Children’s Cancer

Julie Duncan
Julie Duncan

January 22 has been both one of the happiest and most devastating days of my life. Caroline was born on January 22 and brought so much joy to our world. Three years later, on her third birthday, our world abruptly changed. She was sick with high fever and in and out of the doctor’s office the week leading up to her birthday. We thought it was a bad virus but when we went back to her pediatrician they did blood work and told us that her blood counts were abnormal and we needed to go to the Children’s Hospital emergency room as soon as possible. They had already called ahead for us.As my husband and I hurried to our car to get over to Children’s, I stopped him and said “let’s pray.” We prayed for strength and for our baby to be wrapped in God’s arms. That prayer and a zillion others have carried us through this entire journey.

Once we got to Children’s they confirmed the news we were dreading, our little girl had cancer, Leukemia. It was a form of leukemia, pre b-acute lymphoblastic leukemia.The results certainly weren’t the answer we were hoping for, but it was the hand we had been dealt and we knew our only choice was to fight. From that moment until now, we continue to fight and battle this cancer, while trusting in the Lord. It’s been a road filled with hurdles: surgery, magic port, chemotherapy, steroids, hospital stays, hair loss, spinal taps, shots, port access, nausea, blood draws, blood transfusions, new port, more shots, mood swings and heart breaks.

Walking this path with Caroline has drawn me closer to God every day. People often say how sorry they are that we are having to go through this battle. Yes, it kills me to see Caroline in pain but feeling God’s love every single step of this journey is incredible. The bible teaches me that God’s love has been poured out in hearts by the Holy Spirit, because God is love. After spending our first 3 weeks in the hospital, I recall a family that walked in the playroom and had just been given the same news we were given about their little girl. I recognized that lost daze and confusion in the mother’s eyes. I desperately wanted to hug her and tell her I am here for you and it is all going to be OK even though it’s not always OK. I reached out and spoke to the mother, gave her encouragement and spoke to her about her upcoming weeks. From that day on I have been supported by so many friends, family and prayer warriors I don’t even know that are participating in raising awareness and support for Children with Cancer and their families through sharing Caroline’s story. One thing every parent of a child with a life threatening illness has in common is that we all know it can’t happen to our kids – until it does. I ask myself, what can I do with the love of God that he has given to Caroline and my family? Our plan will be to make the best of this journey, continue to love him, love others, support and love children with cancer and continue to raise awareness and support to these children.

My family is so humbled at the generous opportunity of partnering with The Angel Gift to give back. Over the last year my family’s focus has been Caroline, her health and becoming an ambassador for Children’s Cancer. The important thing for these families to know is that it is OK to be weak and cry. Take some time on your own to let it out and give your all to God. Whether that is in a hallway, a bathroom or hospital chapel – anywhere you can escape the mayhem for one moment. God will grant you the strength that you can carry back in to your child’s presence and use that strength to empower and bring happiness back to them. I feel this book will be such a blessing to an innocent child when they are struggling. The Angel Gift will be such a special book that children can read and hold that Angel close to their heart and know they are wrapped in God’s arms every step of this journey. By purchasing this book you will be giving an opportunity to gift an angel with an angel book at Children’s Hospitals around the world through their Pastoral Care.

Helping those in need through different organizations including Children’s Cancer Fund, Children’s Miracle Network and Hope Kids, we will dedicate our lives to making a difference in the life of a child with cancer, to ensure every day they know they are loved, supported and Jesus is watching over them.