Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Different Finished by Friday

On Fridays I normally post about what I've accomplished during the week. I'm going to skip that this week to tell you about someone really, really special. This might be a little long but trust me, it's important. And it will bless you.

Stephanie Vest - a devoted mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend - has recently been challenged with the fight of her life. After struggling for months with a lingering, undiagnosed illness, it was determined that Stephanie needed further expertise and testing at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Stephanie and her husband Eric both embraced this opportunity and took the trip (in August 2008) hoping to uncover the culprit. It was during that first visit that Stephanie received the unexpected news that she has a rare form of Lymphoma that attacks the skin. To be specific, it is called Gamma Delta Lymphoma. (Note: There have to date been only about 50 cases of this rare form of lymphoma diagnosed in the world!)

This is an unfair and unforeseen blow to her family, especially since they just added a new addition to their home in late June 2008: a sweet baby girl named Gracelyn Isabelle Vest. So in the midst of the chaos of caring for a newborn baby, the family is also dealing with this shocking illness. Gracelyn was only nine weeks old when they completely learned of the severity of Steph's condition.

In addition to their baby girl, Eric and Stephanie have two boys: Zachary (7 years old) and Cole (almost 4 years old). Please bless their 3 children with comfort, health, peace and joy despite this trying time.

With the exception of the parentheses in the third paragraph above I took this information directly from Stephanie's website. This information was on the first post dated September 30. Since that time the cancer has spread to Stephanie's liver and without God's intervention she will not be able to overcome this latest development. In the meantime God has used her to bring at least two people to Christ as she continues to lift her hands in praise. If you can, please take the time to scroll back through the posts on her website, in particular Nov. 2. It will make your heart sing.

As you can imagine this family has many needs, not the least of which is prayer. Friends have rallied around them and are holding many fundraisers in an effort to help through this time when her husband has had to be off work, their children have been cared for by others, and their basic living needs have needed to be met. One of the fundraisers is being coordinated by my niece and her husband. This pink "Expect a Miracle" bracelet is being mailed to anyone who sends $5 to this effort. 100% of the money will be given to Stephanie and her family. I bought 10 myself and gave them away to friends and family with my prayer for a miracle in their lives as well as in Stephanie's. If you would like to have one (or a hundred!) please send $5 for each to (make checks out to Stephanie Vest):

Natalie Chodniewicz

603 Davis Street Unit 1003

Austin, TX 78701

The bracelets will be mailed back to you as quickly as they receive your information.
And please, pray for and Expect Miracles for Stephanie!
And if your heart has been touched by this story and you would like to link back to this post - that would be great! blessings, marlene


Linda said...

I will indeed keep this young family in my prayers. I see TOO much of this in my work with different cancer organizations. It is devastating to say the least.

Michelle said...

I will pray, and I believe in prayer, and miracles. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Valerie said...

This really makes me thankful. Thank you for sharing. I will keep her and the family in my thoughts and prayers. I will go visit her blog now.

Marie said...

Thanks so much for making us aware of thiss Marlene. I am adding this family to my prayer list. Every little helps.

Dawn said...

Oh, my. I can't even imagine what they must be going thru....but I do know- small voice can penetrate heaven.

Veggie Mom said...

Thank you for this post. We will all be praying for Stephanie and the family. This post is EXACTLY why I have a little gift for you over at my place today. Please stop by soon to pick it up!

Letters From Midlife said...

I'll be praying for Stepahnie. I believe in a God who performs miracles.

Mama Kat said...

oh wow. Thanks for to go check out her page...