Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Strongest Girl I Know

When my cousin Samantha (the baby) was a little younger than my girls, she was diagnosed with a tumor that started at the base of her brain and wrapped around her spine like a hot dog. In her short life she has undergone multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. The treatments have left her spine weakened with severe and worsening scholiosis that now requires surgical intervention to allow her lungs the room they need. Despite the challenges she has faced, Samantha is the most positive, confident, strongest girl I know. Along with her family, they are a testament to true faith. Please read the following email penned by my mom. She is artful with words:
This is an update on our niece, Samantha, and a request for renewed prayer on
behalf of Samantha and her family as they face the upcoming surgery to
straighten her spine at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Hospital in Memphis. We
received the medical decision yesterday that this will not be one surgery on
Tuesday, but that the complexity will call for breaking it into two parts about
one week apart. This Tuesday, March 18, four surgeons (The Great Physician
be the fifth surgeon in the operating room.) and their team will open Samantha’s
chest as they do for heart surgery and move her heart and other organs out of
the way to work on putting a rod in her upper spine. This is the area with the
most complexity and causing her worst problem. They will insert half a rod
during this lengthy procedure. Samantha will then be in ICU for several

If all goes well, the second surgery will be the next Tuesday (all subject to
change) when they will go through her back to insert the rod and straighten
the lower spine.

We have been so grateful for so many of our friends
and church groups who have prayed for this amazing child and
family over the years. The doctors have told the family that this is more
complicated than any surgery of this type they have done and not without risk.
As they put it, “Samantha will be in God’s hands.”

We are asking each of you to lift up our precious family and Samantha in particular as
they face this newest hurdle. Their faith has been an inspiration to all of us
who know them and they’ve made sure the glory has been given to The Great
Physician at every turn. The family decided to develop a blog for all of us who
want to keep up. I am including that address at the bottom of the email.
You many send a note to Samantha and family should you wish and you can sign up
to be notified of any update.

There is no end to the prayer list these days for any of us as problems, illness and hurdles come into our lives. We ask that you add Samantha and her family to your list. Thank you for being our friends and family and prayer warriors. Sometimes the only thing we can do is wrap those we love in prayer. Please visit Samantha's Caring Bridge and leave her a message of strength and support. Thanks.

Below watch Samantha and her Dad perform Silent Night this past Christmas.

For those of you who don't know, I spent some time as an RN at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Samantha was a patient there during that time. There is no better charity to support. Please give if you can.

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