One of my August memories today is from August 3, 1987, a very important date for my brother, his wife and son, myself, and everyone else affected by what happened on this date.
My brother had been diagnosed with a very rare form of lymphoma in 1985, and after having undergone chemotherapy treatments, it was determined that he would be a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. It seems to be a more common treatment these days, but back in 1987, especially for my brother, Phil, it was a very risky undertaking and we were warned over and over of those risks.
Earlier that year, both my sister and I had blood tests to determine whether either of us might be a match as a donor for my brother. Thankfully, it turned out that my brother and I were not only a match, but the perfect match which was a huge blessing because my sister was the mom of two young girls and needed to be home. But in God's perfect timing, I was able to take a leave of absence from work to go to Seattle for the months needed, with Phil, his wife Susan and their two year old son, Chase. As I have told this story before in Second Chances, today I just want to share what happened that particular day.
On August 3, I entered the Fred Hutchison Cancer Center to have bone marrow taken from my lower back and given to my brother.
Phil's nurse, John, administering
the bone marrow to him.
Trust me when I say the above statement is truly an oversimplification of all that transpired in this exchange and that the days preceding and the days to follow were bad at their best and nightmarish at their worst. But, through it all, God was with us. He met every need.
Miracles sprang from circumstances that seemed hopeless.
- My mother was in the last days of her life.
- My Dad feared the loss of both his wife and son.
- My brother's life was in the balance.
- His wife Susan knew not what the future held for her and her two year old son.
BUT GOD ...
Isn't it just like God? The miracles, His mercy, His goodness?
- Heaven awaited my mother that month of August and she was released from her suffering into everlasting life and joy.
- God healed my brother--recovery and healing were a long process, but it was done.
- All our needs were supplied by God through the offerings of the people in their church family.
- Susan's prayers and all of the prayers were heard and their lives continued to be fulfilled and poured out to others to bless.
- My Dad became a believer and was baptized before his death a couple of years later.
The transplant was successful, and it is now 29 years in our past, but I remember the day as yesterday. It will always be to me one of the most wonderful purposes God had for me in my life to share with my brother what he needed for life. I am so thankful to have been a part of God using me in my brother's healing and to see all the extra moments my brother has been given to enjoy in his life.
Me with Phil and Susan
I love these guys!