone's laundry...Justin helped Carissa with her homework. Last time I heard he was quizzing her on her spelling words. We will be starting Justin's home schooling tomorrow to get him caught up. Please pray that he will be able to focus and concentrate. The effects of the chemo and radiation affect those abilities but, we can ask God to intervene on Justin's behalf and help him. It will be good for Justin to challenge himself mentally.

He will start his outpatient visits tomorrow at 10:00 am. These may be lengthy in the beginning. His life cell count was at 920. He is off to a good start......but it is still one day at a time.

Tomorrow is his 15th birthday. He is reminding us often that in one year he will be driving. He is telling Carissa that he will be happy to drive her anywhere she needs to go. So .....this time next year we will have a whole lot of other issues to contend with. (And we'll be thankful for the opportunity to do so)


Thank you for the privilege of bringing Justin home. It feels so good to be home together. I pray that Justin will have no complications during his recovery time at home. Let our family heal and continue to make us stronger for having gone through this experience. Thank you for the grace You gave each one of us to shoulder this burden. As each day rolls into the next, help us to retain all that You have taught us. We will never forget how You provided for our every need. We love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, January 16, 2005 7:20 PM
Day 39.....7th and last day of boot camp! Justin continues to eat and drink the minimum, but it's enough to send him on his way. Awesome!! Tune in tonight to Channel 15 ....they aired Justin's homecoming story on the 5:30 pm and 10:00 pm news show.

His life cell count was 988. He was a bit more tired from all the activity he did yesterday but still managed to walk downstairs again.

Tomorrow he will have to endure a simple surgery of removing one of his broviac lines in his chest. He is nervous about this as he has been put completely under anesthesia in the past. This time he will only be semi-sedated. We are not sure exactly what time they will be able to do this but, it should be before noon. He will not able to eat or drink anything after 6:00 am tomorrow in preparation for this.


As we think about tomorrow our hearts are filled with joy. We are going home!! We thank you for bringing us to this milestone. We pray for Justin and for this procedure tomorrow. We ask that You remove the fear from his heart and continue to allow the courageous spirit in his nature to prevail. Give the doctors wisdom at keeping him calm and let his broviac slip out without complication. Lord, we know home is just the next step in his recovery and we still have a journey in front of us so, we will continue to lean on You at each turn as we watch Justin become stronger each day.

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, January 15, 2005 6:28 PM
Day 38...6th day of boot camp. Today started out awesome! Justin ate a whole pop-tart for breakfast. He knew he had to take his medication by pill and he had to keep it down. It worked!! By mid-morning everything that was hanging from his pole was removed. The only medication he was being given was hydrating fluid. He drank a little over 1 1/2 bottles of water.....all of this is proof that we are going home on Monday!!!!!

He was up and active. We played games most of the day. The most exciting thing that happened was Justin asking the doctor for permission to walk to the cafeteria and him saying, "Sure...." I was alittle leery of how much strength he would have and wanted to take a wheelchair just in case but, as Justin would have it...we walked. We walked and walked and walked....he went up and down three flight of stairs....I couldn't believe it!!!! He had more stamina and endurance than I could have ever imagined! It was awesome to see him go outside and look up into the sky. He loved feeling the wind on his face.

He smiled and laughed and is starting to be himself again. Mike and I have not left his side. We have alternated shifts throughout the day and night. Tomorrow, however, we are going to church together. Even in that, it is a start to getting a bit more normalcy back into our lives.

Justin's life cell count was at 987. He continues to make his own red blood cells and platelets. So, that's our story for day 38....and it has been a blessed day!


Thank you for another day of recovery and for the strength and endurance Justin portrayed. Be glorified in and through him as he displays Your healing power to a world that is desperate for Your intervention in their lives. Thank you for hearing our prayers for his nutrition. His appetite is increasing day by day. Thank you for allowing him to keep down his medication. Lord, it is our desire that "our home and family serve you." Joshua 24:15. Mike and I are looking forward to worshipping You together. We have missed that! When we married, we made a triangular commitment to each other but also to You that we would honor You in our marriage. Be glorified in our worship to You tomorrow.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, January 14, 2005 8:34 PM
Day 37....5th day of boot camp. Justin decided that home sounded really good and drank 1 whole bottle of water by 10:30 am. He was able to drink about another 1/2 bottle before the evening. Thank you for your prayers for this. This was a huge accomplishment and quite a determination on Justin's part.

In order for him to go home on Monday he has to be able to swallow the anti-rejection pills by mouth and keep them down. Right now he is receiving them intravenously. He still has not been able to eat anything and we all know what it is like to take medication on an empty stomach. So we can pray that tomorrow Justin's appetite will increase. With all the water he consumed today, his stomach must have expanded. Pray that Justin will feel hunger pains and desire to satisfy his need for nutrition.

He did good staying up and active and we even played some card games. Home seems like the natural next step for us.

Psalm 126

"When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."

Our family feels as though we have lived out this passage of scripture. We were taken captive back in Feb. of 2003 when the sentence of leukemia fell upon Justin. But, now we feel as though we are returning with the same surreal sensation.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

"Most blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit."


Thank you for hearing our prayers for Day 37....You helped Justin to drink 1 1/2 bottles of water today! You are awesome! I ask that dehydration would not be a setback for Justin during his recovery time at home. I pray that his thirst would continue and increase as the days progress. As we stand on Your Word tonight drawing strength from it...I ask for the opportunity to let it be said among the nations, that You have done great things for us. It is Your promise that what was lost will be restored and though we went out weeping....we are returning with laughter and joy and with the seeds of Your goodness being planted in all who will listen. We identify with Jeremiah that even in times of drought when we can't see what's ahead but only feel the intense heat of our circumstance...even in those times....Your Word tells us that we can choose to not be anxious and that surprisingly enough we can continue to stay green (Healthy) and produce fruit (do good for others). We don't have to shrivel up when pain of any kind comes against us. We can stand believing that our roots extend to such depths in Your love that we will be sustained and come out of our circumstance stronger. God, You are trustworthy and if we are not going to trust You wholeheartedly in the tough times, than our love for You is not fully grounded. We are Your children and You are the Most High God. You are a Father who delights in caring for us even when the pain of adversity seems to separate. Things are not always as they seem...and we can never be separated from Your love. That is Your promise!

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, January 13, 2005 8:30 PM
Day 36...4th day of boot camp. Justin is continually challenged to try and keep his body hydrated. The goal he must consume to go home is 2 liters (approximately 2 full water bottles). Today he only was able to drink a half of bottle of water. Please pray that tomorrow he will jump on tackling this goal. One of the biggest setbacks for those discharged from the hospital is dehydration. Many times this causes the patient to come right back and often presents other problems like fevers which may even mean being readmitted. So this is a goal that Justin needs to reach before he can go home for his own optimal health.

He did have a very special visit from a motocross/ freestyle/supermoto champion Travis Pastrana. He is from Maryland and is in town for the Supercross race at Bank One Ballpark this Saturday. This was a highlight for Justin as he admires this world-champion rider. A big thank you to the staff here at Good Samaritan who had a hand in this all coming about.

I took a care givers class this afternoon to prepare me to care for Justin at home. It is extensive and a lot of work. I would ask for prayers of increased stamina to keep our motto of one day at a time. It can easily become overwhelming. Even though Justin is recovering, his new immune system is purposely being suppressed with anti-rejection drugs. This leaves him wide open to air-borne illnesses that he cannot fight off. Valley Fever is one of those threats. We will take every precaution but the only thing I know to do is what we've been doing all along. PRAY!!! I believe that God will help us in our ignorance and give us knowledge and wisdom on the needs each day presents. March 26 will be day 100 past transplant. This will be a celebratory reach this mark is a milestone and a turning point in his recovery.


Thank You for Your provisions as day 36 comes to a close. When You said that Your grace would be sufficient and Your power made perfect in weakness You weren't being flippant. If You had told us the night Justin was diagnosed how long this journey would be, it would have overtaken us. But, You have given us the mind set of taking "One Day at a Time". We keep that in our hearts as we focus our eyes on You waiting for us at the finish line. You are not a coping skill to us, You are our source of survival. You are our motivation for fighting so hard. You said You wouldn't give us more than we could bear. So, when it gets hard...Your grace is poured out more abundantly. We believe Your words to be truth...We believe You have equipped us to be victorious and so we continue to run this race to win!! We look forward to crossing over the finish line and running into Your arms, Our Father God. To know You and the power of Your will all have been worth it.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, January 12, 2005 7:12 PM
Day 35.....Day 3 of boot camp!! Justin continues to dig deep and is being successful in finding new strength each day. His life cell count is 988 and his body is making red blood cells and platelets on its own. Those counts go up and down and are not in the normal range yet...but, he has not needed a transfusion for over a week. His lungs seem to be doing better too. Even though walking and sitting will expand them, a good hearty laugh would have the same effect. So we are waiting for the "funnies" to hit us.

He has been able to increase his water intake and keep it down. They are giving him some different medication to see if they can help him turn this corner on nausea. Please continue to pray for his nutrition...he still can't eat but a few bites of a cracker each day.


Thank you for another day of recovery and for helping Justin. I thank you for the smiles I see on his face. The process of healing is taking place and I thank you for the patience to endure each step. Nothing is menial because it is attached to the whole picture and each step is a stepping stone to the next one. All we have to do is put one foot in front of the other and walk it out. We don't want to get ahead of You. Speak to us at each turn and remind us often that You are with us. We love You Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, January 11, 2005 5:31 PM
Day 34.....2nd day of boot camp. The doctors found Justin to be low on his oxygenation this morning. This was cause for concern and a chest x-ray was done to rule out pneumonia. So far so good....He has to do breathing exercises to make sure those bottom lobes of his lungs remain open. He is better able to sit up and walk around without as much struggle and doing all of this together will get his whole body working efficiently very soon.

He is really enjoying his book on Jeremy McGrath and that helped pass the time today.

He remained out of bed all day! That is such an accomplishment!! It is truly exciting to see all these little steps adding up. His days and nights were all mixed up and now he is reteaching his body to sleep only at night.

His life cell count went back up to 630. Eating is still a struggle as well as nausea. We will get there...I am confident of that!


Thank you for clearing Justin's lungs of potential pneumonia. Lord we understand the seriousness of getting his body functioning again. Please help him to eat and allow his digestion to operate according to what you designed. Cure him from this nausea. Grant him strength as each day he makes decisions that solidify his healing. He is healed Your stripes and You have given him this brand new rebirth. Be glorified in him.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, January 10, 2005 8:01 PM
Day 33.....The first day of boot camp is never easy! The staff was not sure how the day would progress. The order was written for the psychologist and recreational therapist to pay a visit to Justin's room. Physically he is recovering but, emotionally and mentally he remained disengaged and at a point in his recovery where it could turn and bite him. Pneumonia can set in to these sedentary patients easily. Justin wanted no part of a visit from the "shrink". I don't blame him. But today I saw a part of Justin's doctor that melted my heart. He personally took 20 minutes to just sit in Justin's room and try and draw him out. It worked!!! Within that time period, he managed to get Justin out of bed to show him a picture of him on his dirt bike. He remained interested while Justin showed him how to play one of his motocross playstation games. This very wise and compassionate man was doing more than tending to my son's physical needs. He woke him up emotionally and I will always remember this day as he displayed more of a tender father's heart to Justin.

Justin remained up most of the day and sat in a chair. He played video games and walked the pod a few times. I know he is forcing himself and that in and of itself is quite a challenge, but it must be done. He is still a bit more quiet and reserved than normal. A big thank you to Mark Johnson for sending him a book about, Jeremy McGrath and how he started in motocross. It was a perfect gift on a perfect day to engage Justin. Thank you Mark!!!

His life cell count was down to 468 but again this is still very good. He did eat a cracker today and a popsicle. It is a start and he forced every bite. This is the champion warrior in Justin. I don't know where he finds the strength because he is exhausted.

We are coming down the mountain now and if all of you were standing at the base we should almost be in view. We look tired and weary but we are rejoicing!!! Justin may look thinner.....but he is a survivor!!! He did it!!! They have given us an approximate date to go home, Monday the 17th.....40 days exactly!!!!! Justin can sleep in his own bed and wake up on his 15th birthday..January home!!!! Wow!!!

We have had to prepare our home for Justin's arrival. We had the air ducts professionally cleaned. Today, we had all of the carpets and upholstery cleaned. This is a must because of the immuno-suppressed drugs that Justin will be on for the first six months. He will be open to fungal infections and we need to keep our home very clean. So.....we are ready! All I can "Bring it on."

I believe that laughter is a good medicine as the Lord reminds us in Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."


No doubt that we are tired....this battle has been long and uncertain. It has pulled on every emotional heartstring and required almost more than what it appeared we had to give. But Lord, with Your help we are descending down this mountain. Let the descent be one that with each step out of our bellies will flow laughter. Lord, laughter heals and restores...and we need to laugh. We can only watch Napoleon Dynamite so many times (: Father, come and tickle us with Your Holy Spirit and let the emotional healing begin inside our family.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, January 09, 2005 8:09 PM
Day 32.....In the last 24 hours Justin's body created a huge increase in his platelets. This extra work dropped his life cells to 608. This is all still very good! Platelets serve the body by coagulating the blood and stops the body from bleeding. The development of these are critical to Justin's recovery.

He did eat a small bite of a cracker but it hurt his stomach. He continues to use nausea medication to combat this. The doctor told him that he is putting him in "boot camp". In this "boot camp" he will be required to get up from his bed and walk around the pod. He has to sit up in a chair daily to open his lungs. He has to eat! Period! They are also limiting how much medication he is taking and trying to wean him off. All of this is for one purpose.......TO SEND HIM HOME!!!!!

Sometimes this can be the hardest part. The pomp and circumstance of the transplant is over. We survived it! Now he must function again. His muscles have weakened from lying in this bed for 32 days. Sending him home will be good for Justin mentally. There is no place like it. He can see his dog.....his bike....and anything else that reminds him of life outside the walls of a hospital room.

Isaiah 32: 15-18

"Till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effects of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."


How soothing home sounds and the comfort it brings. Father, allow us to heal together under one roof soon.. You are making our desert a fertile field. A place where what was wrong is being made right. A place where peace is the fruit produced and a quiet confidence rises up out of that. Our home Lord is this place of rest that You described. We pray that Justin would desire home enough to do what is required of him.

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, January 08, 2005 5:54 PM
Day 31.......I guess there was a reason Justin was so exhausted yesterday. His new life cell count rose all the way up to 900! That was a lot of growing! Do you notice how your children tend to sleep more when they are going through a growth spurt? Well, Justin's body is doing that and more and it is requiring a rest and stillness to an even greater degree of normal growth spurts. This is hard and challenging work his body is doing. Praise God that He is doing the work and our part is to continue to trust his timing and leading.

Bless his heart....he did try to drink a bit of a slurpie last night. It sounded decent enough.
Even those few sips keep him up much of the night with nausea. It has been hit hard with the nausea. His pain medication was needed in more abundance today. Please continue to pray for him asking the Lord for strength in his mind and body to overcome this hurdle.

We read all of your encouraging words and thank you for taking the time to let us hear your prayers. It ministers so much to us.


In Isaiah 61, You talk about a twofold recompense for enduring the assaults of reproach. Lord, come and give Justin double for his trouble! Let Your rewards come swiftly to him. Father, the motocross show is coming into town this weekend. Some of those riders were planning on stopping by to visit Justin. Nothing would thrill him more than to have this become a reality. Revive his interest in motocross and allow him to see his dream of riding as not lost but simply on hold. Father, we continue to ask that You would heal Justin on the inside and bring this nausea under control. In Your time, let food sound good to him and desirable. We continue to lean on You Lord, that Your sustenance would sustain Justin during these hard and trying days. We love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, January 07, 2005 8:13 PM
Day 30.....The saga of recovery continues with no complications. (Praise the Lord). Justin has a new life cell count of 360. He is doing well at keeping his own red blood cells and platelets too. He seemed uncharacteristically tired beyond what I have seen from him. His body is producing so much all at the same time. Just sitting up on the edge of the bed exhausted him. Tonight, he had to force himself to to walk around the pod. Doctors orders!

He had no nutrition today and eating just doesn't sound good. But, we have to begin somewhere and have a plan to help him start producing some hunger pains to stimulate an appetite. The doctors won't let him starve nutritionally. They will supplement him if necessary.


Justin seemed more quiet and subdued today. I can only imagine the immensity of what is happening inside of his body and what it requires 24/7 from him mentally. These baby steps are all part of Your plan for his recovery. We will continue to encourage him and walk along side of him. You have not left us alone to figure this all out. You are here with us patiently walking each step and prodding us on to new heights. When we look how far we've come, we are encouraged. Habbakuk 3:19 says that "You will be his strength and will make his feet to be like the feet of a deer. You will enable Justin to go on to the height of high places." When I think about what that means and I envision a deer at the top of a mountain with God-given ability and agility to maneuver in the hard places. Who isn't concerned about slipping on a slope but continues to grasp the foundation with his hoof. I think of a sure-footed confidence not in his own abilities but in Your grace. You have given and imparted all that Justin needs to pull himself up past this point and to "Arise and walk." So we speak that out to him in faith...."Justin, get up, take up your mat and go home!" Mark 2:11

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, January 06, 2005 8:26 PM
Day 29.....Justin has an increased cell count of 315. He had a good uneventful day (except for those times of nausea). They are going to stop his intravenous feeding tonight in hopes of developing his appetite. Food sounds very unappealing to him right now. Even the smell of it makes him sick. His taste buds have been damaged from the chemo and radiation and even water tastes different to him. So.......this is another hurdle he will have to face to get better. His stomach is still healing and nausea is partly from that....partly from all the medicines and drugs he is still on....and partly from being immobile for so long. We need to undergird Justin so that he can have a strong mental approach to overcoming this challenge. He will have to eat without feeling like it or desiring it or enjoying it. It will have to be something he chooses to do because it will help him to get better enough to go home. Can you believe it....home is somewhere on the horizon. Yeah!!! Justin has had a strong athletic mind set during his whole illness. 90% of success is in your attitude and the rest is up to good coordination and skill. So, when he puts his mind to it and determines to do it....we will be one step closer to the exit door.


Please help Justin to press pass this hurdle and to envision himself eating. Grant him a strong mental attitude to "just do it." Help the doctors and Mike and I to be patient with him and allow him to process each necessary step to get from here to there. Lord, You have given Justin a great mind and we are asking You to help him find that place of determination so that he can overcome this hurdle. He is weak Lord....but You are so strong. So much has been required of him. Lord would You help him by developing his appetite and giving him a desire to eat? Would You heal his stomach and remove the fear of vomiting up each bite? Would You protect his body from losing any more weight? Thank You Lord that You don't look on the outward appearance but You look at the heart. Please reward Justin for his heart has been completely and totally trusting in You each step of the way. Lord, he was trusting You even when he was required to sign his last will and testament before he underwent this procedure. Lord, He laid his life into the palm of Your hands and You held him there ever so securely. You have caused his faith to grow and to trust You no matter what. You helped him just like You did Daniel! Nothing is too hard for You. Your arm is not too short to reach down and pull anyone of us up and out of the mess we find ourselves. You set our feet on solid ground and You make our footsteps firm.

In Jesus Name,

Barb .

Wednesday, January 05, 2005 7:40 PM
Day 28.....Another good uneventful day (except for nausea). Justin's new life cell count is at 145. That is down from yesterday but, still in the ballpark and recovery is looking smooth.

He came down another 10 mg off of his pain medication. He also is limiting his nausea medication. All our prayer requests remain the same. Strength, stamina, appetite, No Graft vs. Host disease, and above all that the Lord will get all the glory for this Christmas miracle He has performed in Justin now and forever.

We love the Foungies Family!!! We wanted to join in their celebration and read Psalm 145 together and remember that our Lord is good, faithful and righteous in all His ways.

Psalm 145

"I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your Name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your Name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend Your Works to another; they will tell of Your Mighty Acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of Your Majesty, and I will meditate on Your Wonderful Works. They will tell of the power of Your Awesome Works, and I will proclaim Your Great Deeds. They will celebrate Your Abundant Goodness and joyfully sing of Your Righteousness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. All You have made will praise You, O Lord; Your Saints will extol You. They will tell of the glory of Your Kingdom and speak of Your Might, so that all men may know of Your Mighty Acts and the glorious splendor of Your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your Dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. Your open Your Hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; He hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His Holy Name forever and ever."


The words in this psalm speak of an enduring faith and a solid belief that no matter what happens in this life....You are good! Your intended purposes are to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). It is our sincere desire to give You all praise tonight and to simply sit at Your feet and be ushered into Your glorious presence. Father, Your Dominion will endure throughout all generations...and this work that You have done in Justin will be told again and again for many generations. I can hear it now...the story retold of how You were faithful to Grandfather Justin and healed him. You want to perform many miracles in 2005.....come Lord and sweep our nation with Your Mighty Acts and let Your Church be right out there in front ushering them in so that all will know that You are who You say You are.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, January 04, 2005 8:47 PM
Day 27.....Justin received a bigger bump today in his cells to 192. He has quite a few infant white blood cells too that showed up today. They are called banded neutrophils and will develop very soon. The doctors are pleased with his progress. They removed one of his antibiotics. Each time something comes down off of his pole, it should help to get his nausea under control. He is still struggling with that. He asked to be taken down lower on his pain medication again. So, I think he is weaning himself off of it.

I am pretty sure he will not remember all of what he has gone through. He had some questions today about specifics that were fuzzy to him. He wasn't sure if they had really happened or not.

The doctors did ask him about thinking about eating some soup but, he feels he is not ready yet. His stomach hurt most of the day. The transition into eating again will be gradual but very necessary for him to be released from the hospital.


Thank you for all the prayer coverage that you have raised up to bring Justin and our family through this ordeal. We are so thankful for another uneventful day. We know You have spared us many traumatic things that could have happened. Continue to speak to Justin and allow him to remember only those things that You feel necessary for his growth and maturation. We look forward to the day that we can take him home and much more look forward to the days ahead when he resumes the life of a regular teenager. Soon he will be asking for the car keys....and we will be ready for him to have them. We love him Lord...thank you for letting him stay with us.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, January 03, 2005 7:56 PM
Day 26...We like these uneventful days of recovery. Justin remains the same with a total cell count of 48. His throat is feeling somewhat better and he asked to come down 10 mg on his pain medication. He will have to be weaned off of this slowly to avoid withdrawals.

Please pray that Justin's strength will be renewed. Pray that fatigue and nausea will soon be behind him. We can begin those prayers for his appetite too. He is not ready to eat yet...but we can start preparatory prayers. I understand that the chemo and radiation changes your taste buds and getting the patient to resume a healthy appetite takes awhile. Justin has already lost a lot of weight and I would like to pray that resuming this part will be easy for him.

Isaiah 40: 28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."


What hope You give in times of weakness!! Thank You for increasing the power of those that are weak...whether it be physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. We recognize our limitations and gladly allow You to teach us how to soar with the eagles during the hard times of life. As we pray for Justin we ask for preparatory prayers for his appetite. We ask for complete healing in his GI tract so that digestion of food will be in proper order. Let him desire good nutritious food that will build him up In Your time Lord bring him to this point. Tonight we ask for strength in every fiber of his being to be renewed. What a blessing Justin is....thank you for bringing us through day 26.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, January 02, 2005 8:08 PM
Day 25....Justin's cell count dropped to 40 today. It is what it is. Even though it is a little lower his body is doing a marvelous job recovering. He is just using more than what he can make in a 24 hour period. I see him every day and subtle healings are happening.

His skin is tender from the high chemo and radiation he received. They are telling us it will be months before this becomes more balanced. Sometimes the rash seems better and other times it is more pronounced. Please continue to pray specifically that Graft vs. Host does not reek havoc in his healing process.

He struggled with nausea again. His insides are healing and unfortunately this will continue until it is all healed. Some continue to have this for months after transplant.

Other than that, we survived another day on this mountain. Justin is a great kid. He has a big passionate heart for such a young age. He adores his sister and it bothers him that he is not with her. He takes his job as "big brother" seriously. He always has. I can remember episodes when he was 4 yrs old and she was 2 yrs old. I agree with him that God put them together for a reason and one of those is for him to protect her. I think Carissa is realizing the depth of his love for her. Most siblings wouldn't appreciate the overprotective concerns of their older counterparts...but because of our situation....she does!

In many respects Justin seems like a newborn baby. Of course not in age....but more in the areas of care. Remember those days and nights that our newborns needed so much? He is brand new inside and in need of much of our care. We will get there by taking daily steps and before we know it, he will be stronger and healthier. We will look back on these days in awe!

Justin and I were watching a news report on the tsunami wave yesterday. His biggest concern was that the majority of those that perished didn't know Jesus. He said, "Mom, the main religion over there is Hinduism, not Christianity. Most of them went to Hell." The simple salvation message is important to Justin and should be for all of us. Our hearts should break for those perishing right around us.


Spark a fire under us so that we will not sit idly by while others are dying in front of us without knowing You. It is not hard to tell others Your simple salvation message. Drive out the pride and obstacles that hold us back from releasing that message from our own lips. Lord, our pastors and evangelists can't do it all...rise it up in all of us too! Let it always be on our tongue and may we be ready in season and out. Lord, we continue to draw strength from Your Word as we walk this daily recovery out with You. Joel 2:25 reminds us that "You will repay us for the years that the locusts have eaten." In essence, that what seems to have been taken from us in the last two years, will be replaced with plenty. You will be Lord of our lives during that time as You are now. We anticipate the celebrations and the rejoicing days of joy.

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, January 01, 2005 5:40 PM
Day 24.....Happy New Year!!!!! Justin's "new" life cells engrafted more in the last 24 hours for a total of 85. We know his body is using them up quickly to heal his throat and all the other parts we can't see. The doctor told me that these white blood cells only live for 6 hours. So, to have an increase is good. We know he is gobbling them up as fast as he can make them. He still remains in pain with his throat and having slight nausea. He mentioned to me that he hasn't thrown up in the last 24 hours. That is such good news! It must be giving his throat a chance to be soothed and heal.

He was a bit agitated and found it hard to settle down to rest this afternoon. This pain medicine makes your body twitch a lot. I rubbed his head and his back and finally just sat down next to him on his bed for a good hour and prayed for God's peace. He finally fell asleep around 4:40 pm It was good to see him in a deep sleep. He was restful and peaceful and I know doing a lot of healing.


Thank you for helping Justin to settle down into sleep. Your peace is soothing and calming. Thank you for the extra cells today as we turned into the New Year. We thank you for the care of this medical team here at Good Samaritan City of Hope. Please continue to guide all of their decisions for Justin. Let them see those things that are of importance and needing attention. Place Your healing in their hands as they attend to him

In Jesus Name,


Friday, December 31, 2004 7:09 PM
Day 23.....Justin woke up with 48 new cells this morning!!!!!!! That is great news!!!!!! We can tell already, even with that low amount, he was beginning to feel better. He sat up for over an dressed...and played some video games. This is quite encouraging to see the Justin we know starting to be himself. His throat is still very sore and he is taking round the clock pain medicine, but at least his body is in the process of healing itself. We are hopeful that tomorrow he will increase in number, but it is not uncommon for it to bounce around and go up and down for awhile. The rash continues to come and go and is much more pronounced after his shower. Please pray that this will clear up on its own and will not lead into Graft vs Host disease.

I agree with the Chase Family..what a great way to end 2004!!! Thank you Lord!!!!!


You said in Proverbs 29:18 that without a vision, people cast off restraint. As we all assess the New Year with resolutions and goals, I am specifically asking for Your vision for each of our lives. Let us each ask ourselves, "What is it that You want to achieve through us in 2005?" Let us not rest until we have captured that vision. Lord, show our family Your plan for the process of Justin's recovery. Equip us to walk it out 24/7. Grant us stamina to unite together and encourage one another along the way. How thankful we are to still have him with us. We are humbled by Your goodness!

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, December 30, 2004 8:42 PM
Day 22....No cells yet!!! Maybe tomorrow!! His throat hurt worse in the morning but as the day progressed (and after he vomited) he appeared to be better able to control the pain. I think our nurse, Jenelle, just figured out a good pain/nausea medication regiment that worked for Justin and it give him relief. The rash on his legs is still the same and not getting any worse. We think he may be having a reaction to one of the antibiotics that is causing a flushing on his skin that comes and goes. The doctors are watching it and we need to just sit tight and wait for those cells to come in. Sometimes these mysterious rashes just go away on their own. However, they are not ruling out the Graft vs Host disease and we need to continue to pray that Justin engrafts safely.

Isaiah 42: 1-9

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring JUSTICE to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth JUSTICE; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes JUSTICE on earth. In his law the island will put their hope. This is what God the Lord says, he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it; I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my Name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."


The New Year is just around the corner. Declare the "new" things You have planned for the Cude Family...announce them to us Lord! It is our desire to close the door on leukemia (former things) and to walk into 2005 with a "new" perspective on life. Spring up Justin's healing white blood cells! Allow them to heal his body and give him "new" life. Place Your Spirit on Justin and allow him to be one of these servants that will bring justice to the nations. The meaning of his name is one in the same. Let him help You establish justice on the earth. Take hold of his hands Lord and train them for war....Your kind of war....that will confidently walk in Your authority setting many people free from torment, enslavement to fears, pain and loneliness. You are the Lord, that is Your Name and we will not give Your glory to another.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, December 29, 2004 6:05 PM
Day 21.....I was wrong in my calculations of Justin's cells yesterday. He actually still remains at zero. It should be soon! Keep praying for them! He is so thirsty and asked us to pray for his throat to heal so that he can drink water. Daily they are increasing his morphine drip to battle this pain.

They are hearing some rattling in his diminished lung and we are trying to fight against further infection by getting him out of bed and sitting up in a chair. His rash is not better yet but it is not getting any worse. We are putting a topical antibiotic on it twice a day.

Nausea keeps him feeling like he doesn't want to move. That primarily is what keeps him so still in his bed when he throws up, the pain intensifies in his throat. So please pray for his cells to come in and begin the healing process in his GI tract and mouth.

I know You see us waiting! Habakkuk 2:3 says "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Lord, we respect Your plan and Your timing and ask that You will increase our patience and endurance as we wait for Justin's healing. The body is an amazing creation that You designed. I pray specifically that Justin's body would line up with Your Word and that order would be created from chaos. I pray that normalcy would connect all organs to a level of function and that all parts, large and small, would work together for the good of the whole. (that sounds just like the dream You have for Your church to cross over our differences and unite for the good purpose You have for her) Lord, we have not forgotten Your heart for Your Church and the intense love that You have for her. There remains in our hearts a similar longing as we wait for You to come back.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, December 28, 2004 5:46 PM
Day 20....Justin has a few cells today...a total of 30. It is a great start! Even though he is starting to engraft his pain level went up. His body has to go through each step and God is there at every turn working to bring about his healing. God's children never suffer needlessly...never. His love for us knows no bounds....

Justin was transfused with blood and platelets. For those of you who signed on to pray for his skin please raise up those prayers of protection. He has a rash on his legs. Please pray that this will heal as he engrafts and will not spread any further. Please continue the prayers for his lungs as he is not moving enough to keep them open. He will get there....hopefully tomorrow he will start feeling a bit better.

Thank you to the MacGregor Family for praying 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 for Justin. Let's all agree with them:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

I like what the footnote in my Bible reiterates about this verse. It says that many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.

Thank You for the comfort You are providing for our whole family. We are receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with Justin's illness and pain. If You have brought us to this....then You will bring us through it. We know that Your ways are higher than ours and we may not always understand Your purposes but, You have our total trust and we don't need to know those things that are hidden from our view. We will trust You to lead us and provide for us throughout this journey and beyond. My heart is hurting for the 50,000 plus lives that have been tragically struck down from this tsunami wave in the Indian Ocean. Father, the grief and pain must be ringing throughout the heavens. O. God....we don't understand..but please send this comfort to Your people across the miles.

In Jesus Name,

Monday, December 27, 2004 6:25 PM
Day 19....The swelling in Justin's face and throat are definitely on the way down! He was able to sit up in bed 5 times today. His left lung is still diminished and he continues to use the oxygen to increase his breathing. The teeny-weeny white blood cell went back into hiding (not uncommon) but the doctors are seeing several signs of Justin's physical engraftment. For one, he just seems more comfortable. For another, he was awake most of the day.

Job 33:19
"God's voice may be heard by man when he is chastened with pain upon his bed and with continual strife in his bones or while all his bones are firmly set. So that his desire makes him loathe food, and even dainty dishes nauseate him. His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen, and his bones that were not seen, stick out. Yes, his soul draws near to corruption, and his life to the inflictors of death.....Then God is gracious to him and says, Deliver him from going down into the pit of destruction; I have found a ransom, a price of redemption, an atonement! Then the man's flesh shall be restored; it becomes fresher and more tender than a child's; he returns to the days of his youth. He prays to God, and He is favorable to him, so that he sees His face with joy; for God restores to him his righteousness."

Justin identifies with this same pain Job experienced. It includes all the uncertainty and the not knowing which is kept hanging in the balance. But You Lord, are his ransom...You paid the price for his redemption....You are his atonement. Thank you for Your graciousness to him, for delivering him from death. We await the restoration of his flesh....his skin will appear as youthful as if he had never walked through these last two years and Your favor will last his lifetime.

Proverbs 30:2-12
O Lord my God, I called to You for help and You healed me. O Lord, You brought me up from the grave; You spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the Lord, you saints of His; praise His Holy Name. For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime, weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken." O Lord, when you favored me, You made my mountain stand firm; but when You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy; What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim Your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever."

In Jesus Name,

Sunday, December 26, 2004 8:25 PM
Day 18.....Justin continued to receive oxygen throughout the night. During the day he appeared to be breathing deeper. Around 4:00 pm the oxygen was continued and we hope it will keep him at a healthy level.

For those of you who have committed to pray specifically for his lungs, now is the time to raise those prayers of protection. Please pray specifically and strategically for pneumonia to be kept far from him.

Nausea continues to be part of this process. If you think about it, every cell in Justin's body is peeling off from the inside out. He is truly in the process of being rebuilt.

I found this awesome verse in Isaiah 54:10-17 that helps to visualize the kind of rebuilding God does:

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones."


When I think about who You are, these words come to mind....Rebuilder, Revamper, Redesigner, Restorer, Redeemer, Resurrector. There is no end to who You are as we all walk through the process of being spiritually reborn. Lord, You have allowed Justin to walk through a physical experience where every cell in his body will be replaced. Right now he appears to be like this afflicted city, lashed by storms of inflammation and nausea and not being able to find comfort. But then I read how You rebuild and I find great hope. Sapphires, turquoise, rubies, sparkling jewels and precious stones. Every one of these have been through the fire and the dross has been removed. What remains is the innate beauty inherit in each one of them. You will rebuild Justin with a foundation of sapphire. I see you hand selecting the choice stones of turquoise and rubies, sparkling jewels and precious stones and setting them aside with Justin's name on them. You will make him beautiful in Your time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We rejoice beforehand knowing that it is being done and we thank you for it. You said that the end of a matter is better than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8) so we set our eyes and heart on the finished work.

In Jesus Name,


Christmas Day, 2004 5:42 PM
Day 17......Merry Christmas!! We do keep our hearts looking forward to next years Christmas as this one hurt us all. Justin started the day needing oxygen. He had more swelling in his face and throat as well. Please pray that the inflammation will not close off his airway passages. Nausea is still an issue. I am confident we will get through these days but, how we get there is our constant prayer.

As far as his engrafting today, we saw a teeny-weeny inclination that things are beginning to happen. It actually reminded me of a story in 1 Kings 18: 41-46. It is a story about the prophet Elijah who prophesied that there was to be an abundance of rain coming. He waited for it to happen up on top of Mt. Carmel as he prostrated himself before the Lord on bent knees and with his face to the ground. He sent out his servant six times to see if the sky looked like rain yet. Six times he reported back that there was nothing to indicate rain. What is cool about this story is that Elijah continue to believe that the Lord would send rain and he never got out of his humble position. He remained still despite the negative reports. But, then.....on that seventh time .....he came back with a report that, "A cloud the size of a man's hand is arising." That teeny-weeny indication of rain was all that Elijah needed. He got up and wouldn't you know it, the sky turned black and a great wind began to sweep across the earth and the downpour began.

I share that with you because we see "A white blood cell the size of a pea arising." Let's rejoice this night because the abundance of millions of them are on the horizon.

Isaiah 52:7 says, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who says to Zion...YOUR GOD REIGNS."

Romans 10: 15 says, "How can men be expected to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!"


I have massaged and rubbed these precious feet of Justin's for many days. I ask that You would allow him to have these kind of feet...the ones that go the distance to seek out those who don't know You and who preach with passion Your message of salvation. I anoint his feet and expect that You will indeed one day send him out to preach good news of good things! Father, we ask together that Justin's oxygenation stay strong. Please Lord do not allow any further inflammation in his throat or bronchial tubes. Father, we ask that You would keep his lungs open and unaffected. Please keep pneumonia far from him. We thank you for the teeny-weeny indication that Justin is beginning to engraft. Soon it will be raining white-blood cells, red-blood cells, and platelets. Father we ask that the engrafting of the mighty T-cells would come about with no serious Graft vs. Host rejection.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, December 24, 2004 9:10 PM
Day 16....Another day comes to a close and we are thankful for Justin's long-suffering. He is enduring a great deal of change in his body, and for the most part, is patiently enduring.

Psalm 22: 24 says, "For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help."

The challenge of dealing with his raw inside is a constant. The good news is his nausea decreased to only twice today. The highlight was getting him up and out of bed and into a nice hot shower. He is weak and his muscles are atrophying. The more he can move the better the healing process will be.


You said that You do not turn away from or look down upon those that are suffering. You do not hide Your face or turn a deaf ear to their desperate cries to You for help. The definition of suffering is broad and encompasses many facets of pain. But they all have that element in hurts! You said that suffering in any form would produce a perseverance in our character that would actually teach us to rejoice. (Romans 5:3) How contrary that seems to our emotions. But we will remember that enduring suffering has a reward attached at the end. We too will know Your glory we wait!

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, December 23, 2004 9:25 PM
Day 15.....The night was long and challenging. How wonderful to read on the encouraging words from Karl Mueller that the Lord had him interceding for Justin at 1:34 am. God does that....He wakes us up in the middle of the night so that we can pray and stand in the gap for each other. Prayer moves the heart of God and many times He waits for it before He responds.

Justin had a similar day to yesterday just not so dramatic. His nausea has decreased but is still there. His throat is still very sore but the medication is helping to dull the pain. He was transfused with both platelets and red blood cells. I just camped out at the foot of his bed and rubbed his feet all day. It does my mothers heart good to be able to nurture him in this small way.

Did you see the article in the Arizona Republic's Tempe and Gilbert sections today? If you missed it, they are running it again tomorrow in the rest of the city sections. It is an article about faith and prayer.

Wouldn't it be an awesome Christmas wake up on Christmas morning showing signs of Justin's new life cells engrafting? Wow!! That would be a Merry Christmas! Isn't that what the whole Christmas message is about anyway? One quiet night "new life" appears to bring hope to this world and forever changes the destiny of mankind.


It was a quiet solemn night when You made Your entrance into this world. Your birth changed our destiny forever. With all the celebration of Christmas may we never forget this incredible gift of life that You gave mankind. Because of Your birth we would be given the opportunity to later receive the gift of eternal life simply by believing. Wow!! How timely to request Justin's new life cells for Christmas? Let the true Christmas message be lived out right here in Room 1206....let Justin show signs of new life on Christmas morning. It may not be a gift wrapped and sitting under our Christmas tree at home....and we may not be snuggled together around our fireplace watching each other open it...but this new life is a gift that we will treasure for his lifetime.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, December 22, 2004 6:24 PM
Day 14...Justin's pain in his mouth and esophagus and now down into his stomach has increased tremendously. He is now on a 24 hour narcotic drip to help ease the discomfort. He threw up blood today and spiked a slight fever. He has had a platelet transfusion and is on antibiotics to help with both of these. Any spontaneous bleeding can become very serious because Justin is refractory to platelets. That means he doesn't always get a bump to stop the bleeding. So far so good in that area but this is a day-by-day event we are living out.

Justin has been praying and asking God to stop the pain. He said, "He is not answering my prayer Mom." God always hears but there are many times that He allows things to happen for a purpose we may never know why. Justin is learning to pray specific strategic prayers and his requests tonight are to stop throwing up and bleeding and for his insides to heal. I told him we would pray together for those specific requests.

He is receiving another chemo shot at 6:30 pm. Please pray that this does not cause any more inflammation in his throat. If Justin continues to inflame and his airways passages are compromised, then he may need to be intubated and on a ventilator. They will try everything possible before this, but at least this gives us specifics on how to pray for him in the next few days.

On my way to the hospital this morning, I noticed the leaves falling from the trees. It reminded me of what is happening inside of Justin's body. All of his cells are shedding and sloughing off. In the winter those trees can give the false appearance of actually being dead themselves. But we all know that they are more or less in a hibernation state...that spring is yet to come! The first signs of budding signifies those trees have never stopped having life and we marvel at how things are not always as they appear to be. The tree doesn't revert back to it's infancy during this catatonic state but remains grounded and foundationally firm even through the cold winter storms.


Thank you for showing me this visual of the trees and the parallel of what is happening inside of Justin's body. You are rebuilding him and life will soon appear. We remain hopeful and prayerful as we bring Justin's requests to You. Father, would you cease this nausea and help any bleeding inside of him to stop? Would you grant him Your Holy Presence and lay with him in this bed and grant him Your comfort? Allow the inside of his gastrointestinal tract to rebuild itself and come out of this winter storm unscathed... We do worship You and dress You with our pain. You said You didn't want us to carry it..that it would be too heavy for us. It is hard. I can only thank you over and over for taking upon Yourself every sickness and sin when You hung dying on the cross. The pain must have been excruciating. Lord, Justin is in Your keeping and thank you for bringing us through day 14.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, December 21, 2004 7:13 PM

Day 13...Justin is still feeling the effects of the chemo and radiation. Unfortunately, the goal of killing all the bad cells takes so many of the good cells down the same path.  The lining of his mouth and esophagus are shedding as a result.  This is causing him great discomfort in his mouth and nausea.  Everytime he throws up, it increases his pain.  This cannot heal until his new immune system kicks in, which probably won't be happening for at least another week, maybe longer.  We need to pray that Justin will be able to manage this pain.  Please pray that his nausea will stop.  We serve an awesome God who walks through all the hard steps with us and never lets go of our hand.  I found this poem and I thought it might remind you too just how awesome our God is....
How Great Thou Art
He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!  He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom! He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!  He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him, The armies can't defeat Him,
the schools can't explain Him, and the leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him, The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him,
and the people couldn't hold Him! Nero couldn't crush Him,  
Hitler couldn't silence Him, The New Age can't replace Him,
and Donahue can't explain Him away!
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, kindness, gentleness, and God.
He is holy, righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Redeemer, He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my joy, He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!
I serve Him because His bond is love.
His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful.
The ancient of days, the ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders, the overseer of the over comers,
and the sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me,
never forget me, Never overlook me,
and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts me up!  When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!  When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage! 
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me! 
When I am brokn, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me! 
When I face trials, He is with me! 
When I face persecution, He shields me! 
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me! 
When I face Death, He carries me Home! 
He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and every way.
He is God, He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine!
Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...
He said it and that settles it. God is in control, I am on His side,
and that means all is well with my soul.
You hear our concerns tonight for Justin.  Lord, he needs Your help to manage this pain in his mouth and down his throat.  Father, would You cease this nausea and cause this shedding of his esophagus to begin to heal.  I know the reality is it won't heal without his immune system but, we believe that You are a miracle working God who can heal his esophagus in an instant.  Isaiah 9: 6 proclaims the Christmas message of why You came to this earth.  It declares that the government will be upon Your shoulders and that you would be called.... the Wonderful Counselor who understands what Justin is going through.  You are the Prince of Peace who brings stillness to his mind.  You are the Everlasting Father who embraces him as a son that You adore.  You are the Mighty God and at the mention of Your Name every knee will bow in heaven and upon this earth.  You stand guard over Justin and send your warring angels to do battle in his behalf.  This battle is Yours Lord.
In Jesus Name,



Monday, December 20, 2004 9:07 PM
Day 12...Another somber day for Justin. What a trooper! He struggled with nausea most of the morning and later in the evening. I found myself camped out at the foot of his bed rubbing his feet. He became agitated and restless perhaps due to the combination of medicines. He found it hard to rest and relax. He wanted some heavier painkiller to make him sleep but the staff wanted him to try and deal with it so that he is moving in bed and keeping his lungs open. This will help prevent sedentary pneumonia.


