Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Team Kaelyn


Some of you who follow my posts on Facebook and have been following this blog for a while know I have a great niece named Kaelyn who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia the week before Christmas last year. She's undergoing treatment at St. Jude's and has 91 more weeks of chemo. She's a beautiful little girl and when she was diagnosed she had beautiful long wavy hair. Now of course she has no hair and every time it begins to grow back in, she has to take more chemo. That's her with her little brother and new baby sister.
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A little girl who knows the family donated her hair to make Kaelyn a wig, but Kaelyn is too young to worry about hair once it started falling out and they shaved it off. Her dad shaved his head too. In fact she doesn't think a lot about her lack of hair at all if the story her grandmother told me is any indication. Her grandmother said Kaelyn was out with her family at a restaurant when a woman started talking to them. Kaelyn being an outgoing child volunteered the information that they were in Memphis because she was a patient at St. Jude's Hospital. The woman smiled and told Kaelyn, "I know." Kaelyn's mom said that after the woman left the table, Kaelyn looked up at her and asked, "How did she know I was a St. Jude's patient?" Her mom didn't point out Kaelyn's bald head. She just told her it must have been a lucky guess.
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Kaelyn has people all over the country praying for her. Her dad's a preacher and her mom's a beautiful Christian wife and mother. The whole family has been an example of faithfulness and love. Kaelyn tells doctors and visitors that she has Jesus in her heart. By the way, she's six now, but was five when she was diagnosed. Since then Kaelyn's mom says they've seen the good in people. Strangers pay for their meals in restaurants. People who have never met Kaelyn or any of the family pray for her every day. And because she is a delightful child, St Jude's has asked her to do some ads and personal appearances to help raise money to keep the hospital going and for more research for cures. No child with cancer is turned away because of inability to pay. You can imagine what a blessing that would be if you had a sick child who needed such intensive and expensive treatments to give her or him a future. A lot of Kaelyn's family will be walking in the Give Thanks Walk this weekend to help raise money for St. Jude's. It's a cause we can believe in because we've seen the hope it gives families. We've seen the miracle of a fifteen percent survival rate when Danny Thomas got the vision to establish the hospital going up to eighty-five percent. Now their goal is to to make that even higher. They don't want to surrender any child to cancer. You can go to my page where I'm supporting the Give Thanks Walk if you're interested in helping out. https://waystohelp.stjude.org/sjVPortal/public/displayUserPage.do?programId=601&userId=565096&eventId=110410
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So watch for Kaelyn in an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show this coming Monday, Nov. 22. I think she's going to be talking about losing her hair. Whatever it is, you'll have to love her, bald head and all. She's also in a commercial with Dwaine Wade. (I don't think I spelled his name right, but the basketball player.) So even though we would have passed by this ordeal for Kaelyn if we could have, we can see how the Lord is letting Kaelyn shine her light - his light in her - for the world to see even in the midst of this desperate trial. And we're all blessed as a result. So keep her and her family in her prayers and if you see a little bald-headed girl with a million dollar smile, you just may be seeing Kaelyn.
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