This will be a different blog post than usual. You see, there is something more important going on than anything I could write about food, flowers or decor. That sweet little boy in the picture above, he is very sick and because I believe in the power of prayer...I want to share a little of his story with you.
Luke is the son of close friends of ours. His dad works with my husband. He started kindergarten this year and he loves baseball, Hot Wheel cars and his brother and sister. Around two years ago, his parents were blindsided when what they thought was a playground injury turned out to be leukemia. I can't begin to tell you what they went through for those first months. Weeks in the hospital in St. Louis (about 100 miles from us) followed by daily trips back and forth after he was released. Many trips to the ER, horrible sickness from the chemo and the tests all while his mom was nursing their youngest child and his older brother was in the first grade. It was worth it all, the leukemia went into remission and for the last year he has taken maintenance chemo by mouth and had monthly trips to St. Louis. While there were still a few bumps along the way from reactions to testing or his weakened immune system, he has been a healthy, happy little boy for a year.
Last week, this young family was stunned once again. Luke's routine monthly checkup showed the leukemia was back. His spinal fluid is 95 percent leukemia cells and it is also in his bone marrow. The picture above was taken this past Sunday...you would never guess he is a sick child by looking at him. His older brother's coach arranged for him to get to play on the team for a game, which was a dream come true for him. His two-year-old sister and his brother (a third grader) have both been tested for a bone marrow transplant. The results will take two weeks to get back. Yesterday, he started agressive chemo and his family is facing driving to St. Louis every other day until December, with a few days spent in the hospital there. If all goes as planned and one of the children is a match, the transplant process will begin in December with Luke and his mom staying in the hospital for 100 days and then in St. Louis for another 100 days. Christmas will be spent in the hospital, mom will be away from her other children for 7 months, dad will be working full time and taking care of two small children and the things that Luke will have to endure are just too painful to write about.
They are an amazing family. They have a strong faith and support from family and friends. They have used the past "healthy" year to raise awareness and funds for research for childhood cancers. They give of themselves to others and they have been through more than any family that I have ever known. As I discovered "the plan" for their next year...I was simply overwhelmed by what they have to face and yet when we visited with Luke's dad on Sunday, he was ready to do whatever he had to do to save his child and he was already talking about how they planned to give back once Luke is well. I am old enough to be their parent, but they seem so much wiser and stronger than I will ever be.
There is so little that we can do as their friends. A plan for taking meals is in place. (Have you seen Mealtrain.com-fabulous for things like this). They have volunteers for babysitting and Luke's dad has been told he can work some days from home. Mostly, what they ask for is prayer. Right now, the prayer is that one of the siblings is a match. This is the best possible thing that could happen for Luke.
Because blogging is my way of reaching many people, I ask for your help. I ask that you pray for our friends and for Luke if that is what you believe in. If not, I ask that you just send good thoughts and positive energy their way. I ask that you consider signing up to be on the bone marrow donor list, because I know this would be something our friends would want others to consider. If this touches you in a way that you would like to do more for this family, send me a message and I will tell you how you can do that.
Last week was one of those that was extremely painful for all of us who love this family. It was so unexpected and it made us all feel so helpless. It also made me very aware that anything in my life that I've been complaining about...is nothing. So, if you are so inclined...please take just a moment to add this sweet child and his family to your prayers today. Thank you.