You told us to take life one day at a time. As today draws to a close, we want to thank you for helping Justin relax and find solace. You said that great would be our children's peace and undisturbed composure. You said in Proverbs 14:30 that "A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body." We pray that continually over Justin that dwelling within him would be a great peace and his body would respond with a stillness. Let his mind be calm and filled with soothing thoughts that bring him rest. Let him dream of his dirt bike and riding in the brisk cool of the morning...let him feel the wind blowing against him as he soars through the air. Father only You know how much enjoyment he gets from that. Whatever it takes, grant Justin the mental fortitude to continue in this fight. Let his body respond positively to this treatment. You are the healing balm of Gilead...I ask for You to release that wonderful balm upon Justin so that even Your aroma would be captured by those tending to him.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, December 19, 2004 8:45 PM
Day 11...Justin is receiving comfort in his time of need just as our Lord promised. He has had discomfort in his mouth but he is managing it. At 8:30 pm he received another shot of chemotherapy. This dose was a bit smaller in quantity than the first one. That was good!

Before they administered to him we prayed over it. Lord, take this drug and mix Your Anointing in with it. Wherever it travels in Justin's body let Your Presence precede it. Protect every organ from damage and Lord let Justin be spared the pain of mouth sores.

Prayer invites the presence of God. It is not a tool of manipulation that exercises control over His purposes. It is a form of communication to a Holy God. The Bible says in 1 Thess. 5: 17 "That we should pray without ceasing and pray about everything." If we just did what God asked us to do I can only imagine how our daily lives would be enriched.

Today Justin found his birthday verse. He was born on 1/18/90....He chose Psalm 118 to be his testimony for life....listen to this;

"Let those who fear the Lord say, "His love endures forever." In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All the nations surround me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off. They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous. The Lord's right hand has done mighty things! The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done mighty things! I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless You. The Lord is God, and He has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give You thanks. You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."

We all need to take the time to find our "birthday verse" that we can draw strength from. My birthday is 11/28/60 and my life verse is Matthew says..."Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

We will be fasting one meal tomorrow for Justin if anyone would like to join us.


We thank You for Your Word and for all its everlasting promises. Give each of us a life verse that will strengthen us and cause us to testify of Your nature. Draw it out of us so that we stand unafraid to proclaim Your goodness whether struggling in the valleys of life or rejoicing on the mountain tops. In either place Lord YOU ARE GOD...and You don't change. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Please spare Justin the pain of mouth sores. Spare him the pain of infections and rejection of this new gift of life. Let him rise from this bed of affliction rejoicing in You. Malachi 4 says the "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire, says the Lord Almighty. Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere My Name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things, says the Lord Almighty." Rise up Lord with healing in Your wings, cover Justin and set him back on his feet just as You promised. 1 Peter 5:10 . You said that after he had suffered for awhile that You Yourself would come and restore him, and strengthen him. We are waiting on You God....watchfully and fervently...

I will give You all my worship,
I will give You all my praise,
You alone I long to worship
You alone are worthy of my praise

In Jesus Name,

Saturday, December 18, 2004 8:30 PM
Day 10...Well today has been a somber day. Justin's pain has increased in his mouth and down his throat. He slept a lot today and that is good. The doctor said he is doing well considering what he is going through. Tomorrow he will have another dose of chemo and they say this will intensify his pain. Many times patients are put on a morphine drip during this period. It could last two weeks. His body will not be able to heal in his mouth and down his throat until his counts start coming up yet, we have to continue to suppress his immune system so it doesn't come up too fast and cause all sorts of other problems. So we are in a middle zone and need to hang out and try to get through each day the best we can.

They said they will make Justin as comfortable as possible. We are definitely in the thick of it and your prayers are working miracles I am sure. We cannot always see what God is doing but, I am confident He is working all things out for our good.

We had a chance to bring a Christmas gift to each of the patients and to wish them well and Happy Holidays. It sure is a spirit lifter to do good to others.

Jeremiah 33; 3 says "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand.)"


We know You hear our prayers and desire nothing less than to split the eastern sky and rescue us. You said that if we called on You that You would show us things that only You truly comprehend. Things like human can figure if out....why You allow it and to the degree that it can linger. But, Lord, we are trusting You that something's are just not meant to be understood during our lifetime. Providence and what You ordain sits with You at the right hand of the Father all the while You are interceding for us. We ask that Your intended purpose and Your will be done in Justin's life. Lord, we ask for a blanket of Your covering to shield us during this time and thank you for bringing us through Day 10.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, December 17, 2004 9:03 PM
Our day started out with a bit of a surprise. We were told that Justin was going to have more chemo to further suppress his immune system. The hopes are that it will minimize the effects of Graft vs Host disease. We were unprepared for this news and found it hard to process as we thought Justin was through with the drugs and radiation part.

Right before they administered it to him he began to vomit perhaps in anticipation of this. He remained sick for awhile until he was given medication to help him sleep. There was such a heaviness and we hurt for Justin. We really appreciated the prayer pager going off at this time.


There is no doubt that tonight we hurt. We've come this far and we know You will continue to guide us day by day. Justin has endured a tremendous amount of suffering in his young life and we thank You for his perseverance and fight . Lord, for tonight we ask for Your extra comfort of love to blanket and cover him. We stand knowing that You know what to do even when all we can do is gasp at his pain.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, December 16, 2004 9:23 PM
Justin finished both of his radiation treatments! He got sick a bit from it and the effects of all the chemo and radiation is now accumulated and is doing its intended purpose. Good News is he is more! We will have to ride out the next few weeks. We will take it one day at a time and continue to pray for his comfort. If it gets unbearable they will put him on a morphine drip.

Now for the best news of the day! I wish you all could have been there when his new cells arrived. I've included some pictures so that you can experience it too. We asked to be able to pray over the bag of marrow before they started to give it to Justin. What I wasn't expecting was the 9 nurses and doctors that gathered around Justin's bed and stood reverently with us. The flood of tears came and the gratitude poured out of my heart. I thanked the Lord for hearing every prayer that has been prayed for the past two years as we sought Him for help. There was so much life in that bag.... just to hold it in my hands was touching. Joey and Brad were the only other two outside of our family present to watch this moment. The power of God was so strong in that place that both of them stood there and wept. If I could give them each an would be "A Jonathan Award". to symbolize the kind of friendship Jonathan had with King David in the Bible. Both of these young man are freshman in high school and have walked this entire journey right by Justin's side. I held each of them in my arms....and told them to never forget this moment of watching how Father God answers the prayers of the righteous and to believe Him to do great things through their lives. I love both of these boys and was honored to have them with us. The doctor told me that Justin received 6 million cells per every kilo. Wow! He received two bags...for an approximate total of 83 billion young stem cells. All of this took no less than 2 hours.

Hebrews 4: 12-13 says, "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

The Word of God...the not just a neatly comprised book of short stories preserved over time for our reading pleasure. It is a powerful holy text that has the ability to change the lives of those who take hold of it. Not only does it have the ability to be used as an offensive weapon of attack against the enemy who wants nothing but to destroy us. It can also be used as a defensive weapon of protection that guards our hearts and minds and keeps the peace of God always ruling even in the worst of circumstances. That is why it is referred to as a two-edged sword. It is sharp and cuts to the intentions of our hearts and judges its motives. It is a book that is not only meant to be read but applied to our lives and lived out. The bottom line is the Bible is a life-changing love letter from God to YOU. If your Bible is not in a prominent place in your home, I want to encourage you to take it off the shelf, dust it off, and remember that this Bible that you hold in your hands is a priceless treasure given to us from an Omnipotent God of Love.


What a day! Your presence was so strong in Justin's room . Your answer revealed right before our eyes. Thank you just doesn't seem adequate. We have not gotten out of our position of worship before You and it is here we want to stay. On our knees and faces before You as we cry Abba Father....our Lord and King. You are the Creator of everything and You have given new life to Justin's bones. No longer dry, dead bones as Ezekiel talked about in Chapter 37....but soon to be moist plump bones overflowing with new life. We give You all the glory and honor tonight and will trust You to continue to guide us as we process the next few weeks. We love You Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Notice the brilliant light coming through the window during the hanging of the cells.

This is Joey on the left and Brad on the right.


This is what the donor bag looked like close up....


Wednesday, December 15, 2004 7:50 PM
Day 7....Justin endured yet another 3 rounds of radiation. 9 down only 2 left.

He has really not been bothered with side effects. Last night, his skin was itchy and bothersome so they gave him medication to take the edge off. Other than that he has had only slight nausea. We feel truly blessed and thank the Lord for bringing us to day 7.

Tomorrow is his big 'REBIRTHDAY!" They tell us that is what you call it. Justin is getting new life tomorrow! Wow! He will have two rounds of radiation and then around 4:30 pm or so they will hang a small bag of marrow. The power of life hangs in that bag. He will be given medication beforehand and is already taking the anti rejection medicine so that it will be introduced slowly into his system. The marrow will swim through his system for approximately 7-10 days before we see any signs of it engrafting. The whole engrafting process can make him ill. Remember the graft vs host disease? We need to pray for smooth sails and a quick uneventful recovery.

3rd Strategic Day of Fasting and Prayer for Justin
Pray that Justin's body receives this marrow and does not reject it. With all of Damon's NFL experience....his thoughts are "in any game,close or not...the game is won in the last three minutes. We should start with intensity and end with even more intensity. This is no time to coast...we are still in this game and it could turn out of our favor. We must pray for the favor of God and to give our all so that this battle will be won and the glory of the Lord will shine upon Justin." Will you join us tomorrow by fasting at least one meal for Justin's full recovery and marrow engraftment?

His white blood cell count was down to 70 this morning so I'm sure by tomorrow it will be zero. This is where we will camp for awhile. We need to target our prayers towards fevers and infections that could come from within his own body. The staff is ready and watchful for fevers and such. His platelet count is getting low and we are in need of transfusing him so that he does not bleed internally like he did last round. Can you believe it.....the blood bank did not have any in the valley. Hopefully some will be found and tomorrow he will begin transfusion of blood and platelets.

Other than that....we are just hanging out. Justin is enjoying his visits with Damon Dunn. He was trying to teach us how to rap tonight.. It was pretty funny....So glad for laughter to keep our spirits light and to keep Justin fighting.


You said that a merry heart would do good like a medicine. So, we laugh heartily tonight and express ourselves with just good ole clean cut, belly-splitting, laughter! Thank you for Damon and the fun with all have with him. What a great man of God he is! Use him mightily in Your Kingdom. Thank you for adding years to Justin's life through this experience. I was corrected in my thinking that You are adding to Justin and I will not concentrate on what the radiation will reverse from him long-term. You will have the final say on when Justin will be coming to Your House....for now our eyes are still on You. Come Lord and show Yourself to be the victorious Saviour......

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, December 14, 2004 9:34 PM
Day 6....Justin came through another 3 sessions of radiation with very little discomfort. His body is beginning to show signs of the exposure though. His skin is getting more red like a sunburn, it is getting drier and flakier, and his palate is beginning to show signs of the mucous membrane cells that unfortunately are being damaged. This foreshadows the mouth sores. We are over half way done with the radiation. Six down 5 more remaining.

We were so happy for one of the patients that went home today. What a great day for their family! We told them to tie a bow around her neck and put her under the Christmas tree this season.

I thought a lot about our donor today and prayed for her. Today she endured the harvesting of the cells. Wow! She is doing this for a complete stranger....she must have the biggest heart. Tomorrow she will be enduring some more harvesting. Lord, please let our donor be comfortable. Help her to recover from any pain quickly. Please bless her Christmas with all the wonderful things that You will reward her with for this generous act.


Every time I see a Christmas tree I think of how blessed we feel to have the largest gift under it. We have the gift of life this Christmas season. Even with all the pain and uncertainty and the anguish of Justin's journey to get from here to there, we know that the gift of life is a precious commodity. Who can put a dollar amount on such a gift? It can't be is a gift from You....freely given. None of us know how many days You will give us to live, without experiences like this one, we wouldn't even think about it. So, Lord, I ask that You would bless each person reading this web page with a life that is passionately embraced. Lift off spirits of depression from those suffering from it. Renew our minds and let us live our lives generously by giving. We can make a difference is someone else's life...even with just a smile. Help us to move past superficiality and meet the real needs of real people. If you can use us to meet those we are.....send us!

In Jesus Name,


Monday, December 13, 2004 8:37 PM
Day 5....Justin came through his first three radiation sessions easily. He did get lightheaded and have some nausea but God has truly brought him through today.

Just a bit of trivia. Did you know that it takes 23 million volts to generate enough power to operate this radiation machine? Yikes! Of course that is not how many volts are going into Justin.

With the anticipation of the radiation, I forgot to continue to pray for Justin's donor. She completed her shots today and will begin to harvest her stem cells tomorrow. Please pray for her comfort during this process. I don't know if she has a problem with needles...but, just in case let's pray for her to not be afraid and for peace for her and her family.

Thank you for all your encouraging words today. Justin looks at those and I know it strengthens him.


How great are You? You have protected Justin today and brought him through day 5. Father, Your hand is upon the donor even tonight. I ask that You revitalize her and keep her strong as she endures tomorrow's procedure of harvesting the gifted marrow. We still have a few more days before those stem cells are given to Justin on Thursday. Lord, we ask for continued endurance and perseverance to make it through one more day. Our eyes are continually on You and we are in awe for Your display of goodness and protection that You showed to Justin today.

In Jesus Name,

Sunday, December 12, 2004 5:28 PM
Day 4....Justin's nausea has let up! Praise You Lord. He even ate a little bit today.

Tomorrow morning starts the radiation: 7:00 am, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. Justin will be placed in a contraption that resembles a gallow. He will be harnessed in and expected to stand still for 8 minutes, 3x a day. Remember this is what we fasted and prayed for that all the negative side effects would pass over Justin. Painful oozing mouth sores, burns on the inside and outside of his body, inflammation that can mar him beyond recognition...Father God, we know the reality of what could happen but we also know that You shielded young Daniel in that fiery furnace with Yourself. He was not burned from those powerful flames nor was he marred beyond recognition. He was not singed nor did he bear on his body any mark of having gone through. Father, we believe and are asking You for a miracle! Would You come and shield Justin with Yourself tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday? Father, would You stand over him for those 8 minutes as they place his young arms in this contraption that looks like a gallow? Father, it will only be You and Justin in that place. All of my trust is in You to shield his body from the impending burns. You are God and we place Justin into Your care. Father, I ask that You remove any fear from Justin's heart. Let him know firsthand the kind of loving Father that Daniel knew. Let him bear upon his body, deep in his heart and mind, the marks of deep faith and belief in a God who stood with him during a most difficult time. Thank you for your faithfulness as day 4 comes to a close. Let the joy of the Lord be our strength....a joy that is not dependent upon laughter or even smiles. A joy that rises up in our spirit simply because we believe You are who You say You are.

In Jesus Name,

Saturday, December 11, 2004 7:07 PM
Day 3....Justin has had nausea and has felt the effects of this second high dose of chemo. He is very tired. Fortunately he is able to have medication that helps with that and it also makes him sleepy. From what we hear, the nurses feel that he is doing well in comparison to some patients reactions after the second dose of chemo. He has had nothing to eat for the last several days. Of course this was expected. He will eventually be put on IV feeding. The doctor will determine when that will be.

Today is an important day. It is the first day that his donor is preparing her body to give Justin marrow. For the next three days she will be injected with a shot called nepogin to increase the production of her white blood cells. This will also increase the production of her stem cells which is what they will harvest from her on Tuesday and Wednesday. She will be hooked up to a machine that is similar to the one that the blood banks use when you donate platelets during those two days of harvesting. It will be for a few hours each day. They will then put the harvested marrow on ice...and have only a 24 hour window to get it into Justin. Let's keep praying for her and for her comfort through this week. Lord, we pray for Justin's donor....the woman with no face and name as of yet. Lord, You see her even tonight wherever she is. Please pour out upon her Your love and comfort. Help these nepogin shots to be bearable and the harvesting of her stem cells as well. Reward her generously for this kind act.

Romans 8:31 says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?

Not only is God for us, but he is with us, under us, over us, over-shadowing us, all around us and the most important one, God is in us!

Psalm 125:1-2 "Those who trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides and stands fast forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from this time forth and forever."

God had a plan for us long before we knew. It is a good plan and one that prospers. He is indeed on our side. We must reverence God and show respect for His sovereignty.

Psalm 118: 16-17 says, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly and achieves strength! I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord."


We do reverence Your Name this night. We thank You that You are for Justin and that Your presence is surrounding him as mountains surround Jerusalem. We don't seek You for a one time touch of healing for Justin. We seek You for Your very presence alone. In Your presence there is healing.....You are the Healer of all mankind's illnesses whether they be physical or spiritual. You are the healer and mender of relationships. We feel as though we are encamped at the foot of Your cross as we identify with a portion of the pain You bore. When You took upon Yourself every sin and sickness during Your last hours upon the cross, we know You had us in mind. I know that there are those reading this web page whose hearts are breaking with there own pain and brushes with death. Death of a relationship, or of a dream. Father, for those we declare that Your right hand is exalted and You will do valiantly and achieve strength in the hearts of those who encamp beneath Your cross. We shall live and not die and will stand again to our feet and recount Your mighty acts. We understand that when we identify with the pain of Your cross, we will also identify with Your glorious resurrection power that raised You from the dead. (Romans 8:17) Thank you for providing for us this 3.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, December 10, 2004 3:55 PM
IT'S DAY 2..Lord, thank you for Your provisions for yesterday. Thank you that You held back all the immediate side effects that could have happened to Justin. You brought us through day 1. I thank You that there was even laughter coming from Justin's spirit yesterday. I love his sense of humor..yesterday the nurses told him that they have an early wake up call at 4:00 am every morning to weigh him. Of course no one wants to have to get up so early every day. His response was, "I'll have to get in touch with my florist." I guess he figured he could bargain with the pretty nurses by sending them flowers for a few extra minutes of shut eye. Later in the day, after they had drugged him up pretty good to prepare him for his chemo...he decided to act loopy and drugged up with his friend Brad. The two of them together were hysterical. They sat at the window and said...."Mommy look at all the pretty lights." We sit up high on the 12th floor and the view of downtown Phoenix is spectacular.

Today is much more subdued as the effects of yesterday's chemo has taken a big hit on his body. He has been nauseated and very sleepy. His white blood cell count dropped all the way to 920 over night. I suspect after they hang his next chemo at 4:00 pm today, his body will respond accordingly and drop his count down much further. Remember he is wide open to infection when he gets this low. Unfortunately, he will have to stay low for about 3 weeks. That is how long it will take his new marrow to engraft and begin to multiply inside of him. This will be the most critical period.

We have not personally read the Lance Armstrong book, "It's Not About the Bike," but we have heard from others how inspirational it is for those fighting cancer. We have taken an idea from that book and made a chart starting with Thursday, Dec. 9th and ending on Tuesday, Jan. 18th. It is a calendar of just those dates.....and we have day 1 marked off. We have written on the board DAY 2 with the phrase "We can do anything for one day, with God's help." We stopped at January 18th for several reasons. (1) It is our strategic target date for Justin to go home. That will be day 41 and we were shooting for only 40 days on this mountain. (2) It is an important date for us as Justin will be turning 15 on that date. What a birthday go home, healed and set free from this disease.

The calendar is a strong visual for us. It will help us see how far we've come when days are harder. Perhaps, you'd like to make one too and follow along with us.


It's almost that time again for Justin's last dose of chemo. Thank you for holding back all of the immediate side effects from yesterday. We ask for the same extension of Your love and grace for this bag as well. Lord, let there be no burning sensation in his mouth. Let there be no nausea and vomiting. Thank you for putting a shield of protection around his bladder and for preventing it from bleeding. Lord, help him today by placing that same shield around this organ again. Let there be no internal bleeding at all. You alone are God and we stay in an attitude of worship before You.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, December 09, 2004 3:23 PM
We're here! Justin is checked in and will be getting the first dose of chemo any minute now. Some of the initial side effects can be a huge burning in his mouth as though he just ate really hot chili peppers. They can sedate him if necessary. Also, nausea and vomiting can occur right away. There can be other immediate side effects including bladder bleeding.

You wouldn't believe how high his white blood cell count is. 2242....Wow! He hasn't been that high for along time. Hopefully this will be the last time that Justin will have to be suppressed in his bone marrow. I would give anything to not have to do this to him...but Lord I trust Your plan for Justin.

Let's pray...


We are all together for such a time as pray for Justin's journey to health down to each finest detail. Lord, as this chemo is about to be hung I ask beforehand that You, the Great Physician, would hang Your own bag of protection along with it. Thank you for his sweet nurse, Caroline. She has already been in prayer for Justin even before he ever arrived. She had heard of him through her church, Central Christian. Stand beside her now Lord and give her all the wisdom and knowledge she needs for the rest of this day. Help her to make Justin comfortable. Father, we are at Your mercy and ask for Your comfort....protect this precious life You have given to me.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, December 08, 2004 7:59 PM
Justin's bone marrow biopsy is in complete remission! There is no sign of leukemia. Praise God. This is good news going into his transplant. If Justin had leukemic cells still in his body they would have allowed the Graft vs Host disease to ravage his body for awhile. Allowing this would have been instrumental in killing any remaining cells. This is such good news that should this disease present itself we can begin to fight it with antibiotics and medications designed specifically to stop it.

His surgery went well today and his other catheter has been placed. Mike and I thought about the next time we come to Phoenix Children's Hospital it will be to remove both of the catheters for good.

We are moving forward....our bags are packed.....our room awaits us. Tomorrow morning at 8:00 am we are moving into Room 1206, 12 floor, Good Samaritan Hospital. Angels of the Lord are already there preparing for our arrival. So our job is to rest for this last night and not concern ourselves with all that lies ahead. Justin will be placed on a hydration drip for the first six hours. Sometime in the afternoon, they will begin the chemo drip. We will need prayer coverage as this will not be an easy road for any of us, especially Justin.


I'm borrowing this from wise King Jehoshaphat. His story is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20. A vast army was coming against him. At first, he was afraid. But then, he determined to seek the Lord for help. He proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. After their fast, Jehoshaphat prayed before all the people and said, "God, we don't know what to do but, our eyes are upon You."
Then they just stood there in silence before the Lord. Then a prophecy was said by one attending, He felt the Lord telling him, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD'S. Tomorrow march down against them. You will not have to fight this battle. Take your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord." Upon hearing this, Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground and worshipped God. He demonstrated this before all the inhabitants of Judah who followed his example. There they were, on their faces before God in worship. How awesome that must have looked. The next morning as they began to sing and worship God, the Lord set ambushes against this vast army and they were self-slaughtered.

What can we learn from this? Well, for tonight we can do the same. We have fasted, we have waited upon God and tomorrow morning when we wake up...we will be move ahead in a spirit of worship. We will not get ahead of God and we will take only one step at a time.

We will be fasting for Justin tomorrow if any of you would like to join us. We don't know what else to do and Lord are eyes are on You. We have set our faces like flint (Isaiah 50:7) and we trust that You will vindicate us and make all that is wrong .....right.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004 2:50 PM
To My Dearest Justin,

Dare to Be a Daniel.....My Son

       I remember the longing in my heart to have a son. I remember the tears and prayers that I gave to God so that He would see fit to bless me with a baby boy. You were that answered prayer. A treasure like no other. My life changed that day God placed you in my arms.

       Little did I know then, what a giant you would face at such a young tender age. When Dad and I dedicated you to Jesus , we surrendered you to His keeping , or so we thought. This experience with leukemia has required a much deeper surrender. Our hearts ache for you, but God has required us to trust His Sovereign plan. The question of surrender is not how much of God we have but rather how much of us God has. We have watched as you have given up and given in to His purposes for your life. You have surrendered freely with no complaint or fear. For that, we are proud. Your character has been shaped into a warrior heart much like Daniel.

       Daniel too faced mountains that threatened his very existence. He dared to believe God anyway. Do you think that he smelled the flames or felt the heat of the furnace as he approached the entrance? Do you think he saw the jaws of the lions prior to being thrown into the den? I'm sure he did! Do you honestly think he was absent of all fear as he stood at death's door? Daniel entered his tests with fear present but he put it in a smaller quadrant of his mind and dared to believe that his God was greater than anything that he would face. Perhaps he stood there with shaky knees and a quivering heart. Daniel understood the peril of his dilemma. He understood that he could be marred for life, if he did survive. But, Daniel dared to believe God anyway. God had heard his prayers every morning, noon, and night. He heard Daniel's young heart that acknowledged Him. When Daniel needed God this is what He did. He stood with Daniel in the most frightening moments of his life. He shielded him with Himself in that fiery furnace so that Daniel did not even smell like smoke. He sent an angel to shut tight the mouths of the lions in that den and when he came out not one wound was found on him.

       You, Justin, are another Daniel. You have already encountered a fiery furnace and now the lions den awaits. The Lord will rescue you too! Our story isn't finished yet. We sit expecting and anticipating how God will provide.

       As for Daniel, his story doesn't stop there. He went on to be used in a way that God had chosen. He was given the privilege of seeing visions. The kind of visions that would make most of us faint from fear. God had taught Daniel deep lessons during his tests. Daniel learned to stand firm in the face of fear. At some point, his tests developed into his testimony. I'm sure it wasn't a magical overnight transformation where Daniel emerged to be a great man of God. I think it took time and maturing for Daniel to comprehend all that God had done for him and to passionately desire all that God wanted to accomplish through him. He was courageous in all he faced and his life was one that mirrored back to God His own reflection. Yours will be too!

I love you,

Sunday, December 05, 2004 6:30 PM

2nd Day of Strategic Prayer and Fasting for Justin
Isaiah 54:13 says "All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace."

Isaiah 50:10 says "Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God."

Isaiah 49: 1-3 says "The Lord has called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He has named my name. And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me. He said to me, "You are my servant, in whom I will be glorified."

Immediate Side effects from receiving the donor cells:
Medication FK506 given to prevent Graft vs Host can cause:
High Blood pressure
Increased growth of hair over the entire body
Damage to liver and kidney
Tremors in hands

Graft vs Host disease:
This is a condition in which the transplanted bone marrow may attack Justin's body. It has the potential of:
Inflammation of the skin, liver, and intestines, which can lead to skin changes similar
to severe sunburn, severe diarrhea and jaundice. These symptoms can range from
mild to extremely severe and in some cases, fatal.

Medication-Prednisone can cause:
Water retention, which can lead to tissue swelling and high blood pressure. It can
also cause headache, stomach ulcers, mood swings and difficulty sleeping. It
causes a weakening of the bones and muscles. It changes your physical
appearance, including an increased weight gain around the stomach and a puffy
appearance, especially in the face, along with acne.

Long Term Side Effects
They say that Justin's immune system will not be working properly following bone marrow transplantation and that especially during the first year, serious infections may occur which can be fatal. One particularly severe infection is CMV a form of pneumonia. If this is going to happen it usually shows up in the first three months. Another infection frequently seen is shingles.


We know the statistics, here they are. We know the precision needed to time all of this upcoming chemo and radiation and transplant for Justin's safety and well-being. Help the doctors and all the many hands that will work together to make this a successful procedure. Father, the one word that stands out to me as I read through all the possible side-effects is the word "can." You have the ability to turn all of these "cans" into "will nots." I offer up to You a full day of prayer and fasting for Justin for Monday, Dec. 6th. I boldly ask for every "can" to be turned into a "will not." I ask that Prednisone "will not" causing swelling and change his physical appearance. I ask that Graft vs Host disease "will not" come near his body. I ask that he "will not" have any long-term infection of pneumonia or shingles. In place of all that, I pray for a swift recovery even more glorious than the display of Your glory in bringing him this far. There in nothing that You cannot do. You promised in Isaiah 44: 3, that You would pour out Your Spirit upon our offspring. You said in Isaiah 32; 15 that until Your Spirit was poured out upon us from on high we would not see the wilderness become a fruitful field. Lord, we desire to see with our own eyes this wilderness inside of Justin's body turned into a fruitful field. You said in Joel 2: 28, that afterward You would pour out Your Spirit on our sons and daughters and that there would be a sign of that outpouring as they begin to prophecy. You said that You would show us wonders in the heavens and on the earth. You said that everyone who calls on Your Name would be saved and see Your deliverance. WE WANT TO SEE YOUR DELIVERANCE! Display Your wonders upon the earth ....

In Jesus Name,


Friday, December 03, 2004 8:41 PM
We are enjoying sunny California! It was a perfect day today! Justin continues to gain strength for the battle that lies ahead. The kind of battle he is preparing for demands a strong mental approach. Positive thinking will only take him so far......but having his mind dressed for battle using the Word of God as a chiseled weapon, will defeat the enemy at his onset.

Many times we expect God to move in a dramatic way to bring us our answer. In 1 Kings 19:11-12 we see that God can move in a relatively mild manner. "And God said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of gentle stillness and a still, small voice."

Guess which one God was in? Yup, the gentle whisper! If we are anxiously flailing about with anxiety and fear ruling our emotions, we will miss this gentle whisper from a God who desires to calm us and stop the runaway emotions.


Help us to be still before You in our thoughts and emotions especially during these challenging times. We are desperate for Your intervention and don't want to miss You. Come Lord and speak to us in the way You have chosen. Often, in the night, when we are quiet, I can sense Your presence in the stillness. We know that it is in that place of solitude a warriors heart is shaped and dressed for battle. Prepare Justin's mind "for such a time as this."

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, December 01, 2004 9:03 PM
As you can see we have a new link added today. Justin has a new prayer pager. His phone number s 602-227-2222. It is fairly simple number to memorize. We learned of this idea from one of the members of our church. You can check out and find out more about it. It may be helpful if you know of anyone else that could use one. It is a Christian ministry that is the latest trend in helping people pull through catastrophic illnesses. Check it out.

Justin participated in a fun event today at Valley Christian High School. The students raised $1800.00 for Justin. In the process 2 teachers and a Vice Principal got corralled into shaving their heads if the students met their goal. The best part of today was that Justin shaved the head of his science teacher, Mr. Short. How cool was that. We so appreciate the extension of support. Channel 15 was there and I believe it will be shown on the 10:00 pm news barring any breaking news story. Also, Arizona Republic was there and the story will be in the Monday East Valley section of the newspaper. The $1800.00 was donated to the United Blood Services so that bone marrow drives for others in need can be funded.

I have been marking my chart with all of you who have signed up to pray for specific areas of Justin's body for protection from radiation. I will be having several other Strategic Prayer and Fasting Days. There are many immediate side-effects from the bone marrow transplant itself that I will spend one day on. One of the worst and potential fatal side effect is called Graft vs Host disease. I will detail this for you in a future update.

We wanted to let you know that we are going to Disneyland tomorrow. This will be our Christmas celebration as a family. We are meeting Grandma and Grandpa and taking along two of Justin's classmates as well as some other family friends. How good is our God to have provided this time of celebration for our family? Not only that but we enjoyed Thanksgiving, my birthday, and our 20th Wedding anniversary on Nov. 30th all this past week.

We will be back on Sunday. I know that we are in a much needed time of preparation and I will still try and do updates.

The plan for next week will be:

Dec. 8th Justin will have surgery at Phoenix Childrens Hospital to have another Hickman catheter inserted into the other side of his chest cavity. He will also have a bone marrow biopsy. It is imperative that this shows him in remission. The transplant procedure will be much more complicated if he shows signs of leukemia. Please pray for a clean cancer free biopsy.

DEC. 9TH IS THE BIG DAY. Justin will be admitted in Good Samaritan Hospital to begin treatment. He will be hooked up immediately to chemotherapy. This is supposed to be 10x harder to endure than what he already has but our God is faithful and will not allow more than what he can handle. That's my stance and I'm sticking to it even if my stomach churns at the thought of all this.


I know You are trustworthy even though it feels like my heart skips a beat and my world is anything but stable. It gives me great hope that You remain on Your throne and are the same God yesterday, today and forever. You were on Your throne through every World War, every earthquake and catastrophic event this world has endure to this point. You were on Your throne before Justin's diagnosis, and there YOU will remain through the process. You will lead us to the other side. I am confident of that. What that looks like, I don't know. You have taught me to trust You anyway, despite not having everything understood. Father, I ask for our next prayers over the encouraging words to be directed towards our donor. God, reveal every need she has, and those of her family. Keep her healthy and unafraid. Help her to follow through to completion of the harvested cells. You are with her. Comfort her this night and let her feel Your presence.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, November 29, 2004 12:54 PM
1st Day of Strategic Prayer and Fasting for Justin


We come to understand that any battle we face in this life is not ours, but Yours. You said in 2 Chronicles 20: 15-16 "This is what the Lord says to you: "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD'S"
We want victory, to be sure, but we desire it in Your way and in Your time. This battle will not be won by relying on our own flesh or ability. It will be won when we see Your arm of power and strength moving on our behalf and doing for us what we never could do on our own.

Father, come and flip on the switch of Your Glory. Numbers 6: 25-26 "The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

Lord, make Your face to shine upon Justin...Oh, God be gracious to him and by lifting up Your countenance upon him, he stands approved before You. We come today to ask for this peace for him and ourselves.

We list below the natural possible side-effects that we have been told may occur:

Immediate reactions to full-body radiation

Severe skin reaction
Hair loss
Nausea and Vomiting
Sore mouth and throat
Suppression of blood counts
Painful Salivary gland swelling, like mumps
Painful Inflammation of the pancreas, painful swollen abdomen
Extreme fatigue
Irritation of the bladder

All of the above side effects may be increased by the chemotherapy that Justin will endure for the first two days.

Long-term reaction to full-body radiation

Skin and muscle thickening
Chronic bowel problems
Decreased bladder capacity
Impaired growth of the bones and spine
Development of second malignancies
Lung damage
Kidney damage
Liver damage
Heart damage
Brain damage
Lung scarring
Premature coronary artery disease
Decreased production of the thyroid gland
Nerve irritation
Inflammation of the heart
Narrowing and scarring of the swallowing passage (esophagus)
Spinal cord injury

Please determine areas that you will pray and fast for Justin. Leave us a note on the encouraging words section of this web-page of areas you will commit to and we will make a chart to ensure that every possible side-effect will be drenched in this time of prayer preparation.


Everything in this mother's heart screams out....NO, NO, NO..... to all of the above. If it be possible for this "cup to pass from Justin" I ask You to divinely heal him and release him from the necessity of this procedure. But, Lord we pray that Your will be done, not ours.

Ecclesiastics 3: 14 says "I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor anything taken from it. And God does it so that men will reverently fear Him."

James 1: 17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all, that gives light in whom there can be no variation or shadow cast by His turning."

Psalm 20 says, "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high and defend you. Send you help from the sanctuary and support, refresh, and strengthen you from Zion; Remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice. May He grant you according to your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans. We will shout in triumph at Your salvation and victory and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God. They are bowed down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright. O. Lord, give victory; let the King answer us when we call."


As his parents, we offer up today as our day of fasting to You. We ask that the fervent and effectual prayers of the warriors You have chosen to fight with us will step up into this fervent and strategic kind of praying as You have instructed us to do. We know that You said in Matthew 19:26 "With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God." You said in Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? We learned this weekend from Pastor Kinnaman that the word wonder actually means, 'a miracle. You said in Job 42:2 "I know that You can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted."

We are asking You to make this Mount Everest an experience for Justin that will set him apart for Your kingdom purposes. I am reminded of the experience Moses had when he approached his mountain. Exodus 24: 15-18 "Then Moses went up into the mountain and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day God called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the glory of the Lord appeared to the Israelites like devouring fire on the top of the mountain. Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up the mountain, and Moses was on the mountain forty days and nights. All they that had traveled with Moses stayed at the base of the mountain. There was a clear and distinct time of preparation as is read in the previous verses of Exodus 24. The people read from the Book of the Covenant and were obedient to apply it and follow it. They sacrificed offerings to You. You, Lord, shown Yourself to them in a way they had not seen before. It was a convincing manifestation of Your presence before their eyes. What similarities this event has even down to the time frame of days and we approach our mountain. I find it interesting that they too were at a "piedmont." They had already climbed a good portion of the mountain beforehand. This cloud that covered the mountain for the six days is strikingly similar to the 6 days of chemo and radiation that Justin must endure. The seventh day is the day of new life and the introduction of the new cells for Justin. This was the day You called Moses to travel up the mountain alone. No one else could go with him....he was on his own. There he stayed for forty days and nights the similarity of Justin's stay in the hospital. Whatever this means Lord, we ask for divine intervention by Your Hand. When Justin is making this final climb to the top of his mountain, alone, let him hear Your voice as Moses did. Let him be unafraid. Let him be changed into Your likeness so that even his countenance will be changed as you changed the face of Moses.

Father, call Your people to pray and fast that these "possible" side-effects will be nothing that will approach Justin's body. You are the God of the impossible....I believe that You can allow Justin to face what could be devastating and turn it around and make it a time of consecration of his life to You. Lord, you can manipulate circumstances for his good. Lord, my mother's heart cries out to You to let my son "grow physically" into the kind of man you envision. Let his stature be reached to the design You have for him. Do not allow the radiation to stunt his growth and retard that which You have created. Protect him Lord, let no harm befall him.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, November 28, 2004 8:51 PM
Today we participated in an event that we will cherish and treasure for the rest of our lives. During the weekend services at Word of Grace church our family stood with Justin as he lit the Advent Candle of Hope. We have included a new link of the video that Word of Grace made for this event. It is Justin's story told in his own words. Channel 15 was also there to cover this and you can watch it on the 10:00 pm news tonight.

As much rejoicing as there has been today we know that our journey is not yet over. There is much needed preparation because of what we have yet to endure. Whether we want to or not.....we're going to the Cross. We've all seen the movie, "The Passion of the Christ." This movie clearly depicts the reality of the suffering Jesus endured for us. There was always a bigger picture He had in mind though....You and me. As He hung there dying...his body wracked with pain...his last thoughts were for you and me and for our salvation. He did not suffer needlessly and without hope. God's purpose for Him was to experience death and raise Him up with resurrection power. Likewise, Justin is facing a crucifixion-like experience. We are in no way comparing it to what Jesus endured. But it is a nailing of his life with all of his young hopes and dreams for health and wholeness and a future, to a time period that will be marked with pain and uncertainty. All we will be able to do is to kneel in prayer and watch what God will do.

I wanted to share an email that I received from Damon Dunn last night. He is the ex-NFL player that has come alongside Justin to encourage him to fight hard and to go into this bone marrow transplant prepared mentally and spiritually. Here are some of his words:

"Preparation is the key to success. We must have "prayer reserves" for Justin. We must take hold of the Word of God and commit to prayer and fasting. If we fail to prepare, then we prepare to fail. Is it possible to be so prepared that the test is actually easier than expected? Can Justin be so prepared that the side effects come and go without breaking his spirit? Can we have so much prayer in reserve that days seem shorter and chemo seems easier? Is it possible? Can the bone marrow transplant happen without any infections or challenges? And, if there are challenges, then can God step in and manipulate the conditions for Justin's good? Is it possible? Let's put on the armor and stand up against this Philistine giant (cancer) in the name of Jesus. Whatever happens, happens. He has not given us the outcome, but He has given us promises, and it is our job to not complain and to fight with the weapons that He has given to us. God's will be done, but let His people stand in the promises that He has made that we may be approved. No pride or arrogance. No reward of recognition. Just a silent battle and faith in our Sovereign God and His Word.
I'll see you at the Cross!"


I believe that You own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). You own it all. This whole earth and all created things were made with the careful stroke of Your Hand. This Philistine giant we fight against will be defied by You. You said that we are Blessed and a highly favored people. We are Your children and You delight to give us the desires of our hearts. I believe that You could heal Justin instantly. I believe that You could sovereignly heal him and spare him the pain of this bone marrow transplant. Our eyes are on You. Our bags are packed Lord and we have made preparation to move forward into this procedure. I believe that even in our obedience that You could meet us at that hospital room and say, "Well done good and faithful servant...I have provided another sacrifice to bring healing to Justin." You provided another sacrifice for Abraham and Isaac up on that mountain. His arm was stretched and ready to take the life of his only son and You intervened. Father, You don't reveal Your intended purposes so that we know the beginning from the end. You are a mysterious God who hides Your view but who acknowledges Himself in ways and patterns that humanity will never completely know whoYou are. You desire a faith and a trust from Your people that says "God, I know You have my best interest in mind and that of my children. We are a blessed and highly favored people and You will not allow anything to happen to us that was not first approved by You." So Lord, we consecrate Justin to You and to Your intended purpose for his life. It says in Luke 2:23, that every firstborn male is to be consecrated (set apart) to You. Here he is Lord....we know that He is in the best of Hands because You are a trustworthy God.

In Jesus Name,



Saturday, November 27, 2004 10:35 PM
Justin continues to recover each day and is enjoying every minute at home.

I had noted on a previous update that incorporating fasting with prayer this round was something that I felt the Lord had put on my heart to do as part of the battle plan. I wanted to give you a deeper explanation on fasting. I will try to answer what it is, what it does, and how to do it.

First of all, fasting is a spiritual exercise. It has the same potential of building spiritual muscles as physical exercise has in building natural ones. It is a conscious decision to deny yourself something to the degree that it is felt physically.

What does self-denial look like to you? It could be abstaining from an activity you enjoy and giving that time of participation back to God. A popular fasting exercise is to deny yourself food. Sometimes people will fast one meal, or several days. Denying yourself this pleasure of satisfying your hunger actually has the potential of putting you in a position to draw closer to God and to His purposes in your situation.

Fasting has a way of detaching us from the world of material so that our thinking becomes rightly oriented, focused on God and the unseen world of which He is the center. This inevitably results in a release of faith which is the "assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

My pastor, Dr. Gary Kinnaman, in his book, "How to Overcome the Darkness," writes this about fasting. He says that it is the most fervent way of praying. It is a personal discipline that he uses in his own life that helps him to control his emotions. This type of concentrated prayer can have a dramatic calming effect on our emotional stability. This, in turn, is the key to victory in spiritual warfare.

Dr. Mell Winger, in his book, "Fight on Your Knees," writes that we are living in a time of escalated spiritual warfare. It is true that there are many things that are hindering our communion with God. He further states, that when we are at the end of our rope, that a passionate cry of desperation harkens God's intervention. Throughout Scripture we observe many instances in which people cried out to God in desperation and HE ANSWERED!

This cry of desperate praying is actually a spiritual weapon and becomes part of the heavy artillery we wear in spiritual battles. It is effective in times of extreme crisis.

Isaiah 58: 6- 9 is awesome ...listen to this...."Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen; to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? THEN YOUR LIGHT WILL BREAK FORTH LIKE THE DAWN AND YOUR HEALING WILL QUICKLY APPEAR; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."

We understand that fasting is an exercise that draws us closer to You. It is our intended purpose to be as close to your heartbeat as we can get. Father, there is much that lies ahead for Justin to encounter, but Lord even in that You will have the final say. We are asking you in advance to lessen the traumatic side-effects, the fatal side effects, and to cause Justin's body to respond positively to the introduction of these new stem cells. We will offer you up strategic and specific prayers along with fasting that You will allow Justin's healing to appear quickly like you mentioned in verse 8. Tonight we pray for the donor. Lord, thank you for her. I can't wait to meet her. Help her as they prepare the dynamics of when she will begin receiving the nepogin shots to increase her production of white blood cells. Remove all fear of needles and the sight of blood. Lord, pour out upon her blessings that only You can give for this very sacrificial gift. We are honored to have her help.
In Jesus Name,

Friday, November 26, 2004 9:54 PM
Justin completed his day of preparation at Good Samaritan today. He enjoyed getting to know the nurses and thought they were fun. Most of what he endured was tedious and long, but manageable. It's just tough to be 14 yrs old and having to do it. The part he disliked was having to drink a 16 oz barium drink to check his digestive system. He made Mike taste it along with the nurses assisting him. Everyone agreed with him that the stuff taste nasty. At least we are all in unity!

