May 16, 2014

Fighting Cancer-In honor of a Special Young Woman

The Relay for Life of Baker County, Macclenny Florida, is an effort of local community members to fight back against cancer. We Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back! This afternoon will be a special time in our community as Relay for Life is acknowledged. So many people in our county has been very active in their endeavors to help fight cancer. We've had many fund raiser events where not only individual participants has played a huge part but also many churches and businesses within our county.Our local Chamber of Commerce downtown has the cutest window and I just had to share it with you.


Baker County Chamber of Commerce

We all have lost loved ones to cancer or we have people in our life that are cancer survivors. Some of you reading this are cancer survivors. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and up until 2012 she walked in the relay for life every year as a survivor. Due to her health she has not been able to do so for the past two years. Cancer is not a respecter of age, race, gender or social status.Any one that has battled with cancer in any way, shape or form is a Hero!



My Relay For Life post today is in honor of a sweet young woman that is also a cancer survivor. I would love to share her story with you.

Meet Andrea....


What began as a mere cold and turned into pneumonia became more than what Andrea expected. After a round of very strong antibiotics the lymph nodes did not shrink. Her primary doctor sent her for CT Scans in which led her to an Oncologist. In October, 2010 at the age of 20 she was diagnosed with Cancer, Lymphoma.


As with any other 20 year old Andrea had her whole life ahead of her. She was attending college with dreams of getting a degree in Education, marrying the man of her dreams and having children one day. All that seemed to be at a distant...if ever.

Andrea recalls the weekend that their family took some time to let reality sink in. They went to a cabin to rest, talk, cry and pray. Andrea recalls her dad specifically asking God to give her a peace that would surpass all understanding as he prayed and cried out to God for his child. 

 Andrea and her dad, Allen

Needless to say the procedure of fighting this ugly disease began. Andrea, though she had her moments as we all do of "why me and why now" kept her faith in Christ that He and ONLY Him would sustain her.

She met a man at her church one month after she had been diagnosed with cancer. It soon bloomed into a relationship. 

Meet Josh....The man that God chose for her.


Josh began going to the doctor appointments and testing with Andrea and soon shaved his head in her honor.

A celebration was in the midst of Andrea's last treatment but not like she expected.

On June 3, 2011 Josh proposed to her.

 

Her reality of becoming a wife was beginning to sink in. She knew that God had placed Josh in her life at exactly the right moment. He has truly been a source of strength and inspiration to her.


 On January 15, 2012 they truly became One....One in Christ as Mr. and Mrs. Newmans.





Through the process of her treatments the doctors made her aware that they were not even sure if she would be able to have children. They had planned to adopt if that became the case. Andrea would have  scans done periodically to make sure that the spot was not active. So far she had been in the clear.

 In May of that year Andrea found out she was expecting. Excitement filled the air among family and friends. 




On January 18th, 2013 Lyleigh Kay was born.


 A precious new life from God had been given to Andrea and Josh. 



Another scan was needed but could not be done because Andrea was expecting.  Shortly after her daughter was born a Pet Scan was done. The news came back that cancer was active and chemo was needed again.

Andrea felt as though her world had fell apart but she knew that she would fight as she had something to live for...her husband and her daughter.

 

Prayer went up around and about our County and beyond for Andrea. 

Nothing like the power of prayer and having others stand in the gap for you when you can't pray for yourself. Everything had been going great for this sweet couple and their baby up until now. I can remember vividly the times Andrea's mom Kim would let me know when Andrea was in treatment so I could specifically pray for her child. I asked Kim once, "How do you cope with your child having cancer and watching her go through test after test, chemo, and all that goes with that. Kim simply said, "It isn't easy, but I trust my Lord more than I trust anyone and He is the Great Physician". I always felt that Andrea had such strength about her to be such a young woman. I know where she got it from....her sweet mom. 

Nothing like the prayers of a mama for her child.





Andrea had met with specialist at this point to talk about the possibility of a bone marrow transplant while she was in the midst of chemo. The scan came back CLEAR!

Andrea has amazed me with her faith and her determination. She did achieve her degree in Education. She did marry the man that God chose just for her. She did give birth to a beautiful child. She has NOT lost her faith in Christ. She has trusted God every single step of the way. I am sure there has been times she has been somewhat angry, disheartened and lowly in spirit maybe. But all in all she has clung to the Cross.  At times she had held onto the hem of Jesus' robe and refused to let go. See she knows the great physician. She has a personal relationship with Him. She knows that He found favor in her as He gave her the man she was to marry and despite the odds she gave birth to a life. He knew her before she was born and only He knows the total outcome of her life. 

 
 There has been times over the past 4 years that I have seen the weakness in her eyes from being tired and yet she never complained. Her attitude has always been "Fight the good fight". 

This coming Monday, May 19th Andrea meets with her Oncologist. Would you bind with me in prayer today...a special day in our county as we rally to fight cancer and ask our Lord to be in her midst. To give her that peace that would surpass any understanding as her dad so preciously prayed for her when he learned of her cancer. 

May we all stand together and fight the good fight. One step at a time...




 Hugs and blessings, Cindy
 
 

10 comments:

  1. Well this post has surely brought a tear to my eyes this morning but also gives me joy Cindy.
    Connie Royals

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  2. This is such an amazing story of God's beautiful plan for our lives despite heartbreak. Inspiring!

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  3. I've got Holy Spirit chills....praying for this sweet girl and her family.

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  4. This is such a touching story of faith and love. Thanks for sharing it, Cindy, and let Andrea and her family know I'm praying for them!

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  5. Bless you Cindy for sharing Andrea's story. She is an inspiration of a faithful and Godly woman. I am so proud to have her as a daughter in law.

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  6. This made me bawl!! May 19th is my birthday, the birthday present I'm asking for is for this precious girl to be healed to raise her baby girl and enjoy her family many years to come.

    Katherine

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  7. Wow! This was an emotional roller coaster. Thank you for sharing this sweet lady's story. I will keep her in my prayers for sure!

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  8. I'm catching up a bit and I just read this post. My heart was touched by the grace and strength and beauty God has brought to Andrea's life. I'm praying for her today as she meets with her oncologist. There is SUCH power in prayer - believing prayer can't be stopped!
    ~Adrienne~

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  9. God sure knew what He was doing when He allowed me and my family to meet Cindy. She has been a confidant and someone I could trust to tell anything to and know that she would take it straight to God on my behalf. Andrea's appointment was changed to June 10th, but I have no worries. I know God has her in the palm of her hand. I do appreciate all of the prayers that each sends our way. It is a battle that I would hope that no one would have to fight. Thank God He is always Right on Time even when we think He is late. Love you Ms. Cindy

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  10. God sure knew what He was doing when He allowed me and my family to meet Cindy. She has been a confidant and someone I could trust to tell anything to and know that she would take it straight to God on my behalf. Andrea's appointment was changed to June 10th, but I have no worries. I know God has her in the palm of her hand. I do appreciate all of the prayers that each sends our way. It is a battle that I would hope that no one would have to fight. Thank God He is always Right on Time even when we think He is late. Love you Ms. Cindy
    Kim

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Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Have a blessed day!
Hugs and blessings, Cindy