Fearless in the Face of Leukemia – by Robert Jones
What do you do when your twelve year-old daughter is diagnosed with leukemia?
Katelyn, or as her soccer teammates know her, “Kate,” was in Calgary for a weekend shopping trip with her mom and sister in February 2016. Friday evening Kate wasn’t feeling very well. When her discomfort persisted into the early morning hours her mom, Amanda, drove her to an emergency ward for attention. Mom suspected that Kate had a severe case of the flu. She was floored when doctors informed her that her daughter had leukemia.
The room spun.
The very sound of the word was devastating. The whole world changed in an instant.“It’s a good thing we diagnosed this early. We can begin treatment right away.” Overnight, Kate went from a competitive soccer player to a fearless cancer fighter. She was given her first round of chemo and then released from hospital to return home for extended treatment at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Her mom contacted me requesting prayer. “Leukemia? She’s twelve? What’s her prognosis?”
These are moments when being a pastor is a privilege. Pastors get invited in to some of the most intensely personal moments in a family’s life.
I told her mum I’d come over to their home and pray with Kate.
“We are new to North Pointe. Are you sure you have time?”
No question about it. The most important place to be that day was to be in their home. Even though I had not met the Murray family yet, they were calling North Pointe “home” and that meant they are family.
A Coke And A Smile
I collect Coke memorabilia from all over the world. A truck made from a Coke can was calling Kate’s name. It has a cyan-colored stick shift – perfect for Kate because her favourite color is cyan.
Our graphic artist designed a greeting card especially for Kate. A cyan-colored gift bag with cyan-colored filler made our get-well gift complete.
On our way to their home, our youth pastor, Jeremy Gifford, and I stopped in at Booster Juice. Kate’s favourite drink is a “Himalayan Twist.” It’s not on the regular menu – a special drink for a special girl.
Amanda told me the chemo treatments have given Kate a craving for “beef” so we picked up some Beef Jerky.
Kate was snuggled up in a blanket on a couch in the livingroom. Her smile lit up the room. The Twist tasted pretty good. The jerky would wait for another day. Who knew that trucks – especially ones with cyan-colored stickshifts – were Kate’s fav vehicle?
Jesus Has Kate
Her family, including her Grampa and the family’s dogs gathered round for prayer. “Dear Jesus, your blood was shed so Katelyn’s blood could be made whole. Kate receives grace, mercy and healing in your name.”
God is good.
Our church family’s theme word for 2016 is “Fearless.” Kate suits that word. She’s trusting the Lord for complete healing.
She inspires me to be fearless.
She’s “Kate the champ.”
Leukemia doesn’t have Kate – the Lord has Kate.
Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and
drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.