The tentative date to begin treatment is Dec. 6th. That may change till later in the week if their radiation machine is not finished being overhauled. We will keep you posted.

Have you ever thought about how much a prayer actually weighs? Only God knows the answer to that question. I remember a story that was told at our PrayerQuake back in June of this year that tried to tackle that concept. Envision a teeter-totter in your mind. The same kind you used to play on as a child. You and a friend, hopefully of equal weight, would take turns going up and down using each other's position on the end and gravity for hours of fun. Now envision this same teeter-totter with a boulder the size of your circumstance on one end. Only you know how much that boulder weighs and the enormous challenge to bring about balance. This was the visual set up. Now see a big basket tied to the other end of that teeter-totter. As we pray for our circumstances to change according to God's will, it is like we are tossing a rock up into that basket. One rock at a time. One prayer at a time. Of course, our one prayer is not going to balance out that teeter-totter. But, if we are persistent, over time each prayer becomes another rock added to the ones already spoken. Sooner of later the weight on that other side will give way.....and guess will be one rock that makes the change. We must never give up! Sometimes we are as close as "one rock" away from seeing victory.

Teach us to be persistent in our approach to prayer. Only You know how much a prayer weighs. Father, you see us tossing our "rocks" to the other side of this teeter-totter as we stand in prayer for Justin. Sooner or later the weight from the combined prayers will give way to victory. We long for that day Lord when this is behind us. For now we press on like a runner who is running to win the prize. We will run to win Lord and give You all we have to bring about victory and complete restoration. In the glorified!
In Jesus Name,

Thursday, November 25, 2004 8:39 PM
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! What a gorgeous day!!! I hope all of you enjoyed your family and friends and wonderful food as much as we did. Mike has set a tradition of holiday cooking for many years now. His meals are fabulous and lack for nothing. He includes fresh homemade bread and all the trimmings. Justin really enjoyed himself. He ate well and played hard. Each day he is showing signs of recovery and getting back to being himself. Today was extra special and we thank you for specifically praying for our holiday to be blessed.

I had mentioned that now we have the donor, Justin had to do preliminary testing on Wednesday. Since he will be receiving full body radiation they had to x-ray most of the bones in his body and size him up for a jacket to wear as a chest protector for his lung cavity during the radiation segments. Upon entering the hospital, Justin will receive 11 different segments of full body radiation. There will be side effects immediately. He will be enduring 3 segments each day for 3 days and then 2 segments on day 4. He will need MUCH prayer from us during this intensity. The side-effects are overwhelming to read about, much less watch him suffer through them. We would like to plan days of fasting and prayer for each specific side-effect's potential of fatality. We will come up with a plan in the next few days and post it.

Tomorrow we will be down at the hospital from 8:45 am to 4:30 pm. Again this will be a day of preparation for Justin. Each major organ in his body will be examined for functionality. They will use this as a base line for when he is in the thick of it all. Please pray for us to not be overwhelmed.


What a great day you have given to our family. We really enjoyed it. Thank you for healing Justin from this last round of chemo and for allowing him to be home with us. Lord, the severity of this procedure weighs heavy on our hearts. I believe it will require much prayer and fasting to pull him through this successfully. Help each prayer warrior to undergird themselves now in preparation. Lord, we have 2 weeks to prepare our strategy and to prepare Justin mentally and spiritually to face this Goliath "unafraid." Reveal the battle plan Lord and we will follow Your lead.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, November 23, 2004 9:03 PM
A DONOR HAS BEEN FOUND!!!!!! We received the call today that a 30 year old woman has agreed to be a bone marrow donor for Justin. Hallelujah! She is a perfect match, matching 10 markers, and they also share the same blood type. Wow! We do not know if she came from our bone marrow drives or where she is from. That is all confidential information. Now that we have a treatment plan, Justin has preliminary tests that he will have tomorrow and Friday.

We do not have exact dates on when he will be readmitted to the hospital but, it will be in approximately 2 weeks. He will endure 7 full days of chemo and full body radiation. The eighth day will be like a new birthday for him. The donated marrow will be hung on his IV pole and slowly make its way into his body. This will be the BEST Christmas gift ever!
It could take awhile before the new marrow will begin to engraft. This is a very serious procedure and we will have much to pray for when this time arrives.


Wow! What a Thanksgiving surprise! You have found a perfect match for Justin. You have helped this precious woman to agree to giving him the gift of life. Thank you Lord. You have been working and answering our prayers. You have not hidden Your face from us. You are faithful and true to Your Word. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude to You. The holidays will forever be a reminder to us of Your goodness. The donor found on Thanksgiving and the marrow received on Christmas.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, November 22, 2004 8:48 PM
We've taken a short sabbatical from our updates since being home. It has felt good to just be doing normal stuff. Even taking the dogs for a walk Saturday evening was so relaxing. Justin continues to recover. His next appointment to have his counts checked will be Wednesday morning.

It appears we are at the "piedmont" of this journey. A piedmont is like the base camp that is stationed at the bottom of the last climb before reaching the top of a mountain. We are preparing ourselves to take that last climb. I wanted to share this story with you. It is called, "Shake it Off." Tucked inside of it are good principles for all of us to follow.

A farmer's donkey fell into a dry well. The animal cried pitifully for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do for his poor donkey. Finally, he concluded that the well was too deep, and it really needed to be covered up. Besides, the donkey was old, and it would be a lot of trouble to get him out of the pit. The farmer decided that it was not worth trying to retrieve the animal, so he asked his neighbors to help him fill in the well and bury the donkey. They all grabbed shovels and began to toss dirt into the well. The donkey immediately realized what was happening, and he began to weep horribly. Crying would be our normal response if somebody was mistreating us this badly, so this donkey was responding the same way we would a first, but then he got real quiet. A few shovels loads of dirt later, the farmer looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit the donkey's back, the donkey would shake it off, and step on top of it. As the neighbors and the farmer continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would continue to shake it off, and take a step up. Pretty soon the donkey shook off the last shovel full of dirt, took a step up, and walked right out of the well.

We can learn much from this story. When trouble comes, if we will refuse to complain and get still and listen, God will help us. He said that when our situation looks bleak and the door of opportunity closes, even then He would provide for us a window of escape. It may resemble a smaller strategic exit then the obvious one we had in mind but, nonetheless it is a God-given way out of our troubled circumstance. We need to get this! In the midst of our shaking, we can expect that God will reward us. He never leaves us defenseless but, He gives us hope that He Himself will come to our rescue.

1 Peter 5:10 "And the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."


Thank you for Your love to us. Thank you for coming and rescuing Justin and our family from the pain of this suffering. We know that You have a great plan in store for Justin as You said in Jeremiah 29:11...You said that You had plans for his welfare and not for calamity. You said that You would give him a future and a hope. We don't know the way could be the obvious door or that smaller strategic window of escape but, Lord our eyes are upon You as we wait for You to show us. I ask for mental astuteness to continue.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, November 19, 2004 6:07 PM
Justin is Home!!!!!!! Praise You Lord for answering our prayers. Thank you for bringing his counts up to 276. You are a miracle working God. We worship You with hearts overflowing with gratitude. Words just don't seem adequate to praise You enough.

Upon leaving the hospital around 12:00 pm Justin said, "Mom, it's time I start giving back." His first stop was to Valley Christian High School to thank Mr. Kleckner and Mr. Stephens for all the support and prayer they have given. He had permission to go to each of his classes to say, "Thanks so much for praying for me!" We took every precaution to keep him germ free and healthy. That was awesome!

Then he wanted to go surprise Carissa so, we went to Grace Community. When she saw Justin standing in the back of her class she bolted from her seat and ran to him. They embraced and Carissa said, "I love you so much Justin!" She made her classmates cry. It truly was a moment.

We just finished eating dinner together. Mike cooked a fabulous meal and the fellowship was tremendous. It is so good to have him home.


What a blessing to be together as a family all in one place, our home! There is no place quite like it. Thank you for restoring Justin enough to allow him to be home for a while. Please keep him healthy and let his body continue to recover and his counts rise. We continue to ask You to bring about the perfect donor for him. You already know who they are, so we ask for You to work out the details for them. Wow, God....this is one prayer that is ending with a smile (:

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, November 18, 2004 8:42 PM
We stand in agreement with Justin's specific requests tonight. You said in Isaiah 55:11, "So also is my Word, I send it out and it always produces fruit. It shall accomplish all I want it to, and prosper everywhere I send it." We use Your Word tonight to ask for a deliverance for Justin. Isaiah 50: 7-8 "For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me." Let there be a shaking like that which happened to Paul and Silas in the Book of Acts 15 after they were thrown into prison. It says, "Around midnight while they were still praying and singing suddenly there was a violent earthquake that rocked the foundation of that place and flew open the prison doors. You set them free that night. Father, you have heard Justin described what it is like to have not been outside for 31 days. He has been confined to this room and he has described it as being "in prison." One midnight shake from You would set him free...Come Lord and rock our world! Psalm 142: 5-7 says, "I cry to You, Lord; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Listen to my cry, for I am desperate need, rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. SET ME FREE FROM MY PRISON, that I may praise Your Name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of Your goodness to me." Boldly we ask for Justin to be in remission, for his white blood cells to miraculously increase and for You to allow Justin the privilege of going home tomorrow.
In Jesus Name,

Thursday, November 18, 2004 1:54 PM
I am needing your prayers right now because they are not sure that I will be able to go home tomorrow. My white blood cell count was only at *128* today. The doctor is telling me that my myleodyplasia and leukemia may not be remission and that is why my count is not going up faster. They also think it may be just returning slow and that I am in remission. Please pray that I am in remission and that I can go home with a count of at least 500.
Thank you.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004 11:39 PM
Today was just another day closer to going home. Justin's white blood cell count dropped a bit to *117*, but that is still good. His appetite increased only a little, but is moving in the right direction.

Justin and Damon are becoming good buddies. Damon use to play NFL. He and Justin have been playing the NCAA 2003 college football playstation game. Damon has been kicking his butt. Justin has been strategizing and took most of the day to work on improving his game. He did really well against the computer but poor Damon wasn't there to defend himself. He was really making me laugh about how serious he was at beating him. I love it! Watch out Damon....he may surprise you!

1 Peter 5:8-9

Be self-controlled and alert, Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

On one hand Satan means to chase us down and destroy us, but on the other hand God wants to chase us down too...with blessings upon blessings and reward upon reward until our cup overflows with the all good things he has stored up for those who love him. The danger is as real as the reality of the comfort from a cushioned life. When we recognize that it is never all or nothing and that there will be challenges that this life presents to us. Even in the midst of those, there is God setting up a table for us in the presence of our enemies,
walking with us as we are walking through the "valley of the shadow of death," anointing us with oil and reminding us of His promises that goodness and mercy are going to follow you (keep going)...don't fear, I am with you. (keep going) Psalm 23 I sit here remembering the night my boy was diagnosed with this dreaded disease. I remember running to Psalm 23 and trying to recite it. There was so much pain and disbelief that I was going to be visiting this place called "the valley of the shadow of death." Nobody buys a ticket beforehand to visit such a place. It is indeed scary and a hard place to forget. It does change your perspective on life once you've been there though.


I believe that the "roar" of the enemy is many times more threatening to us that his bite. I know so many times You intervene and do not allow him to come close to Your people. But on those times that You have allowed what seems to be devastating, I believe that even then as Job left for us an example to follow.....the last chapter has not been written yet. You will write the last chapter of each one of our lives and that is a guarantee. Not one day for Justin will be shortened. I believe that! Teach us to live lives prepared and fully dressed in the armor You have provided. Help us to be proactive with that. Clothes don't just jump on our bodies, we have to go put them on. It is an act of our will and an act of obedience to fully clothe ourselves in preparation for life's battles. Ephesians 6 Lord remind Your people who are reading this page to prepare themselves. Do it when all is good....get yourselves strong and ready.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, November 16, 2004 10:46 PM
Looks like Leslie O'Malley is going to get her wish for Justin. She said on the encouraging words that she hopes Justin is not only at the Thanksgiving Dinner table but that he would be the one hogging all the turkey. The tentative plan is to send Justin home on Friday. His magical white blood cell count rose to *126*. That was a great increase from yesterday.

They dropped his intravenous feeding down even more to only a few hours a day. He ate a little bit. I am hopeful that his appetite will increase, slowly but surely. He is VERY excited at the prospect of going home. We are already trying to plan what his first meal should be.

Nehemiah 2: 18-20

The walls of Jerusalem were in desperate need of repair as they lay in ruins. Remember back in July of 2004 how the doctors said that Justin's cells were in need of a rebuilding?" This is the same word mentioned here to described what the work of repair was....a rebuilding. After the people had started the project, each working on their own section of the wall...they declared that "the God of heaven will give us success!"


I thank you for this story recorded in Nehemiah and for the strength I gleam from it. There was much going on all at the same time to bring about the success of the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem. The people all took such delight in the finished product because of the investment each of them made sacrificially. It was a unified effort and one that everyone benefited from......especially You. I pray that this will be the case for Justin. He is being rebuilt from the inside out. A rewiring like that of the bionic man which will render him an unstoppable proponent of Your glory. Lord, let him come home Friday with no delays. I ask for a clean bill of health. Let his body rest as it repairs itself and gets strong as he is waiting for the ultimate "rebuild" of his transplant. We know that You are working all things out for the donor. You have hand-picked this person to assist You in bringing healing to Justin's marrow. We trust You knowing that You are a God of order and are handling all the details down to the smallest of them all.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, November 15, 2004 10:23 PM
Justin's magical number of white blood cells increased to *40* today. He is doing good. He was taken off of his TPN feeding during the day in hopes to stimulate his appetite. He will not be able to go home until he can prove that he can eat again. I remember praying these prayers last time....I'm sure many of you do too. This is important though...So, Father we ask together that You would create inside of Justin a desired appetite and a hunger for good nutritious food. Help him digest and create order in his digestive system. Let a portion of every meal we eat be dedicated to Justin's appetite returning fully.

Justin was given some freedom today. He was completely unhooked from his IV pole from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. That was great! He has been in a special pressurized room since he arrived on Oct. 19th. The pressure in the room keeps any germs on the outside. He has not left the room since he arrived. Tonight they allowed him to leave the room for a while with a mask on. I'm sure that must have felt good to him.

He had a surprise visit today from a company right here in town that makes motocross playstation games. It was a great group of guys and they really brightened his day. Thank you all so much!

Also, a big thank you to the efforts of the students at ASU for the bone marrow drive held today. Despite the rain, they had 97 donate to see if they were a match for Justin. That is awesome! We keep reminding ourselves......that it only takes one! We do not have a match yet....but, I promise as soon as we all will know too!

1 Peter 5:7

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."

When problems arise in our lives we have a decision to make. Either we are going to worry about them, talk about them, and eventually allow them to rule our thoughts or, we can take verses like this one to heart. Worry is tormenting to the spirit and is ultimately useless. It creates avenues of reason that does not always help find a solution. There is one solution that has stood the test of time...His name is Jesus! When we decide to continue to fellowship with Him not matter what is happening in and around us...we make Him to be bigger than anything else that can come against us. We can fellowship with Him through worship, prayer, or bible-reading. I would like to close with a song entitled, "Above All,"...
It is not a solution to our situation but, it does ease the pain when we can keep our eyes fixed on the one who holds the solution....Jesus!

Above all powers, above all Kings,
Above all nature and all created things.
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man,
You were here before the world began.

Above all kingdoms, above all thrones,
Above all wonders the world has ever known.
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth,
There's no way to measure what Your worth.

Crucified, laid behind a stone,
You lived to die rejected and alone,
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me...above all.


Sunday, November 14, 2004 8:17 PM
I hope you had as much fun in church as we did! Not only is Pastor Kinnaman a great teacher of the Word, he is also very funny. He had people yelling out "cool" during the service, to accentuate the good points he was making. You kinda had to be there.....

Justin had a steady flow of friends today. Thank you for making the effort to bring your kids down to visit him. It really brightens his day. His white blood cell count went down alittle bit to *30*. That is not uncommon to go up and down for a while as the marrow is recovering. Our prayer is that Justin stays healthy as we wait for his counts to come up. We have come through a lot and now we play the waiting game.

How do you play the waiting game? Is it a board game like Monopoly? When I think about how to "wait" especially when the process determines the outcome, what comes to my mind is a stillness within. I can never reach that place of stillness when I am in a hurry or when I try and rush things and consequently get ahead of God. God has an appointed time for things to happen. He wants us to trust Him and sit before Him quietly. This is not a quality we see a lot in our society today but, it is a necessary one. We will never learn to hear God's voice if we don't learn how to be still and wait. I love Psalm 27 and how it teaches us to be strong and take heart while we are waiting for our promises from the Lord.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of You, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; You have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me Your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT FOR THE LORD.


You have brought us through so much and now we ask, gentle Holy Spirit, for You to teach us to wait unhurriedly for you to restore Justin's counts. Let there be a stillness within all of us, like a gentle whisper. Let there be a somber reverence as we anticipate our hearts being strengthened. We long to see Your goodness in the land where we live. We know heaven abounds with perfection and You have gone to prepare a beautiful place for us to live eternally. But for today, even in this place we want to see Your goodness. Show us Your Sovereign Hand. We love You and we are waiting on You.....

In Jesus Name,


Saturday, November 13, 2004 9:11 PM
Justin's marrow is showing signs of recovery. He started to get a few of the major white blood cells back. This is a good sign and one that says healing is taking place deep inside.

He had a good day and enjoyed visits from friends and family. If we continue to sit tight, his marrow should slowly improve. We will continue to update you with his magical number count. Today's total white blood cell count is *32*. That needs to be above 500 before they will let him go home for a while. Yours and mine is approximately 2000. So, even at 500 he will have a compromised immune system and we will need to take every precaution to keep him healthy. He may be home for Thanksgiving. That would be awesome!

I think it is fitting to offer up praise to the Lord for all He has done:

Psalm 95

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord. Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care."


We do come before you with a bent knee and a heart full of worship. We worship You for who you are and declare together that You are the Kings of Kings and the Lord of Lords. How excellent is Your Name and all Your works are marvelous. Father, I pray for each person reading this that You would infiltrate their spirits with more of You. We want a transplant too Lord. The kind that will allow for more of You to flow out of our inner being. Make deep life-lasting changes where You see fit. I pray for every congregation that is represented here. May their services be blessed tomorrow and Your spirit welcomed in each place. As we gather tomorrow to worship You with our church families I pray that our worship will be filled with this kind of adoration and praise. Remind us again and again of how much You love us Lord. Your Love to us knows no bounds and it makes our spirits leap for joy as we anticipate the assembling together of Your Body.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, November 12, 2004 11:11 PM
We welcomed a day like today for Justin. He remained fever free with no complications of illness arising. We are thankful for the article in the Arizona Republic's Valley and State section today. It continues to bring awareness to the community to donate marrow.

A friend of mine gave me an article that she cut out from Family Circle magazine the Nov. 2004 edition. It is a heart warming story of a 16 year old boy who received a bone marrow transplant from a stranger. Family Circle underwrote a bone marrow drive back in Oct. 1998. They collected 3400 potential donors. Out of that 3400, eight became donors. This is a follow up story on three of those donors and the people who received their stem cells. It is still on the rack for sale if you happen to see it in the store. It is a story of hope! Today, this young man is a healthy 16 year old junior in high school living a very normal and healthy life.

Did you see Justin on the 10:00 pm news tonight on Channel 12? Phoenix Children's Hospital contacted them regarding United Blood Services and the increased charge of $65.00 for any bone marrow donors. They asked to interview him regarding this. He did a great job and said on camera that he prays alot during the day for God to heal him. We are doing all we know to do. We are desperate for God's intervention. Psalm 77 tells a similar story of despair and the pain of trying to cope with those overwhelming feelings. I use this story as an example in our situation by purposely recalling all the miracles written in the Word. Those written miracles give us hope today. If God is really who He said He was....and He never changes....then His miraculous acts of healing and restoration are still evident today. Listen to this:

"I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night, My heart mused and my spirit inquired; Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promises failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?

What are we going to do when we find ourselves in this kind of trouble? You can just hear the pain and heartache and the questioning of how long will this linger. This is where our family finds itself. We know that there are good days and very hard days. But we, on purpose, have chosen to agree with the last half of this chapter......reading on...

"Then I thought, "To this I WILL appeal; the years of the right hand of the Most High. I WILL remember the deeds of the Lord. Yes, I WILL remember Your miracles of long ago. I WILL meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples. With Your mighty arm You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw You, O God, the waters saw You and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; Your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, Your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though Your footprints were not seen. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."

Those I WILLS speak of a decision that rises up from deep inside that has the potential of overriding doubt, fear, sadness, and pain. It puts us on a plain that knows, "God, we can't but, You can." We constantly remind ourselves of God's goodness and faithfulness. Feelings are fickle and change but a faith that declares that no matter what, "God I will believe You are who You said You were," will somehow be rewarded.


Thank you for reminding us of all the good You performed in miraculous ways. You hear Justin's cries to You to heal him. Tonight Lord I ask that you would build a fortress of prayer up and surround Justin. We do not know the battle plan yet. However, as we wait for the donor to be found, Justin may have to endure yet another round of chemo. He is tired Lord and weary of this journey. Please infuse him and inoculate him for what lies ahead. We can only take him so far in our intercession. Raise him up to be a fiery Daniel who will mentally be prepared to tackle every giant he must face. Teach us to pray for Justin with words that will strengthen this inner man and provide sustenance that he can draw from in the days that lie ahead.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, November 11, 2004 10:28 PM
We learned early this morning that Justin would need to have that CAT Scan they put off a couple of days ago. Somehow he dislodged a blood clot that came out of his nose during the night and the CAT Scan was a preventative measure to rule out anything serious or life threatening. We are happy to say, by the grace and mercy of God, that Justin was given a clean bill of health in his sinus cavity. That was good news!

Damon Dunn and Clif Weston have been visiting Justin and ministering to him from their passionate ministry of "Slaying Life's Giants." Clif had a neck injury last year from playing football. He actually broke his neck in the same place that Christopher Reeves did. God has since healed Clif and he travels with Damon sharing his testimony. They are committed to Justin for this season to get him through this last part of the journey. They all hope that one day Justin can join their team with a powerful testimony of his own. Today we had an awesome time in prayer over him. You may have noticed from the encouraging words that Damon has a lot of friends that have joined our team. We are indeed grateful to him. I hope one day when this is all over, we can all plan a meeting place together and you can hear Damon speak. He is a gifted, powerful, anointed young man with a passion to shake nations one life at a time. I believe his investment will have HUGE dividends in the kingdom of God. Please pray for him as he pours himself into Justin and prepares him for the battles that lie ahead.

Damon emphasizes the story of David and Goliath when he inspires young people to stand against the giants in their lives. It reminded me of a poem that our Intercessory Team wrote for our Outreach Pastor at Word of Grace. He too, is a man with great vision and I am honored to stand with him. I will close with his poem.....and include it as my prayer for Justin too....that one day he will hurl a net over the nations in great victory!


One little slingshot and five little stones,
These were the weapons of David the king,
He was only a young lad, experienced and small,
Yet he'd play his harp, and to God he'd sing.

You, Pastor Karl, are our minister of outreach.
To reach nations, giants must be defeated still.
For the enemy continues to fight and rage,
Just as Goliath strutted up over the hill.

David's sling was a weapon at which he was skilled,
And God has also given one to you.
For he has raised you up to be steady and strong,
Empowered for the assignment He's asked you to do.

The weapon He's given you is knowledge of the Word
For it is truth that sets others free,
And He has given you wisdom and leadership skills
So that efficiency and order there will be.

David's first little stone was a weapon of slaughter
For the Spirit of God used it to conquer and destroy.
May this sling be for you a constant reminder
A symbol of encouragement and not just a toy.

God will use you mightily to destroy the giants
That come against the plans with God you make,
For God is faithful and your victory is sure
Your territory is far-reaching and great.

What about the other four little stones?
Perhaps they went into David's pouch.
We sense these stones may have a symbol for you,
So, we'll share our ideas, if you'll allow.

It is on the Lord, our foundation, Your are choosing to build,
So we see these as costly stones
Stones that will remain when they are tested by fire
As we appear before God on His throne.

The second stone symbolizes perseverance,
For God has put it in your heart what to do.
And the third stone is that wonderful trait of endurance,
Never giving up on the vision He has given to you.

The fourth stone symbolizes faithfulness,
For you look at God and not what's at hand.
Faithfulness like David demonstrated with Goliath
When he boldly believed God and took his stand.

The fifth stone would be a golden one,
For surely your reward will be great.
And one day you will walk on streets of gold
As you enter heaven's pearly gates.

Perseverance, endurance, faithfulness
How does God build these into a man?
They come from day to day trusting in Him
And choosing to live by His plan.

This character is formed by sacrifice,
It includes hard work and loneliness and pain,
Yet the journey is precious though the way is long
These are the priceless traits you've gained.

And now He has equipped you to win every battle you fight,
For the first stone was victory and the last one reward.
No matter the battle either day or night,


Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:43 PM
The results from the gastrointestinal probe yesterday appeared to be normal. That was good news. This morning they had Justin scheduled for a CAT Scan to be done on his sinus cavity. It appears he is being bothered with allergies and they are giving him Claritin for it but, he is having symptoms that are causing concern. The staff opted to hold off on the CAT Scan for today but we need to pray for Justin specifically to dry up in his respiratory area.

Mike and I had the opportunity to meet with the Bone Marrow Coordinator at City of Hope in Good Samaritan Hospital. We were able to take a tour of their facility which is located on the 12th floor. It is a pod with a central nurses station in the center. There are only about 6 rooms and each one converts quickly into an ICU unit. A bone marrow transplant is quite a serious endeavor. Many complications can arise. We are clearly walking into a huge unknown and will have to trust God each step of the way. There is still no treatment plan in place for Justin. We will have to wait and pray fervently that the next step will be ordered by the Lord.

Romans 8 talks about hope in a way that we are living out. Hope sustains those who put their trust in God, especially during times of suffering. Verse 22 says that "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

The Lord depicts here with understanding that He knows the frailty of our human capacity. He knows that we become weak and overburden with grief in bearing up under the weight of immense suffering. Now this is the kind of God we serve, that at those moments of emotional shut down the Holy Spirit continues to intercede on our behalf. He doesn't condemn us or necessarily let up on the pain. It says that he bears up under it and takes the heaviness from our shoulders and shoulders it himself. He prays for us. He searches our hearts and knows our thoughts which most of the time are trying to please Him. I am so thankful to know this kind of God. A God who says that He will work out all things for our good because we love Him. He said that nothing would separate us from that kind of love. Not trouble, or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword. Wow! There is nowhere on this earth we can escape from His all-seeing eye. Why would we want to? He searches to and fro to find those whose hearts are committed to Him. His desire is to draw all people unto Himself especially those who don't think they deserve it. Guess what? None of us deserve His love. We could never earn it by being good enough. He said that if He be lifted up that He would draw ALL men unto Himself. He was lifted up on a cross many years ago and that sacrifice of love is the hope we hold onto as we wait patiently for God to heal Justin.


You have blessed up today. You have provided for our every need. You brought friends to stand and support us. You brought many new prayer warriors to stand in prayer. You have brought encouragement. We thank you for defining hope through all of these venues. You are not a God who would abandon us. You are fully aware of our pain and we ask that You would teach us how to clothe You with these garments of suffering we continually find ourselves wearing. It is too heavy to carry Father. We must learn how to take them off and let You wear them in our place. They are not a burden to You. You delight in our dependence on You. We love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:13 PM
The results of Justin's test on the lining of his esophagus and gastrointestinal region showed some areas that were raw and 4 areas that could be harboring a virus but no area of continual bleeding. They are running some tests to see if a fungus of any type is invading these hidden places and we should know something by tomorrow. They will be preventative tonight and transfuse him with another bag of platelets (that makes 3 for the day). Thank you for all of you who have told us that you are donating platelets. They are not going to waste.

Justin had some labs drawn today that will start identifying his specific type of blood markers with that of a potential donor. They drew six vials of blood to start the test and had to replace what they took with a double transfusion of red blood cells.

Zephaniah 3: 16-20

"On that day they will say to Jerusalem, "Do not fear, O Zion: do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing. The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; They are a burden and a reproach to you. At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes."


This verse speaks of a restoration that only You can perform. I pray that Justin would be given this honor and this praise. I pray that You will bring him home and restore to him all that has been taken from him. I've heard it said, "You give Your people double for their trouble." There will come a time when you will replace our sorrow with dancing. You said that You would bestow upon him a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. I will stand in faith and declare that Justin will be called an oak of righteousness, a planting that You would display Your splendor through. (Isaiah 6:3)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004 12:33 PM
Justin is undergoing a gastrointestinal probe at this moment. He vomited up some blood and the concern is that he is bleeding internally. Please pray for Justin.

1 Cor. 4: 6-18

"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."


There are no more words to add to the effects that these words have on us right now. We will believe You by faith. We entrust every tear, heartache, and uncertainty into Your care and know that You have Your strong arms around Justin and are holding Him each step of the way.

Monday, November 08, 2004 10:20 PM
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation..' Ephesians 1:17

Thank you all for your continued prayers specifically regarding our meeting with Dr. Schriber today. We appreciated his time and felt comfortable with him as a family. Justin really liked him. He spoke directly to Justin and made him feel like an educated responsible recipient. We liked the way he dialogued with Justin and feel comfortable moving under his care. The process of switching over from one doctor to another and all the different options in treatment was not set in stone today. Some of this will be determined by how rapidly Justin's marrow can heal from this round of chemotherapy. So we are asking our prayer warriors to go before the Father on Justin's behalf and ask for a quick rise of his white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets soon. The bottom line is we all want Justin to get better and to live a normal and healthy life. How we get from where we are at to that intended goal cannot be determined in one meeting. We have started the journey though and we are hopeful and prayerful that the decisions that are in God's plan for Justin will be confirmed and clarified and in agreement with all concerned. That is our hearts cry tonight.


We know that You could heal Justin in an instant. How easy that seems tonight....but Lord we don't want easy, we want Your perfect best for Justin. We ask that Your plan for his treatment be confirmed to us as his parents and to the doctors attending him. Let Your light begin to shine on the path that You would have us journey down. We are asking You to help us with these decisions. These are not light decisions. Help us see all aspects as You do and have Your wisdom applied directly with our thoughts as we contemplate the best plan ultimately for Justin.

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, November 07, 2004 9:21 PM
A big thank you to Tim McFadden for his continued generosity in allowing us to use this webpage. He is the one who posts the daily updates. He is a gifted man and has chosen to allow God to use those gifts to help our family. He stepped up to do this Feb 26, 2003, and has remained right by our side each step of the way. His wife, Lydiann, is a 3rd Grade teacher at Grace Community Christian School. We are so grateful. He was at the bone marrow drive today, along with Lydiann. These pictures are the ones they took and posted for you to see.

I wanted to explain the three pictures of the doves. If you were not able to attend the drive you missed the significance of these pictures. We released 24 doves while the song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean..."You Are God Alone" was sung. In Scripture, doves represent the Holy Spirit. To watch these beautiful white birds being released and then soar together and hover above us, was awesome to experience. This song is meaningful to me because it resonates the stability of the God that we serve. He was indeed here before time began. He was on His throne through every world war, every earthquake, and catastrophic event our nation has endured to this point. He was there before Justin was diagnosed...He is there now....and there He will be after this transplant is over. He never changes! He remains faithful, steadfast, and ever-present. His stability gives our family something to hold onto when our life seems so unstable right now.

I wanted to thank my church, Word of Grace, specifically Pastor Chris Wolfard and Pastor Gary Kinnaman for allowing us to hold the drive on our campus. It was so big that we even had a bone marrow committee. A very big thanks to Joani Castillo, Barbara Jackson, Mistie Zierer, and Shelley Turner for organizing this and all the volunteers that donated their time to assist them.

Thanks to Jamba Juice and Scott and Mandy Timmons for their fundraising efforts that will be helping underwrite the upcoming bone marrow drives at Grace Community and ASU.

Thanks and hugs to Clark Stephens and the student body at Valley Christian High School for your support and in helping with the balloons. It was a successful day and you all made it that!

Justin had a good day too! He enjoyed visits from his friends today and that encourages him. We wanted to remind you of our meeting with Dr. Jeff Schriber tomorrow between 3:30 - 4:00 pm. We will be meeting in Justin's room and talking at length about what Justin will have to endure through this transplant. The meeting could take up to 3 hours. We want to ask for prayer about the questions we will present to him. We would ask for clarity of thought and that we would understand what is said. We will also be meeting with the person who will be contacting the donor. This is supposed to be anonymous. However, if you get a call from her for a 14-year-old male in need of a transplant in the next few weeks, chances are they are talking about Justin. They are going to rush these marrow samples through and hope to have them posted to the National Registry no later than 3 weeks from now, if not sooner. Somehow this story will not be complete until we have met the donor and heard their side. I look forward to that day.


Thank you for a successful bone marrow drive today. Please bless the efforts of all who labored so hard to bring it together. It would be awesome, Lord, if Justin's donor came from today's drive, but we will leave the results with You, knowing You have a perfect plan already in mind. Prepare our hearts for tomorrow's meeting. It is all unknown to us. Give us the ability to digest all that will be said and emotional strength to listen, though what will be explained may be painful to hear. Continue to bless Justin with healing and health as he recovers from this round of chemo. Bring about a recovery in his bone marrow that is completely clear of leukemia. Let this be the last round he will endure until he goes in to transplant. We will rest tonight knowing that You will stay awake and guard our thoughts and protect Justin. Our desire is to take our faith to new levels of trusting You even when it hurts and the way is unclear and foreign.

In Jesus Name,



Doves Released in a Celebration of Life


More than 600 people came to Word of Grace Church today and gave blood samples for the bone marrow donor testing. Thanks to United Blood Services and the hundreds of volunteers that made this possible. Three more bone marrow donation drives are planned. The next drive will be hosted by Grace Community Christian School on Thursday, November 11th, 2004, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Grace Community Church in Tempe.

Saturday, November 06, 2004 7:31 PM
Wow, today was another jerk and twist on that rollercoaster ride. We are thankful that the bag of platelets Justin received today was able to stop his bleeding. The low platelets are also causing him to have a rash on his skin and bruising. This is something that we will have to deal with until his own marrow can heal and make platelets again.

Thank you to the Valley Christian Students and teachers for the wonderful video you made for Justin. It made him smile! It made me cry! We will forever treasure it and thank you for your open expression of love and concern for what he is going through. He is taking a beating but, I know you would all be proud of him because he is staying strong in his faith and is trusting God.

Tomorrow is our big day as we all come together in hopes of finding a donor match for Justin. United Blood Services told us of many of you having come in already to be tested. We appreciate all the efforts everyone is extending to help find a match.

The verse for today is Matthew 9:35 "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness."


We believe if You still were physically upon this earth, You would continue to travel and filter through our towns and cities and show compassion to people with Your teaching, preaching, and miraculous signs of healing. You are not an invisible God. You left us Your gift of the Holy Spirit present among us and living within us. We do not have to travel to great lengths to touch the hem of Your garment, for Your garment is within reach of our fingers at all times. Though our hearts sting, we will wait knowing that You have not forgotten us and that Your answer is on its way.

Saturday, November 06, 2004 11:42 AM
Justin is in need of our prayers. He is bleeding internally due to zero platelets in his body. Unfortunately there is only a few ounces of platelets available to transfuse him. They are going to be giving him those in a few minutes to try and stop the bleeding.

Platelets only have a two day shelf life. Justin has become refractory to them because of all the transfusions he has been given to this point. Refractory means he doesn't benefit by them. His body destroys them as they enter his body. If these do not work he will be put on medication to try and stop the bleeding but, that can have some adverse side effects.

Mike has just gone down to United Blood Services to donate platelets. Unfortunately, Justin cannot benefit from our platelet donations because of antibody issues. There are other children on this floor that we hope can use them. If anyone is interested in donating platelets please call 602-431-9500. This is the United Blood Services appointment line.


You see all the serious complications that the treatment for leukemia represent. It is our hearts desire that Justin live and not die. Lord, this is pulling on every emotional heartstring inside. We are reaching out to You once again to be a source of strength to us. We are spent Lord and at our maximum extension of faith. Please stop this bleeding inside of Justin's body. Let the platelets work so that the effects of this other medication will not be endured. Raise up your prayer warriors to help us fight this today.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, November 05, 2004 10:51 PM
Justin had a chance to meet another 14 year old patient who was recently diagnosed this week. Believe it or not they actually share a mutual friend. Because Justin is in a special pressurized room and can't leave, these guys came in to meet him. They really hit it off and hung out for a while. That is what kids this age or no hospital! So, I think they had fun.

I forgot to tell you about the funny prank Justin and his friends pulled on the nurses, and Mike and I. Justin got this idea for one of his friends to put on the clothes he was wearing (including hat and shoes) and pretend to be him. They had the staff believing that Justin had escaped. From the back it really looked like Justin. They even had me fooled. I love the humor of young people and the joy they are adding even in this tough situation.

The family of the 14 year old above will be coming to our Bone Marrow Drive on Sunday along with another family of a 10 year old daughter. We are hopeful to help find matching donors for all of those in need of a transplant.

Justin was able to eat a bowl of pasta shells today. Yeah! We still have a ways to go but, step by step we will eventually get there.


Thank you for the opportunity for Justin and Alex to befriend each other. I ask that You form an unbreakable bond between them and a friendship that will last beyond their treatments. I ask that these other families that are coming to the bone marrow drive, will find comfort in experiencing the support of our community. Wow! Thank You Lord for hearing our cries for our children. You do not turn a deaf ear to those who put their trust in You. Increase our faith as we watch what only You can do....pull a whole community together even for a few.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 9:23 PM
We have had back to back uneventful days down here at Phoenix Childrens Hospital. Trust me...this is a good thing. Justin is taking it easy and playing his computer games and just healing. Physically he is weak and has lost muscle, but his physical therapist, Amy, is working with him to try and restore some of this.

He still is taking the nausea medication and it causes him to feel dizzy when he stands up. So, if we can continue to pray for his digestion to heal. Jeremiah 30:17 "But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds."


Though we can't see the wounds inside of Justin's body, we know they are there. We are asking for his digestive system to be healed so that he can begin to eat normally again. Thank you for continuing to heal his liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. Even where he has wounds that we don't know about, we ask for Your healing in those areas. Lord, help
him to wean himself off of the nausea medication so that his is not dizzy and unstable. I ask that You would increase the muscle mass where he has lost it. Your word says, "Let the weak say I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:10) How important it is for Justin to get himself into agreement with this statement and to work towards that goal of increased stamina. Keep his youthful spirit strong, "The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint," Isaiah 40: 28-31 Father, we are hoping in You and are expecting
this promise that You will renew Justin's strength. Nothing is too difficult for You.....


Wednesday, November 03, 2004 11:09 PM
A big thank you to the Women's Ministry at Word of Grace for committing to pray for Justin for the next 40 days. Each day they are praying a specific scripture over him. Today's was Joshua awesome verse! "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." These are not idle words...they are armed with power! The Lord is not suggesting these attitudes because he thinks they'll make us happy. He is commanding them because He knows the battles of life can be overwhelming. He is strategically dressing our minds for warfare. Ultimately the choice will be ours as to how we will approach the opposition that comes against us. But, He is giving us the winning game plan here and the best part is, He stays with us from the beginning to the end.

Justin had a good day. Still having trouble eating and was only able to swallow a few bites. Please continue to bring that to the Lord for His help. He had no fevers and basically a good uneventful day. We like those kind.

The day started out with a full head of hair and ended with none. Thanks to Leslie and Rachel for your sweet comments on how cute he is anyway. I agree and I'll add that he has a great smile too!

We have a meeting with the bone marrow specialist who will be handling Justin's care when he is transferred to Good Samaritan. His name is Dr. Jeff Schriber. The meeting will be Monday, Nov. 8th around 3:00 pm. We will be learning a lot of what Justin will need to go through before, during, and after his transplant. We will keep you posted on that.


Thank you for a good, uneventful day of recovery. As we approach this meeting with Dr. Scriber, I pray for him and for the knowledge he has invested to bring Justin through this transplant successfully. I ask that we would connect with him as a family and feel comfortable being under his care. I ask for Your wisdom to be imparted to him regarding the donor, the process of transplantation, and the glorious day when we will see the engrafting of this donated marrow begin to multiply inside of Justin, and give him a chance of a healthy, long life.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, November 02, 2004 8:43 PM
We had a good breakthrough today! Justin's billiruben count came down to the normal range! That is a huge answer to our prayers. Thank you Lord. He is taking the TPN nourishment well and has not gotten sick today. He has eaten just a few bites of food because his stomach still hurts and feels he needs the nausea medication a lot. But, even this is a great start. It will just take time now to get everything working again. Please pray for his taste buds to return to normal. When they kill the bad cells unfortunately the good cells take a hit too. The cells in his mouth are feeling weird and it is hard to eat and chew.

Of course, the inevitable is happening .....his beautiful locks are falling out. This is never easy for any of us because it is a true reminder and visual of what is happening inside of his body. Please pray that this will be smooth and accepted by all as part of this treatment and that we will be encouraged that it is not permanent and his locks will grow back just like they did last time.

Last night I was thinking about what the spiritual realm is witnessing in our pursuit of the Lord's healing embrace. Can't you see us all standing at the gates of heaven? We are a pretty large group and the larger we get the more noise we are able to make to get the attention of the King of Kings. He loves it when we pursue him and pray without ceasing. He wants to hear prayers of desperation coming from our hearts with passion. He wants us to believe Him to act on our behalf. I've used the acronym PUSH in previous updates. Pray Until Something we will camp outside the gates of heaven until Jesus sees us and continue to PUSH for the gentle sweep of His Hand. All it will take is one...When we see Him move, the reverence and awesomeness of His Presence will be glorious and humbling all at the same time. This is the same God who puts kings into office and rules nations. The church, His body, was never intended to be peripheral to this world. It was always intended to be the center and the leader of His created order. So lets go for it and while we're here anyway lets remember this important election today. How important it is to our nation and to the heart of God.

We may represent only a small part of His Body but, nonetheless, what we are learning by this bond of unity we've formed and corporate prayer is really big to His heart.


Thank you for bringing Justin's body into order today. When I left him tonight he was sitting up in bed playing a video game. He is feeling better...thank you so much. We rest tonight knowing that you will be watching over Justin and will continue to guide the doctors in the care he needs. Please bless the bone marrow drive on Nov. 7th. as we celebrate life by giving life. Help our church to be a "helps" church in our community as we celebrate "A Heart for Others" month. Show us the needs that You want us to meet...not just good ideas but the ones that break Your heart. Watch over President Bush and Senator Kerry tonight as You decide who will be running this great land You've given. We so much want to honor You Lord and to not remove Your Name any longer from our society. We need Your help as the leader of this great body to show us our part in returning back to You. Let revival fall upon us Lord.....

Monday, November 01, 2004 9:09 PM
What we encounter going through this experience is similar to hopping on a brand new roller coaster ride for the first time. Because you are unfamiliar with it there may be some apprehension, but there is no time to think about it because the wild ride is now in motion. To complete the experience, turn off all the lights so you are riding in complete darkness. Brace yourself for the unexpected, prepare for some extreme twists, turns, dips and loops. Now all you do is hold on tight and pray the end is near.

Early this morning turned out to be one of those sharp turns. Justin violently discarded the nourishment they tried to give him and up came the feeding tube with it.....again. His liver and gall bladder are still needing to release the toxins they are holding on to but, his body is not cooperating. They decided to try and feed him intravenously bypassing the stomach all together. We need prayer for his body to receive this nourishment and continue to recover and heal. Please pray for this nausea to let up. He takes round the clock medicine for it and it still bothers him a great deal.

