Push Back The Dark For Ryan and Jenni

These are my very good friends, Ryan and Jenni Williams with their two daughters, Katie and Sarah, who are almost the exact same ages as my daughters. We used to be next door neighbors…

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They look so much like you and me. A normal, happy, healthy, loving family…

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There is no difference between this family and your family or my family… except for one thing…

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They received the call that flipped their world upside down… the call you and I pretend and hope we’ll never get…

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The one that sends us to our knees. The call that changes everything. It could be a death, a sickness, an accident, a relational issue, or any number of things… We pretend we have control over our lives and our futures, but really we’re just like little kids who hide under the blankets thinking “If I don’t look at it, it’s not real.” The truth is we are all going to get some kind of phone call someday (if we haven’t already). And will there be people around to support us and carry us through when it happens?

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Jenni was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer but not the lung cancer we hear of so often. Her lung cancer is rare, slow moving yet slowly taking over her body as well. Today she is 3 years into her fight, and the cancer has spread to her brain and spine. She is now part of a clinical trial for this particular form of lung cancer. The trial allows her to receive medication that is not generally available and in return she offers her body as research ground so that, hopefully, in the future others won’t have to suffer as she is through this disease.

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It is extremely hard for a family to walk through a battle with cancer (I know, because my sister had cancer when we were kids, and I remember it well). But I believe it must be so much harder when it is MOM who is sick. Mom is the glue… the nurturer… the schedule keeper… the activity planner… the cook… the teacher… the one who gives hugs and heals wounds and holds the family together. Right now, Jenni is in a hospital bed unable to do all those things. Ryan has to be Dad and mom to his daughters as well as caregiver to Jenni. Can you imagine?

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While Jenni is fighting for her life, Ryan is fighting to care for his wife and kids and provide for his family. The emotional, psychological, and logistical pressure is unimaginable. Because the clinical trial requires them to travel from Georgia to a hospital in Orlando frequently, He is currently unable to keep up with his job and needs to be on leave. This family is desperately in need of $20,000 to provide for their basic needs as well as medical bills for the next many months while Ryan can’t work every day. They need to pay for temporary housing in Orlando, travel expenses, food, medical bills, etc… along with the normal everyday needs of young children. The crushing financial burden is mounting while this family tries to keep their heads above the waves and keep from sinking.

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An army of people rose up the day I collapsed on my hallway floor when my heart stopped… Prayer warriors from ALL over the world… People rushing to help my husband and my daughters. I was not awake to see and witness it all, but it took my breath away later when I heard the stories. I am praying for that same army to come to the aid of these very dear friends of mine. Please join me to help push back the darkness in this family’s world. When going through something as emotionally intense as their journey has taken them, money is the last thing that should have to be on their mind. Please help me provide for them and meet this need. 12k of the necessary 20k has been raised. Please go to their fundraising link and help in any way that you can.

http://www.gofundme.com/5vniwo

And please join me in praying every day that little Katie and Sarah will always have a Mommy to hug and hold them and watch them grow. God performed an impossible miracle to bring me back to life, and I believe that same God can heal Jenni too…

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