A big thank you to my church family, Word of Grace, for your immediate response in prayer this morning. It sure feels like we are all going through this together and I pray that together we will also see the end result of complete and total restoration.

Jeremiah 31: 16-17
"This is what the Lord says: Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears for your work will be rewarded, declares the Lord. They will return from the land of the enemy, so there is HOPE for your future, declares the Lord. Your children WILL return to their own land.'


When I read this passage of scripture, I know that You are not asking for no expression of human emotion. What I think you are saying is to rise above our emotions and find a strength in You that will be rewarded in the end. Our pursuit of healing for Justin is where we find ourselves on this journey. We will remain HOPEFUL that Your intended purpose is to raise Justin off of this bed of affliction like You did for so many before us. When I read that the children will return to their own land...a desperate cry rises up from within this mother's heart....a cry that longs to just take my son home where he belongs.

Sunday, October 31, 2004 9:50 PM
How thankful I am for words of encouragement to keep our eye on the prize. There is definitely something bigger that God is trying to accomplish. He has our attention and my prayer is that He split the eastern sky and display once again that NOTHING is too difficult for Him to accomplish. I believe He hears our desperate pleas and His answer is on its way.

Justin was reinserted with his feeding tube today around 3:00 pm. This time it was much different. There was a clear and distinct Presence in his room. He was being calmed and held by ministering angels. A big thank you for your prayers for this procedure. He has received around 7 ounces of nourishment and has kept it all down. He is also being transfused with blood and platelets regularly. Please continue to pray for his gall bladder and liver to release the toxins and bring order to his body. This is a step by step walk. Sometimes its all you can do to keep moving forward, but with His help we will get there.

John 11:40 "Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

Jesus was speaking in reference to when he raised Lazarus from the dead. He said that greater miracles would we do than what He did. John 14: 12-14 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

Okay told us to here we are asking for You to let Justin conquer leukemia. Heal him Lord even now from the effects of the chemotherapy drugs. Let his body respond to the nourishment. Let his life bring glory to the Father today and forever. Let him accomplish great things for you. Let his faith be so expanded through this experience that he will believe You to do greater things through him simply because He believes as You have asked. Give him a passion for those who are dying.....dying without knowing you. Plant an evangelical fire in his belly that will ember for his lifetime.

Saturday, October 30, 2004 7:10 PM
Justin tried very hard to eat today, despite the nausea. What a champ! He actually had about 700 calories and kept it down. So, we are heading in the right direction. The doctors gave him today to try and eat and avoid the feeding tube, however their concern is that he needs to go into his bone marrow transplant as healthy as possible and increasing his daily caloric intake would get him there faster. They have not ruled out the feeding tube and will be discussing it again tomorrow. This is the next step in his recovery and we would like prayer that the right thing will be done for Justin.

He has had a quiet day. The nausea medication made him drowsy and he slept comfortably most of the day. We are so proud to be his parents. He is a GREAT SON!

Early this afternoon, ASU News came and did a story on Justin that will air briefly this Wednesday. They are planning on promoting their own bone marrow drive for him on Nov. 15th. College students are a great healthy bunch that meet the age criteria necessary for bone marrow donation. We are thankful for getting the word out and making them aware of the potential each of them have, to save a life.

Dennis McMains, Justin's bible teacher, left him an assignment to do the other day. He asked him to read Ephesian 1 & 2 and Colossians 1 & 2 and circle all the things that God says we 'are." Here is what we found to be true: We are blessed, we are chosen, we are predestined, we are adopted, we are redeemed, we are forgiven, we are marked with His seal of the Holy Spirit, we are loved, we are made alive, we are raised up with Christ, we are saved by grace through faith, we are His peace, we are united together in Him, we are His workmanship, we are reconciled to God through His death, we are indwelt with the Hope of Glory, we are the fullness of Christ,

That is a pretty comprehensive list, don't you think? Now we just have to live like we believe it! We serve a God who conquered the grave, rose from the dead, and continually intercedes for us day and night. He has been given a name that is above every name....that at the mere mention of His name everything would bow and worship Him. We have nothing to fear. Our job is to trust Him and walk out each step without getting in front of Him. He disperses His grace daily, not weekly.

Ephesians 1: 18-23 sums it up, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way."


You said that Your grace would be sufficient for today. You are true to Your promise. As another day comes to a close, we are thankful for Your provisions. We continue to ask You to align all the necessary components to bring about the donor that Justin needs. As we wait Lord let Your peace pass all of our understanding and keep our hearts quiet and still before You. Only You are God and there is no one else like You.

In Jesus Name.


Friday, October 29, 2004 10:55 PM
It was necessary to insert the feeding tube, entering Justin's nose and going down his throat. We all have natural gag reflexes that will fight that procedure but, Justin's experience proved even more traumatic. After poking him more than once, we finally had it in. They started him on only 1 ounce of feeding about 6 hours later and wouldn't you know it, up it came along with the feeding tube. His digestive tract is raw....his gall bladder and liver are taxed and distressed and it is just plain hard to make it work again. Now we are back to square one on his nutrition and we will have to look at this again in the morning. He may have to endure the another procedure but, he is trying really hard to eat tonight so he won't have to.

He enjoyed his evening with some visits from friends. That always cheers him up. We are thankful for no fevers today. We just need prayer for him to get this nausea under control.

I heard this story about the Gander Example and I thought you might like to hear it too.....

On September 11, 2001, United States airspace was completely shut down due to the now infamous terrorist attacks. Planes that were flying anywhere over the U.S. or approaching U.S. airspace were all redirected and forced to land at the closest available airport. That morning, like any other day, many international flights from Europe were approaching the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. Many of these flights were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Gander is a small town of 10,400 people, but maintains the largest international airport in the province of Newfoundland-with a runway that can accommodate the large jets that fly the international routes. It was reported that over 35 redirected planes landed at Gander, carrying some 6,500 people. In our times, no one would have been surprised had the residents of Gander been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the stranded travelers. Who would have blamed them if they had boarded up the town hid behind closed doors? But, this isn't how Gander responded. Instead, responding to radio announcements, the residents of Gander and surrounding towns rallied up and dove deep into self-sacrifice. The residents supplied virtually every need of the stranded travelers from toothpaste, to opening their homes, to providing spare clothing, to offering harbor-excursion day trips. When U.S. airspace was finally reopened and flights began leaving Gander for their destinations, one passenger reported that the atmosphere of the crowds was simply "cruise-like." Today, you can still find websites honoring the hospitality of the people of Gander.

What a great story! The people of Gander provided a powerful example of how the people of God can meet the needs of others in practical ways. They chose to demonstrate hospitality and kindness and generosity to complete strangers. A reflection of the heart of God is shown when we meet the needs of others. Right now, you are being the fingerprints of God to our family. Your visits, your prayers and your emails and all the other creative things you do, show us God's love in practical ways. Thank you so much!


Thank you for helping us be sensitive to the needs of those around us. If we would look Lord you would show us the needs of people who are right under our nose, whether at school or in our neighborhoods. We want to be used to meet those needs. But, for now Lord You have asked our family to receive. Thank you Lord for meeting our needs. Please bless every hand and heart that seeks You concerning Justin. I ask for an outpouring of blessing upon their homes even this night.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, October 28, 2004 7:17 PM
Justin billiruben levels were elevated today. This has to do with the function of his liver. He was sick most of the day and weak from the nausea. They will definitely be inserting a feeding tube in his nose in the morning. Nourishment is a must for restoration as we all know. Please pray for him to not become sicker from this. Sometimes forcing the digestion to kick back in can have a reverse reaction.


The challenges of this diagnosis are constant. The battles rages all around us. Please keep Justin focused on You as he sits in the middle of this storm, waiting for You to calm it.
You said that even the winds and the seas would obey You. You spoke with such authority during Your time upon the earth. We know You left us that example to follow. Help us to stand in that authority with You as our guide. As we pray for Justin each step of the way, we are diligent in our pursuit of Your Holiness. You see us rising to our feet and speaking words of life through our prayers and they are rising as incense to You. Even though Justin is the one in need of a bone marrow transplant....I pray that everyone in reach of his story will be transplanted in a different way. Transfuse us and engraft us with You. Your love for this world, Your compassion for the lost. Let us all walk away from this experience with a transplant that only You can perform. Renew our minds and our hearts. Fill us with what matters to you most so that our hearts break when Your heart breaks, and that Your love flows freely from our spirits. Remind us that life is not about what we get, but what we give.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 8:44 PM
Wow!! Today has been an amazing day. Justin had no fevers or pain. He still is very weak and trying to eat a bit here and there but, in comparison to what we have endured so far, it was a walk in the park. Tomorrow they may go ahead and put him on a feeding tube. He does not want to do this but, he is losing weight rapidly and in need of nourishment to recover. Please pray for him regarding this that the right decision will be made for his welfare.

Jeremiah 31:13 resonates how we feel tonight, "I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow."

Just to give you an overview of where we are at with his is day 8. The chemo drip is done however, the effects of these powerful drugs will still be doing their intended purpose until around day 28 approximately. This means he will have absolutely no immune system and will be susceptible to infections from within his own body. Things like bacteria on his gums in his mouth could make him ill. He is not out of the woods.

Mike said that Justin is a strong person in character. He's right. He just puts his head down and goes through. He does what he has to do step by step without complaint. It makes me want to root harder for him because his own determination inspires me.


Thank you for a day to "catch our breath". It has been restful and definitely needed. We continue to pray for the bone marrow drive and for a donor to be found for Justin. We are asking for a "perfect" match for him. Orchestrate all that needs to transpire to prepare the donor even as we pray for them tonight. We love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, October 26, 2004 8:25 PM
Justin received his last chemo drug today. It was an experimental drug that had the potential of causing severe reactions. We sat on pins and needles for the 6 hours after it was administered. He got really sick about 3:00 pm and remained very ill until just a few minutes ago.They started him on antibiotics and are monitoring him closely. In a situation like this, when one does not have an immune system, you have to act quickly. I am amazed at the way God has designed our bodies with such intricacies and with the ability to heal itself. We don't realize what walking miracles we all are. We should never take our health for granted.

I think about all the support out there and the upcoming Bone Marrow Drive and I am deeply grateful to all of you. As I look at Justin suffering so, I feel that help is on its way and that we are not alone.

I heard it asked, "What is the greatest thing in the world?' I loved the answer....The greatest thing in the world is to be able to walk away from yesterday. This is a principle that rings true throughout scripture. We are never tied to a past where there is no release when Jesus becomes Lord of our lives. Because of His death, we are offered new beginnings and second chances. We remain steadfastly hopefully that Justin will walk away from this ordeal with a powerful testimony for God. Somehow I feel that God wants us all to walk away with a powerful testimony of just being a part of this and watching Him move. We serve a God who forgives, who heals, who restores, who loves, and who desires our adoration.

Isaiah 40: 25-31 says: "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens; Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."


We do marvel at who You are! There is nothing or no one who can compare to You. We are lifting up our eyes to You tonight knowing that Your heart is fully aware of Justin and the suffering he is enduring. Your answer is on its way. How encouraging to know that You neither slumber nor sleep and that our way is never hidden from Your view. You never disregard the suffering of Your people. You understand all things. Bless Justin with a good nights rest as today has been challenging. Renew him Lord...keep him pressed close to Your bosom. Your arms are strong and comforting and You never release Your embrace. He is Yours Lord and we entrust him into Your care.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, October 25, 2004 10:33 PM
What an incredible response we had from the News Channel 15 story on Justin. Thanks to all of you who took the time to inquire about bone marrow drive. It was so well received that News Channel 15 did a follow up story on their 5:30 pm telecast. They interviewed the United Blood Services and answered most of the protocol questions that callers were asking about the donation procedure itself.

Justin received his first hemoglobin (red-blood) transfusion since his relapse. The chemotherapy is ridding him of all his own blood supply and they have to supplement him until his marrow can recover from the chemo. Again, all of your donations hemoglobin and platelets are needed and are definitely life saving to many.

Justin has not been able to eat much since entering the hospital. He has lost about 10 pounds. This is common and expected. He will probably be put on a feeding tube soon to keep his nourishment up. The chemo really attacks the lining of your stomach and it is difficult to eat and digest anything.

I love what it says in Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today....." Many people have asked why we are not despairing. They try and assess how they would react if put in our shoes. It is difficult to answer those questions because I am on this side of it and you are on the other. I see it through one set of lenses and you are seeing it through another. Both are accurate from the vantage point of the observer. I would never intentionally want to risk, hardening my heart against God. I believe Him when he says, "For I know the plans I have for you and they are for your welfare and not for give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 Things are not always as they appear and neither one of us can see this through the lens of what God is looking at. I believe as we continue to pursue Him for healing, he may give us an opportunity to see alittle of His purpose and the "bigger plan."


Thank you for all the encouragement You are providing for us daily...even today. I see it as a tire pump, manually pumping up a tire that has a hole in it. The air is not going to hold for too long because of that hole, and will need to be pumped again and again to run efficiently. The hole in the tire is like the pain we are enduring and you are the hands on that tire pump...daily giving us what we need to keep the tire functional. The hole will eventually be patched but, for now we are receiving from you "pumps" of hope and courage in the face of devastation. Your love and concern motivates us to keep pursuing God and to remain faithful to the privilege of bearing His Name.

In Jesus Name,



Sunday, October 24, 2004 7:50 PM
What an encouraging day! Our church began promoting our November 7th bone marrow drive and 134 people signed up to donate marrow. We even received 67 people willing to give blood. That is huge! I want to thank my church family so much for your compassion. What an incredible time we had in the worship service today. This whole situation is really pulling us together and that makes me so proud to be a part of Word of Grace. It brings strength to Mike and I to come and worship God with you. No matter what is happening in our own personal lives, we can be assured that God is bigger and if we will decide on purpose to get our eyes on Him and not our situation, we will experience His Presence. How much more so, when we seek Him together.

News Channel 15 did a short story on Justin. It will air on the 10:00 pm news tonight. We are hopeful that this will increase public awareness and save many young lives.

Justin enjoyed visits from some of his buds and that always lifts his spirits. He continues to be feverish on and off and nauseated from the effects of the chemo, but we are surviving, "One Day At a Time." If we were to look beyond today, it would overtake us because this battle is long and laborious with no end in sight.

Matt. 6:25-34 tells us not to worry about life. It promises us that our Heavenly Father knows what we need. He tells us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and He would take care of everything else we need. He reminds us to simply concentrate on today. Making the most of what we have today, and not wasting it by worrying about tomorrow. We are surviving by following these principles of life that our Lord left for us. How wonderful to have the Bible, and all of its recorded promises, to concentrate on during times of difficulty.


Thank you for the encouragement that You have provided today. We feel You working and know that You hear every prayer and see every tear that Justin's illness is pulling out of us. We are desperate for You Lord. Desperate for Your healing embrace upon Justin. Desperate for You to show Yourself to all of us. We know that prayer changes things and that it pleases You. You see our efforts extended and our faces are turned upward and we are waiting, Lord, for a miracle!


Saturday, October 23, 2004 9:59 PM
Today turned out to be a better day for Justin. He wasn't as lethargic and didn't "toss his cookies" too much. We even thought we saw a few smiles. He is such a great kid!

As I told you last night, tonight was Justin's first homecoming dance. He had a wonderful surprise around 5:00 pm that made our night. One of the girls from his school came to the hospital all dressed for homecoming and asked Justin if she could give him her first dance. She also brought a boom box and a tape for them to dance too. It was such a sweet gesture from a very beautiful girl. Justin had a fever at the moment and just didn't have the energy to stand up. She was quite understanding and we thanked her for trying and making Justin feel part of the festivities.

We are starting to kick off our bone marrow drive tonight at church. This weekend and next we will be explaining what it means to donate marrow and signing people up for the Nov. 7th drive. I feel that we should begin praying for the donor.


We come before You tonight knowing that You already have in mind the person who will be contacted for Justin's bone marrow donation. Father, whether they are found on the National List or at our bone marrow drive we would like to pray for them tonight. I ask that You would remove any fear of the procedure from them and their family. I pray that as initial contacts are made and extensive testing is done on their marrow, that You would speak to them and guard their emotions. There is so much confidentiality in this kind of a situation. The part of not even being able to know who the donor is, is hard. You want the opportunity to thank them for their selfless sacrifice and for being inconvenienced for a complete stranger. Keep them well Lord. I thank you for the life in their marrow and for that gift of life that will be engrafted into my son. Let this whole procedure be smooth for them and as painless as can be expected. Cover them tonight with Your Love and begin to prepare them even as they sleep.

In Jesus Name,



Friday, October 22, 2004 9:28 PM
Another day has passed and we live to tell the story. 1 Cor. 1: 3-4 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." Have you ever experienced "comfort" directly from the heart of God? It is an incredible feeling of overwhelming peace. It is quiet and gentle and personalized. We serve a God who knows what we are in need of before we even ask Him. He orchestrates events and circumstances that often times we think are coincidences, to bring an encouraging word to the one He loves. Sometimes people are mistaken to believe that because we love God that (1) We should never have any troubles and (2) If we do have troubles, then we should pray and God will instantly take them away.

But the Bible I read is pretty clear that as fellow heirs of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we would all eventually have opportunities to identify with the sufferings that He endured. (Rom. 8:17) The latter part of that verse says that we would have opportunities to also identify with His glory. It is a catch twenty-two. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. The more comfort He gives us, the less overwhelmed we feel. The less overwhelmed we feel the more we are able to encounter Him in ways that would not otherwise be possible. We often depend on our own skills when life seems easy and only turn to God when we can't handle it anymore. True dependence on God the Father, keeps us at his feet even when everything in your life is running smoothly. We realize we are powerless without him and we learn to live with that attitude of dependence even after our troubles cease. There is great power in learning that and to keep pursuing God during the calm times of life.

1 Cor. 1: 8-11 says, "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."

Wow! Those are great comforting words to us and I hope they are to you too.

Justin continues to hang tough. He has had intermittent fevers but, they are able to keep them under control. Tonight was the homecoming game at school. Justin had a date for tomorrow night's dance and we hurt for him to not be able to attend with his date Nicolette.


As another day comes to a close, we thank you for your provisions and for your comfort. We would never minimize the efforts that You go to, to bring comfort to Your people when they hurt. Please comfort Justin, and help him with the loss of his homecoming. I know that You will reward him in another way and we dedicate the pain of that loss to You tonight. Thank you for helping the doctors keep his fevers under control. You are awesome, God!

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, October 21, 2004 9:57 PM
Justin continues to receive chemotherapy. He was lethargic all day and did not eat or drink. He felt sick to his stomach and the medicine they gave for that made him groggy. Towards the latter part of the afternoon he spiked a fever of 102 and know one knew which way his body would react. The doctors started him on antibiotics right away and watched him carefully, checking his blood pressure and vitals every 10 minutes. His fever started to come down within the hour. We are so thankful! He still does not feel too great and we appreciate your prayers for him.

Do you remember what it was like prior to having children? People would try to explain it, but until you went through the experience for yourself and bonded with "your" child, one's heart cannot fully comprehend the magnitude of parental love. We try, as parents, to provide for our children and to set safe boundaries for their welfare. But, there comes a day when we need to step back from controlling their environments to allow for that young bird to flap their own wings and try and fly on their own. Justin is at that age where we would be doing that anyway, but having to step back and allow him to become a man against such opposition seems cruel. I feel that he is truly in God's hands and if I will step back and allow the Lord to shape the framework of his maturing critical thinking. God will be shaping a mighty warrior for His own. I'm learning that He doesn't need my help to do it. We say we give our children to the Lord and we trust Him to care for them, but everyday I am challenged with that. It feels as though Justin is as Isaac was to Abraham. He is on the sacrificial altar and as Abraham did not know that God was going to provide a substitute until the last minute....we don't either. Abraham was brave and entrusted young Isaac completely into the hands of God. That is clear in scripture. I believe the Lord is calling us to do the same. When we trust at this level, it removes so much anxiety and responsibility from our shoulders and places it on the shoulders of the one who loves our children more than we do. There is a new sense of freedom that it is not up to me or Mike or any of us to save Justin. It is up to God and we will wait for his answer. He said that it would come at the appointed time and it would not be late one minute.

I have been worshipping all day to a song entitled, "You Are God Alone," by Phillips, Craig & Dean. It is a powerful song and helps me to remember that God never changes. He never has and he never will. Through all of life's uncertainty that is one thing that remains the same. What a comfort to know that he is unchangeable, unshakable and unstoppable. I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that as well. Here are the words to the song:

You are not a God
Created by human hands
You are not a God
Dependent on any mortal man
You are not a God
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that's just the way it is.


You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

You're the only God
Whose power, none can contend
You're the only God
Whose name and praise will never end
You're the only God
Who's worthy of everything we can give
You are God
And that's just the way it is.

Isaiah 40: 10-11

"See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;"

Thank you Lord that through difficult times you, who created us from the dust of the ground, remembers that we are frail and often times limited in grasping all that You are. But for tonight Lord we recognize Your Sovereignty and we dedicate this song to You with all sincerity.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004 7:32 PM
Thanks to all of our praying warriors for your prayers and words of encouragement today. The day started out with Justin needing another transfusion of platelets to boost him up for surgery. They were able to insert his broviac port into the same area as the last one he had. That was good for Justin....only one scar. For those of you who do not know what a broviac port is, it is open lines that hang from Justin's chest so that they may administer all the chemo medicine through them and not poke the patient with needles constantly. His chemotherapy started today. He will be receiving it every 12 hours for 4 hours each time. This will last for the next 7 days. At that point his immune system will be completely eradicated and his hair will be no more. This is a very critical time in his recovery. Here are some specific prayer requests for him. Please pray that he will not get any mouth sores. This regimen of drugs produce very painful sores in the mouth and down the throat. Justin had been spared this pain during all 3 previous rounds. Pray that no fever or infection will invade his body and ask the Lord to spare Justin an emergency trip to the ICU.

Justin is taking part in a case study due to his relapse. The case study required quite a bit of bone marrow to be extracted, so his hip is sore tonight. They also checked his spinal fluid for signs of leukemia and I am happy to say, "It was all clear!" They also found out that his relapse was caused from the exact chromosone that started the last one. This is not always the case and the doctor seemed pleased to know what we are dealing with.

Good Samartian Hospital said that they would receive Justin as a patient for the transplant. Now, our next decision is to meet with the doctors from both Good Sam and the University of Arizona and decide which one is the place Justin should be transplanted. We are working on hosting a Bone Marrow Drive at our church on Nov. 7th. We will let you know more details as we get closer to the date.

A big thank you to the students at Valley Christian High School for wearing your "Praying for Justin" hats during the day. How wonderful that the administration bent the rules a bit for this to happen. I appreciate the support you are showing him. If you ever want to visit him he is in Room 206.


"Here we are, in Your Presence...lifting holy hands to You.....Here we are, Praising Jesus, for the things He's brought us through" How grateful we are for the success of Justin's surgery today. We are thankful for the bravery and guts You have given him to face each step. How thankful we are that You walked through each step with us and didn't just wait for us at the finish line. Certainly suffering of this magnitude was never Your intended purpose. However, you will provide a way out. I find great comfort in Your words written in Isaiah 40: 4-5 You said that in the "desert" times of life that a way would be prepared for You and that You would make a straight path in the unknown wildnerness. It would look like a highway for You to travel on. Your said that You would raise up every valley, and that every mountain and hill You would make low. You said that the rough ground would become level and the rugged places a plain. You said that the glory of the Lord would then be revealed and all mankind TOGETHER would see it. We long for that Lord. Come and show us TOGETHER Your Power and Might. Make us all unafraid of the opposition that rises up against us. We are never alone because You have given us each other to journey through life with. Help us to be Your Hands and Your Feet and Your Heart to each other and to a hurting world.

In Jesus Name.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 8:27 PM
Today has been a most trying day. The night had seemed so long and I found that my thoughts would not settle down for rest. I know this battle is fierce and I know the battlefield starts in my mind. It was all I could do to recite Proverbs 3: 5-8 to keep the despairing thoughts at bay. Over and over I said, "Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge Him, and He WILL make my path straight. It continues to say that if we will do this that is will bring health to our body and nourishment to our bones. The amplified Bible says "moisten" the bones and bring health to the "marrow."

There was nothing in me that wanted to take Justin back down to the hospital today, but I believed that somewhere God would meet us and provide help and direction and grace. We learned that Justin was not able to have his broviac inserted today because the surgical rooms were full. We are scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:00 am. He is receiving fluids and platelets tonight to prepare him for that. He is doing okay. He is a strong young man and I am proud of him.

A big thank you to Pastor Doug Colby for stopping by and praying for Justin. He is our new Youth Pastor at Word of Grace. I was tremendously encouraged by the message left by Major Dan Cerkan, USMC from the 1st Marine Division....all the way from Iraq. He is fighting for our nation and has given much hope to our family to fight our battle right along side him. Thank you Major Dan and to the rest of your division...we will pray for you all too!

I wanted to close with this poem as a heartfelt prayer to a Sovereign God:

Desperately, helplessly, longingly I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

Wait, you say, wait, my indignant reply,
Lord, I need answers. I need to know why!
Is Your Hand shortened, or have You not heard?
By faith I have asked and am claiming Your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate,
Hangs in the balance and You tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a yes, a go ahead sign,
Or even a no to which I can resign.

And, Lord, You promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking and this is my cry;
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut and
Grumbled to God, "So I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, I could give you a sign.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You would never experience that fullness of love,
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give and save, for a start
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort, late in the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just want you asked,
Of an Infinite God, who makes what you have last.

You never would know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My Grace is sufficient for thee!
Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight could come true,
But, oh the loss, if I lost what I'm doing in you!

So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see,
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft may My answers seem late,
My most precious answer of all is still, "Wait."

Friday, October 15, 2004 5:44 PM
We just received news from the doctor that Justin's test reveal he has definitely relapsed back into leukemia. They are letting Justin have one more day of school on Monday to say good-bye to his friends. He will be readmitted into Phoenix Childrens Hospital on Tuesday where he will be in surgery most of the morning. They will be placing a broviac port back into his chest cavity. He will have a spinal tab done at this time. This is where they will be putting chemo medicine into his spinal fluid. They will also be taking quite a bit of extractions from his marrow for extensive testing on what chromosone has started the disease again. They will then begin another round of chemotherapy to try and halt the leukemia. It will be approximately 30 days if all goes smoothly. At this point Justin will need a bone marrow is imperative that a donor match be found for Justin soon.

We will keep you updated more frequently. We appreciate all your prayers and supportive words of encouragement.


This is indeed painful to endure but, You will enable us to persevere. Comfort Justin and help him to sort through all of his emotions to find You. Speak to him Lord Your words of strength and help him to maintain a positive attitude. We are weak Lord, but even in that You said that You would be our source of strength. You said in Psalm 73:26 that when our flesh and hearts fail us that You would come and be the strength of our hearts and our portion forever. We need You to come and minister that source of strength. Help us to not look beyond today, it becomes too heavy to bear. We choose to focus on the here and now and to trust You.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, October 14, 2004 9:07 PM
Justin had an important doctor visit today. He had a bone marrow biopsy and had his white blood count checked. His white blood cells count are at a very dangerous level of only 133. The preliminary results show myleodysplasia. They are not sure at this time if his leukemia is also there. We will know in 2 weeks.

As much as we would like to be spared the pain of a bone marrow transplant, it appears that this is Justin's only chance to survive. They are checking to see if Good Samaritan Hospital will receive him as a patient. This would be far easier for us than moving to Tucson because we also need to care for Carissa.

This is nothing that is going to happen immediately. They are putting Justin's name out on the bone marrow recipient donor list today. They will let us know if there are any matches for him. If not, the hospital staff said that any bone marrow drives would take 6 weeks of analysis before matching any possible donors to Justin's blood markers. Interestingly, marrow donation is not blood type. In this situation an O positive blood type could donate marrow to an A or B blood type recipient. The marrow is the spongy insertion of the bone that produces new cells. There are 10 markers that need to line up. They will do a transplant with as little at 6 markers but the risks greatly increase.

If you are interested in donating your marrow you can check out their web site at You can go to any United Blood Services and fill out a donor card. Make sure you mark that you want your blood checked for marrow donation. There is a one-time charge of $25.00. Then you give a small sample of your blood.

There is also a network called, Friends for Life located right here in Phoenix. They actually come to any churches, schools, health fairs or other public events to talk about donation and to help with setting up drives. They can be reached at 602-222-2496 They will explain in detail what it means to be a donor and what the donor would go through to help the patient.

We cannot see all that God is doing, and we cannot see all that God will do. But we can be assured that He is God and will do what is right. Knowing this gives us confidence and hope.


We know that you give daily grace to those who put their trust in You. You will give us sure-footed confidence to walk through this difficult time. Isaiah 43: 2-3 reminds us that when we pass through the waters, You will be with us and that the waters would not sweep over us. You said that when we walk through the fire that we would not be burned and that no flame would come to rest upon us. Habakkuk 3: 16 resonates our hearts and shows our human emotion. It says that when calamity strikes that our hearts pound, and our lips quiver. You even referred to the despair to be as "decay that has crept into the bones" What an incredible illustration of Justin's marrow. Lord, though we stand before You with quivering legs, we will continue to trust that You see the beginning from the end. You hold all truth and knowledge of healing for Justin within Your breast. We will wait for You to lead us through. Thank you for the shelter You provide for Your people in Psalm 91. It is a real place of refuge. It is a place that You keep devastation and despair far removed from overtaking us. You said that You would save us from deadly pestilence. You said that You would command Your angels to guard us and that no harm will befall us. You told us to not be afraid. You said that You would be with us in trouble and that You would satisfy us with long life. We believe you Father and so we rest in You.....Come

In Jesus Name,


Sunday, September 19, 2004 5:21 PM
Justin had an echocardiogram performed and his heart is pumping normally. Praise the Lord. He also had his blood counts checked. His overall white blood cells count had dropped a bit further down to 493. His red blood cells and platelets both are staying steady. The bone marrow biopsy was not performed as planned because Justin had a cold. This cold could have been the cause of the lowered white blood cells. There is always a risk of further infection when the counts are down so, the doctor decided to have the biopsy done on October 14th. Good News!! He successfully conquered the cold! We continue to pray and believe that Justin's body will come into order and line up with total health. I will close with this pray of faith remembering that the God we serve "gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are" (Romans 4:17) It continues to say in verse 18 that against all hope, Abraham "in hope" believed God, not weakening in his faith. These things were written and recorded so that we may follow their example.
You have planted in our hearts Your seeds of hope. We have remained hopeful for Justin's health and will not stop believing You now. I love Your words in Isaiah 43: 15 - 19 and will agree with Your good plan as I stand "in hope" waiting for the manifestation of health in Justin's body. "I am the Lord, Your Holy One, Israel's Creator, Your King. This is what the Lord says, he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together..... Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past, See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 65:17-25 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create.....the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more...for as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune.."
Lord, I believe You to be the Great I am and I believe You when you declare that You will create life for your people, long life like that of a tree. You said that our children would not be doomed to misfortune. You are not a God who would lie. You will create order in Justin's body and I call those things that are not operating properly into alignment with Your Word. Where there is deficiency create the balance of every vitamin and mineral that You have given for his health. I ask that his blood be continually purified and every cell working together naturally without striving. I ask for any toxic buildup of any kind that may be causing blockages to be cleansed with this stream You made for the wasteland. Purify and cleanse him Lord, allow his testimony of Your grace and healing power to be a lifetime ministry for Your glory.
We are standing Lord and we are waiting for You to show Yourself strong.....
In Jesus Name.

Saturday, August 21, 2004 7:25 AM
Justin started high school on Aug. 16th at Valley Christian High School. He thinks high school is awesome. We were thrilled to see him "walking the halls" at Valley. We had received an encouraging note from the Moms In Touch at Valley two years ago. Their note said that by faith in the Lord Jesus they saw Justin "walking the halls" at Valley Christian. Lord, thank you for allowing this experience to become a reality for Justin and for answering the prayers of so many.
Justin's blood counts were taken again and they continue to bounce around. This time the white blood cell count has dropped to 544. Remember these are the infection fighting cells and they should be up into the 2,000 or higher bracket. We are all concerned about his instability in the marrow. The doctor is not sure what is causing this. The plan is to bring him back Sept. 17th and have them checked again. If they are still low, they will be doing another bone marrow biopsy. He will also be having an echocardiogram for his heart function on Sept.17th visit. We will plan to update again on that day unless anything else changes. Until then please continue to pray for the display of the might and power of the Most High God.
Father, to live in this world of unknowns we thank you in advance for providing wisdom.
Protect us from soaring when reports are good or for that matter from dropping our faith when results are discouraging and lack order or consistency. You are the Most High God and You alone make us to stand when our physical eye cannot see clearly. I believe that faith is trusting You anyway in spite of it all. Father, Your process of rebuilding Justin will take time. Though the way is unclear You will never ask us to walk this road alone and for that Lord we are thankful. You are and have gone before us and will gently lead us down each new path. What an awesome God You are! Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done (in Justin's life) on earth as it is in Heaven. Give him (Justin) this day his daily bread (24 hr round the clock provision in the marrow) and lead him not into temptation (keep youthful sins far from him) but deliver him from evil (NO weapon forged against him will ever prosper....release the attack from the pit of hell). For thine is the Kingdom and the glory and the power for ever and ever....Amen

Monday, July 26, 2004 8:26 AM
The test results are back and there is NO SIGN of abnormality in Justin's marrow. We are not sure what miraculous signs and wonders transpired these past few weeks to give such an encouraging diagnosis. Not only is there no myleodyplasia but, his white blood cell count rose up to 880. We were told to go home and bring Justin back in one month to have his blood checked again.
Father, You are the Great Physician. You said that at the mention of Your Name that everything upon the face of the earth, above the earth, and beneath the earth would bow before You. Everything from the smallest flower, to the largest redwood tree...every fish in the ocean, every bird in the sky...anything teaming with life will acknowledge You. Disease will eventually bow its knee to You. It is a name that tries to exalts itself above Yours. There is no other Name that will command our adoration or be worthy of our praise. You alone are God and there is none like You. Lord, we do not know what took place in the marrow of Justin's bones but, You do. Thank you for taking and rebuilding him deep in the formation of his cells. We stand in agreement with You that order reigns in his myleod-cell development. You have created his body to function and cleanse itself. You have created it to repair and to heal. You have created him and given him life and it has been issued by Your Sovereign Hand. You have been the sustainer of his life. You are the one who gives him each breath. Thank you Lord for proving once again that You are more than able to restore. You are Majestic in all You do. Your arm is not too short to reach down and pull any one of us up and place our feet back upon stable ground. If You had not shed Your blood for us we would not live with such hope. You shed Your blood and offered its cleansing agents to each and every one of us. Your blood restores so many.....
Oh, the blood of Jesus, Oh, the blood of Jesus, Oh, the blood of Jesus, It will NEVER lose its power! It reaches to the highest mountain, It flows to the lowest valley, The blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will NEVER lose its power!

Thursday, July 15, 2004 8:35 PM
Justin's white blood cells continue to decrease so they did a bone marrow today pulling out fluid and taking a piece of bone off his hip. They have never taken a piece of bone before. The good news is that he does not have a relapse of leukemia. Praise the Lord. According to the preliminary tests it appears that his marrow is making abnormal shaped cells called myelodysplasia. You almost never see this in a child. Many older people have it and live with it until they die. This could have been caused by the chemo. However, the risk is .... if that is what it could eventually turn into leukemia. They treat this syndrome with a bone marrow transplant. If we have to go down that route....we will go to Tucson. We will know more in a couple of weeks when all of the intensive blood and marrow results are back. Of course, I am prayerful that this could turn itself around and just be a weird bump in the road but, the marrow has been consistently declining now since February.
We are home now and that is a good thing. No hospital. Yeah! However, the pain is great deep within us and I ask for your prayers for peace, and that the Lord will remind us often of His daily provisions. It is never easy to live in a world of unknowns. I am so glad that God is in control and that we can trust him with Justin and the outcome.

Justin Cude    14 years old    May 2004   
 8th grade graduation picture

Friday, July 02, 2004 4:41 PM

Happy 4th of July! We wanted to give you an update on Justin. Physically Justin appears to be doing very well. However, the last blood check on June 18th showed a considerable decrease in his white blood cell count. With concern, the doctor's requested to check him again in two weeks. During these last two weeks, we have sought the Lord, prayed, and fasted for Justin. We also felt the Lord prompting us to have Justin anointed with oil by the Pastors of our church. It was a simply ceremony but one that packed a punch. Justin has been seeking God and asking him what He wants him to do. The following is a poem that was written by one of the intercessors at our church that was in attendance that day.             


Today we witnessed a very special event
A young boy named Justin was anointed with oil.
God's Presence was there as these two pastors prayed---
And the plans of the enemy are now forever foiled.

He has been chosen and set apart
To bring our Lord much glory.
God chose him long before he was ever born
To be a vital part of His eternal story.

As I looked at this handsome young man
With a handsome face and curly hair,
It reminded me so much of young David
With a heart for God so rare.

Not wanting to be the center of attention,
But willing to do whatever the Father said,
David too was called from among his family,
As Samuel poured oil over his head.

There was no pomp and circumstance;
It was a very simple act that day,
Yet when that oil poured o'er his head
The Holy Spirit began to say...

"This is the one I've chosen to be king.
He'll be a man with a quiet heart who listens to Me.
I will use him to bless My people
And to speak words to set them free."

Justin, too, this day has been chosen.
The Lord will speak words to his heart.
Some will be words for him alone
That God will not let him impart.

Some will be words to share with others
So that they can know this Jesus he loves.
Wisdom, peace, comfort and joy God will give
And such hunger for God---he'll never have enough.

A man after God's heart was anointed today.
Holy Spirit, you are doing a deep work inside.
Justin feels the same as he did yesterday,
Because it's in the same Jesus he still abides.

Yet, all of the spiritual realm witnessed this event.
Here is a young man who told God, "yes."
He is open to God's purposes for him,
Of which we are unable to guess.

Thank you, Lord, for Your touch on his life.
Thank You for Your healing power.
Thank You for the way You've spoken to Barb
About this saga and the church at this hour.

A full flask of oil was poured on his head
A symbol of what You said You want to do
Here in this church called Word of Grace
And the corporate church in America, too.

Cleanse and purify Your church, Lord
Heal us at the very root of our disease.
Forgive our sins for they are many
May we choose You alone to please.

We've been full of pride and rebellion,
Self-righteousness, anger, self-pity, too.
These things have long been buried
And hidden from our view.

Yet, Lord, You are wanting to do an inner healing
Of Your church who has missed the mark.
She is feeling numb and dead inside
She can't find her way out--even how to start.

She's forgotten that Christ has made her holy.
She's believed what the world has said....
That her views are intolerant and narrow.
In shame, she's bowed her head.

Ah, but the air is changing
The church is being awakened again.
A fresh wave of the Spirit is moving,
The church is repenting of her sin.

A full flask of oil is being poured out on her,
No longer one partially full.
Move upon us Sweet Holy Spirit,
Waken our minds and hearts so dull.

Revive the church in America
Make us a nation pure and strong.
Use us, Lord, to reach the nations
And lead them in triumphant song.

We yield ourselves to You this day,
We offer all that has happened to You.
You're truly at work in young Justin
For what You've purposed, You will do.

We praise You and we trust You.
We know Your ways are right.
Keeping our eyes fixed on You, Jesus,
As You empower us to fight.

Fill our hearts with Your love, Lord
For it is Your gentleness, patience and peace
That win those who are lost to You, Lord
These prayers to You, we now release.


Justin white blood cells were checked again today. On June 18th they were at 763. Today's count was even lower at 532. He is at risk for infection and we are taking all precaution. I wanted to thank Dawnie from Erie, PA for her encouraging comment left last Wednesday. She had mentioned that God had called her to pray for Justin and that God was "rebuilding" him. Interestingly enough, those were the same words that the doctor used today. He could not explain why the sudden decrease in those necessary white blood cells but, said he felt that Justin's cells were in the process of "rebuilding." His body went through alot with the destruction of the chemotherapy. It can take years to rebuild. Please continue to pray that as God rebuilds Justin's cellular functioning at the most foundational point in the marrow that what He is also speaking to us regarding His Church will be heard. My prayer is that not only will we hear but we will respond. The Church needs to be strong internally. If you do not already pray for your Pastor, I encourage you to start. The office he stands in is vital to the health of the Church. He was never called to do it alone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 12:20 PM
We continue to trust in the sovereign plan that the Lord has for Justin. As you can see by his picture, Justin is doing well. He is strong. We recently went to see the movie, "The Passion of the Christ" as a family. We knew beforehand that it would not be an easy movie to take in. As we watched it, the reality of the pain and suffering our Lord endured resonated in our hearts. Jesus died so that we might have life and have it in abundance. Through His sacrificial death we were offered the free gift of salvation. Isaiah 53 says, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken of God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our inquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Jesus speaks about healing for our physical bodies and spiritual bodies. The shedding of His Blood still has power today. It has power to heal, cleanse, and restore wounds and afflictions. His shed Blood brought healing to Justin's physical body. His shed Blood brings hope to those engulfed in sin and despair.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003 10:05 PM
Happy New Year!!! What a joy it has been to experience the holidays together as a family. Justin is doing well. He had his blood counts checked at the clinic today and all of them are now in the normal range. Hallejuah!! To look at him today, you would never guess he endured all that he did this past year. We have learned so many things from having "gone through." One of them is, children don't come with guarantees. Another is, life doesn't come with guarantees either. What we went through as a family was incredibly painful. There is a type of grieving we experienced then and even now as we remember the suffering and the pain we endured. I hurt deep inside as I remember the families who lost their children this year. It is difficult to express all the array of emotions you feel from an experience like this. We continue to be grateful for the day at hand and for all the experiences of life we are granted. What we experienced together on this website was also life changing. We saw firsthand the strength of the army of God in combat. We saw and experienced what happens when we stand up together, in prayer, and watch the Lord show His might and power. Prayer changes things. Prayer is powerful and has been the bloodline of the church since its conception. Prayer moves the heart of God....2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." Thank you Lord for hearing us when we cry to you. Thank you for your healing touch upon Justin.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003 12:31 PM
Today, Justin had an eco-cardiogram done to observe the function of his heart. This was also done before he had any treatment. The doctors used the first one as a base to compare the function of the heart muscle and blood flow to the one that was done today. Great news!! His heart is functioning normally. It is pumping strong! We are so very thankful to the Lord for covering Justin's major organs during treatment. We also wanted to let you know that he is doing well. The broviac was surgically removed from his chest Oct. 3rd. It was such a joy to watch him go swimming! It also gave him back the privileage of riding his dirt bike. So, life is pretty much back to what it was before. He continues to gain weight and has a beautiful crop of hair. The blood counts were checked today. His neutrophils are 902. That is still on the low side. We are prayerful that as the days advance, and his body continues to recover, that all of this will balance out to normal. His red-blood cells continue to hold strong in the normal range at 14.3. The platelets are also on the rise with an increase to 117,000. That was enough to help heal a few bumps and bruises he received at the race track over the last few days. Justin will continue to have his blood counts checked on a monthly basis. We will continue to update on those days. The next clinic appointment is Dec. 1st. We have had several famalies contact us, because of this web-site, asking for our insight and strength as they walk through similiar situations with their children. One of them was from Southern California. Their beautiful 18 year old daughter was told after more than 5 years of being in remission from Hogdkin's Disease, that she had relapsed. You can only imagine their pain. After dealing with the shock of it all, they determined to do an experimental treatment for her in New York. I was in contact with her Mom through e-mail as she sorted through so many emotions. This is a godly family who loves the Lord very much. After getting everything in place, they had a second opinion done to make sure that it was accurately diagnosed and had a biopsy performed. The hand of God moved in a miraculous way and what was found the first time was no where to be found. This child and her family, were given their lives back. We rejoice with them. We serve a miracle working God! Be encouraged!! No situation you face is every too big for His Hand to reach down and pull you up and set your feet back on solid stable ground. We are hopeful that this web-page will be used by many, to provide encouragement. Stay strong in the Lord. He is building an army that will not be defeated.

Saturday, September 20, 2003 8:44 AM
The treatment is complete!!!!! Hallejuah!!!! Lord, when I think about the word "remission" stamped on Justin's evaluation today, I am overwhelmed with emotion as I think about how incredibly similiar your stamp of remission is for the church. You said, in Matthew 16: 16-19, that you would build your church upon a rock and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. You told Peter that you would build it upon his simple belief and declaration that "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Each one of us that stands believing, is another "rock" fashioned together and strategically placed where you want it. Together, the church you are building has great power. Lord, continue to help us to put our focus on you. It really is "All about you!" Each individual church represents only a piece of the puzzle. I believe your vision was a majestic establishment of all of them working together and loving each other. It would be proof to this world that your are "The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords." The establishment of the church and it's entire focus was to be a memorial to your life, death, and strength to the resurrection power you displayed when you rose from the dead. I believe you instituted that the day you declared it over Peter. Please forgive us for making it more complicated. This whole journey with Justin has forced me to never forget the power that was in your shed blood. The painful walk you took for us and the death you died in our behalf so that we could live this life in "remission." Father, we are so humbled to come before you. Thank you for bringing Justin's neutrophil count up to 1170 this week so that he could complete his treatment. You are the Great Physician of our bodies and of our souls. Thank you for standing with him as they extracted the marrow samples as well. That was so painful for him! Thank you that his hemoglobin (13.8) and platelets (95,000) continue to show stable signs. Father, you planted an evangelical fire in our bellies that will not be extinguished for our lifetime.

Saturday, September 13, 2003 12:14 PM
Justin received the 2nd of three spinal taps yesterday. He is more sore today in the area he received the shot, than he has been with previous treatments. We were surprised to know that his neurophil count had dropped from 1219 to 828. The good news is that Justin fought off his first cold (it might have been allergies) this past week. Either way, we did not know how his body was going to respond when his immune system had to be used. Obviously, it kicked in and did its job! The doctor is assuming that his body absorbed the neutrophils he had to successfully overcome this cold. That is great news!! The neutrophils need to increase this week so that Justin can complete the last of his treatment by next Friday, the 19th. The doctor mentioned that if they drop any lower, she will cancel the last spinal tap. We really don't want to have to do that and have to start all over again. His platelets increased and are now at 100,000 and the hemoglobin (red blood cells) are staying steady at 13.8). Physically, he is growing stronger everyday. He has gained almost 10 pounds since he came home July 29th. Father, we come before you thanking you again for all you displayed in Justin. Thank you for allowing his body to successfully conquer this cold We continue to ask you for wisdom in behalf of Justin. We don't always know how we are suppose to pray, but it gives us great assurance to know, that you are seated at the right hand of the Father continually making intercession for each and every one of us. Thank you for the wisdom you depart to us daily on how to properly care for our bodies. You designed the immune system and you are very familiar with its functions. You give us nutritious food from the soil to keep us functioning according to your plan. Justin is in need of an increase in his neutrophils. We ask that you would impart that to him this week. We ask that as he sleeps you will impart a double portion of what is necessary. We thank you in advance for them, for we know that it is your heart's desire to give us what we ask you for according to your will. We know it is your will for us to live healthy and whole lives. So we ask with the knowledge that you are Our Father and it is your plan to tenderly care for your own. We know that you hear us. Justin has always belonged to you first before you loaned him to us. We ask for your assistance to raise him according to the plan you designed for him before he was born. Thank you that we lay this request down today and will continue to walk out your "shalom" peace as we wait upon you.

Saturday, September 06, 2003 12:25 PM
Yesterday, Justin received his 1st of three spinal tabs. His neutrophil count had risen to 1219. His hemoglobin was 13.8, the same as last Friday. This is very healthy and in the normal range. His platelets are decreasing each week. Yesterday's count was 97,000. The doctor is not surprised because these can take a much longer time to recover. However, during the recovery period, we need to be cautious because of internal bleeding and easy bruising. The procedure went well. Justin is doing great! The treatment plan now will be to have another spinal on Sept. 12th at 12:00 p.m. His final one will also include a bone marrow and will be performed on Sept. 19th also at 12:00 p.m. At that point, they will be doing some very extensive testing on Justin's marrow and will be examining the chromosome 16 which was the cell that started this whole thing. Many of you have asked if Justin is in remission? Yes, he has been in remission since after the 1st round of chemo way back in March. Another common question is why did we have to continue with the remaining chemo sessions if he was already in remission? Another great question that we also pondered. This is the best protocol that the scientists and doctors feel at this point of research that gets the best results. They zap the marrow three consecutive times and basically wipe it clean and let it start again. If those tests come back with "remission" then, Justin will have the broviac in his chest removed sometime during the first week of October. After that he will have monthly blood drawn to check his counts and recovery. This is Justin's 8th grade graduation year. This is a transition for our family simply because he is our oldest. Regardless, if he had been ill or not, this year is pivotal and emotional and exhilarating all at the same time. With all that is required this year from entering his baby picture and encouraging words for the yearbook, or preparing him for high school and many more adult transitions liking driving and working, etc., it all feels like such an honor. I am speechless for these opportunities because I am all too familiar with what could have been. Lord, what was allowed to happen to our family has shaken us to the core. We are very much aware of life and death and the beauty in loving one another when we have the chance. Thank you for 2nd chances. Thank you for your consistent love even when we fall short of it. We all desire to live holy lives before you. If it were completely up to us to try to live this earthly life holy and God-honoring we would consistently fall short of trying to attain it. But, you Lord, took up that slack and made it possible. We could never do everything right on our own or be "good enough" to make it to heaven. The sacrifice of your life is what we needed. Pastor Kinnaman reminds us often that, "It's Jesus plus nothing". Ponder that......

Tuesday, September 02, 2003 1:01 PM
Thank you to so many of you for your tender concern about Justin's treatment last Friday. We ended up leaving town for San Diego and did not post an update before we left. Justin's neutrophil count had risen to 882. Again, that was just not high enough to begin the lst of three spinal tabs. The doctor was almost going to go ahead with it anyway but, decided one more week would be sufficient. So, Friday, Sept. 5th at 9:00 a.m. he should proceed with everything. He did drop alittle in his platelet count to 118,000. His hemoglobin remained in the normal range at 13.8. He is eating well and maintaining his studies at school. We continue to live in the "here and now". We are thankful to God for the day at hand. The thoughts we allow ourselves to think can be a powerful tool of faith. It doesn't really matter what you are facing. The "what if" syndrome can try to sneak in and crowd out positive thoughts of faith and believing God. If we take hold of those thoughts, we can get off track and before you know it, the mouth gets in agreement with all the unknowns. Then fear begins to rob you of joy and faith. It is a master trick of the enemy. The Bible is clear in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, that "The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" . It takes using the fruit of self-control to maintain a powerful thought life. It takes recognition of wrong thought patterns and a desire to change them, through the help of the Holy Spirit. Every day can be lived out under the umbrella of his grace. We can live with unanswered questions there. His grace is powerful and sufficient to carry us through good times and hard times. So we are living with a childlike faith of knowing how strong and holy the Lord is. I have learned to not help God hold tomorrow. He is strong enough to hold it all by Himself. My job is to believe Him, and to live each day seeking to do His will and to extend my energy into how I can be a blessing today.

Saturday, August 23, 2003 3:13 PM
Yesterday we took Justin to have his blood counts checked and to proceed with the first of three spinal taps. But once again his neutrophil count was just not high enough to proceed with treatment. The neutrophil count was at 716. We need that to be at least 1,000 to begin. The rest of his blood count really showed signs of deep healing in the marrow. The platelet count went from 97,000 to 127,000. Wow!! His hemoglobin is now in the normal range with a count of 12.6. Fantastic!! So we will give his marrow another week to recover and reexamine it Friday, August 29th. He is scheduled to proceed with his first spinal tap around 12:30 p.m., if those neutrophils come up high enough. Justin completed his first full week of 8th grade. He has had more than enough energy to keep up with his studies. He is also maintaining a healthy appetite. I tune in to the teaching from Joyce Meyer. I love her opening line that introduces the program, "Jesus can heal you, everywhere you hurt." There are all different kinds of "hurts". Some are physcial and outwardly seen. But there are those that are hidden in the heart and not as easily noticed. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord will be our strength. It also says that Jesus will be the glory and the lifter of our heads. Choosing to being happy can make us strong, just as being sad can make us weak. We have to be determined to stay strong. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A happy heart is good medicine but, a broken spirit dries up the bones." Joyce Meyer has an excellent example of the use of laughter. It does the body good. She says it is like "internal aerobics." Physical exercise keeps our muscles strong and does the body good is so many ways. The same is true when we keep our attitudes and mindsets healthy and positive. Learning to laugh and keep our hearts light actually produces an internal strength. Stress and pressure are released through laughter. I will have to say that this is one of Pastor Kinnaman's greatest strengths. He has the ability to find humor in just about anything. So I will close with a couple of his latest.....During a temporary blackout his 4 year old grandaughter, Emily, was a bit upset by the whole ordeal. He proceeded to call for help on his cell phone. After waiting for 20 minutes, he abruptly lost his signal and was disconnected. Little Emily was was put over the edge on that and walked around saying, "Pa lost his signal, Pa lost his signal." His made up ending closed the whole deal......He said, "Her father told her, Emily it's okay, Pa loses his signal all the time." Yesterday Justin went over to his house to get some pointers for his train layout. Pastor Kinnaman's train layout is fabulous! The one thing that Justin had on his layout that the pastor didn't have, was a church. When we mentioned that, he retorted, "I dream of building a world where there is no church and all the people are glued down." This comes from a man who has spent the last 30 years building one of the largest churches in America. I love the wit some people seem to be blessed with. I leave you with an assignment for this week: Laugh, laugh often, and share with the rest of us the joke by writing it on the encouraging words section of this website. This one is for the all the parents out there: The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he did it. (: (:

Friday, August 15, 2003 6:11 PM
Justin did not have his spinal tap today. His platelet count was great. It was 97,000.(actual healthy number is 140,000-450,000) That is quite a jump from the 20,000 nine days ago. The reason for not proceeding with the treatment was because his neutrophil count was down at 615 (actual healthy number is 1500). The doctor needed that to be at least 1,000. The risk of infection, from the poke of the needle, was her concern. His hemoglobin was at 10.9 (actual healthy number is 12.0 - 16.0). That is still low and anemic but, is making progress on its own without transfusions. All in all, Justin is recovering nicely and getting stronger every day. He stopped by to say hello to all of the nurses and then headed back to school. We will try again on Friday, August 22nd. We cannot express how humbled we feel, deep in the core of our being, for the opportunities we are experiencing daily. The joy of sharing a family meal around the table together. The simplicity of saying "good night...sleep well...see ya in the morning". The joy of heading off to church "together". The privilege of taking "both" of my children to school. Life is different for the Cudes. It can never be the same again. Our perspective on issues that are not that important, get rated appropriately. Justin was forced to grow up very quickly. Physically, he is a teenager but on certain issues I think we might both be spared the potential conflicts that arise between teenagers and their parents. So many of the things we fret about, just doesn't matter. God strengthen the bond of love and connection between us. We have learned to receive each other's personality and extend grace a whole lot more. Psalm 133 says: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even LIFE forevermore. I pray that the Lord would bestow this blessing of unity upon your family. God, I ask that Life and all the blessings of Life, to run down the head of each member of the families represented here. Grant them unity, a desire to get along, and an acceptance of the uniqueness you placed in each one. Show them how good and pleasant it really is when they extend grace to each other in times of misunderstanding and tension filled moments. Lord, please turn the hearts of the fathers and mothers towards their children, as you say in Malachi 4:6. Turn the hearts of the children towards their parents, that each one might be more concerned about the other. Lord, may families come before you with wholeness of heart, and with a deep desire to show their world your magnificence.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003 6:24 PM
Today was a special day!! Justin was able to enjoy the 1st day of his last year at Grace Community. He had more than enough energy and stamina for the day. If his platelet count is high enough on Friday the 15th, he will have his 1st spinal tap done around 12:00 p.m. A big thank you to Chris Hoover and family (she is the "lunch lady" at school) for their specific prayers regarding Justin's appetite. He is doing much better in this area. They prayed not only for food to taste good but, that the aroma would increase his desire to eat. I also have had the opportunity to meet several of the parents with children in 1st grade this year. I am deeply touched by the passion of these young ones and the diligence in their prayers for Justin night after night. They were faithful warriors. Never underestimate the power of a praying kindergartener....We are taking Justin's recovery "one day at a time". We are believing Romans 9: 17 for him: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth" We also rest in the fact that not one of Justin's days upon the earth will be shortened. The Lord, himself, says in Psalm 139:16 "Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" We serve a Mighty God who will complete what he has begun in each of us. He is the author and the finisher so it says in Hebrews 12:2. We will never comprehend why some suffer upon the earth. We will never understand why some lives seem to be taken tragically. We cannot answer why some die and others are healed. When we try to make sense out of these, it only draws confusion. Ultimately, we are going to have to live with the knowledge that we will never figure it out. God has a plan and a purpose that is bigger than our human capacity to understand. We must trust him, even if it means to live with these unanswered questions. He is big enough and strong enough to handle all the emotional pain that these unanswered questions represent for so many. Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" I will update again on Friday and let you know how Justin's counts are doing. God Bless you all.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003 4:40 PM
Today marks one week that Justin has been home. It was also the first day back to the clinic to have his blood counts checked. We have been giving Justin a neupogin shot every night to increase his neutrophils. It worked, because his neutrophils are now at 12,512. We do not have to give him a shot for the next 9 days. His hemoglobin is low at 9.0 but by stopping the shot this should help the recovery. We will just continue waiting on this with no transfusion. His platelets came up to 20,000. The doctor was surprised at how high they came up in just a week. It is still too low for him to be active in anything but, it will just be a matter of time. We are pleased with how he is progressing. He also gained 4 pounds this past week. It has been a challenge to regain an appetite but, it is now really starting to come back. The 4th round of treatment for Justin will be all out-patient. If his counts remain high enough he will have his 1st of three spinal taps on August 15th. They will be inserting chemo medicine in his spinal fluid as a preventative. This treatment does not drop his counts down low so it should be much easier to endure. However, no treatment is without its risks. Our prayers will continue in his behalf. Please pray for comfort during each procedure and that there would be no damage done to his brain. He will have one spinal tap each week, for two more weeks. After that, the broviac in his chest will be removed and Justin will be completely done with treatment. Wow! We had gotten word yesterday that a 14 year old named Daniel Rausch was in the ICU at Phoenix Childrens with spinal meningitis. We heard the news from our friends,The Lassister's. Daniel and their son Kevin are both homeschooled and had played basketball together. The Lassister's had called us to pray for Daniel. Life is so fragile! Here one minute you have a healthy vibrant 14 yr old and the next he is fighting for his life. We went to look for them when we got to the clinic. Having never met them before, we weren't sure if our visit would be received. However, to make a long story short.....his mom hugged Justin and told him that she has been in intercession for him. Somehow she had been given our web-site ....through the grapevine of the Holy Ghost....and had been following Justin's progress and praying for him. Now, the same child she prayed for...went in to pray for her son who lay just a few doors down from where Justin laid. Wow!! We really are all connected in this great big family of God. Please extend your prayers for Daniel. He had surgery last night to drain fluid that is building up in his brain. Please pray for his complete recovery. I believe that this generation of children we are raising, have a unique anointing and call on their lives to fulfill the Great Commission. Not only that, but they are in succession to lead the Body of Christ through these last days. We must pray for them. As one generation to another, pleads in their stead I pray that the Lord will make their giftings and callings clear. I believe they will operate in those giftings at a much younger age than in generations past. The children are so precious....we must stand in the gap for them in prayer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003 5:06 AM
I sit here in awe when I realize what the last six months have represented for our family. I remember the day that all Justin had was a sinus infection and we were going to the doctor. But, tonight God allowed us the privilege of bringing Justin home. Remember, way back in the beginning of this journey when the Lord had showed us that this battle would be similar to the one in Exodus 17 where Joshua fought against the Amalekites. All of you have represented Aaron and Hur to us, as you have held up our hands, so to speak, by supporting us with your prayers and encouragement. Towards the end of that chapter, after the battle is won the Lord instructs Moses to "write about it on a scroll as something to be remembered". Moses also builds an altar to the Lord and calls it "The Lord is My Banner". This was in remembrance of Moses' uplifted hands and was to testify to the display of God's power in defense of His people. Pastor Kinnaman encourages us to always remember where we've been, on the way to where we are going. When we were about to move in to our new church sanctuary, after a long time of raising funds and building, we took with us a piece of the old carpet and tile out of the old sanctuary as a remembrance of where we had been. Just a couple of swatches tucked away in a bag on the top of a shelf somewhere. But, it remains a reminder of what God has done for us and a visual opportunity to remember his faithfulness. Without a question, we want to build an altar and write down a remembrance to the Lord of his strength displayed in such adversity. I like how Joshua 4 explains this concept after the people of Israel had crossed over the Jordan. "When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight. So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, What do these stones mean? Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever." This is a powerful example and we would like to emulate it. We have chosen twelve items that will represent to us "12 stones of remembrance". They will be 1) Envelope of hair that had fallen out 2) copy of this web-page 3) his breathing machine 4) a neupogin shot 5) His blood count sheets 6) Dressing kits for the broviac in his chest 7) treasure box of cards 8) emla creme 9) picture of him in ICU 10) home care kit 11) weight scale 12) Good-bye poster from all the nurses. We will choose to remember the acts of God in our behalf. We will remember that he is faithful to the point of death. We will take what we have learned and apply it to where we are going. No matter what happens in life, our faith can be bigger than our fear.

Monday, July 28, 2003 9:39 PM
Each day show signs of improvement and recovery. Today's neutrophil count is 1254. Justin's hemoglobin went up slightly on its own to 10.2. This means that the marrow is beginning to recover in the red blood cells also. Still, it can go up and down for awhile before it stabilizes. There has been no recovery in the platelets as of yet. His count is actually at zero. This is always the last area for the marrow to recover though, so the doctors are not surprised. When Justin is released, we will be giving him a neupogin shot every night for awhile. The plan is still for him to come home sometime tomorrow evening but, nothing is ever set in stone. Mike is spending the night with Justin tonight as he does most nights he is in town. We are hopeful that this will be a landmark night for us, marking the last night sleeping in a hospital bed for a long time. His night nurses, Noelle and Dawn sure are making it a memorable night for him. They have both been very kind and pleasant in their care towards Justin. Our deepest thanks and gratitude to all the nurses that have attended to Justin during these six months. I would like to close with Psalm 8
O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens,
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor
You made him ruler over the works of your hands you put everything under his feet.
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Sunday, July 27, 2003 8:28 PM
Justin had a good increase in his neutrophils today. They are now at 689! His platelets still remain at 1,000 with no transfusion. His hemoglobin is 9.9. There was talk about letting him come home today. However, the doctor decided that Tuesday will still be the day and wanted Justin to have these last few days of the antibiotics. She would rather be too cautious than not. We hope that making the switch to home might help Justin with his appetite. This remains an issue and we will continue to pray for his sustenance. I'm certain many of you have already heard about the death of our hospital neighbor Lauren Forney today. Her family attends Grace Community Church where our children go to school. Lauren was 2 years old and was born without an immune system. Mike and I did not sleep much last night as we knew Jeff and Lily weren't either. We have only walked this road with them since February, but they have been at it since Lauren was 6 months old. Justin and Mike had gone down to the ICU last night to pray for Lauren. There was a peaceful presence in her room. Please continue to pray for them as they make funeral arrangements. Jeff & Lily have a strong faith and I believe we will continue to see evidence of that in the weeks and months that lay ahead. Let believe Psalm 67:1 for them, "May God be gracious to The Forney's and bless them, and may He make His face to shine upon them" May He grant them His peace...

Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:02 PM
Justin's neutrophil count increased to 288! His platelets are still at 1,000 with no transfusion and his hemoglobin did not increase overnight but rather declined to 7.9. So, Justin received a transfusion of those red blood cell today. He has also been taken completely off of the IV feeding. So, now it is up to Justin to stimulate that appetite again. He is working on it but, again when you sit down to eat or feel those hunger pangs yourself, please lift up a prayer for Justin to feel the same desire. Lord, stimulate Justin's desire to eat. I pray that food would mentally and physically sound appealing to him. Please Increase his stamina and enlarge his stomach. I pray that where there has been muscle atrophy you would replace that with strength and might. Lord, your word says in Joel 2:25 -27 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten, the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm-my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed" Father, I believe that not one of your children suffer needlessly. You said that you would repay us for the "years the locusts have eaten". Many, many of your children hurt and carry great pains deep within them. Lord, you said that there would come a time that you would make up for that loss. Lord, whatever that might mean to each viewer, speak to there hearts and let their faith reach out for their restoration. But for today, we ask for you to restore to Justin what was taken. I pray for physical growth and stature. I ask for a natural healthy weight gain. I pray for physical endurance and the ability to participate in the sports that he loves. I pray for an ability to focus and concentrate. I pray that you will prepare him for the challenge of the daily school routine that is just around the corner. I thank you in advance for hearing these requests. Tomorrow is the Lord's Day...enjoy your time of worship in His house!

Friday, July 25, 2003 9:41 PM
Justin's neutrophil count doubled to 162! His platelet remain the same at 1,000 with no transfusion and his hemoglobin is down to 8.3 with no transfusion. They originally were going to give him blood today but, decided to wait and see if his marrow would make some during the night. If he drops any lower, he will be transfused in the morning. Also, Justin was moved out of his pressurized room and into a regular room. They needed the pressurized room for another patient and since Justin's counts are rising, he was moved. If you are looking for him, he is is Room 207 now. The doctor has decided to leave Justin in the hospital until Tuesday the 29th. She wanted to keep him on the antibiotics 4 extra days because of the severity of his previous infections. The countdown has begun. So, even if his neutrophils come way up, they still want him to stay. He is receiving his neuprogin shot every night so, hopefully we will see those neutrophils really start to come up. As always, your visits are refreshing. Justin had fun hanging out with Nick and Dallas this afternoon. Thank you all for the efforts you make to show us God's love working through you. I would like to close with the passage in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-26 . The Lord is comparing a human physical body to that of the "Body" of Christ and how each and every one of us serve a purpose and belong. "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, I don't need you. And the head cannot say to the feet, I don't need you. On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that is parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." Lord, thank you for showing us that you are a God of order. You put order in the way the human body functions and there is order in the way the "spiritual body" of the Church functions. There is One Lord and Saviour over us all. This cuts across the denominational boundaries that try to separate us, and unifies us as "one body". Though we have different functions, this verse reminds us that each one is important in the "bigger picture" of the body operating and remaining healthy. Lord, we hunger for the Church to be all that you desire. You have chosen the Church to be the place where you glory descends. Use this army that you have raised to their feet. Let us keep standing, and let us use what we have accomplished in this spiritual warfare, so that your "house" will continue to be a house of prayer and an establishment upon the earth where you are always the object of our worship. Lord, also, please bring order to Justin's bloodstream and immune system. You are familiar with every single detail necessary for Justin's total body to function. We speak "health" and "wholeness" over Justin.

Thursday, July 24, 2003 4:15 PM
Justin's marrow produced 80 neutrophils! There were no monocytces yet. His platelets are at 1,000 with no transfusion so far. That could change, if he should happen to bleed. His hemoglobin was at 9.3 with no transfusion today either. His spirits are high. Yesterday, he enjoyed a visit from the Craze's and the Bruener's. They brought gifts of silly string and home-made cookies. Little did they know that after they left, the nurses and Justin ambushed Nurse Allison with the silly string. Allison is such a good sport! You really have to roll with the punches here. She took it in stride but, is definitely waiting for a payback. I got to be the lucky one to clean it all up off the floor and windows. Thank you to David Wright and the ladies from the Youth Dept. at Grace Community for their visits as well. Justin is eating alittle bit more so he was able to come down to only 12 hours on the IV feeding. Today, the Lassister's came for a lunch visit. They are wonderful family friends and we always enjoy their company. Their children Kevin & Kelly are just one year older than Justin & Carissa. Pastor Gary also came and brought his foreign exchange daughter Claudia for one last visit before she heads back to her homeland of Brazil. Pastor Gary and Justin share a passion for building model railroads. The rest of the afternoon was shared with Garrett and Justin playing playstation and just hanging out. Lord, thank you for the daily manna that you provide and the wonderful surprise of friends visits that really warm the spirit. We continue to thank you in advance for Justin's complete healing in the marrow. We thank you in advance that there will be no indication of this disease anywhere, anymore. We thank you in advance for using Justin's testimony of your healing power to others who may not know who you really are. Together, we proclaim your Lordship, ONLY YOU ARE GOD!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003 4:48 PM
All the neutrophils and monocyctes that we had for the last two days disappeared completely. We know that the marrow is trying but, it has been through three rounds of chemo. It becomes more of a waiting game at this point. Let's continue to pray for their return. Ultimately, God is never late. His purposes and plans we won't always understand but, we can trust him The Bible is clear in Habakkuk 2:3 (Living Bible) "But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If is seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day! Justin only has 1,000 platelets today and a hemoglobin of 9.5. He was not transfused today but, I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow that happens. They have taken his IV feeding down to only 16 hours a day in hopes of letting his appetite come back. It was nice for Justin because they gave him a whole 8-hour block of not being hooked up to anything. It is so much easier to move around without having to drag that pole with you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003 8:55 PM
The neutrophils did not disappear altogether but, they did drop to 32. The good news is, Justin also produced monocytes today. This is a great sign of recovery. Monocytes are the viral fighting white blood cells. Neutrophils are the bacteria fighting white blood cells. His platelet count is now at 2,000 and that is close to being transfused. The normal range of platelets in a healthy bloodstream is anywhere from 140,000 to 450,000. So you can see just how low his blood counts drop. His hemoglobin dropped just a bit to 10.5. Again, the normal range would be between 12.0 - 16.0. Pastor Chris stopped by today to see Justin and pray for him. His prayer was timely...he asked for a quick recovery in the marrow and for his counts to come up. Justin just wants to go home!! I am happy to see his eagerness. In order for that to happen though, his neutrophil level needs to be up around 1500 and he needs to eat. Today, he had half of a Quizno's sub. So, he is definitely trying! Thanks for hanging in there with us through this journey...your prayers and words of encouragement will be a treasure that our family will keep and pass on to the next generation. I would like to close with the beautiful Psalm of 145
"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise, his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will mediate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love.
The Lord is good to ALL; he has compassion on ALL he has made;
ALL you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that ALL men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord IS faithful to ALL his promises and loving toward ALL he has made.
The Lord upholds ALL those who fall and lifts up ALL who are bowed down.
The eyes of ALL look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord IS righteous in ALL His ways and loving toward ALL He has made.
The Lord IS near to ALL who call on Him, to ALL who call on Him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over ALL who love Him, but ALL the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord, Let EVERY creature PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME forever and ever.
Lord, I thank you that you are no respector of persons. What you do for one, you will do for another. Your love knows no bounds. Lord, we all look to you to complete us deep on the inside. The part in us that was created to have fellowship with you. There is a song by Avalon that goes something like this: I couldn't face my life tomorrow, without Your hope in my heart, I know, I can't live a day without You. Lord, there's no night and there's no morning without your loving arms to hold me..I can't live a day without you....We are kidding ourselves if we think we can live this life without Him. We were not created to be self-sufficient but, rather to have fellowship with the one who created us. We are suppose to cast our cares upon Him and let Him walk this life with us giving us strength and hope in each cirmcumstance.

Monday, July 21, 2003 9:16 PM
Justin's healing continues.....his marrow produced 40 neutrophils during the night!!! Yeah!!! Just what the doctor ordered! This is really great news. We are hopeful they will continue to increase. However after round 2 when he displayed a few they went away for several more days. At that juncture, he had shown no signs of monocycte development. Today, he had no signs of monocyctes either. The doctor said he will just have to wait and see. He went down to 9,000 in his platelets and his hemoglobin dropped to 10.8. He was not transfused with either of them. Perhaps you've seen the "Survivor" series on T.V. Society seems to be drawn to these "reality" type programs lately. American Idol and Joe Millionaire and even The Truman Show creates an environment where the producers allow the viewers to see the good, the bad, and the ugly . Creating this web page has allowed you, the viewer, to experience a part of life that is a reality for so many. You have been able to see first-hand the ups and downs of a serious illness. But, we hope that what you will remember most is that God is greater than anything that comes against us. We are His kids. He treats His kids to V.I.P. treatment. He has pictures of us tatooed on the palms of His hands. He is a loving, doting Father whose desire is to save us from our "serious illness" of sin. He died upon the cross to spare us so much pain and agony. Freely His gift of salvation is offered to every man....freely we need to receive it. We receive it by recognizing and acknowledging Jesus' death on the cross, by asking and repenting for the forgiveness of our sins, and asking Jesus to take up residence in our hearts and become our personal Lord and Savior. It is the best decision you could ever make. He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Sunday, July 20, 2003 7:19 PM
Justin got quite a bump in his platelets from yesterday transfusion. He went from zero to 17,000. His hemoglobin count has been holding steady for the last three days at 11. This is showing signs of recovery because we constantly shed off old cells and are replacing them with new ones. His count is not being depleted but, has been holding steady. The monocytes and neutrophils have not showed up yet.....but they will!! We have had another good day of rest and recovery. He is able to eat a bite here and there but, still needs that appetite prayer going up in his behalf. I wanted to share with you a couple of scriptures that were prayed over Justin on Sunday and Monday of last week. These were spoken over him with hearts of faith by several special visitors. The first one is found in Malachi 4: 2 -3 "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." There is not too much more clarity that this passage needs. Matthew Henry's commentary explains the sun of righteousness as Jesus Christ himself. As he, the sun, rises infirmities decrease. Jesus came into the world to be the great physician and the balm of Gilead. Both considered to be healing agents. When Jesus lived upon the earth, he went about as the "sun" in his circuit doing this good; he healed all manner of sicknesses and diseases among the people. His healing bodily diseases was a foreshadow of his purpose for coming into the world; to heal the diseases of men's souls. The healing was evident by the energy and vigor and strength the body displayed. This new physical stamina is compared to that of the calf, which is quick, strong, and useful. When let out of the stall they become frolicy and leap for joy to be set loose in the open fields. Lord, thank you for this powerful word picture of how much you love us and desire for us to live healthy lives. Thank you for arising in Justin. We wait for the evidence when his physical youthful vigor begins to return and his marrow becomes plump, moist, and overflowing. The second scripture was found in Isaiah 40:4-5 "Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken" Lord, you saw what needed to happen inside of Justin's body to make all the unstable places level. Thank you for stabilizing all of his vital organs. Thank you for revealing your glory to all of us within the range of this miracle. Please sing with me: Who is like unto thee? O Lord among the gods. Who is like unto thee? Glorious in holiness, awesome in power, doing wonders, Who is like unto thee?

Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:37 PM
Justin received a transfusion of platelets today. His platelet count had dropped to zero. There were no neutrophils to report yet. We are thankful to Melanie Bruner for her healing touch massage given to Justin tonight. We hope it will help stimulate his marrow to begin its recovery. All in all, Justin had a restful day similiar to yesterday. He had visits from friends and even had a bite to eat tonight. So, please continue "our faithful prayer warriors" to go before the Father and beseech him for Justin's complete and final recovery. We are truly thankful for an uneventful day. As I was walking to the hospital this morning, I remembered that it was one week ago today that the intense drama began. Lord, you are the Most High God, seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for those you call your own. Lord, together we join you in intercession that you would begin the marrow healing that Justin so desperately needs. Bring about those neutrophils, hemoglobin, and platelets. Lord, I am reminded of how your Word talks about not putting new wine into old wineskins. I see Justin's marrow as a "new winseskin" now. It is completely cleansed and released from leukemia. We see you pouring into it "new wine". The "new wine" of your blood with all of its cleansing agents of health and wholeness.

Friday, July 18, 2003 8:45 PM
Justin has had a day of resting and recuperating. He had some visits from friends and he always enjoys that. As far as his recovery, there were no indication of neutrophils today. They could appear at any time though. We truly are anticipating their arrival! Our prayers are directed toward the marrow to show signs of recovery and to begin to produce those life-sustaining cells. When the body is low on these blood counts...bruises appear all over the body. He looks on the outside to be a worn-torn soldier but, God will continue the healing process in Justin. It will be progressive in nature and each day he will be getting stronger as the body heals itself. Please also be in prayer for him to desire to eat again. Thank you and I pray that this weekend you will make time to worship this great Lord of ours at your church.

Thursday, July 17, 2003 6:02 PM
Last night Justin felt like getting out of bed and walking alittle. The effects of all the heavy sedation medicine was still in his system so, the chances of him passing out were high. Once he got going, he ended up doing five full laps. The doctor saw this and said that this child does not need the breathing machine tonight. Wow!! Great news!! We were just getting ready to sedate him again so he would be able to endure the machine. Instead, they chose to put him on a breathing treatment every four hours through out the night. All he had to endure was interrupted sleep. Piece of cake! He feels he has had enough sleep in the last five days anyway. Then, this morning, his x-ray looked so good they decided to go ahead and let Justin back upstairs to floor 2. This really made his day. The ChildLife Specialist who works on our floor was celebrating a birthday. Her name is Heidi and Justin really enjoys her. So, here's what happened....Justin left the ICU himself (with doctor's permission) to go upstairs and squirt Heidi with some silly string. But.....he never came back down. So, basically we lost him. (: (: There are not too many ICU patients that are capable of walking out on their own. Mike and I laughed as we waited to see if the hospital sent out a page..."Paging Justin Cude please return to your ICU bed" Things like this don't happen everyday. Anyway, we felt like a bunch of gypsies as we camped out in the lobby of floor 2 waiting for a room to become available. Can you tell that we are ready to get the show on the road? Justin is resting now and is in Room 206, We hope to recover quickly as we continue to wait for his bone marrow to produce neutrophils, hemoglobin, and platelets. Justin had turned over in his bed yesterday and said, "Mom, I died" I was intrigued by that and asked him why he felt that way. We will never fully know all that transpired in those hours that Justin's physical body lay between this life and the next. He said he wasn't sure but, that he knows that God has something for him to do. No one needs to further convince this Mom of that. Lord, whatever that plan is and whatever you spoke to Justin during those moments, we come into agreement that your will be done in his life upon the earth. Supernaturally use teachers, pastors, youth workers and his family, to influence him to seek out those things that will be necessary for your will to come to pass. We stand in awe at your hand of grace upon him and the display of your strength as we observe with our eyes what is not humanly and physically possible. You are God! We worship You!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003 10:22 AM
Justin has been progressively getting better! The breathing machine was quite uncomfortable for him last night and more sedation was necessary for him to relax and not fight it. Psalm 30 says: "I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths, and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord, my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise His holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken" O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy; What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me: O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks, forever" This morning at 6:00 a.m. the x-ray of his lungs so improved over the night, that he is able to be off of the breathing machine for a good portion of the day. He is still receiving oxygen but not in an uncomfortable format. He got out of bed and walk alittle and is becoming more alert and aware of what is going on. Right now, he is sitting up in bed trying to call his friend Garrett. Hallelujah!! Please join me in a song of adoration to the Lord, "Blessed be, the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come, Blessed be the Lord God Almighty who reigns forever more. Father in heaven we adore you, we lift your name in all the earth, May your kingdom be established in our praises, as we purpose to worship you alone.....Blessed be the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come....Blessed be the Lord God Almighty who reigns forevermore..... Justin is asking questions of what transpired over the last five days, he remembers some of it but, alot of it is fuzzy. He cannot believe he has been asleep for five days. Lord, thank you for the display of your glory....your mighty hand of strength and might that covered Justin in his weakness. Lord, for his life we are grateful...please continue to be glorified through this and may it build Your kingdom.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003 5:02 PM
Justin actually woke up for a few minutes around 1:00 p.m. He is still on some very strong medication so he may not remember. He was able to move a bit and cough up some secretions. He talked alittle to his grandparents and Pastor Scott Jones from Grace Community Church in Tempe. He thanked the doctors for helping him and really wanted to go back to his room on floor 2. He is still a very sick young man. They indefinitely will be keeping him in ICU. It depends on how well Justin's body can respond to this treatment. It is necessary for him to remain on the breathing machine to help his lungs to expand and not collapse. Good news!! His pancreas seems to be just fine now. Praise the Lord! It was a much better day as we saw Justin trying to return to being his old spunky self. The doctors are warning us that although these are good signs, we are not out of the woods on this one. When Justin's neutrophils begin to return it could mean an episode of what we just endured including being incubated on the ventilator. We pray that this will not happen and that Justin can continue to recover and progress to health in an upward fashion. We are winning this battle but, the war is not over. Mike and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers for Justin. We continue to remain focused and alert and watchful for what each hour will require. Justin is our miracle man. We saw the manifestation of God's healing power displayed before our eyes. "Greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world"

Tuesday, July 15, 2003 8:42 AM
The doctors have been able to stop the fall. The x-ray's show that Justin's lungs are better this morning as of 6:00 a.m. It was a difficult night. Justin started another fever and he had secretions stuck in his lungs. His pancreas has been inflammed and infected from the chemotherapy and he grew out another infection. This was a strep. I had gone home incredibly exhausted from the day but, Mike sat by Justin's bedside and prayed over him all night. He said he anointed his body with oil from his head to his toes. He asked God to remove this fluid from Justin's lungs. Wow! I could only envision that picture in my mind and I thanked the Lord for the strength in Mike and his total dependency on God, the Father. Justin is still heavily sedated. He is still on the breathing machine and his condition is quite critical. We will continue our passionate pursuit for the healing embrace and touch from the Great Physician. I wanted to tell you during that moments when Justin's condition dropped so severely, as he was raging a fever of 105 degrees, he called for Pastor Wolfred who was standing right by his side to pray. He also asked me to go get a Resident Doctor whose name was Jeff. Jeff and Justin had talked together about both of them knowing Jesus. Justin had shared with me how cool that was. Jeff had made an impression upon my son, not because he is studying to be a doctor but because he believed wholeheartedly in the power in His name. It was at that moment when Jeff walked in his room, removing his medical robe, and pleading in prayer on Justin's behalf for a miracle of God. Justin began a powerful prayer himself. He was speaking loudly and firmly through his oxygen mask for God to please heal him and help him. It is a moment I will never forget. Justin knows God deeply. He may not talk alot or show it at this tender age of 13 but, one day as he matures it will be evident through him. Thank you Lord for getting us through this night. We pray for your provisions today as we stand in this ever-shifting unstable place. Lord, you are the ground beneath our feet. You will hold us up when we cannot stand. We love you Lord.

Monday, July 14, 2003 6:30 PM
Sing with me:
"And I see Jesus, in His suffering crowned with glory and with praise. Tasting death for all men by God's grace. Given power to put all things in place. And I see Jesus, seated at the right hand of God's throne, making intercession for His own, upholding all things by His word alone. For you are glorious, shining victorious, all power and principalities, you are glorious, shining victorious, disarming all the enemy....
We worship you Lord, in song for it is our battle cry before your Holiness....
"You are the air I breathe, you are the air I breathe, your holy presence, living in me, You are my daily bread, you are my daily bread, your very word spoken to me.
And I, I'm desperate for you, And I, I'm lost without you..... You are the air he (Justin) breathes, You are the air he breathes, your holy presence is living in him. You are his daily bread, you are his daily bread, your very word spoken to him. And Lord, he's desperate for you. And Lord, he's lost without you.....
We wait on you O Lord...

Monday, July 14, 2003 4:22 PM
Justin's lungs are not doing well. Just when we thought we were on the up and up, we took a nose dive. His x-rays show a great deal of fluid and infection invading his lungs. He is not on the ventilator yet, but that is the next step. They are trying to do everything they can do at this point. This battle is fierce. When a soldier is on the front line of a battle he must keep focused on the battle at hand. It is not time to let our guard down even for a minute. It is time to fight!!! Even though the battle wages indefinitely and it pulls on every emotion both physically and mentally....we proceed. Justin is worth the fight. He is our son. We told him we would fight right along side him and we will not let him down. Please pray for an abundance of endurance, energy, focus, and the ability to face the battle and not retreat. Jesus is Lord!

Monday, July 14, 2003 12:36 PM
We thank you all for reminding us that you are in intercession for us. Intercessory kinds of prayers are not done quickly...but, instead in travail and deep longing and through tears, pain, and suffering. We are having a difficult morning. Justin has been quite combative and has been incredibly uncomfortable. He has come to an end of his own ability to endure this. He is going to survive now on the grace and strength of God being poured into him by our prayers in his behalf. It is like a filled vial that the Lord will pour out upon him. He is struggling for air to breathe. He has fought long and he has fought hard. Now, we will carry him to the finish line. Justin will live! He will be changed as well as all of us. We will all be changed to look and behave more like Jesus. If our Precious Lord said that His grace was sufficient than it is! We will use the manna He provides for us today...and not worry about tomorrow. We ask for mental strength and an equipping from the Lord to serve Justin during this. We stand in authority over him as his parents. Justin's grandparents will be arriving around 6:00 p.m. tonight. Together, we will form a hedge around him. I'm asking for an intensity in prayer to rise up within his prayer warriors. Some have called to say that they fill led to fast in Justin's behalf. Whatever God is calling for us to do..let's do it. Justin's life is in the hands of the Lord. We will see the glory fall....the glory of the Lord will come...we must never give up. This is where the unity of the Body of Christ rises to her feet with an incredible corporate anointing. Together, in unity, we become the army of God that Ezekial 37 talked about.

Sunday, July 13, 2003 2:39 PM
Things can change rapidly when you are in the ICU. Justin is semi-sedated. Basically, they have drugged him up enough to be still. He is on a breathing machine and his oxygenation levels have been falling. They are considering putting Justin on a ventilator. This would mean putting him in a medical coma and breathing for him. It is quite uncomfortable to be on one of these and that is why they put you out. Justin has pneumonia in his lungs. He needs intense prayer coverage for his lungs to not fill up with any fluid. He needs to be able to disperse what is in there and breathe on his own. He is fighting hard. We are praying hard. God, we come before you, the Maker of Heaven and earth, we beseech your throne of grace and mercy on behalf of Justin. We thank you that you give us spiritual eyes and ears to look and see situations like this through your perspective. Father, if we were to really look at this with our physical eyes it would overtake us. We are not defeated, because of you and your death on the cross. You told us that "It was finished" and that you took our place. Freely, you offered to mankind your salvation and you said that by your stripes we were healed. We receive that and thank you in advance that Justin is healed. Pneumonia has no hold on him. We speak your name "Jesus" and every knee must fall on heaven and in earth. All creation worships you. God, help us....hold us tight....the storm rages....but we are safe inside, tucked away from its devastation and being calmed by your presence. You are God. You are the author of life and death. Thank you for taking the sting of death from us when you died upon the cross. We have nothing to fear, because you are with us."

Sunday, July 13, 2003 8:56 AM
Psalm 119: 81-96
"My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes fail, looking for your promise, I say, "When will you comfort me?" Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees. How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors? The arrogant dig pitfalls for me, contrary to your law. All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for men persecute me without cause. They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statues of your mouth. Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have renewed my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless."

Sunday, July 13, 2003 4:04 AM
It has been a long night! Justin's blood cultures grew out an e-coli bacterial infection. This is one of the most serious infections you can get. These organisms live naturally in our intestinal tract. When you become immune suppressed as Justin is, then you have nothing to keep it in check. Somehow it made its way into Justin's blood. Justin's body responded severely and his blood pressure dropped as low as the teens. The doctor just told Mike that on a scale from 1 - 10. Justin came as close as 9.5. He is not out of the woods yet. They have found a blood pressure medicine that Justin is responding well too. However, he is still vomiting and having a high fever. The Bible says in James 5:16 that "the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective" Our prayers are reaching the portals of heaven and God is very much aware of the situation. Having done all that we know to do, WE STAND BELIEVING! James 5:16 is powerful and I would like to say that "the generational prayers of a righteous Grandparent carries much weight" How can you compare the heritage given to the patriachs and matriachs of the family. Justin's grandparents are praying.....hard. I believe they are standing in the gap for their grandchild at this moment. Justin is a crown to them, and their first grandchild. Please pray for them to hear from the Lord.

Saturday, July 12, 2003 2:52 PM
Justin took a turn for the worse. Early this morning he spiked a fever and was vomiting. He became quite severe when his blood pressure dropped. The doctors have worked for a couple of hours now to stabilize him. He is in the ICU unit and will remain here until things become more stable. He is in need of our continued and constant prayer. They believe that he has a blood infection and will know more when the cultures come back. Given all they had to pump into him to stabilize him, he is having quite a bit of fluid on the lungs. They may have to use a ventilator should he have trouble breathing. If that becomes the case, they will also sedate him. He is on constant oxygen presently. We need to pray that the fluid on his lungs will not turn into pneumonia or any other serious complication. His fever is 105 degrees. He is fighting back hard and remains strong in spirit. Thank you for all you guys are doing in the spirit. Please pray for endurance and the joy of the Lord to be our strength. He is WITH us and IN us and our prayer is that His plan will continue to unfold.

Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:33 PM
Justin bled from his mouth during the night which meant he needed to be transfused with platelets. However, the hospital was not able to find any. He was able to stop the bleeding himself, with compression, so that was good. They have platelets on hold for him should it happen again. He also received his first transfusion of blood this morning as his hemoglobin dropped to 8. His neutrophil count is now down to 138. We are in the critical phase of the recovery to say the least. He has been receiving the neuprogin shots for the last three days in hopes that when the marrow begins to recover the neutrophils will come back at a faster rate. He is maintaining an appetite and hopes to recover without the IV feeding. We are so thankful for our church family, Word of Grace, and all the support, care and love that has been showered upon our family. We would like to thank Pastor Wolfred for standing with us through all three of these rounds. To be sure, this is not the easiest thing for a Pastor to have to deal with either. However, he has been praying right along side us for Justin's healing and is watchful that we are holding up as a family. It is so important to belong to a church. Pastors are given an authoritative responsibility from God to shepherd us. It is under their care and in the fellowship of other believers, that we discover our own gifts and talents and grow and mature in our faith. I would like to close with a doxology out of the book of Jude.
"Now, unto Him who is able, to keep you from falling, and to make you stand in His Presence, blameless and with great joy, to the only God, Our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be the Glory, and the Majesty, Dominion, and Authority both now and forever, Amen."

Wednesday, July 09, 2003 2:10 PM
We wanted to give you the latest update on Justin's blood counts. His platelets are at 1,000--which is basically zero. His hemoglobin is at 8.9. This is low and almost in need of a transfusion. His neutrophils are 759. I am no doctor, but this appears to be higher than in previous rounds. We are thankful for this and our prayer remains constant and steadfast that his neutrophil count will have a miraculous recovery!! Father, we come before you asking by faith, that you would spare Justin the pain of fever and infection during this round of recovery. Would you cover him with your strength and might and bring about a recovery in the marrow that will be complete and final with no lasting effects of leukemia found anywhere? Your arm is not too short to reach down and lift him up and out of this circumstance, and set his feet on solid ground. I am quite convinced that praying prayers of blessing releases the power of God in our lives. I would like to close with a prayer of blessing over Justin, but I pray that you would use it and pray for others in your life. Father, I pray that you would bless Justin with ability and abundance. I pray that you would bless him with the assurance of your love and that you would have your angels standing guard over him. I pray that you would bless Justin with courage, and determination to never give up. I pray that you would bless him with generosity of spirit and faithfulness to the things that you have called him to. Develop in Justin character that will stand the test of time. I pray that you would bless Justin with the fruit of the Spirit having evidence of it's working power in his life. Give Justin an obedient heart to follow wholeheartedly your ways. Bless him with a purpose, and a passion to follow that plan for his life. I pray that you would bless Justin with a good long life with a mate and a family that would love and serve you. I pray that you would bless Justin with hands that will bless others. I pray that you would bless him with a heart of thankfulness and gratitude towards life. I pray that you would give Justin a humble spirit, a kind spirit, and a gentle spirit to deal with relationships in his life. I pray that you would bless him with favor. Bless Justin with a sensitivity as he worships you Lord. Bless him with an ability to accept change and new things that you bring along. Bless him with dreams and visions and leadership skills to make those a reality. Bless Justin with a willingness to respond positively to the daily issues of
life. Bless him with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh in the face of adversity.
Bless Justin with a long life and a platform to boldly speak for you.

Monday, July 07, 2003 6:45 PM
Our friends, The Rodgers Family, stopped by for a visit yesterday. They were vacationing from Denver, CO and just passing through. Together we rejoiced because we had hit a milestone in this treatment regimen. It is finished!!! (The chemo that is (: (: ) Hallejuah!! Justin has maintained his appetite. His desire is to eat and keep his digestive tract working. We have been through this enough times to know, this is important. Somehow he is finding the mental strength to eat even though some of the food "tastes" different. Nausea has not been an issue. We stand with him believing that God will continue this divine intervention that we are witnessing. We will continue to sit tight until his counts come all the way down to zero. Right now his neutrophils are at 880 and his platelets are at 16,000. We are believing as a family that there will be no indication of fever or infection. We are waiting for a "suddenly"! We stand expecting God to show Himself strong, fully capable, of delivering Justin and restoring his strength and youthful vigor. Romans 8: 18-27 talks about our future glory as heirs. A glory that has been anticipated and longed for. "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will"

Friday, July 4, 2003 6:50 PM
The second half of Justin's chemotherapy started today. He will receive his second shot in the muscle tomorrow morning and the chemo drip will end early Sunday. He continues to remain strong, especially in his mind. A strong mind-set is such an important characteristic when unexpected events occur. It is more than half the battle. because the words we speak out of our mouths contain the seeds that we are planting for tomorrow's harvest. Galatians 6:7 declares "A man reaps what he sows". This concept is so simple yet so powerful. The verse continues by saying, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest, IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP" It is a human impossibility to control our tonugue all the time. We live with a sinful fallen nature and the effects of that will eventually come out. James 3 illustrates this well, comparing spoken words to the spark that sets off forest fires. However, the good news is that Jesus helps us in our weaknesses. As we work WITH him, the application of one of the most powerful fruits of the spirit, Self-control, helps us to resist the temptation to give up.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003 7:35 PM
As expected, Justin's counts continue to drop.  He still was able to eat a little bit today and that is good.  He had a special visit from our sweet neighbors who have the most adorable 5 yr old triplet sons.  They love Justin....and Justin loves them.  He gave them rides up and down on his bed and they got to see the helicopter take off out of Justin's window.  I love the preciousness and childlikeness in children.  A quality we should all strive to find.  If we permit, it is a quality that will actually build our faith.  For the Lord himself said in Mark 10:14  "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it."   Certainly it is a challenge to mature and yet maintain a certain childlikeness in our approach to the Lord.  Children are pretty accepting and  don't always have to know the "whys" of things.  This is one quality we have to walk in or we could drive ourselves nuts trying to figure out answers to questions that probably will not be answered during our time upon the earth.  I would like to close with a quote from best-selling author, Max Lucado:

When arks are built, lives are saved.
When soldiers march, Jerichos tumble.
When staffs are raised, seas open.
When His garment is touched, Jesus stops and responds.

Each one of these biblical examples required a signficant amount of human effort to believe God. They believed Him, and acted out their faith in such a measure that it is recorded in the Word. It leaves us with an understanding of what our Heavenly Father wants to do through us who believe. I am hungry to see God move like this in our generation, aren't you?

Tuesday, July 01, 2003 8:40 PM
Despite the negative side effects of the chemo, Justin is doing well. Today, he regained a portion of his appetite and it was good to see him enjoying something to eat. Part of his day is spent doing catch up homework in Science and Social Studies. Listen to Psalm 91 in the Living Bible, "We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I am trusting Him. For He rescues you from every trap, and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with His wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don't need to be afraid of the dark any more, nor fear the dangers of the day; nor dread the plagues of darkness, nor disasters in the morning. Though a thousand fall at my side, though ten thousand are dying around me, the evil will not touch me. I will see how the wicked are punished, but I will not share it. For Jehovah is my refuge! I choose the God above all gods to shelter me. How then can evil overtake me or any plague come near? For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail. You can safely meet a lion or step on poisonous snakes, yes, even trample them beneath your feet! For the Lord says, "Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. When he calls on me I will answer. I will be with him in trouble, and rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation." These are just a few of the precious promises found in the Word of God. How thankful I am to have His Word as a constant reminder of the kind of God He is. He is a Loving Father and He always has our best interest at heart. Lord, thank you for the authority in your Word that you have given to us, a place to stand during this period of your physical absence from the earth. Your Word gives us hope....and a point of reference to base living. Your Word says in Deuteronomy 30: 19, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. NOW choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land." We receive this promise Lord, and feel blessed to be called one of Your children....

Saturday, June 28, 2003 2:47 PM
Justin received his shot today at 10:00 a.m. and it was not as painful for him as he had anticipated. We thank the Lord for answering this prayer. The negative side effects of the chemo medicine have started immediately. He is already on the anti-nausea medication and his appetite has decreased considerably. As his body continues to react, his blood counts are dropping as well. Please continue to pray for his body's ability to endure and fight the negative effects of the chemo and that he will continue this incredibile journey to wholeness and health. He has to take special eye drops every 2 hours to prevent painful conjuntivitis. He also swishes with mouthcare to prevent painful mouth sores. On day seven, which is next Friday, he will begin another round of eighteen hours of chemo and end with the shot on Saturday morning. That will complete this intensification phase of round three. The remaining time in the hospital is just as important. They will supplement Justin with IV feeding and antibiotics until he is able to recover in the marrow. Lord, thank you for your sacrfice that unifies us together as a family. Thank you that Your love for us motivates us to acts of kindness. Lord, thank you for Bryan and Alex Jones who came to visit and brought the best tasting In-n-Out Burgers for Justin and I. Lord, let us all look for ways we can let Your love flow through us to others.

Friday, June 27, 2003 4:41 PM
Justin was re-admiitted into Phoenix Children's Hospital this morning after his bone marrow biopsy. This was the first biopsy he has had since April 8th. We thank the Lord that there were no leukemic cells found. This is such wonderful news for all of us who have been fighting so hard for Justin to conquer this thing and go on with being a kid. His counts were much better too!! His neutrophils were 1,350. His hemoglobin was 13, and his platelets were at 102,000. These are much stronger numbers going in and we are thankful for that. Justin had mixed emotions going back. He enjoys the friendship of the nursing staff and he had missed seeing them, but he knows the routine of this all too well. This round of chemo will be a bit different from the first two. They are going to use only two medications instead of five. One of them Justin has previously taken the first two rounds, but the dosage will be quite intensified. The other one is of great concern to Justin. It involves getting two shots. These shots are VERY painful. Please be in prayer for him now as he is trying to prepare for the lst one tomorrow at 10:00 am.. He will be hurting and sore in his muscles for several days. He has never taken this, so we don't know what to expect. I pray that it will not be as big a deal as we imagine. Justin had taken a spill off his bike on Tuesday. Normally, a few raspberries adorne a boy, but not when his immune system will be brought down. On the night that he fell, we took communion together. Spiritually, there is power in this sacrament. Jesus told us that as often as we eat the bread and drink the cup, we remember his death until he comes back again. Remembering his death releases our faith, because it was there that he spilled out His blood for all mankind. It was there that He said, "It is finished!" What was finished? Isaiah 53: 4-5 sums it up well, "Surely, He took up OUR infirmities and carried OUR sorrows, yet WE considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for OUR transgressions, He was crushed for OUR iniquities; the punishment that brought US peace was upon Him, and by His wounds WE ARE HEALED." So, as an act of faith, we took communion and ask the Lord to heal the sores that Justin had received from the fall. When Justin woke up Wednesday morning, his sores had scabs on them. We marveled at the power of God, knowing deep inside that "He is who He says He is."
Do you remember the spill Justin took on his dirt bike between rounds 1 and 2? He received a few raspberries there, too. Those took 2 months to heal and his counts were higher then than they are now. All of this happened in less than 24 hours. God is truly among us. I know the distractions of the world can desensitize us to His presence and His glory but, it doesn't have too. He is everywhere you look.....and He is calling each of you unto Himself.

Monday, June 23, 2003 9:45 PM
Today was such a beautiful day!! We wanted to let everyone know, we are all doing GREAT! Justin feels well and has been enjoying his time at home. His appetite has increased tremendously and he is getting stronger everyday. The plan is to go back to the clinic this Friday morning. He will have his blood counts checked, have a bone marrow biopsy performed, and then be re-admitted to the hospital. We don't know how long his stay will be for this round. It all depends on how he reacts to the chemo. The doctor anticipates the same number of days that it took the first two times, approximately 40 - 50 . Justin mentioned that he wants to get it done and behind him. Please continue your prayers for a strong mind-set for Justin. Ignorance is bliss, but his return will be anything but that. Our expectancy will continue to rest in Our Precious Lord. We expect that He will strengthen us in our weakness, that He will put His song of worship deep within that will keep us sustained and focused on Him and that we will prevail because of the finished work He has already accomplished in our behalf, when he gave His life for us on the cross. We go expecting "something good to happen!!" We go waiting for God to show Himself strong! We must face this "Goliath" one last time. The opportunity of this experience has forever altered our perception of life and death. I love the book by Rick Warren entitled, "The Purpose-Driven Life." In a nutshell, the message is "Life is not about us." Life is more about living it to please God and to serve others. Yesterday is over, tomorrow is not here yet, but we have today. Lord, please use what we offer, TODAY, to proclaim your message to the world.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003 4:05 PM
Justin went to the clinic today, as scheduled. He was expecting to have his blood counts checked, have a bone marrow biopsy, and be admitted to in-patient for round 3. Last Wednesday, we were waiting on the platelet count to rise to at least 50,000. Today, it was at 72,000. His hemoglobin was a bit low at 11.6. They did not transfuse him. However, when the neutrophil count came back, the plan changed. Justin's neutrophils dropped from 21,648 to 782. This is not high enough to start the third round of chemo. They do not want to start the neuprogin shots again either. We are giving his marrow another 10 days to recover on its own. He will be checked again on Friday, June 27th, early morning. The plan will be to admit him and give him the bone marrow biopsy then. The doctor described his marrow as being "beat up" real hard. He has endured so much. Certainly, we are concerned about the stamina needed for another round. The results came back regarding the nuclear medicine test on his organs. Everything appears to be functioning well. We thank the Lord for this good news. We pray that the Lord will continue to guide each step. They have told us that round 3 is still necessary. Justin is not disappointed that he gets another 10 days to be a kid. We are not either. He has been forced to grow up and face issues most adults don't deal with. He has shown such intestinal fortitude throughout this ordeal. We are very proud of him. Thank you to David Wright, who was scheduled to put on a science show for Justin, tonight at the hospital. The intent was to help ease him back into the routine. Instead, he brought it all to our home and put the show on for us and some of the neighbor kids. Deuteronomy 28 speaks about being blessed by the Lord for obeying his commands. Listen to these promises: "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands.....all these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. THE FRUIT OF YOUR WOMB WILL BE will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven." It continues with blessings of prosperity on everything we put our hands to. "THAT THE LORD WOULD GRANT ABUNDANT PROSPERITY ON THE FRUIT OF OUR WOMB." The Lord says in verse12 that he would open the heavens, the storehouses of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail. Lord, I am asking and believing you for this abundant prosperity on the first-fruit of my womb, Justin. Though this enemy, leukemia, came at him in one direction, I thank you in advance that it will flee from him in seven. We trust you with Justin's counts and the timing for each treatment. Please continue to strengthen him and empower him for the challenges that lay ahead. Thank you in advance that Your Word is so powerful, it goes out and accomplishes that which you intended, and will not return back to you void. Your Word has the ability to penetrate even to the marrow. I thank you in advance that Your Word is penetrating Justin's marrow and bringing complete restoration and deliverance from leukemia and the negative effects of the chemotherapy. Lord, please guide the scientists who are diligently working to find a cure for this disease. Grant them wisdom and knowledge where they haven't examined yet. Many, many people are suffering under the effects of this brutal disease. It reminds me of when your people were suffering in slavery and cried out to you to save them. Generations came and went and still they suffered. You developed Moses to lead them out of slavery. Though they encountered many challenges along the way, your deliverance came. The Promised Land was no longer an imagined place, but a reality. We plead with you Lord to bring a cure and make it a reality for all of those suffering with us now, and those that will come after us.

Friday, June 13, 2003 9:52 PM
Justin had his IVIg intravenous immunoglobin drip today. He was elated that it took less time than the original 5 hours. He did not react allergically to it. That was good news. We ran into one of the in-patient nurses who told us they already have Justin's room ready for Wednesday. We have so enjoyed being home, please pray for us to be mentally prepared to make this switch again to the rountine of being at the hospital. We are thankful for all of the knowledge the doctors have expended towards Justin. Isn't it wonderful how the work you are trained to do, can be used as a tool from the Lord to be a blessing to others. They haved blessed our family tremendously! We wanted to let you know, that we purchased two wagons for the hospital. They arrived this week. The wagons are used to tote the children around for treatment, used like a wheelchair, etc. We saw a need for them to have more. They are $500.00 a piece because of the quality of them and the special IV pole that is attached. We are thankful to be able to give back a portion of what they have given us. I would like to close with the prayer of Jabez found in 1 Chronicles 4:10 "Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request." Lord, as you granted this request of Jabez, we ask for the same request for Justin...bless him Lord, with favor, and provision, and a compassionate heart for others. Enlarge Justin's sphere of influence ....may his testimony of Your healing power and grace be spread beyond his capabilities of understanding. Let people have an understanding of the kind of God you really are when they hear Justin speak of the tenderness you extended towards him. Let your hand guide Justin through decisions that will affect his future...and keep him close to You as You protect Him from harm, and please Lord keep Justin free from pain. We thank you in advance for granting this request.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 7:03 PM
Mike spent the day with Justin as he completed his 2nd Nuclear Medicine test. The doctor will have the results from that in a couple of days. The blood results were encouraging. Remember, last Wednesday his neutrophils had dropped to 351, well today they were at 21,648. Okay, so he has a few extra!! :) His hemoglobin was at 12.3, again very good, no transfusion necessary. The platelets are 33,000. Clearly, up from the 1,000 he had last week. They should continue to climb. He will certainly be admitted to the hospital a week from today, JUNE 18th. Justin will be going to the outpatient clinic this Friday to be transfused with what they call IVIg. That is an intravenous immungloblin. His lymphocites are struggling to return to normal, so this will help give him antibodies to proceed with treatment. Again, anytime these procedures are done there can be a reaction. This one is of concern. There is a possibility of an allergic reaction. They will be monitoring him and watching for those symptoms. The IV will take at least 5 hours to complete. I have been seeking God and asking for a defined strategy as we enter round 3. I have targeted a few people that the Lord laid on my heart for counsel and their hand of faith in mine as we proceed. One of those, my friend Cheryl Saks, from BridgeBuilders Int'l. reminded me that we are to "Be thankful and praise God for the answer." Hebrews 12:28 says, "Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." I receive that and will begin to thank God for the answer many times daily no matter what I see. Please join with me .....Lord, thank you that you have completely restored Justin to health. Leukemia has bent its knee to your name, O Lord. That at the name of Jesus, every knee must bow and every tongue confess that you are Lord. I thank you in advance for your manifested presence in him. Lord, I thank you in advance that you have hooked him up to your own marrow and transfused him with life-altering cells that will multiply, divide, and conquer leukemia. The blood of Jesus alone has saved him. Father, I thank you in advance that you have orchestrated all the details of round 3, before we even begin. Fear will have no part in our response. I thank you in advance that all that we need you will more than amply supply, in abundance, until our cup overflows. Not one of Your children will ever suffer needlessly. I thank you in advance that each opportunity that lies ahead of us will be turned into a time of praise and worship before you, until your glory consumes every fiber of our being with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Always Your purposes will be used for the good of others. We will do all things required of us, because you have gone before us, and will give us the strength we need at the appointed time. Our trust and complete confidence rests in You. (Philippians 4:13) We will not be anxious Lord, because you said in Philippians 4: 4 - 8 that you would guard our thoughts and hearts as we rejoice before you. You told us that we could pray and petition you about anything and everything. So we present these requests before you with the thanksgiving you desire. We thank you in advance that Your peace that transcends our own ability to understand it, will continue to light this path set before us. My heart overflows with love for you, my Lord....

Saturday, June 07, 2003 7:24 PM
Please be in prayer for Justin in preparation for this Wednesday, as he has the same "Nuclear Medicine" test he had after round 1. It will be an all day test. They will put radioactive material in his veins and carefully observe how the function of the kidneys and liver disperse it. The results are very important. They show whether there is damage to the organs in the body, and also will be the determining factor on how much chemo medicine his body can handle for round 3. They will also be checking his blood counts at this time. We will continue to give him a neuprogin shot every day until then. For many years I was the Moms In Touch Prayer Leader at our school. Moms In Touch is an organization begun by a woman named Fern Nichols. This group was birthed from her desire to pray boldly of behalf of her own children during the years they were in school. Many Moms In Touch groups met with one purpose: to pray for their children and their children's teachers and staff. They have a vision for 2003--that every school and every child be covered in prayer by the year's end. They have a powerful corporate verse to match their vision. It is found in 2 Kings 3:16. King Joram and his allies were in the middle of the desert without water. Elisha, the prophet, was summoned to inquire of God. The Lord instructed them saying, "Make this valley full of ditches.....You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you (and) your cattle will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord." The concept of "digging ditches" reminds me of the new movie out called "Holes." Digging ditches sound laborious. Yet, there are times in our lives when we need to just "dig the ditch." This means doing what you know is right even though you don't feel like it, and continuing to dig in the midst of not knowing the final outcome. Everytime we pray, whether it be for ourselves, our family, our church, or situations in the lives of others; we are digging a ditch, one shovel at a time. The Lord did send them water in the desert, flowing across the land and filling all the ditches they had labored so hard to dig. They were obedient and their thirst was quenched. As a mother, I will never give up praying for Justin. I will continue to "dig this ditch" in behalf of this precious life God entrusted to me. My guess is that most of you other mothers would do the same for your child. I don't know the final outcome, but I do believe that prayer changes things. It changes hearts, it heals, and it softens the heart of our Lord. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we read, "If my people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." Thank you for joining with me in prayer for Justin. However, I do believe that in your sacrifice of prayer for him, God has something in store for you. His reward will come.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003 8:18 PM
Today's visit to the clinic was a bit of an eye opener. Justin's neutrophil counts actually dropped. They went from 1891 down to 351. We will begin the neupogin shots again. He will stay on them for the next seven days. His hemoglobin was also low at 7.7. He was transfused before we left. His platelet count went up to 15,000. That was good. However, when we re-direct the stem cells to make more neutrophils, we will probably see this go down as well. He is not ready to have another round of chemotherapy. Right now, tentatively, he will go back in June 18th to begin round three. We have been seeking God as a family, to give us a vision and a strategy so that we can complete this last round strong and full of faith. Please pray for us to hear from the Lord. Thank you to one of our youngest prayer warrior, Max Rich. Lord, you see the faith of this 3 year old. I, stand in agreement with his prayer, that you will make Justin's body strong. We are in the realm of the miraculous, Lord. There is nothing too hard for you. Please restore Justin's counts. Father, you see the place deep within him that is struggling to recover. Please touch his marrow with the Truth of Your Word. While you are at it Lord, please touch all of us within the range of this prayer. Cause us all to resemble your image more profoundly. Lord, we know that we are not the same people that started out on this journey 4 months ago. You have already changed us. Lord, you placed within us that same power that raised you from the dead. We have RESURRECTION POWER. Lord, we desire to live resurrected lives. Lives that are more interested in fulfilling YOUR purposes than our own agenda. Lives that fully lean on you and believe you for great things. Father, be glorified!

Monday, June 02, 2003 10:01 PM
Justin is scheduled to have his counts checked on Wednesday afternoon. We are hopeful his blood and platelets are recovering. We will let you know the results Wednesday. Thank you to the Libsack's for the encouraging word. Yes, it does feel like the victories come step by step and a little bit at a time. Even though we know that our precious Lord could heal Justin instantly, he is healing him each step on the way and His perfect will is being carried out. We will continue to keep our eyes on Him. Actually , when our attention is fixed on Him, than the battle doesn't appear so big and overwhelming. It reminds me on the hymn, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"....Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. Thank you for praying for Justin's appetite. Since he has been home, and recovering, that has been returning. We continue to try and make smart choices of what we eat. He has actually been cooking up a storm. He has barbecued steaks and steamed shrimp. His meals have been delicious. Our bodies are like machines. They will run efficiently, if we give it what God intended. He has been trying to eat more protein to build up lost muscle mass. Scrambled eggs in the morning has been the norm. I would like to close with a few bible verses directly related to the preciousness of sons...
Psalm 127:3 "Sons are a heritage from the Lord" Psalm 128:3 "Your sons will be like olive shoots around your table" Olive shoots representing strong, growing bodies both physically and mentally. Each one unique in design and created for His purpose. Thank you Lord, for our sons! May Your purposes for them be fulfilled during their lifetime upon the earth.

Thursday, May 29, 2003 9:26 PM
Justin's counts were checked again at the clinic today. His neutrophils were at 1891. His blood count dropped from 10.5 to 8.5. His platelets are now at 1,000. These are symptomatic of how hard his body is trying to recover. He is in need of our continued prayer coverage. His body is not ready for anymore treatment. Please be in prayer for wisdom for his doctor and us as we try to decide together what time frame would be in Justin's best interest for round 3. We are also seeking God to give the four of us a vision and strategic plan to encounter round 3 TOGETHER! Please pray for us to hear from the Lord. Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish" Regardless of our age differences, our desire is to hold on to each others hands and complete this together. Please pray for our communication to each other to be full of respect. Ephesians 4: 29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that if may benefit those who listen. Nahum 1:7 "THE LORD IS GOOD, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him."

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 1:17 PM
Justin went to the outpatient clinic this morning to have his counts checked. The neutrophils were at 1809, the hemoglobin was at 10.5, and the platelets were at 3,000. They still want Justin to receive his neuprogin shot for two more days. We are doing well with that. The platelet count needs to be at 75,000 before they will begin round 3. The doctor promised us at least two weeks off, perhaps more if the platelets take longer to come up. Tentatively, we are looking at June 7th to begin round 3. The next scheduled blood check will be this Thursday afternoon. We will update the webpage at that time. "Psalm 126: 4-6 "Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. he who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." To have our fortunes restored, in the NIV Study Bible, could also mean to be restored to health. Also, the "streams of Negev" are bone-dry in summer, until the winter rains renew their flow. The word picture and analogy this represents is easily understood. When a farmer sows seed, he doesn't see results from his labor until later. He remains patient, watering his seed continually and on a regular basis. But, the day does come when tiny sprouts appear. He patiently gives his crop more time to mature, continuing to water persistently. There comes a day when he brings in a harvest!! To continue to "sow seed" for the kingdom when your own heart is breaking, is by far the best thing we can do, to attain healing. It goes against the natural response of despair. We have to decide to carry that seed with us. Though it is more of a challenge to disperse that seed, because of the grief we carry. Eventually, if we continue, we will "reap what we sow". Life is a gift that God gives to mankind. To live that life, to the best of our ability, to represent the Father, to be *HIS* hands and *HIS* feet to the world. To represent *HIS* heart to the world is our calling. The reward is found in John 14. He said, that he has prepared in advance, a place for us. This world is not our home, we are just passing through. One day, we will all stand before the Father, the King of Kings, and Lord of that moment...we will know...yes, it was all worth it. "I can imagine, what my eyes will see, when your face, is before me, I can only imagine...Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel, will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still, will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall, will I sing Hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all, I can only imagine....I can only imagine.


Saturday, May 24, 2003 7:20 PM
Justin came home today around 1:30 p.m. We made "Welcome Home" banners, in red, white, & blue colors, for him and hung them out in the yard. He said, "Gee , Mom, it's not like I'm coming home from the war." I smiled, but I felt like the analogy of war was quite appropriate. Our family life has seemed so fragmented, please pray that we will readjust to each other quickly and easily. His neutrophil count went to 560 this morning. That was enough to go home and Justin was elated. His marrow didn't produce any platelets during the night, so they gave him a double transfusion for the weekend. He did, however, manufacture hemoglobin on his own. Those counts went from 10.5 to 10.8. Although, it is only a slight increase, nevertheless he didn't go down. That is good news! Please continue to pray for Justin to remain strong in spirit. James 1: 12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him"


Friday, May 23, 2003 9:35 AM
Today's count just in!! His neutophil count is at 414. We are getting there. He cannot come home quite yet. They gave Justin a double transfusion of red blood yesterday because his count had dropped to 7.0. Today it is at 10.0. His platelet count is still very low, at 1,000. Again, they have to wait until he starts to bleed somewhere to transfuse him. Justin's body seems to do exceptionally well at this low level of platelets. Many, many people hemorrhage severely. We have no idea how the hand of God has been hovering over him and answering many of our prayers. Yesterday he did break out with the petikie blood rash he had when we were first diagnosed. This is a rash that indicates low platelets. Because of this platelets issue, and how suddenly things can happen, they feel it would be a wiser decision to have Justin stay in the hospital until Saturday or Sunday. They will give him a double platelets transfusion right before they send him home. We have an appointment on Tuesday morning to have his counts rechecked. They will transfuse blood and platelets at that time if needed. Once we take him off these neuprogin shots, (when the neutrophil level reaches 1500) this will redirect the stem cells to produce red blood and platelets on their own. Having the counts come back this second time has been more of a challenge than the first. Having never been through this before, we brought our concerns to the doctor regarding this. Clearly we were in the realm of the miraculous the first time. This second time is much more average, but still way beyond normal because Justin has been fever and infection free for so long, despite the low counts. God, thank you for answering our prayers. Clearly we are ignorant of many things. You are the great, all-knowing God, who out of love has shielded our hearts from encountering many tragic responses during this treatment. Words are not enough Lord, to thank you. Father, we are tired physically, and in our spirits. Revive us Lord. In closing, here is a chorus from a song that I remember from a long time ago. "Keep on walking, you don't know how far you've come, Keep on walking, for all you know, it may be done, and the Father, might be standing up right now to give the call and end it, keep on walking..." Lord, it is you who gives strength to our spirits, you help us to reach past our emotions to find you. Faith first, emotions second. Please continue to hold up our hands as we walk through this.
We have a very specific prayer request: please pray that Justin would have an increase in platelets today, manufactured by his own marrow. If the doctors see the body beginning to recover on its own, even just a little, they will be more apt to send him home tomorrow morning. HE REALLY, REALLY WANTS TO COME HOME!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 6:00 PM
Justin stll continues to recover. His neutrophil count went up to 186 today. We didn't quite get the bump we were looking for . So, going home tomorrow doesn't look like it will happen. His marrow could explode at any time. Now, the magical number for him to go home is *500*. So, it is possible that he could get a good bump over night. As we wait, I am encouraged to read about King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. He was one of the great great great great grandsons of King David, and walked in the ways of the Lord. God had granted his kingdom many years of peace, and then ONE DAY.....he had the *ites* after him. The Moabites, the Ammonities and the Meunites came to make war against his kingdom. Jehoshaphat's first response was to (1) Inquire of the Lord and he proclaimed a fast. After that, he publicly declares in verse12, (2) I don't know what to do, Lord HELP. The whole community of Judah came together to stand before the Lord: the men, the women, and the little children. (3) They encouraged each other to not be afraid or discouraged -- we can face the enemy together because God is with us. (4) Humbled, they bowed down before the Lord and worshipped him. Knowing that by exercising faith and not fear, strength would be built up in their spirit. Read what they did in verses 21-23: They began to sing and praise the Lord for the splendor of his holiness. As they were singing, the Lord set ambushes for the enemy and they were defeated. What kind of *ites* are coming against you? Relationshipites, financialites, healthites etc....Herein lies the battle plan. This is so much more than positive thinking. To open our mouths and praise the Lord NO MATTER WHAT, is powerful. No demon in hell can stand against it. Think about a whole community seeking the Lord together, all generations standing in unity. I see us as this community of people. Please continue to worship. We cry out like Jehoshaphat: Lord, we don't know what to do...please help! We are encouraging each other to not be afraid or discouraged. Verse 27 says that after they defeated the *ites* they returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies." They continued after the battle to worship the Lord with instruments. The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms...and the Lord restored PEACE to the kingdom of Jehoshaphat and gave him rest on every side." We will make it to the other side...let's worship.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 7:55 PM
Justin's marrow continues to recover. His neutrophil count went up to 175. His platelet count dropped to 1,000 and he did bleed from his mouth this morning. He was transfused with platelets, so tomorrow that number should go up. His body has not started producing hemoglobin or platelets on its own yet. Again, it is a painfully slow process, but at least it is moving in the direction we want. If all goes according to what the doctors are predicting, Justin could come home on Thursday. If the neutrophils are not at 1500 by then, I will have to give him the daily neuprogin shot at home. He is quite concerned about this. I pray that for his sake, God would increase his neutrophils to this number by Thursday. There is not much that he requests, but this is one of them. Please pray with me that when we come home, the break would include freedom from shots and hospital concerns for Justin. Proverbs 13:19, "A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul." I pray that he can come home and relax and enjoy himself. Please pray for mental and emotional undergirding and strength as we will have to prepare for round 3. Galatians 5:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Please also pray for Justin's appetite to return. He is only eating a few bites a day. If you would remember him each time you sit down to a meal and pray that he would "want" to eat. Lord, you said in Revelation 3:20, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Lord, I know you meant that you would be very near to us, but Justin needs you to help him eat. I pray that you would speak to him in the night and show him a vision, like you did Peter in Acts 10: 9-16, of all the things delicious enough to eat. Please, Lord, create hunger and the desire to eat, inside of Justin. We will continue to worship YOU, Lord, upon this mountain of leukemia. This mountain will crumble. As we wait Lord, your words in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 will sustain us. "My grace is sufficient for you (Justin), for my power is made perfect in your weakness." We love you Lord.

Sunday, May 18, 2003 2:55 PM
GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER!! Sometimes he does it with a "yes", sometimes with a "no" and many times it is with a "not now." When it appears that he hasn't answered a prayer, it may be that he just answered it in a way that you weren't anticipating. God sees the big picture. We see "a poor reflection as in a mirror," 1 Corinthians 13:12. God has taught me how to "believe by faith." I learned that I have a part and He has a part. I used to feel that asking for something and believing by faith was like ordering God around; like he was some kind of puppet on a string that I wanted to control. However, he has shown me through the years that it is more like standing in agreement WITH him, the Great Commander-in-Chief. We have a choice: we can trust God for nothing (like standing in shallow water) and get all of it. Or, we can go out in the deep (way over our heads) and get part or all of it. It is only out in the deep that the potential of bringing in a harvest exists. God taught Abraham, as it says in Romans 4:17, "I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls those things that are not as though they were." Abraham learned to see things by faith. God is always looking for opportunities to pull us up higher and have us walk in greater levels of faith. We learn how to do this through prayer, and believing for those things that do not exist yet. The key is to pray according to 1 John 5:14-15, "This is the assurance we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him." The problem that ensues is that we don't always know what "His will" is. I have decided that if I cannot find my answer clearly in Scripture, and if I don't have doubts or reservations about moving forward with it, THEN IT'S TIME TO TAKE THE PLUNGE ...Go out in the deep and believe God for a great harvest. If it is not His will, he will direct those steps as well. Jesus says to us in John 14: 11-14, "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will DO EVEN GREATER THINGS THAN THESE, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatsoever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." Justin's neutrophil count is the same as yesterday: 40. His hemoglobin is 9.9. His platelet count is 5,000. I did not mention anything to you yesterday about the monocyte levels. Justin has not been producing any during round 2. Monocytes are the viral fighting white blood cells. You almost always see these produced before you see any neutrophils. We have had concern that none of these were appearing in the blood results. The doctor said that there is also a risk that the marrow could never recover. During the night, Justin produced 30% monocytes. The normal range is 3 - 15%. Today, he is very high in this. THIS IS A MIRACLE! We do not know what spiritual battle was waging for the evidence and display of these. I do know that "the battle we fight is not with flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms," Ephesians 6:12. This is a clear indication that God is winning this battle step by step. Justin's counts should be coming up now. It may not be as quick as last time, but HE IS RECOVERING. I praise God today for all that went on in the spiritual battlefield to show us evidence of His healing, working power. Sometimes He does things quickly, and sometimes it is at a pace much slower than we would vote for-- but He is God, and He makes the call. "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S." 1 Samuel 17:47

Saturday, May 17, 2003 10:58 AM
The blood test results are back. Justin's Absolute Neutrophil Count is at 40. A normal range for ANC would be anything over 1500. His hemglobin count is at 8.0K. The normal range for hemoglobin is between 12.0- 16.0K. His platelet count is at 20,000. The normal range is between 140,000-450,000. His platelet count is higher today because he was transfused yesterday during his procedure. The doctors say that after this intensive chemotherapy the platelets are always the last to recover to the normal range. Sometimes taking 6 months to a year to come up. The critical count we are standing in faith for today is his ANC count. Only HIS body can produce these necessary bacteria-fighting white blood cells. Without them, he is immuno-suppressed and at risk. God has begun the process. I would like to take the rest of the day and into the night to believe God for the miraculous. Remember, God wants us to ask, "You have not, because you ask not," James 4:2. He wants us to ask persistently and not doubt. Matthew 21:21-22 says,"I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, Go throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Most importantly, He wants to get the glory. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20.

Friday, May 16, 2003 8:09 PM
Justin's spinal tap went well. There are no leukemic cells in his spinal fluid. His neutrophils did not come in. Tomorrow will mark 40 days. I am asking for you to extend your faith with me. Joshua 3:5 says, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." Father, we humbly come before you to ask for a show of your might and strength. We know that nothing is too hard for you. We are asking for you to increase Justin's counts of neutrophils, hemoglobin, and platelets tomorrow to such a level that it would be miraculous. Father, Psalm 77: 14 says that "You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the people." Show us that power. We long to see you move among us Lord. Move so powerfully, and display your glory to such a measure that no one will be able to explain it medically. Lord, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai for forty days. It says in Exodus 24: 15-18 that your glory was covering the mountain during that time. You spoke to Moses and revealed yourself to him. From a distance, your glory appeared like a consuming fire. Father, I see Your glory and Your consuming fire have been upon Justin. It has been a fire that has not consumed him. Like the fire that did not consume the bush on Mt. Sinai when you spoke to Moses through it. Father, you have indeed been speaking to us all through this situation with Justin. We want to stand before you now and watch what only you can do. It is not by might, nor by power, but it will be by the Hand of Almighty God alone that will do this awesome, and miraculous thing.

Thursday, May 15, 2003 9:19 PM
Thank you for all your prayers today and your encouraging comments. We definitely felt your prayers. Justin had a good day. His spirits were up and he was joking with the nurses. He is an amazing young man. We are so blessed to have him as our son. I would like to ask you all to pray for his SPINAL TAP tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. Again, they will be injecting chemo medicine into the spinal fluid. Since Justin has only 1 platelet count, he is always at a risk of bleeding without the ability to stop. Please pray for a safe procedure, with no complications of any kind. Mike stays by Justin's side during these treatments. His natural peaceful demeanor seems to draw that out of not only Justin, but all of us. He doesn't let his "feathers get ruffled" about anything. I love that quality in him! We will let you know tomorrow if he has produced any neutrophils--keep praying!! Luke 11 starts out with the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray. The Lord's Prayer is what follows but, after that Jesus asks them a question. Verse 5 says, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So, I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or it he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Jesus wants us to remain persistent in our requests. The man got up and out of bed because his friend kept knocking and asking. We can all learn to be more bold in our faith and more persistent in our prayers. Our lives will be genuinely enriched with the goodness of the Lord.

Thursday, May 15, 2003 4:00 AM
"Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children," Lamentations 2: 19. With as much tender love that I feel for my son today, I can only imagine the immense love our Heavenly Father feels for us. I weep at the mercy of the Lord, for Justin. Suffering is such a mystery. The symbol of the cross is the ultimate symbol of suffering. But, Jesus' death on that cross, beautifies it so much, in remembrance we wear it around our necks. I'm not sure we truly understand all the pain and suffering He endured for us. My heart breaks before the Lord as a helpless bystander this morning. Justin's counts went down. I know that only the Lord can manufacture neutrophils in the body. There is no transfusion that can be given for them. Lord, please heal Justin's body. We ask that you produce neutrophils and platelets and hemoglobin today. Lord, the last time his platelets dropped this low, he bled from his mouth. Father, it is painful to have to wait for this to happen. Please cover all of the uncertainties of walking through this. Today, is a new day and we pray for your covering, your favor, and the awesome privilege of carrying you with us to others who desperately need you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 7:41 PM
THEY'RE HERE....Justin's marrow was able to produce 34 neutrophils. Though it is not alot, it is a start. That is GREAT!! The doctors say we have to wait and see what the next few days hold. He may go up and down for awhile, or he may just continue to produce more and more each day. He even tried to eat a bite today. So, we may come home this weekend. Yeah!! Romans 8: 38, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE OF GOD that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Monday, May 12, 2003 7:49 PM
I was reading in Numbers 13 today, and remembering the story of when Moses sent out spies to explore the Land of Canaan. This was the land the Lord said was flowing with milk and honey. He intended to give it to the Israelites after their exodus from slavery. The spies come back to report, that yes, it was a land flowing with milk and honey, and even brought back a sample of a very large grape cluster to show everyone. Surely these were indications that this land was indeed a place where God wanted to bless them and cause them to increase. This was the Promised Land that God had spoken to them about. However, there would be hurdles to overcome to claim it. They would have to defeat the inhabitants of the land. They appeared to be much stronger not only physically, but in stature as well. To them, these were giants in the land. Despite all of the miraculous signs that the Lord had already done for them, they were overwhelmed with having to face these giants. They preferred death in the desert than to face this. But there was one spy, named Caleb, who had a different report than all the others. He never denied the reality of the giants, but he knew that if the Lord was with them that he would led them to overcome all the obstacles. He wasn't shown a timetable, nor was he given the strategic plan of action. He just "believed God" and because of that, he was given the opportunity, along with Joshua, to actually inhabit the land. God said in Numbers 14:24, "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it." I want this spirit of Caleb to inhabit my perception of Justin's condition. Yes, the reality is that there are giants in the land. But God is bigger!! I feel like one of those spies when I come back to this web-site to give you an update. Justin did not receive any neutrophils today. In fact, his platelet count dropped so low during the night, that he began to bleed from his mouth. He was transfused with blood and platelets. The good news is, he remains fever and infection free. Nothing is too big for our God. I know that His timing is perfect. I will never understand all that God does and why we wait for things in our lives. But I will stand steadfastly upon His Word because it is Truth. Jeremiah 29: 11 - 14 says, "For I know the plans I have for you (Justin) declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you (Justin) back from captivity."

Saturday, May 10, 2003 2:48 PM
Word is "just in"--No Neutrophils Yet!! Now I know that all I want for Mother's Day tomorrow is NEUTROPHILS. The waiting is a challenge because even though Justin is fever and infection free, having his counts down for so long could change this in an instant. We remain hopeful and watchful for the Lord to move. Along with your NEUTROPHIL prayers, please pray for his appetite to return. He needs to eat on his own in order to go home. Once his neutrophils are at 1500 for two days straight, we can go home for a couple of weeks again. Then we will come back for round 3. Round three will be approximately the same amount of time in the hospital (around 40 days). Again, it depends on how his body can recover from the chemotherapy. Each time we suppress him, it will be harder for the body to heal and produce the needed neutrophils, hemoglobin, and platelets. After round three, he will need at least 6 months to a year to fully recover and have his counts back to normal. There also will be a round 4. This will be done on an outpatient basis. It will include 3 spinal taps of injected chemo in the spinal fluid. After that, we heal!!! By then, it will be August and time to go back to school. We have cancelled all of our summer plans, and will be concentrating on helping Justin endure this, and then recover. I wanted to wish all of the other mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day. I feel like children are just an extension of the mother's heart--growing outside of her body, so to speak. God designed women to have the tender, emotional part of Himself. He understands that extension, and even refers to it in Isaiah 66: 13, when he says that "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." No matter what your situation is today with your children, you can speak the Word of God over them in prayer, and lay a foundation and a legacy that will far exceed your own generation. Pray favor over them. Psalm 90: 17 is a good one, "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon (name of your child) and establish the work of his/her hands. Another good one is found in Leviticus 26: 9, "I will look on (name of your child) with favor and make him/her frutiful and increase in numbers and I will keep my covenant with him/her. Lord, we also ask for (name of your child) to have the same favor you had during your youth and the years you grew in stature. Like it says in Luke 2:52, that you grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Thank you for our children, Lord. Truly you have blessed us. Your Word tells us in Isaiah 49:25 that you will contend with those who contend with us, and that our children you will save. I am asking, Lord, that you save Justin from all that he is enduring. You said in Isaiah 61: 3 that you would bestow on him a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Lord, make Justin to be one of those oaks of righteousness, something that you plant for the display of your splendor.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 9:10 PM
We continue to play the "waiting game". So far, Justin's body has not fully recovered enough to start producing any neutrophils. God says in Isaiah 40: 29-31 that he would give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. He said that if we hope in Him, that he would renew our strength. Putting our hope in Him means to trust him and wait expectantly for him. Psalm 27: 13 says, "I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Waiting for anything in the kind of world we live in seems challenging for our generation. We live in an instant microwave society. We become restless and impatient at the first sign of inconvenience. Whether it be waiting in a line at the grocery store or being patient with someone who doesn't move as fast as we would like them to. Psalm 46: 10 is quite clear that we are to "be still, and know, that He is God". I love the stillness of the night. Every evening we have an opportunity to quiet our hearts from the busyness of the day and become still before the Lord. I am certain he is trying to speak to all of us...listen for his voice!

Monday, May 05, 2003 5:34 PM
We continue to wait for Justin's bone marrow to recover from round two. He was tranfused with platlets today, as they had dropped to only 2. He is in need of specific prayer for his appetite to return. They will be cutting back on his IV feeding a couple of hours a day to see if this will help restablish an appetite. Please continue to pray that Justin will remain fever and infection free. The disease of leukemia is a disease of the blood. The word "remission" is used to explain leukemia in its "cured state;" meaning, in essence, that there is no indication of the disease in the body. I find it amazing that the word "remission" is also used at least 10 times in the Bible, being referred to as "the forgiveness of sins." The only way we came to be in this spiritual "remission" was when our Lord shed his blood for the removal of our sins. Matthew 26:28 says, "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Also, in Hebrews 9:22 it says, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission." The only thing I can compare it to is envisioning our own bloodstream infected with a sickness called "sin". Without receiving the Lord as our Personal Saviour, who comes to take up residence inside of us, we would all eventually hopelessly succumb. Jesus came to the earth to save us and show us his plan. A plan that would rescue us from such a terminal diagnosis. He offers us eternal life by freely giving us the cure, obtained only through the shedding of His blood. As I sit here, I ponder, what would life have been like had he not done that for us? I'd rather not be told. I think everyday should be lived with the joy of knowing we were given a "rebirth." Reflecting on what God has already done for us is like working a mathematical equation. Some people don't really care about the process it takes to get the right answer. They just want the answer and be done with it--like a free ticket to heaven. I think we need to know the process of working the entire equation from beginning to end, because only then can we go and explain it to someone else, like "The Great Commission" in Acts 1:8.

Saturday, May 03, 2003 5:34 PM
We are so pleased and thankful to the Lord that Justin remains fever and infection free. He is answering our prayers!!! Today, I layed my hands on Justin and I prayed that God would restore his bone marrow. I prayed for the neutrophils to come in. I prayed Ezekial 37 over him again, "Dry bones HEAR the Word of the Lord." He is resting comfortably while we wait, and this is one of many things we have to be thankful for. Remaining thankful in hard times helps to keep things in perspective. I have been hearing alot of painful stories during this journey. I feel a sadness for the hearts that carry much anger,bitterness, and pain, and then direct it to God. I understand that grief has a natural process to walk through. I also understand that emotions are deep-seeded and explosive. In the most devastating pain that this life offers us, God is still bigger and more than able to heal our hearts. Not only heal them, but restore to us what was stolen or taken. Joel 2: 25-26 says, "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm--my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you." I say this with confidence because he has done this in my life. I am living proof that in time, God will make all things beautiful. Both of my parents died before I was raised. I became a ward of the state. It was a difficult time to say the least, but God was faithful. He will always be there for us. It is when our anger shuts him out that we feel so abandoned and alone. Joyce Meyer is a well-known Christian speaker. She has a tape series out called, "How to Handle and Deal with Anger." She talks about extinguishing the fire of anger with the Water of the Word. She states, "Are you angry at something your anger won't change? Have you gotten angry about the same thing over and over again? Please be encouraged to stop wasting your energy over it--stop constantly thinking about it and talking about it. All this does is fan the flames of fury and make you more and more angry inside. Instead, talk about the answer--begin to think and talk about how big God is and how faithful He's been to deliver you in the past. Yes, you may have a reason to be angry, but don't let what happened become an excuse to stay that way. Bring your frustration and aggravation to God. Ask Him to show you how to deal with it. If you will do what you can do, God will do what you can't do. Please don't stop the flow of His Love for your healing, by staying angry at Him."

Thursday, May 01, 2003 7:16 PM
Happy May 1st....Wow!!! School will be out soon. Justin remains stable with no fever or infections. I went looking into previous updates to see how long it took his white blood cells to come in during the 1st round. It was exactly 14 days from the first neprogin shot. There is no guarantee because this time could be quicker or surprise us and take a bit longer. However, today marks the 7th day. So, let's ask in prayer together for a quicker neutrophil return. Once his white blood cells are at 1500 for two days in a row, he can go home. Mike was hoping he could be home for Mother's Day on May 1lth. For me, just having him still with us is all the Mother's Day present this Mom desires. He is my first-born child. That is a treasure all in itself. The blessing of having his life placed in my hands 13 years ago developed a growing maternal instinct in me, and I will always be grateful to the Lord for allowing me that opportunity. It has come to my attention that we have more hats available for anyone who might want some. It is the hat that is displayed on the top of the screen. Please e-mail Justin (e-mail address on the top left) with your name and address and we will mail you however many you want. Also, if there are any youth groups that would like larger quantities just let us know. 1 Peter 5: 6-7 says, "Therefore humble yourselves....casting the whole of your care (all your anxieities, all your worries, all your concerns) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." Worry, anxiety, and care have no positive effect on our lives. They do not bring a solution to problems. They do not help us achieve good health, and they prevent our growth in the Word of God. Casting our cares upon the Lord is done by prayer. We were created to be dependent on God. Keeping our cares and solving our own problems without asking for his help actually indicates a prideful spirit lingering in our heart. We show humility by leaning on God. Next time you are tempted to ask, "Why, God, why?" or "When, God, when?" just remember that it is in not knowing the answers to these questions that we develop the trust we need to believe him. If we are constantly trying to figure out something we do not understand, or trying to make something happen now that is not happening yet, then we are trusting only in our own ability to solve the problem. We can deposit ourselves into His hands and trust that His hands are strong enough to carry those answers. He judges fairly and deals righteously, and his intent is to do us good.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003 7:21 PM
Justin has been free from fevers for the last few days. The antibiotics have worked to cure the staph/strep infection. He has been on 3 different types of very strong antibiotics. Today they decided to stop one of them. Since he is fever-free, it is safer to discontinue because of the possible damage it can have on the kidneys. However, we are not out of the woods yet. Justin is still without an immune system. Please pray that he will continue to remain fever-free. Justin has been taking the neprogin shots every evening. This helps him to recover his neutorphil white blood cells once his bone marrow begins to produce them. So, now we continue to wait for that to happen. Justin has been filling his time wisely. He is spending quite a bit of time playing catch up on his homework. He still needs our prayers for his appetite to return. He has been able to drink a bit today so that is good. The book of Psalms is such a comforting book in the Bible. Psalm 121:1-2 says, "I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm120:1, "I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me." Psalm 119:175-176, "Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me." Whatever your need is today, you can find direction and comfort in the pages of this precious book. I love the parable of the lost sheep, in Matthew 18:10-14. It talks about a man who owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders away. He leaves the 99 and goes to find the lost one. This is what our Heavenly Father does for us too. He delights in showing his goodness. He will go to great lengths to bring us back into his fold. Wherever you are today, please know you are not so far away that his love cannot reach down and pull you out.

Monday, April 28, 2003 3:47 PM
Justin has come along way since I wrote. The new nausea medicine has really helped him. It does make him sleepy though. He still is not able to eat or drink anything yet, but he will. He is not taking the nausea medication around the clock either, like he was, so hopefully that is a few steps in the right direction. Carissa spent a good portion of Sunday with Justin. That was fun!! I think she got a bigger perspective of what Justin is enduring. We played Monoploly together while Mike went home to catch up on a few things. The nurses were in rare form yesterday. Interestingly enough, Carissa was asking Allison, our sweet nurse, (she was also playing Monopoly with us...slow day ) what it is like to do her job. Carissa is interested in nursing for her career. Allison said she loves her job, but was trying to tell Carissa that sometimes there are yucky things you have to do, too. For instance, you have to not be bothered by bodily functions, because eventually you have to clean it up. With this in mind, Allison asked Justin to give her a stool sample the next time he needed to go. They have a special thing that fits on the toilet that catches it. WELL, the nurses got together and decided to pull a funny on Allison. Poor girl! They went down to the gift shop and bought a Baby Ruth bar and Milk Duds. Can you guess what they did with them? They got Allison out of our room and another nurse came in to take her place (she smuggled in the goods.) Then they dumped them in Justin's toilet. When Allison returned, Justin gingerly said he had a gift for her in the bathroom. (That's what they call it here.) She was so happy! "Great job, Justin," she said. (Her job depends on these things) (: Either that, or Allison is not hard to please. Well, I wish you all could have seen Allison's face when she realized she had to go"fishing" for her sample! This was a classic Candid Camera if there ever was one. She tried so hard to not make Justin feel bad for forgetting to put the catcher on the toilet. She was making comments to Carissa about how this is exactly what she was trying to tell her about. Allison left the room again and got suited up with gloves. She didn't even put on a mask! She also brought back her handy cup and spoon. By this time, all the nurses were in our room listening to Allison's comments from the other side of the bathroom door. We were all laughing so hard, there were tears falling from our eyes. I will spare you the details of the description, but you can only imagine how incredilby funny this whole situation was. I don't know how I could ever forget it. It's a classic. She figured out on her own that it was a large candy bar, after she already fished it out and had it in the cup. How she figured it out, who knows? I guess it takes a trained professional. It was good to laugh and to see Justin doubled over with laughter, as well. I would like to conclude by not putting the perspective on leukemia, or what we see with our natural eye. God says we are to train ourselves to look above, to think about him, and to develop an eternal perspective. This life is not all there is. Heaven is our home. Pastor Kinnaman talked about Moses and the "burning bush" yesterday. If you are not familiar with the story you can read it in Exodus 3. The bush was burning, but it was not being consumed. I thought about how Justin's body is burning, so to speak, but it too is not being consumed. What is your "burning bush?" Situations in life that try to monopolize our every waking thought can become opportunities for God to speak to us; just like he spoke to Moses from the burning bush. Clearly God gets our attention during the "burning bush" episodes of life. Without trying to plagiarize our pastor, his points were insightful. God wants to get close to you because he has a purpose for your life. That purpose is always for serving Him and others. Furthermore, you will never discover your life purpose until you meet God, otherwise you'll try to make something of your life all by yourself, which becomes an end in itself, a dead end.

Saturday, April 26, 2003 9:04 AM
"But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me," Psalm 55: 16-18. We had one of these days yesterday. Justin's body is still raging with fever. The nausea continued throughout the day and into the night. We decided to try a different nausea medication to see if that might help his GI tract to heal. As difficult as it sounds, the chemo shreds the esophagus and abdominal tract. It needs time to repair itself. On top of all that, Justin remains strong in the battle. He even is sipping fluid and trying to eat a bite. He knows he will probably toss it. But they have told him that the sooner he can get force those main organs back to work, the better it will be. Remember all of the sludge buildup he had in his gall-bladder last time? That caused issues with the function of the liver. Justin is so determined to avoid that, that he asked to be taken off of the nausea medicine and just be allowed to get sick and rid his body of all of the toxins. Wow!! I was impressed with his stamina, especially after having a high fever and being sick as long as he has. They couldn't allow that because he started to toss up blood. With the platelets being low, remember he cannot bleed like that. We continue to play the Word of God round the clock. It sure is powerful to walk into his room and hear it. Knowing full well the capablity of the spoken Word of God in our lives, and believing and being comforted again by Hebrews 4:12, "that the Word of God penetrates down to the marrow of our physical bodies." Oh God, you hear our prayers for Justin. You delight in our worship before you. You are the giver of life, the one who blesses each of us with the breath of life at the moment of our physical birth. Lord, we long for that spiritual breath you talk about in Ezekial 37: 9-10. Cause that breath to come and give life to our spirits, Lord. Bring us to our feet with this spiritual resurrection. We had a friend pray for Justin's temple to be rebuilt yesterday. I was intrigued by the sound of that and looked up some scriptures. Our bodies are clearly the temple of God. Look up 2 Corinthians 6:16, " For we are the temple of the living God." Also, 1 Corinthians 6:19 reads, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." We carry within us the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 26:61, Jesus said that "he was able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." As I studied that, I compared it to Justin's protocol. He has to have three sessions of this intense chemotherapy done to his body. After he recovers this time, we have to go back again. Three times Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he too was weak and had to resist Satan in that state. It was after the third time, that angels came and attended to him. Read it in Matthew 4. Lord, you see the intensity of this battle. You clearly understand. May it be for Justin, as it was for Joseph, in Genesis 50:20. What was meant to harm him, many years later did you prove that "all things works together for good to those who love you who have been called according to your purpose," Romans 8:28.

Thursday, April 24, 2003 5:50 PM
The results of the blood cultures from yesterday show that Justin has a staph/strep infection. He is on three different kinds of antibiotics to fight it. He has been running a fever of 101.2 most of the day. His fever dropped when our Youth Pastor Kenny Collins, James, and Sammi came for a visit. Coincindental? Who knows!! But, we hope they come back. (: He has been nauseted for a good portion of the day. They will start IV feeding tonight. The doctors and staff are so proud of Justin for keeping up his appetite for as long as he did. We are proud too!! That was the best thing he could have done at this point. We all carry on and in our bodies staph, strep, e coli, and several other germs. With healthy immune systems we just naturally fight them off with the good killer cells. Isn't it amazing how God designed our bodies to heal themselves? Being healthy is such a gift. I pray that we can all cherish that gift and present our minds and bodies to God as a sacrifice daily. Rom 12: 1-2, " Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--which is your spiritual worship." Thank you for your prayers yesterday and through the night. We have felt them and His peace is ever present with us. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by ingesting the Word of God -- the Word of God becomes the same sustenance for our spiritual health as daily food and drink are to our physical health.
Jeremiah 30:17 says, "But I will restore you (Justin) to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord."

Wednesday, April 23, 2003 2:26 PM
Justin has had a more difficult night. His body aches and hurts as well as his head. He just spiked a 102 fever. This is serious. They are doing blood cultures to determine what is going on in his body. He has had nothing to eat all day. A friend of mine, Shawna, encouraged me not too long ago as to the position a soldier takes in a spiritual battle. On their knees in worship. That is powerful. Please worship with us and lift up a song to the Lord on behalf of Justin today. This wall of Leukemia will fall. Thank you. Much love,

Tuesday, April 22, 2003 4:19 PM
Justin completed his chemo around 11:00 a.m. Praise the Lord! We are in the most dangerous time of the whole session. Right now, he has no platelets. This is serious. His body did not really get enough of a bump from the platelet transfusions last session, so they would like to try letting him stay low. The risks could be non-stop internal or external bleeding. However, there are risks everytime they give him someone else's platelets too. He can react to each bag causing the domino effect of fever and infection. Please pray that Justin will not spontaneously bleed from any part of his body. He was given a double blood transfusion today, as well. All of his counts are quite low. Of course, this is what was intended. On Thursday, he will begin the neuprogin shots again. That will help his neutrophils to recover faster once the marrow begins producing them. Justin's spirits are good. He is still eating and drinking well. He is quite tired today in response to all that he has been given. Please remember that although the chemo drip is over, the effects are seen 10 - 14 days later. We still have a way to go but, God is with us and will see us through to the other side. Isaiah 43: 1-3 says, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine; When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Notice how the Lord says, "when" and not "if" such things would happen. This verse is very powerful, for the Lord addresses the fact that fear can overtake the human heart "when" circumstances arise in our lives. But, we can find his peace right there with us. We will never have to live this life alone. Never!!! That is good news!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2003 9:16 PM
Happy Resurrection Day!! He is Risen!!! What an incredible day of celebration as we remember when Jesus rose again. Word of Grace portrayed the cross as the bridge that crossed the great divide between us and God. He initiated the making of that bridge from heaven over to us. Thank you Lord for this sacrifice to us all. Justin is doing fine. His neutrophil count is almost down to the zero level. His platelets are getting low, they were at 12,000. He continues to need blood transfusions. He is still able to eat a little and keep fluids in. Thank you Lord for this. We need to pray for no fever and no infections. We have met a new friend down here, another patient-- 5 yr old Selena. She has won my heart. We've been on wagon rides and even played Red light, Green light and Simon says. The Make-a-Wish foundation came to see Justin tonight. Any child with a life-threatening illness is allowed to make the wish of their choice. We are not sure what Justin will eventually choose, but he is leaning towards a shopping spree. Many patients choose trips, or meeting a celebrity, or shopping sprees. It is whatever the patient wants to do. When I left, he was playing Monopoly with Aunt Margie (who is also spending the night wih him) and watching the Ten Commandments on T.V. Thank you for your constant and consistent prayers for Justin. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Amos 5:4; "Seek me and live!"

Friday, April 18, 2003 8:19 PM
Justin started out his day with a spinal tap. Each time, he is injected with chemo medicine in the spinal fluid. Afterwards, they began the second set of chemotherapy. He will remain on the drip until Monday evening. His blood counts are quite low now. He has been receiving the blood transfusions and platelets since Wednesday. Up to this point, he has been able to continue eating and drinking. His stamina physically is still much better than the first time around. He enjoyed visiting with Garrett, Nate, and Becca. Together, they went up to the 3rd floor's teen game room. Please continue to pray for each organ in his body to be unharmed by the chemo. Remember that verse in Mark 16: 18 that read, "even if you drink deadly poison, it would not hurt you at all." We believe that together, Lord, that nothing would harm the organs that you formed in Justin's body. We continue to envision a closed door over each organ, with the mark of Your blood sprinkled on and over them. As the chemo passes by, please let it kill every leukemic cell, and not have the ability to destroy anything else. Lord, just as you delivered Daniel in the lion's den please deliver Justin from cancer. Daniel 6: 23, "And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Lord, may our scroll of remembrance read, "And when Justin was lifted from the threat of leukemia, no secondary or long-term illness related complications were found in him, because he had trusted in his God."

Tuesday, April 15, 2003 8:19 PM
Justin is doing great. He still has a cough, but it does not seem to be anything serious. He is really trying to keep his strength up and keep those calories consumed. He is getting more and more comfortable in spending time at the hospital without Mike and I around. So we are trying to be understanding of the fact that teenagers need their space. Please pray for him as he spends more time alone, that many opportunities would be available for him to hear from God. Hope you are all anticipating the celebration of Easter. Here is a promotion that a merchant is doing on behalf of Justin.

Sunday, April 13, 2003 6:28 PM
The first four days of the chemo drip ended last night at 5:00 p.m. Now we will wait for 5 days, and then the 2nd 4-day drip will begin. Justin's counts are dropping, and we must remain steadfast in prayer regarding secondary infections. Thank you for your prayers for the healing of the sore on his knee. It looks better. Please pray for a cough he has. It is sounding deep in his chest. They might do a Cat Scan in the morning just to make sure his lungs are clear and no pneumonia is setting in. Lord, we agree together right now, as your Word says, in Matt. 18: 19-20, "That if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Lord, you see this vast army raising our voices together in behalf of Justin. Father, please remove any and all infection that is trying to enter his body. We rebuke this sickness and cast off its restraints from Justin. We ask together that you set him free. Produce in his body, LIFE. We speak LIFE over him continually Lord, day and night. We pray Psalm 57 over him, "Have mercy on Justin, O God, have mercy on him, for in you his soul takes refuge. Justin will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until this disaster has passed. He will cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for him. You send from heaven and save him. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over this whole situation here upon the earth. Our hearts are steadfast, O God, our hearts are steadfast; We will sing and make music. We will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; We will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." Ephesians 3:20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church an in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen." I think about the message of the cross. How simple it is to understand, yet how powerful the effects of it have been since that day when Our Lord shed his blood for us. There is power in that blood. Listen to these words in Colossians 1: 15-20, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first-born among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." This is talking about Jesus. He lived among us as a man. He was sent by God himself because we all had an untreatable disease. We would all die in our sin and be eternally separated from God. Out of his great love for mankind, he sent to us His only Son who came bearing within his body the antidote, the cure for our sickness. It was the shedding of his blood on the cross, his death, that released to mankind the cure. He saved us, and he healed us. He told us to remember his death as we partake in Communion. 1 Corinthians 10:16 says, "Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a partcipation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a partcipation in the body of Christ? He says to us in John 6: 51-58 that He is the living bread that came down from heaven. If a man eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Wow!!! Jesus continues, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven." Just as we are playing the Word of God on cassette over Justin, we will also be partaking in Communion together regularly. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:26, that as often as we eat the bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again. As Justin takes the bread and drinks the cup, he will be taking into his body the life-saving power of Jesus. Isn't it ironic that we all are in need of this same thing? We are going to take Communion as though it were the 6th chemo medicine.

Friday, April 11, 2003 9:22 PM
Not too much is new today. Justin did get moved again. Now he is in Room 203. It is a very large pressured room. His appetite is slowly decreasing, but he is still trying to eat. Justin needs prayer for a sore on his knee to heal and not become infected. He has been spending quite a bit of time sitting out with the nurses. It is nice that he feels well enough to do that. Hosea 6: 3, "Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him." With Easter approaching, the whole life, death, and resurrection of Jesus will be remembered in churches all over the country. Phil. 2: 5-11 says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Thursday, April 10, 2003 8:59 AM
Justin had a good day yesterday. His blood counts are still fine. They had to move him to another room for a few days. The hospital is preparing the 5 pressure-filled rooms to receive bone marrow transplant patients. They are installing cardiac equipment and blood pressure equipment into the walls for easy assessiblity. This is an exciting step for Phoenix Children's. Right now, all transplant patients have to go down to Tucson's University Medical Center. They will begin receiving bone marrow transplant patients sometime this July. They will only be prepared to receive those patient who will be getting their own stem cells back. They can actually remove stem cells and marrow when a patient is in remission, and then transplant the cells back into them. If you would like to call Justin he is in room 207A for a few days. Then he will go back into room 205, probably this weekend. His appetite is good. His physical strength is good too. Some of the steriods that they are giving him are making his neck and face appear swollen, red, and puffy. This is day 3 of the chemo. Remember, it only drips for 4 days. Then we will have a 5 day break and start back up again. His counts will start to drop soon. The side-effects happen when the counts get low. Keep praying those blood-painted doors over every organ. Pray for no fevers, no infections, specifically staph and fungal. With all this praying you guys are doing, I hope that you are sensing the presence of the Lord more and more in your own lives. I know I am! Malachi 3:16 says, "Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. "They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." Malachi 4: 2, "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." Sometimes we have to wait to receive his promises, but they will come. His Word never returns back to him void. Isaiah 55: 8-11, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Love, Jesus

Tuesday, April 08, 2003 10:20 PM
We're back, and Justin even got his old room, #205. The blood tests showed a normal white blood cell count. The platelet count was at 120,000 but seemed to still be climbing to the 200,000 normal range. This was still excellent progress. Justin had his 4th bone marrow biopsy/spinal tap around noon today. The results were --(drum roll please) no leukemic cells were found anywhere!!! Praise the Lord!!! That is good news. Many of you have asked why do we have to do the second round, if no leukemic cells were found. I have asked that myself many times. It is better to be safe than sorry. This is the protocol for Justin's diagnosis and has the best results. They started the chemo drugs around 5:00 p.m. By 7:00 p.m. his stomach was already hurting. It seemed to happen so fast. Either that or perhaps I'd forgotten how quickly these drugs work. His pain caused a domino reaction in me. I don't know if it because I'm his Mom or just being back, or a combination of both. But I wore my emotions on my sleeve for the rest of the evening. As a parent, you want to protect your child from any danger or harmful thing. To give your consent for this goes against everything you desire for your child. Mike said it will take a couple of days for all of us to get back in the routine of this. I'm asking for your continued prayers. We are surviving on your generous support of prayer. Literally being carried on angel's wings at times. We appreciate the youth and youth leaders stopping by tonight. It was great to laugh and enjoy your company. However, I see the tenderness of the Lord in each of your hearts as well. Thank you for praying for Justin, Mike, and myself. You promised to be there for us, and you are holding true to your word. Thank you. Philippians 4: 4-8, "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." We have painted verse 8, above, on Carissa's bedroom wall. Thoughts are the precursors to what comes out of our mouths. Please also remember Carissa. She is away at Science Camp. She will come back home Friday afternoon.

Monday, April 07, 2003 10:10 PM
I just left Justin's bedroom. He is asleep, but his spirit seems to be ushering into the presence of God. I say that because he is making sure that the cassettes of the Word of God are being played as he sleeps. It is powerful to walk into the darkness of his room and see just the shadow of his body and hear the powerful Word being spoken over him. All of Psalm 91 is powerful. Verse 14 says, "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation." "Lord, you know Justin loves you as well as all of us, I believe you have heard his call and you have and will continue to answer him. Thank you for being with him and delivering him from leukemia. Thank you Lord for honoring Justin. Lord, grant to Justin long life and show him your salvation. Speak to him Lord. Let this young child hear your voice calling to him as Samuel did in 1 Samuel 3. Lord, entrust to Justin those secrets of God that you talk about in 1 Cor. 4:1. And as for my heart Lord...let your words be like a soothing balm. This is the child that I prayed and asked you for. I felt like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 before he was ever conceived. As Hannah dedicated Samuel to you, I dedicate Justin to you Lord. I pray your purposes for Justin would be revealed in their time, but for tonight Lord we rest in you."

Sunday, April 06, 2003 7:02 PM
Justin sure has been having a good time with his dirt bike. I have attached a picture that was taken on April 5, 2003. Doesn't he look great?!! Psalm 77 is our "on-line church" for today. The psalmist starts out with an incredibly grievous heart. Listen to this pain: "I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak." I like what he does next. "I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired; Will the Lord reject us forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Once the psalmist is able to get his mind still enough, he begins to sing and is then able to ask six questions. It appears as though he knows the answers to each one. It picks up in verse 10 with the psalmist thinking again. "Then I thought, to this I will appeal; the years of the right hand of the Most High, I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will mediate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." I am sure many of us, if not all, have had our hearts wounded and in pain. Maybe not to the extent of the psalmist, but none the less, to a degree that caused much despair. It is at those time that we have a choice. We can choose to look at our problem or we can choose to look at Jesus. I am reminded of the song , "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus." The chorus is so powerful. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace." Then we can continue thinking about all that Jesus has already done for us. How can we not be overwhelmed with gratitude at the price that Jesus paid for us all? Life is good and satisfying in many respects. But life is also hard and painful. Mike says that life is like being dealt a deck of cards. You get what you're dealt. The challenge is how will you respond to what you've been dealt?

Saturday, April 05, 2003 9:54 PM
Today was another great day. We had Carissa's birthday party and that was fun!! Justin has worked at transforming the garage into his new office. He set up his computer out there and taped up dirt bike posters all over. I love his creativity!! Justin will be having another bone marrow biopsy/spinal tap on Tuesday. He will check into the hospital at 8:30 a.m. They will draw blood first and run tests. After he is settled in his room, they will do the procedure. This time they will again put the chemo medicine in his spine. These results will tell us if there are any more leukemic cells in his marrow. Thank you all for your support in prayer. We really do feel the effects of it. What a daily challenge it is to not worry about all the details concerning every aspect of this treatment.
Luke 12: 22-26 Jesus says to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens; They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" Lord, Father God, please guide our thoughts and help us to set our minds on your provisions. Justin is in your hands, Lord, and you are fully aware of his circumstances. Psalm 73: 26 reminds us that our own flesh and hearts can fail us, but you, God, will be the strength of our hearts and our portion forever. We are trusting you Lord..

Friday, April 04, 2003 6:17 PM
We are enjoying the day and looking forward to our last weekend before going back. The hospital called on Thursday morning and wanted Justin to come back down to redo part of the blood test. Some of the results did not appear normal and it would mean admitting him immediately. When I arrived at the school, the 7th graders were switching classes. They took the time to lay their hands on Justin and petition God for healing. So much of this journey is the little steps of faith. We asked God for a good report! Thank the Lord, that is what we got 45 minutes later. He did not have to go into the hospital!! Yeah!!! We are blessed to still have the weekend together. We were planning a birthday party for Carissa's 11th birthday on Saturday. I am glad that we can still move forward with that. Justin did go back to school for awhile but, since he has been struggling with allergies the last couple of days, I took him home early to rest. As I was reading the faith chapter in Hebrews 11, I was admiring the faith of the patriarchs that lived before us. Verse 1 says what faith is: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." It took a great deal of faith to part the Red Sea (vs 29), for the walls of Jericho to fall (Vs 30), and as it states in vs. 33-34, "The prophets through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies." Wow!!! They were all true heroes of the faith. But tucked inside each story is a measure of suffering that went along with it. Suffering is a tough word for all of us. It is usually something we all try to run away from. God says in Romans 5: 1-5, that even suffering has a good results if we let it shape our hearts. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Wednesday, April 02, 2003 8:06 PM
The results of the kidney test came out negative. This means that Justin's kidneys are fine and have no damage as a result of the chemo. Praise the Lord. Also, his platelet count skyrocketed to 117,000, which is a very good report. The doctor considers this almost normal. Normal for most people would be about 140,000-150,000. Now you can understand better how low Justin goes during the chemo. He had actually gone as low as 1,000. The doctor was quite pleased, to say the least, with the great prognosis. He will definitely be readmitted to the hospital on Tuesday morning. On a more serious note, I wanted to share some realism in what Justin has already endured and what he will have to endure again. In reality, many people do not survive the 1st round of chemotherapy that Justin just finished. It is extremely hard on the body. To say that God spared us much pain and agony, and answered many of our prayers would just be the tip of it. Justin never went to the ICU. Yes, it was difficult, but the doctor said it was easy for us in comparison to some. I share all of that because I want you all to realize that prayer makes the difference. Many of you shared with me how you were being awakened in the middle of the night to intercede in prayer for Justin. God did this great and mighty thing. To have Justin home these last two weeks with as much energy and stamina as he has had, is again a miracle!! He has recovered with relative ease. Again, only because God has intervened and answered our prayers and petitions. We are about ready to go back on Tuesday. This 2nd round is as serious as the first. People who don't make it lose the battle to secondary infections of their organs or staff infection, etc. The Lord gave me a picture of how to pray for the second round of chemo. It has to do with a segment of the movie, "The Ten Commandments." If you haven't seen it, it will be on TV sometime before Easter. Anyway, there is a part where the last plague is about to kill the firstborns of every Egyptian family. There is a green cloud that comes out of the sky called the Angel of Death. As it passes through the village, it passes over the firstborn of the Israelites because they have the blood of a slain lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their homes. The Lord showed me this picture for Justin's body. As you pray for him this second round, picture a door closed over every major organ in his body. The heart, the liver, the pancreas, the gallbladder, the kidneys, the lungs, the intestinal tract, the stomach, the bladder, even the sperm his body will produce some day. Please pray specifically that the blood of the Lamb, our Precious Lord who shed His blood for us, is put over and on each side of that door. Pray for every organ to survive this chemo that will pass by. No matter what happens, don't stop praying. Pray for Justin, for mental endurance, spiritual endurance, and physical endurance. Pray that God would speak to him. Pray that he will live. Pray for us as well. God goes before us and will be with us. It may take every ounce of faith we have to see this miracle of healing come to pass. We will continue to mentally prepare between now and Tuesday. On a lighter note, Justin had the awesome privilege of going into the dugout at the Diamondbacks game today during their batting practice. He was able to talk with Mark Grace, and got several of his baseball cards signed by other players. Thank you to the Diamondbacks for their kindness to Justin. I was thinking about when my children were babies and small toddlers. All they wanted was Mommy!!! They would say to Mike, "No, Daddy, Mommy do it." Mike, like a lot of Dads, stood in the shadow as Mom led during those early years. However, I truly understand how those roles change. Mike, is King of the Hill. Now it is me who is in the shadows. I really don't mind being here. It takes both parents to raise the children. It is just an interesting observation.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003 9:16 PM
Justin went to school today for the entire day. Then, we wanted to go to the baseball game after school. He continues to amaze me at the stamina he has. Many of you have asked about his appetite. It has improved considerably. We have talked about making very wise choices in nutrition. The obvious choices would be the healthiest choices. Eat what God made!! So, he has been enjoying salads and cut up veggies alot. He does have a palate for this though. Of course, an evening of pizza was in there too. Shrimp was a big hit. But for the most part, anything we can do to improve the way his body absorbs minerals and vitamins. I am hoping for him to give up drinking soda completely. They are so addicting and have no nutritional value. So far he has, and is consuming much more water. He really is trying to get better. We did not get the test results back today. Justin has an appointment tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Hopefully, they will tell us more then. They will also be drawing his blood and we will get those results to you as well. Today I went back to my gym for a workout. Ahwatukee Foothills Athletics Club is sponsoring a community event for Justin. I am honored and humbled at their efforts. Two of the trainers will be racing against each other at Mountain Pointe High School on April 19th. They will have other events as well. On the Border has graciously donated all the food for the event. All the proceeds will be presented to Justin. I love you guys!! Thank you so much. I have missed the gym a lot and have thought of you often. My physical stamina has given me strength to endure. I love working out with you all and feel that although this workout is not physical, it still requires a kind of mental endurance. We wanted to say thank you to Joe & Lavonne Rinaldo who volunteriarly gave up their seats at the Diamondbacks vs Dodgers game tomorrow night, so that Justin and Mike could go. How cool was that!! He is so excited and looking forward to going with his Dad. We'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 31, 2003 6:43 PM
We learned something new today. There is such a thing as "Nuclear Medicine"!!! They put a radioactive material in Justin's veins today. The purpose was to detect any problems with the kidneys. They were measuring how quickly his kidneys were able to dilute fluid from his body. They took blood samples at 15-minute intervals in the beginning. As the test progressed, it was at 2 hour intervals. They did let Justin leave the hospital in those in-between times. Guess where he wanted to go? School!! Of course we couldn't go back and forth. I sure hope he keeps up this enthusiasm. We will not know the results from the test until sometime tomorrow. Wednesday will be the next time we see the doctor. At this visit, they will again draw blood samples and test all his blood for platelet counts, neutrophils, and hemoglobin. This will be a good indicator as to when they would like Justin to come back to the hospital for round 2. I have a prayer journal for each of my children. I have prayed for them from the time of their conception. I have used several of Stormie Omartian prayers from her book, The Power of a Praying Parent. I would like to show you a sample of one of the prayers that over the years I have prayed for Justin. This one is praying for your child to become the person God created them to be. "Lord, I pray that you would pour out Your Spirit upon Justin this day and annoint him for all that You've called him to be and do. Lord, you have said, "Let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called." 1 Cor. 7:24. May it be for Justin, according to Your Word, that he never stray from what You have called him to be and do, or try to be something he is not. Deliver him from any evil plan of the Devil to rob him of life, to steal away his uniqueness and giftedness, to compromise the path You've called him to walk, or to destroy the person You created him to be. May he not be a follower of anyone but You, but may he be a leader of people into Your Kingdom. Help him to grow into a complete understanding of his authority in Jesus, while retaining a submissive and humble spirit. May the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control grow in him daily (Gal. 5:22) May he find identity in You, view himself as Your instrument, and know that he is complete in You. Give him a vision for his life when setting goals for the future and a sense of purpose about what You've called him to do. Help him to see himself as You do--from his future and not from his past. May he be convinced that Your thoughts toward him are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give him a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Teach him to look to You as his hope for the future. May he understand it is You "who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" (2 Timothy 1:9). May his commitment to being who You created him to be enable him to grow daily in confidence and Holy Spirit boldness. In Jesus' Name I pray,

Sunday, March 30, 2003 4:26 PM
So many of you have joked about having on-line church, and have missed the last few days that we have not updated. We have been resting. We have been in preparation. As always, we are waiting on God to move. Hebrews 4: 9-16 starts off by saying, "There remains then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience." We feel that we have reached a place in this journey we are on, to have a little R&R. Even in this God is good to have provided us with a chance to breathe and gather our thoughts for when we pack it all back up and continue on. This time hasn't been easy. It still requires not looking too far down the path and getting ahead of God's leading. To be given back a life that appears to be normal but isn't, hurts. We have asked God to spare us the pain of having to endure another round of chemotherapy. We know he is capable of restoring and healing Justin today. But we have trusted him long enough to also know that there is an appointed time for everything. Habakkuk 1:3 says, "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." We have also decided to be very proactive in following Hebrews 4: 12-13, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and MARROW; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." If the Word of God is powerful enough to penetrate even to marrow, then that might be all the transplant we need. We have decided to play the Word on cassette over Justin continually. We have already started it and will continue when we return to the hospital. Psalm 139: 13-16, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." God knew the day of Justin's birth and he knows the number of days he will live upon the earth. That information is too heavy for any of us to bear. We can, however, trust the one who holds it. Continuing in Hebrews and finishing to verse 16, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." This is exactly what we are doing. It is a privilege to pursue God for daily grace. His death on the cross opened this up so we can cry out to him, Abba, Father! Certainly we are not carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders as Jesus did, but his cry in the Garden of Gethsemane right before his crucifixion mirrors our hearts today. Mark 14:36, "Abba, Father," he said, "Everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will but what you will."

Thursday, March 27, 2003 10:47 PM
Justin has been enjoying his time at home. He has been to school both Wednesday and today. In fact, the Junior Highers went to Valley Christian High School today for a play. We are amazed at the stamina Justin seems to have these past few days. He is getting stronger every day. Each day he is able to eat a little bit more. Mike says it feels like he is just "on leave" though. He will have to go back and start chemo all over again. Please be in prayer for a kidney test Justin needs to take on Monday. It is a 5-hr test that will determine if his kidney's can handle another round of chemotherapy. Please pray specifically that no damage has been done to either kidney. We would like to have a Bone Marrow Drive. I have contacted the United Blood Services and they will be getting back with me soon. There are so many people that we can help. We are not sure if Justin will actually need a bone marrow transplant. They will not be even looking at that unless his leukemia comes out of remission. However, this is still a great idea. I have spent enough time at the hospital to know our healthy marrow can bring hope and life to others. I will also get some info to you as far as what is required in donating your bone marrow to someone. I am open to suggestions on getting this going. You can e-mail me at if you have any ideas. Psalm 103: 3 - 5 says, "He forgives all my sins and HEALS ALL MY DISEASES; he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion. He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my YOUTH is renewed like the eagle's." Lord Jesus, thank you for you gracious hand extended to Justin. Thank you for all you have done for him seen and unseen. We rejoice in his healing. Thank you for these days of rest and normalcy. We are watching for you Lord, bring about your purposes and display your power to all of us. Please renew Justin's youth like the eagle's. Please let Justin live in this life with a strong mind, a strong body, and a strong heart that will serve you. I ask you to completely restore Justin 100% cured of leukemia and any after effects from the chemotherapy. Amen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 10:37 PM
God is so Awesome! I really mean it. His grace has been more than sufficient for all of us. If we can learn to be still before Him and quiet our anxious thoughts, we can trust him to led us through storms like these with PEACE. Kellie Horn, whose story of God's miracle working power, is above on the thumbnail, e-mailed me today and hopefully will be checking in on Justin and praying for him to be healed. It was great to hear from her. Justin was a bit nervous yesterday about the procedure today, but as God would have it, he was peacefully asleep until the procedure began around 9:15 a.m. It reminds me of the story in Luke 8: 22-25, when Jesus was asleep on the boat and a storm engulfed the boat. Even in that, he had to be woken up by the disciples who were quite frightened. Learning to live in peace, no matter what is happening around us, requires taking the Word of God and believing it and standing firm. Until we are put to the test, we don't really know how we are doing in this area. I believe the future of America will require this from God's people. Fear has the potential threat of immobilizing us and stopping us from moving forward. Fear is a natural human response to pain and life. It can be good, and can protect us from injury. However, Satan has used fear to stop the army of God and the church from becoming all that we should be. Sometimes, we just have to do things while afraid, to get over them. The doctor is confident that Justin is doing exceedingly well at this point in his treatment. Because he has so many new white blood cells many of them look immature. It is hard to tell if there are any leukemic cells. We will have another bone marrow biopsy in two weeks, before he starts his second round of chemo. That will be a better indication. For now, WE ARE HOME!!! He came home around 1:30 p.m. Frannie and the dirt bike were the two most important things to see. Then he went to the baseball game at Valley Christian: Grace Community vs Scottsdale Christian. WE WON!! He sat in the dugout with the guys. He has been named honorary manager of the team. His appetite has increased today, and he ate a little chili & taco. He also increased his water intake by three whole bottles. This is great progress in just 24 hours. He just finished playing a game of pool with Carissa. It is wonderful to have him home, and for all 4 of us to go to sleep together. He is planning on going to school tomorrow around noon. Thank you for praying. Instead of looking beyond what we cannot see and do not have the Grace of God to handle, we will enjoy each day to its fullest. I pray that we can all learn to live that way. Matthew 6: 33-34, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Psalm 3:5, "I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me."

Monday, March 24, 2003 11:27 PM
Justin enjoyed most of the day visiting with his friend, Joey, from church. His mom, Monica, and I delivered all of his freshly-inflated mylar balloons to all of the other patients on the floor. We were celebrating his "coming home". We then loaded my car with all of his things. Now we just need to wait for the results of his bone marrow biopsy in the morning, to see if they find any leukemic cells. Please pray that none at all are found. He is still nervous about this procedure and needs our constant prayers for peace through the night and tomorrow morning. He did eat about 1/4 of a hamburger today. His stomach is still queasy but, he was trying. He did really well until about 9:00 p.m. He did get sick to his stomach and he had some blood in it as well. We don't know why this happened, but they are going to give him platelets tonight to see if that will help. We hope that this will not affect his coming home. Good News!! His neutrouphil count went way up to 5,000. So, despite all of my earlier training, I will not have to give Justin a daily shot. He was quite pleased with this. It was really sad to see Lauren's room empty today. We miss her! We also believe for her healing and hope she is doing well. We will close with Jude 24, "Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand in his presence blameless and with great joy, to the Only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be the glory, and the majesty, dominon, and authority, both now and ever. Amen." We used to sing this at our church. Isn't it a powerful doxolgy?!

Sunday, March 23, 2003 10:23 PM
Justin 's day was similar to yesterday. His neutrophil count went up to 1500. His appetite is slowing coming back. He still needs us to pray for him in this area. He is concerned about several things and asked us to pray for him. (1) He is nervous about his bone marrow/spinal tap on Tuesday. Please pray for peace for him and us. Please pray that there will be no leukemic cells in his bone marrow!! He would like to come home. However, if they find leukemic cells it could mean a different story. (2) I have to give him a shot every night when he does come home. I feel confident that I can do it, however, he is a bit concerned because I am not a nurse. Please pray that God will give him the assurance of his presence with him during this procedure. I would like for all of us to pray for our hospital neighbor Lauren Forney. She is going down to Tucson tomorrow morning for a stem cell transplant. Please pray for God to completely restore this child to health. Please pray for her parents Lilly & Jeff. I had the opportunity to meet Lauren's older brother and sister today. They are a precious family who love the Lord and my prayer is that God would be gracious to them and heal Lauren quickly. I pray for normalcy to be returned to them and their family life. 1 Chronicles 16:11 says, "Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced."

Saturday, March 22, 2003 6:51 PM
What a great day today has been!! Where do I start? Justin continues to gain strength each day. His neutrophil count went from 300 yesterday to 1154 today. Wow!!! What a jump. He will be coming home this week, probably after his bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday. He really wants to go back to school and the doctor said that would work. Jameson, Micah, and Becca came down to visit. The highlight of my day was to see my son walking with his friends down in the cafeteria. The doctors had completely unhooked him from his IV stand. He was walking around and even went outside with Becca. He was trying to have a record of the boy who didn't see the sun for 45 days. (: The silly string wars continue. In fact, large syringes filled with water have now been added. Actually, the nurses have started that. I guess it somehow benefits the patient. Anything to get them motivated to get up and out of bed. Jamba Juice was another hit today as well. He still hasn't eaten anything else, but he will. Please continue to pray for his appetite to return. Isaiah 40: 28-31 says, "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." We are rejoicing today with Justin and the faithfulness of God who has brought us to this point. We are looking forward to going to church tomorrow and I hope you are too!!

Friday, March 21, 2003 10:20 PM
Justin's neutrophil count went up to 300 today. When he is at 1500 for at least two days in a row, he can come home for a couple of weeks. He will still have to go and get blood and platelets but, they can do it on an outpatient basis. That is great news! Justin will be having his third spinal tab/ bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday morning. Please pray that the peace of God will be with us, and that they will not find any leukemia in Justin's blood. A big THANK YOU to Kylie Mulloy, who found the one item Justin would eat/drink -- JAMBA JUICE!! He drank more than half of what she brought with her this morning. Thank you to the Mulloy family. Today I read Mark 16: 15-18. It speaks of the last words Jesus said to his disciples before he ascended into heaven. He told them to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. He encouraged them to use His Name because there would be power in it. In verses 17 and 18 it says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my Name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." I think about the toxic effect that the chemotherapy drugs have on the body and its organs. But then I am reminded of the words our Lord spoke about drinking deadly poison and it not hurting them at all. He told us that if we would lay our hands on the sick they would recover. That is the best news anyone could tell us. God will do this great and mighty thing. When He does, we will never be the same again.

Thursday, March 20, 2003 10:22 PM
Today was the day we have all been waiting for. Justin's body started to produce the neutrophils!!! Hallelujah!! It is a sign that his body is beginning to recover from the chemotherapy. He did not have a fever all day. That is another great report.
He should be making steady progress now. His liver is still struggling and enlarged. They are encouraging him to eat and will be removing the IV feeding for a longer stretch of time. One of the problems is everything tastes so bad. All the cells in his taste buds were destroyed in the process of killing the leukemic cells. I can only imagine how hard that must be. However, he needs us to support him through prayer and petition that he will be able to eat anyway because it is what he needs to do. He really wants to come home. We feel like we have formed a new family down at the hospital. We will miss them. Sharon, his nurse, brought in some silly string this morning and they got each other good. Allison, another nurse, actually cooked him some rice at home and brought it in to work the next day, because he said he would try to eat it. They are very good at what they do, but what has impressed me just as much is their ability to tune in to the patient's emotional state, as well. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 15: 30, "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." No doubt that laughter is good for the soul. Justin was ambushed today!! Mike had brought in 7 cans of silly string, not intending that all of them be used at once. Well, that is exactly what happened. Justin was set up. Garrett, Nate, and Becca were asked to step outside the room because the Doctor needed to speak with Justin for a few minutes. Poor Justin, his face was like, "Oh, man, what now?" What he didn't know was that 4 nurses and his 3 friends would soon come in and completely cover the guy with 7 cans of silly string. (: Justin was smart .He hid one of the cans in the closet and when his Dad was unprepared, he quietly got it and let him have it. There were lots of laughs today. Please pray for Justin to remain strong in this battle, especially in his emotions.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003 9:55 PM
We have joined together as one army for a purpose: To pray and petition God for complete restoration of Justin's body. But today I am asking you to join in with me in prayer for our nation as we go to war with Iraq. 2 Tim. 1-4 says; "I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." I received this e-mail today from The Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa: In the Old Testament, God's armies were always led by the priests. When the waters parted in the Jordan it was the priests' feet which first hit the turbulent river. In the New Testament, Christians are also referred to as priests....all Christians. We must, therefore, go in first. As the possibility of war approaches with Hussein and Iraq, we are asking the priests to step in first, ahead of our military. Let us be setting up camp for our soldiers entrance into the conflict. How? By prayer!
Let us be sending in "prayer missiles," cruise and scud prayers to target enemy plans, and patriot prayers to shoot down incoming threats. We, at Memorial Drive Church of Christ, are praying for two things: (1) that the enemy leaders become confused, disoriented, and distrustful of each other; that their entire system of attack fall apart, and (2) that in God's wildest ways, these enemies would become aware of His deep love for them and the war Jesus has already fought for them, personally, on the cross. God had Gideon reduce his army from 32,000 to 300 men. He then equipped them with nothing but trumpets, pitchers, and torches. What an odd combination to fight off well-armed soldiers! When Gideon gave the command, the Bible says the enemy fled, crying, and turned on each other; all because God messed with enemy plans. Read it for yourself in Judges Chapter 7. Prayer definitely changes things. It is always the forerunner and the weapon God uses in battle of any kind. As our hearts break before the Lord, for Justin, for America, for Iraq, remember to pray also for your churches and their leaders. We must be steadfast in turning our hearts toward the Lord, no matter what happens.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 9:44 PM
Justin started the day with no fever. He almost made it 24 hours without having one. However, around 7:00 p.m. it began to rise again. They are doing blood cultures to see what is causing this. He is on many preventative antibiotics at this time. So please pray that the fevers would cease and that his body would be able to make the white blood cells. Justin had a special visit today from David Wright. He is a science teacher at A.S.U. However, he is also part of our Word of Grace family. He put on a demonstration for the hospital children down in the hospital schoolroom. (I bet you didn't know that Phoenix Children's has their own schoolroom.) Justin was not up to going downstairs, so David made a special trip to his room and put on the entire demonstration again just for us. It was really cool. I loved the way he brought the mind of God into his explanations of how his experiments worked. The afternoon was filled with doing his math with Spencer and listening to his new CD from Reliant K that the Feller family gave him. It was a better day. The biggest news of the day was that Champion Honda had delivered his dirt bike to our house. Justin had saved up some money to put a new muffler on it. He was so excited and all he could think about was getting enough better to go home. He knows he has to eat to do that, but he is still struggling with this. Today, he did not have as much nausea, so we are making progress. We enjoyed the later evening with a visit from Shawna, James, and Troy. They are youth leaders at Word of Grace. Funny, funny, people. We enjoyed hearing all about Spring Break at Magic Mountain and all the fun pranks they do to each other. They are great at toilet papering homes. (: Mike arrived to spend the night with a video tape of the dirt bike, complete with the coolest sounding muffler. Frannie knows that when she sees the bike, Justin is not too far behind it. She was looking for him on the video. It was sweet and sad at the same time. Thank you for all of your prayers and concerns . The biggest battle is in the mind. Col. 3: 2 says, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Monday, March 17, 2003 8:28 PM
As the day approached, we were hoping for sunny skies -- at least in Justin's body. He did have a high fever in the night, but it seemed to be getting under control. They were having trouble with the temperature control in these isolation rooms and the rooms were very cold. I'm not sure if this is what made the fever look like it had gone, or not. Garrett and Nate came by to visit. Justin enjoyed that but, still was struggling with nausea. I tell you what, these kids are funny. Garrett got the trash can for Justin to "toss his cookies" into. Only boys can make these bodily functions seem amusing. Though it is hard, having them here makes it easier for Justin to bear. It is Spring Break week, so some of the kids are planning to spend time with him. Please continue to pray for the white blood cells to return in his bone marrow. At this point he still has none. The doctors think the fever and infections are using up any he is able to make. We are still in need of prayer for his appetite to return and digestive tract to come into order. Ps. 27:13-14, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Sunday, March 16, 2003 6:38 PM
Justin was still running a fever today. The doctor was concerned that he might have the staph infection and an additional infection. They gave Justin a full body CT Scan this morning. They didn't find anything, but they are treating his body as though they did. He is on a very strong medication with a possible side effect they call Shake'N Shiver. It can produce an extremely high temperature and chills at the same time. They are monitoring him closely and can give him Demerol to help with that, should it happen. Please pray that it doesn't. We are standing and waiting for God to perform a miracle in Justin's body. We are exhausted!! This has felt like an extreme roller coaster ride. Please pray for our physical bodies to be refreshed so that we can remain strong for Justin. Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Saturday, March 15, 2003 7:23 PM
Today was not easy. Actually, it would be considered every parent's worse nightmare. Justin was suffering. His body was raging a high fever , he was in pain, and nausea over took him with a venegence. God never said it would be easy, but he did say he would be with us. Mike and I took God at his Word. We spoke, with authority, the Word of God over Justin. We prayed none stop for aleast several hours. We were doing spiritual warfare in the third degree, We stood in the authority that God has placed us in as his parents and commanded his body to be loosed, healed, and set free. This is one of the prayers we prayed, "I thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross to provide salvation and healing for Justin. I thank you for the use of Jesus' name which is more powerful than any other name that exists. The name of Jesus is above the name of leukemia that is in his body. In the authority and power of Jesus' name, that leukemia must leave his body" We believe that God has already begun to heal Justin. He started the process on the first day we prayed for it Feb 11th, 2003. We will stand with Justin, over Justin, and walk each step with him, while we wait for the manifestations of his healing to appear. This is where the rubber meets the road. Either we are going to believe God and his Word or we're not. He puts his Holy Spirit in us for the hard times. Justin finally was able to rest. I stayed right by him and continued to pray for peace for this warrior. He was strong in the battle. By about 5:00 p.m. he asked me to play Life with him. Of course, you know, he won. He always wins!!! As I'm writing this he is sitting up in bed, and sipping a Mountain Dew and eating a saltine cracker. He even said, "Mom, this Mountain Dew tastes sooooo good" Yeah, that was a great thing for this Mom to hear. Thank you for praying...

Friday, March 14, 2003 4:22 PM
The results came back today from the blood cultures. Justin has a staph infection in his blood. The doctor said this is a very common infection with this type of chemotherapy. His fever is still high but, they are watching it and trying to control it. Please pray for this infection to be healed, for the fever to diminish, for his stomach issues to be turned around and come into order.
We also received the results from the bone marrow today. Carissa is not a match. She is a bit disappointed about this as she said she wanted to save Justin. Mike & I are both a better match for Justin, but not close enough to be a donor for him. We each gave him 3 of the 6 number matches, that is a given. We both share 2 of the other side match as well. So, both of us are about a 4 out of 6 match for him. Carissa was only a 2 out of 6 match. So, at this time we will not be going down to Tucson. We will continue the second round of chemotherapy after his body recovers. Then, we will have to do a third round of chemotherapy after that. At, that point they will not look for a donor match outside of the family unless he comes out of remission. This gives God the opportunity to prove to us that Justin's healing will come from His Hand alone. Philippians 4:4-9, "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." God is in this and He is with us and He will show us the way. Trust Him.

Friday, March 14, 2003 8:36 AM
Justin has had a difficult night. His fever returned and is now at 102.4 degrees. Nausea is an issue. I did not get much sleep last night either and my head feels in a fog. Please continue to pray for release from the fever, infections, and for the return of the white blood cells. We continue to stand on the Word of God. Remember 2 Corinthians 4: 7-18, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. vs. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." We are holding on tight to the hand of our Heavenly Father....

Thursday, March 13, 2003 4:46 PM
Justin was running a fever around 11:00 a.m. It was almost 102 degrees. They started preventative antibiotics and Tylenol. Justin asked that we call Grace Community Christian School and ask the children to pray. He almost called them himself, but didn't have the phone number memorized. (We fixed that for future reference). About 2:50 p.m. we talked with Mrs. Zappe and asked if an announcement could be made and prayer said as a school before the children went home. We are pleased to say that his fever went down within 30 minutes to 99 degrees, which is not even considered a fever. THANK YOU JESUS!!! Please continue to pray that no infection would try to set in Justin's body. His billirubin count has come down. That is good news. Please pray for Justin to eat. The nausea is getting better. They are taking him off the IV feeding for a little bit every day to try and stimulate his appetite. It will happen very soon. Remember he is still a growing 13 year old! They're supposed to eat you out of house and home right? Today, Justin and I talked about Ephesians 6 together. It talks about getting dressed in the armor of God. Actually putting on The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, the Sword of the Spirit, and the Helmet of Salvation, and walking in the shoes of Peace just as you would when getting dressed in the morning. I've heard it said that your clothes don't just jump off the hangers when you stand in your closet, you have to make an effort and purposely put them on. That is what God is explaining in these verses. We have to decide to "put on" the armor of God. It protects us and keeps us "Strong in the Lord and in His Mighty Power."

Wednesday, March 12, 2003 4:42 PM
The doctors were able to determine, based on their tests, that Justin's gallbladder is full of sludge. This is due in part to the chemo-drugs, the body not eating, and being fed by IV for an extended period. The liver is enlarged as well. They have started him on a liquid medicine to help clear this up. It has a strong metallic taste that can linger in his taste buds. So, eating and drinking can now taste to him like eating metal. I understand that the chemo-drugs can do this to your taste buds also. This drug can increase nausea. Please pray for a quick recovery of these organs and that nausea will not become a mental stronghold. He tried this morning to eat and then lost it all. It is becoming a cycle of mind control. It is very important that Justin eats. So, every time you sit down to a meal, say a prayer for Justin to be hungry too. God designed our bodies to survive physically by nourishing it with food and drink. But he also says in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." There is another place on the inside of each of us that longs for God's spiritual nourishment. The part of our soul that God designed for fellowship with him. Psalm 63: 1-8 describes it well: "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory, because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed, I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings, My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." There is nothing else that can satisfy that hunger but the Word of God and prayer with the one who created us. Just like Justin is having trouble because his body is screaming for food, our spirits can have trouble when we don't keep them spiritually fed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003 9:15 AM
Justin's billiruben count is high and climbing. This has to do with the function of the liver. They will be doing a Cat Scan in the next few minutes. Please pray for wisdom and clear understanding of what is causing this. They will be looking for possible gall stones. Please pray that Justin's liver will begin to function properly. Continue to pray that he will have an appetite. Psalm 125:1 "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever"

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 4:32 PM
Justin continues to have no fever. The doctor says it is just a matter of time. They only know of one baby who never ran a fever. We are believing Justin to be the second. All we can do is ask! Thank you for continuing this fervent prayer regarding the fever. Here is another very specific prayer request: Justin's body is still in the trauma of the chemotherapy, however, his bone marrow should start producting neutrophils soon. They are the bacteria fighting white blood cells. He receives a shot once a day that is suppose to speed the process up when his body recovers. It could happen anytime now. Please pray that the neutrophils will start to come in now. He did eat half of a hamburger today. Thank you for praying for this. We pray that this will continue and his appetite will increase. The digestion part hurt, but we need to keep trying. We have a picture frame at home that reads, "Fathers are a child's protector and a hero in their eyes. They are a child's best coach and fan. A father clears the path so the child can discover all about life. He gives us smiles of hope and holds us tenderly. He is a teacher by example of what a man can be." I want to say something about Justin's dad, Mike. He is an awesome person. In many ways, we are the complete opposite of each other. The opposites compliment each other, though. Even though I am the one updating the website, Mike is standing like a rock, supporting our entire family through this. He is juggling many things right now. He is working, spending the night whenever he can, and sitting right beside Justin each step of the way. I see him seeking God, prayerful, and yet never playing the role of victim. I am honored to have him as my husband. We never really know exactly what is in our hearts until you get placed in a situation like this. It brings it all out. I'm proud of what is in my husband's heart. I always knew he was a great man in many ways. I want to encourage all of my young friends to tell your own dad how cool he is. Give him a hug and tell him how proud you are to have him as a father. God is good.

Monday, March 10, 2003 8:33 PM
Justin has been in quite a bit of pain today with his stomach. He knows he needs to eat but, the nausea will not let up. They have been giving him medicine to help, but it hasn't seemed to help much today. Something happened in Justin today...something powerful. Justin entered the battle. The intensity of trying to endure made him realize that this is a mental battle, physical battle, and a spiritual battle that he has to fight. Up to this point he has been quiet and letting others pray over him and for him, but today he used his own words, and spoke out loud what he wanted God to do for him. Speaking it out loud was a challenge, because he said even talking made him feel like he would be sick any minute. Nathaniel and his mom Hillary, Mike and I layed our hands on Justin and prayed over him and with him as he asked God himself to remove the stomach pain. I was honored to be with him during this moment. It feels as though I am seeing him off to war. I am. He has a computer game he enjoys---Real War. Real War is a stragetic planning war game. Justin is good at it. I explained to him that this battle will be much like that game, but in real life. I told him his enemy isn't playing fair. It appears that before the battle even begins he has weakened his opponent. I told Justin that he will have to fight, even in his weakened state. The Bible is clear that we have an enemy who prowls around. 1 Peter 5: 8-11 "Be self-controlled and alert, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself RESTORE you and make you STRONG, FIRM, AND STEADFAST." To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, March 09, 2003 4:51 PM
Justin's fever went down last night...they are still so amazed. But, we serve a Mighty God who is more than able to show His faithfulness to those who believe. The bag of platelets that the doctor was watching closely yesterday, did their job today. Praise the Lord!!! His platelet count rose considerably!! Yeah!! I appreciate the Chadwick Family's message this morning. I appreciate the authority that they stood in and prayed against the fever. I am asking for the "vast army" to pray in this way for Justin's appetite. His stomach has hurt all day. He is not eating or drinking anything. The yellow in his eyes and skin is a response of the liver. The liver is reacting to the IV feeding that he is getting. The doctor said that Justin needs to start eating again, for the health of his liver. For the most part, Justin is doing well for all that he has endured this last month. But, his body needs to eat...soon! We had the opportunity to go to church this morning. What a great place to be!!! I was so moved during the partaking of communion. Again, remembering that our Lord's body was broken for us. Isaiah 53: 4 - 5 "Surely, he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was crushed for our inquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are Healed." We declare that together, that by the wounds that caused our Lord to die, Justin is healed !!

Saturday, March 08, 2003 9:43 PM
Justin's body is trying to spike a fever. For the last hour it has been hovering around 100. Hospitals do not consider that a fever to be concerned about yet. Please pray that it does not rise. Also, his stomach hurts a lot. Please pray for that to cease.

Saturday, March 08, 2003 5:49 PM
Justin still is doing very well during this critical time. I am convinced that even in this God shows what He is capable of doing for those who trust Him. He has a good plan for Justin, for us, and for each one of you. The doctor said that they are literally walking on eggshells right now as they wait to see how his body will respond to all of the chemo drugs in his system. There has been no fever today, and this is a miracle. Thank you, Lord. The platelets that they are giving Justin may have built up an immunity in his system and are not producing the results of increased platelets in his body. Today is a critical day because the doctor is watching closely to see if this last bag will do what it is intended to do. So, we are calling out to you "the vast army" to pray. Pray that Justin's body will receive the platelets and they would do their intended purpose. Also, his eyes and skin are a bit yellow. They are going to give him blood in a few minutes to see if that might help. Please join with our hearts in prayer: "Lord, we pray for order to come into Justin's body. We pray for protection in and through every organ during this critical time. We pray that the reason for the yellow eyes would be revealed and healed. Lord, I pray for Justin's abdominal tract. I ask for healing, and that the desire to eat would return. Lord, I ask you for Your Grace, in abundance, for Justin as he is losing his hair. I pray that as the white blood cells return, that there would be no leukemic cells and that the white blood cells would be normal. Also, I pray that your seed would be planted in Justin. Annoint this child, with the same seed you planted in David, Joshua, and Moses."

Friday, March 07, 2003 5:50 PM
Today was a special day at Grace Community Christian School. During the chapel service, we distributed a "Praying For Justin" hat to every student. I had an opportunity to explain to the students why we chose Ezekiel 37:10 as the verse for on the hats. It was empowering to look over the student body and see the swarm of hats. Mr. Molenaar even let the kids wear the hats all day. How cool was that!!! During the time I was at the school, Karen Tripoli came to be with Justin. She currently attends our church, but also was Justin's 5th Grade Teacher. After sitting in Justin's room for about an hour, I got the urge to rearrange and clean and's therapeutic for me. The gift shop even refilled all of his mylar balloons and made a huge bouquet out of them. So, I had fun doing that. Justin has had no appetite. We were not succesful in getting him to drink even a sip of water. Justin needed platelets today, but much to my surprise the blood bank did not have any. Some arrived around 4:00 p.m.. We were so thankful for that. However, they always have to give him Benadryl when they give him platelets. This usually makes him sleep for about 6 hrs. At the same time, Garrett and Mr. Haynes had arrived. Mr. Haynes had brought with him a cool baseball card game he has. He plays occassionally after school with some of the Jr. High kids. Justin loves the game!!! He was trying hard to stay awake, but I knew he was exhausted. I prayed that God would help him to stay awake long enough to enjoy their company. After a few minutes, I asked him if he was tired and this is what he said: "Mom, I don't think this Benadryl is even working." I smiled and I thanked the Lord for this small miracle. He was the happiest that he had been all day. He was actually quite quiet most of the day. His hair loss is creating the reality of what is going on inside of him. Please pray for this hurdle. Once we are over it, we will get use to it. I remember his sweet, bald head as an infant. Only a mom can know the sweetness of their child's head, and their scent especially after their bath. As you are lifting up your prayers for us, I am asking for direct prayers for Mike & myself. We were told how very difficult this is can be on even the strongest of marriages. We have worked hard on keeping our relationship strong. Please pray for creative ideas on keeping it that way. The last thing the doctor said before he went home tonight was, "Justin, you continue to amaze me." (: Thank you Lord for no fever.

Thursday, March 06, 2003 3:22 PM
Today has been the most encouraging day since our journey began Feb. 11th. We received a call this morning around 9:20 a.m. from the lab...saying if we could all three be there by 10:00 a.m. they would draw our blood and get it down to Tucson today. Wow!! I quickly got Carissa and we were on our way arriving with 4 minutes to spare. Everything went well...I am so proud of Carissa, she did great. We went over to tell Justin what we had just done. His response went something like this, "Carissa, I'm really proud of you, thank you for doing that...did it hurt?" He had the biggest smile when he said it too. She was glad to do it for him. But her response went something like this, "Now I'll always have something to hang over your head when you start being mean to me." We all shared a great laugh together. Next big news....The doctor stopped in and said that Justin was really doing well. He has not had a fever and at least 80% of the people on this chemo regimen would have already spiked a fever. That is a miracle! Another one was yesterday when I layed my hands on Justin's abdomen and asked for the distress to cease, it did immediately! He had no more at all!! Wow!!! They may even let him go home earlier than expected if he continues to show no secondary side-effects. Let's keep believing for this. Starting today, he will receive a shot every day which will help his white blood cells to produce faster. They are planning another bone marrow biopsy in the next two to three weeks to see how he is doing. I just want to tell all of you how proud I am for the connections we have to one another. To my wonderful neighbors in Coventry Tempe---I love you all---and what great cooks you are! To our wonderful church family, Word of Grace: You are the we could every ask for. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your outpouring of love and support. To our wonderful school: Grace Community Christian School ---we have always felt that this was the best school--now we know. Thank you to the parents, the staff, and to the students for all you are doing to help us get through this. We will never forget your generosity. To all of the companies we work for especially Wheeler Mfg. Lazart, San Segal & Hegle's Woodwork, thank you for surrounding us with support and prayers. Thank you to all the other reps out there for your wonderful contributions, gifts, and cards. I am so behind on my thank-you's to all of you, but they will eventually come.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003 3:37 PM
Early this morning, Justin woke up to adbdominal cramps. He has had intestinal distress for a good portion of the day. Please pray that this will cease. He is truly my champ. He is so looking forward to his friends coming this afternoon. He asked me to pray for him to feel better for their arrival. He has not eaten or had anything to drink all day. They are still feeding him by IV and are not concerned about dehydration at this point. We did get approved by the insurance company today!!!! Yeah!!! However, the date for the drawing of blood is scheduled for March 13th. We are trying to move that to an earlier date. We have been told that it could take up to 14 days to get the results back. I had to laugh with Lisa Wakefield as she wrote on the message board that I have a new ministry--"on-line church." These little tid-bits just keeping coming to me. Today's is: Leukemia starts with a chromosome abnormality. Justin's started with the16th chromosome, in which the center inverted itself. Then the cell copied and copied and copied the inaccurate cell change. I got to thinking how Jesus does that to us, but with much more positive results. I guess you could say that when we invite Him to take up Residence in our heart, that is the first spiritual chromosome change. Then the chromosome copies itself over and over and over again. When it reaches our hands, we are changed to better serve others; when it reaches our hearts; the root of compassion is developed and we see the needs of others and respond as He would. When it reaches our heads, he fixes wrong thinking patterns. We don't seem so quick to respond to others with criticism and judgment. Pride takes a back seat. When it reaches our mouths, we are filled with boldness. You get my point. We are all at different levels in our chromosome change. We need to be patient. God is not finished with us. I gave this a name: "Jeukemia"- which stand for Jesus-Entering-Undoing-Khromosomes-Effectively-Making-It-Alright. Today I asked God, as He was fixing all of Justin's physical chromosomes, that his Leukemia would be replaced with "Jeukemia," and that God would give my Champ a second chance at life. I prayed for boldness and the fire of God to be evident in his personality. I asked God to use his life to bring many people to Him. I guess you can say we all should have "Jeukemia!"

Tuesday, March 04, 2003 5:04 PM
We would like to say THANK YOU to SanSegal Sportswear in Salt Lake City, for their donation of 1500 hats that read "Praying For Justin". What a blessing they are! The hats have been warmly received.
Justin has a new e-mail address: it is
As the day began today, there were a couple of infants that needed the attention of "A" right away. Justin's procedure was postponed until 10:30 a.m. He was fine waiting, since his dad had set up his computer for him to play Roller Coaster Tycoon. The procedure went well. In fact, GREAT NEWS!!! There are no leukemic cells in the spinal fluid and they cannot find any leukemic cells in the bone marrow. This is the hand of God answering our prayers.(I told Justin it is aging his mom way too fast though!!) (: The doctor also mentioned that the next few weeks will be the toughest so far. They are still expecting fevers, infections, etc. In James 4:2 the Bible says, "You have not, because you ask not." So, we will keep asking for freedom from fever, from infections, from stomach problems. Our God is more than able. We wait at the hand of a merciful God. The insurance company has still not approved our bone marrow testing. This is getting more difficult. We should have been approved quickly in a situation like this. Please pray that this will get into the hands of the right person who will expedite the procedure. They mentioned something about the Directors having to meet first to get it approved. All morning, as we were waiting for Justin to have his procedure done, the hymn, "There is Power in the Blood" kept rolling over and over in my mind. I'm sure many of you, (especially the younger ones) don't even recognize the song. Something happened in my spirit, as I sang that over and over. The blood that our precious Lord poured out at Calvary had power in it. Power to save us, to heal us, and to give us life abundantly. He died, so that we could live. Now, nearly 2000 years later, it is as though that blood was just shed. He gave us the opportunity to receive Him as Lord and Saviour, to live inside of us, and guide us through this life. I will always be grateful for His Sacrifice to mankind. For His presence, His peace, and His hope, that He is bestowing on us all. Sometimes He calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His Child while the storm rages. Glory to His Name.

Monday, March 03, 2002 4:45 PM
IMMEDIATE PRAYER REQUESTS: FIRST: Tomorrow morning, between 8 and 9 AM, Justin will be undergoing a procedure for the second time. This involves extracting bone marrow from the hip and a spinal tap (at the same time they do the spinal tap, they inject chemo in, as a preventive measure.) The first time Justin went through this procedure the test showed that no leukemic cells were present in the spinal fluid. PRAY THAT THIS IS TRUE THIS TIME, ALSO. Justin is apprehensive about going through the procedure again. It is done with minimal pain medication, and no local anesthetic is used. Justin has requested that his dad spend the night with him and walk through this procedure with him tomorrow. Mike is driving home from the Grand Canyon today. Please pray for his safety, and for strength, peace, and comfort for Justin and the family. Pray also for Justin's Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, who will do the procedure (she is called "A".) Please pray for the lab techs as they read the results -- for wisdom and complete accuracy. Tomorrow around 4:00 AM Justin will be given platelets and Benadryl, which always knocks him out. SECOND: We are hopeful that tomorrow Mike, Barb, and Carissa will have blood drawn to see if one of them is a perfect match for donating bone marrow. Please pray for this to be able to be done, and be done with complete accuracy, without any chance of error regarding the matching conditions. Pray that when the results are known, God will give clear direction for the next step. THANKS!
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

Monday, March 03, 2003 10:19 AM
We have added an article called "What is childhood acute myeloid leukemia?". It is a clear and simple explanation. If you are interested in reading it, simply, click on the new link in the white box above.
We would like to include some links on this page to stories about survivors. If you hear of or know of someone in whose life God intervened and brought them through a cancer situation, please contact us. I have heard it said, "Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and He calms His child." He has a plan, a purpose, and the power to make it happen. Please pray that we would hear and yield to the plan that God has for Justin. We can never fully understand all that is happening here. But we do trust that our Heavenly Father does. If God is for us, who can be against us?--Romans 8:31. Justin had a great day yesterday. He ate a cheeseburger from Wendy's and KFC sounded good for dinner. Since the last time he was weighed, he has gained 3 pounds. Thank you for praying for his appetite. Please continue this week as the effects of this second round of chemo begin. The evening ended with a Game of Life played against his precious Aunt Margie. Justin is really good at this game and usually beats all of us. He chooses to go to college, always buys the insurances, but usually wins by scooping up all of the stock cards as fast as he can. I couldn't help but ponder the significant parallels between the game and his current situation. Isn't Life about making decisions, and then living out the consequences of those decisions? Those stock cards represent to me building up and hiding God's Word in my heart, especially during the good times in life. Then when the storms of life come, we are never caught off guard. His Word keeps us grounded and gives us strength to press on in the most difficult of times.

Saturday, March 01, 2003 10:52 AM
Yesterday was actually a very good day for Justin, even though he started his first day of the 2nd round of chemo. As you can see from the pictures, Kevin and Justin had a lot of fun together. Margie, our dear friend from California, came in and spent the night with Justin. They watched "Everybody Loves Raymond" together..isn't that a great show? We need laughter in this (:
Justin was able to eat some pizza with Becca later on in the evening. Mike stayed the night with him and they enjoyed their time together. We find the messages that you leave for us on the message board so consistently encouraging! We noticed a message from a Mike in Tempe. He said we have something in common: "Jesus Christ as our Savior". I couldn't agree more, Mike. That is something that crosses over denominational boundaries of doctrinal issues and unites us all together as "The Church" or "The Body of Christ". We are living proof that the church is alive and fulfilling her role upon the earth, that the world would see Jesus in us. Life is not just about us, but what we can do in service to others. Most of those needs are right under our nose if we actively look for them. My prayer today, "Oh, Lord please be glorified in and through this situation with Justin. Father, we are asking you to heal Justin, 100% cured of leukemia, with no secondary side-effects" Waiting upon you Lord.

Friday, February 28, 2003 7:30 PM
Click for photos Click for photos
These are pictures of Justin and his friend Kevin from church, taken today. (Click on one of the thumbnails.) Kevin had a great day today with Justin. They laughed, poked fun at each other, learned some new math concepts (circumference & pi) and played video games. Justin ate a handful of onion rings. He and Kevin walked the floor several times to get some exercise. I'm not sure who had more fun - Kevin or Justin!

Friday, February 28, 2003 7:14 AM
Today, is a somber day. Justin begins his second round of chemotherapy. Justin has a total of 5 different kinds of chemo drugs that he takes for 4 days straight. Some he takes by mouth, others are through an IV. They are some of the harshest chemo drugs because of the kind of aggressive cells the AML produces. It is hard for all of us, watching that IV drip, knowing what it is doing inside of Justin's body. Unfortunately, scientists have not yet discovered how to destroy the bad cells and let the good cells survive. They all are destroyed. That's why the side-effects can be difficult. At any moment, depending on how Justin's body handles these drugs, he could have to be transported to the Intensive Care Unit to handle serious secondary infections. Things like pneumonia, fungal infections, or any bacteria in his body (even the good bacteria, that somehow turn on him and cause infection.) Justin has no immune system right now, so he can't fight off anything. Please pray with us that Justin will not spike a fever, not throw up, not have diarrhea, not have to go to ICU with a secondary infection. Even in these things, we are asking God to perform a miracle. They are 99% waiting for these things to occur. It is so hard to watch your child suffer. He is having to grow up much younger than we would have imagined. Please also remember that many side effects show up 10 - 14 days after the drip has begun. So far, the plan is that Justin will have to endure 2 more rounds of chemotherapy. After that, if Carissa is a match for him, probably in late June or July, we will have to move down to Tucson and live at the Ronald McDonald House for approximately two months while they do more chemo and prepare his body to receive the bone marrow. If she is not a match, then Justin will have to endure 2 more rounds of chemotherapy. After that, there is not much more that they can do. They hope he will be in remission then. However, if the cancer comes back ...then, and only then, will they look outside of the sibling pool for a bone marrow donor. A sibling is the best match in this situation because the smaller numbers all match. While a donor outside the family might have the main 6 numbers match, the other 9 -10 numbers probably will not match perfectly and the chances that it will work drops. Again, we are praying that Carissa is a match. Please pray with us. I can feel it in my spirit, that today is a more difficult day to endure. Please pray for strength...the road seems so long. Also, in yesterday's Arizona Republic newspaper, at the back of the local section, there is an article stating that there is a blood supply shortage due to donors being ill. Bad weather back East is also preventing donors from getting to the United Blood Services buildings. It also, quite interestingly, mentions how patients in Arizona are using blood at a faster rate than it can be collected. If any of you have an interest in donating your blood or platelets, I'm sure many people's lives will be helped.

Thursday, February 27, 2003 8:39 AM
Last night, Pastor Kenny spent the night with Justin. I heard they had a great time together. They were up walking the halls around 11:30 p.m. The highlight of their evening was watching a special videotape that the youth leaders/youth at Word of Grace had made for Justin. To our amazement ten of them had shaved their heads...the videotape showed them all having it done. Their commitment to see Justin through to the other side of this is inspiring. Can you believe that one of them was a girl...our precious friend Joy..shaved her head. Sweetie, I can't believe you did guys rock! It gets better....Justin had woken up early around 4:00 a.m. he hadn't really been up to doing much math the last he decided to get some of his math done. He had almost completed a whole lesson when his math tutor arrived. We are so proud of him. He is really trying. His math tutor is our neighbor Dorel. Together, they were able to get through another whole lesson. So, look out Mrs. Weiss...those math assignments are rolling in. Justin did make another comment about school. "Mr. Saunders, Justin was wondering if he could have some extra science credit for actually learning first hand about blood, pulmonary veins, heart ventricles....He says that since his broveak catheter is so close to his own heart maybe that could substitute for missing the cow's heart dissection." He was really looking forward to doing that. Justin slept from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They give him platelets and benadryl together. It knocks him out. Unfortunately, nothing sounded good to eat today. I even made him one of his favorites---a rice bowl. (I guess only the kids in Mrs. Weiss's class would understand--since he ate one almost everyday for lunch) Kylie Mulloy came for a visit, and brought him Krispy Kreme, another favorite, but even that didn't work. Back at the home front, his dog Frannie is looking for him constantly. She went down to his room yesterday and was looking under his bed. She seems sad today. Carissa is trying to comfort her. As I walked by, I heard Carissa tell Frannie that Justin had to go to the vet. (: I sure wish they would let her come to visit him...but, that is not allowed. So, Mrs. Getz...Carissa is going to start praying for Frannie at school. Thank you for understanding and being such a great teacher to her. We are still waiting on insurance approval to have our blood tested for donor. Hopefully, soon!! A very big thank you to Willy and Melissa Roberson....Willy is in Carissa's class at school. He had dowloaded Justin's picture off of the website and pasted them over faces in a skateboarder magazine and a Sports Illustrated baseball edition. It was so creative...I wish you all could see it...thank you Willy (: His mom, Melissa, surprised us with a hot dinner & salad. It was delicious...She then fed the nursing staff outside Justin's room...but, was truly touched when one of the youngest patients (around 2 1/2 -3 yrs old) came up and began to eat what she had prepared. Wow...God is good... Don Stevens was going to spend the night with Justin...Oh, Justin did mention that he had a dream and saw himself giving his testimony and speaking in front of people. Hallejuah!

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 3:03 PM
Yesterday started out about the same. Justin needed platelets and blood and was very tired in the morning. But, by the afternoon he was better. This time he said Domino's sounded, since they deliver....we decided to get a few extra for the nurses and staff who work so hard on this floor. Justin only ate a few bites...but, that's okay. He's trying to eat. I can only imagine how difficult it would be. Thanks to the rain, Garrett's baseball practice was cancelled and his mom was able to bring him and Nate down for a couple of hours. Also, another friend, Becca, was there. Young people are wonderful...their laughter is contagious...yet, I also see in these young people a desire to stick by Justin in the good times and the not so good times. God doesn't look on the outward appearance and neither should we. Justin's body doesn't look the same...he is very thin, his hair will be falling out soon...and changes are happening. But God says in 2 Cor.4:16-18 "Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Thanks for sticking by him...all of you...his friends and classmates. Also, please know that all of your encouraging words are really bringing joy to his heart. He sat up in bed yesterday and read each one of them.. You are all so precious to us....thank you for taking the time to reach out and send him something. As the evening came to a close, Justin was beginning to ask some very deep questions. We are asking God to speak to we asked him if God was saying anything to him...As many of us would answer, he said I think so..but, sometimes I don't know if my own brain is saying it or not. I do understand that feeling as I have questioned that many times myself. But, God word confirms many things to our spirits. In fact, Psalms 107:20 says, "He sent forth his Word and healed them, he rescued them from the grave." The Word is described in Hebrews 4:12 as a sharp two-edged sword that penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow: it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. The Bible, which is the Word of God, is not just another book. It has the power of God to heal all of us. Our prayer is that not only will Justin's faith grow, but, we will all be changed. Romans 10:17 says the "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." So....we need to pump him up with the best medicine available to man...The Word of God.
Our Jr. High Pastor Kenny Collins and youth leader Don Stevens are occasionally spending the night with Justin. We feel that these two men will be used by God to mentor Justin through this experience. Who would have thought that they would be in this place at this time for this purpose. My neighbor, Cathy Foungies, and I were discussing....if we knew that Justin would live, and that God would give us the timetable of how long this would last...this would be easier to endure. However, faith doesn't grow that way. Faith is trusting God when you don't know. Spiritual maturity is developed when you don't need to know. You just trust that he knows and that is good enough. If God had put us in a lineup and asked for volunteers to step out for this task, my guess is very few of us would feel qualified or willing to bear this. However, here we find ourselves together for a time, feeling very human and unqualified, and yet walking out our faith and waiting expectantly for God to move. Remember Ezekial 37: 1-14 about the story of the Valley of Dry Bones...look at verse 4. The Lord command Ezekial to prophesy to the bones and say, "Dry Bones "hear" the Word of the Lord." God says that in the last days, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prohesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17 Pray with us that God will give Justin his vision. I pray for all the young people out there, the Lord is speaking to your generation. He will use this to develop your faith and to be bold and courageous for him. The verse that will be on the hats that are coming soon is Ex. 37:10 Please read it....the vast army is representative of your generation. God is trying to unite you all together.....

Tuesday, February 25, 2003 7:57 AM
Yesterday started out with Justin still very weak and tired. He was given two bags of platelets and slept till about 1:00 p.m. By then, he woke up and said that Taco Bell sounded good. So, I hurried as fast as I could to get him something and he did eat a soft taco and a few Nacho Supremes. This is awesome...His demeanor seemed much better...the nurses had him walk around the floor...where as yesterday he could hardly get out of he did 7 laps, waving and teasing the nurses each time he passed. By the afternoon, his friend Nate came to visit. He is a great friend and filled Justin in on all the things he is missing at school. Soon after, Justin said that shrimp sounded good. He loves shrimp. So, again I was on a "mission from God" (as our Pastor says). Nate's mom and I found a place close to the hospital and brought him back some shrimp. He ate it all......By this time his other friend from school arrived, Garrett. So, the three of them together were in rare form. Justin actually got out the silly string that our friends the Lumpkin's had brought earlier in the day...and got them good. It was wonderful to see Justin like his normal self. He was happy and laughing from the belly. We also had a wonderful visit from the elders at Grace Community Church. The Bible says that if there is any sick among you, let them call for the elders of the church to pray over them. Read James 5:13 - 16 Although, we joked with them about it, and they responded, "It's too much pressure (:" They stood in the authority that God had placed them in and prayed over Justin. It was wonderful and we appreciated their visit. The evening ended with Justin and his silly string. He was waiting in ambush for his wonderful nurse Allison to come in. She is great...I prewarned her something might happen in there. As I left, he was still laughing from the belly and I thanked the Lord that today had been a good day.

February 24, 2003 1:12 PM
It is getting tough...Justin has lost alot of weight...he is down to 87 lbs. They will start IV feeding tonight at 9:00 p.m. There are always complications when the immune system is suppressed like his is. Even IV feeding can cause a reaction or infection to other organs, etc. Please continue to pray that all organs will respond and remain stable throughout Justin's treatment, especially the kidneys and liver. Watching him as he lay in his bed last eve was especially hard to endure. He looked so ill! I stand on the Word of God, it proclaims even death has no hold on us. We will not fear...because God conquered death. We stand believing God for a miracle. Technology can only do so much...the Word of God stands firm forever and it has the power to heal all of our diseases. Justin threw up this morning from the mouthwash he needs to swallow to prevent the esophogas from getting sores. They are going to change it to another kind that is easier to handle. They seem to be giving him blood and platelets a lot. I feel like they are keeping him alive. Specifically, we need to get tested this week, Barb, Mike, and Carissa to test our blood to be a bone marrow donor for Justin. Many decisions will be made once that diagnosis is confirmed. We are asking that Carissa would be a match. Please pray for Carissa, she is nervous about all of this...She has also spent several days in the hospital chapel...for 10 yrs. old...I am very proud of her knowing how much she needs to trust God. Justin seems to be quite weak right now, if he doesn't answer your e-mails right'll know why... Barb

Feb. 21, 2003 2:00 pm
Instead of sending an e-mail message to you as originally planned, we will update this web page each time new information becomes available . Please pass the address of this page to anyone who may be interested in praying for Justin.
Justin is on his 5th day of Chemotherapy. Upon entering the hospital his white blood cell count was up to 80,000. A normal person is at about 10,000 and at this point Justin is down to 12,000. Please pray for his immune system. Barb says this will be an exceptionally difficult weekend.
The family is asking that we pray for their emotional well being. It is difficult now that Justin is unable to have a lot of visitors. He is missing having a room full of buds.
Barb would like us to also pray that the Lord would protect Justin from the side effects of chemotherapy (nausea, fever, mouth sores, painful eyes). Please pray for his appetite to return, for physical strength, and mental strength as he does his homework. Pray that the Lord would heal Justin 100%. The family would also like prayers for themselves, that God would use them to bring hope to other families whose lives are devastated and have no hope. Please pray for faith and for God's provision for the whole Cude family.
A little reminder: There are new restrictions for visiting Justin while he undergoes chemo. 1) Random visits are no longer allowed 2) Appointments must be made through Misty (standby for info on how to contact Misty).
Barb and Michael would still very much appreciate parents coming in to sit with them during this time.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Thank you dear family and friends for your prayers on behalf of the family!!