Sunday, October 5, 2008


From Shelley on October 3 @ 4:15 AM

Dear Friends and Family,
My hands are shaking as I write this. This afternoon I was home watching new carpet be put into my house and eating homemeade popsicles with Jacob and Abigail and it is now 4:30am and I am sitting in a hospital room. Today our sweet Abigail was diagnosed with Leukemia. I will back up a little so you know how we got from there to here in one short day.

About two weeks ago Abbey came down with a fever followed by a cough for about a week. In that weeks time, I had her at the doctors office two times because at first I thought it might be strep and the doctor ruled that out and said it was a virus that needed to run its course. I took her back after about 4 days because I felt like she wasn't getting better and was concerned. I also noticed that she was sweating at night (if any of you follow our blog then you know that each night I go into her room to turn her light off before I go to bed) and each night her head would be wet with sweat. That upset me so when I went the second time to the doctor, I mentioned that. At that point he said it had turned into a sinus infection so she was put on antibiotics. We left that day praying that she would get over this quickly and didn't think much of it. On Tuesday I noticed some bruising on her arms and legs and I knew that she had not had any bad falls or anything that would have caused those so I really started to feel concerned. I called the doctor on Wednesday morning and asked to be seen immediately. They took us right in and I explained the night sweats in more detail and showed the doctors the bruises. He ordered blood work on her which was done on Wednesday. Thursday our pediatrician called to let us know that we needed to take her immediately to Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital in Cleveland due to an abnormal platelet count.

Since then, a lot has happened. Our precious baby girl has leukemia. We are on the hemeotology/oncology floor of the hospital with a lot of children that have cancer. Tomorrow they will be running more tests and starting chemo. They are going to look at her bone marrow to see what is going on there and also look at the fluid in her spine to see if it has gone there yet. The doctors and nurses have been amazing already and we feel confident that they know what they are doing. There is a lot that we don' t know and we have been overwhelmed with a lot of information today, but the best way that I know right now how to explain this to you is by saying that she has the best form of leukemia possible. It is more treatable than others. We know without a shadow of a doubt that God is in control of ALL things and that He loves Abbey even more than we do. We know this didn't accidentally slip through His fingers and He has made Himself very real to us already as we have gone through this difficult day. He has a plan and purpose for Abbey and our family and we are so thankful that we know Him. He has given us bits and pieces of what is happening and we can only praise Him for not giving us more than we can handle today. Please pray with us as we have a long road ahead of us.

Pray please for Abbey, that she will not have a lot of pain. Pray that she would sleep good at night and not get too homesick (she kept asking us to take her home today). Pray that they would find no cancer in her bone marrow (they already said that they have never seen it not spread there with what her numbers are looking like), but we know God can make there be no cancer there. Pray that it would not be in her spine. Pray that we could be creative in keeping her happy, comfortable and occupied. Pray for lots of good talks with her about God and His care for us. Pray that she would be able to really experience God's love for her. Pray that her little body would handle all of these medications o.k. and that she would be able to bounce back quickly. Pray for strenght for Jim and I ... that Satan would not be attacking our thoughts. Pray for our relationship, that it would be strengthened. Pray for sleep for us at night. Please pray for Jacob and Micah as they will be away from Jim, myself and Abbey a lot. Pray that Micah would switch to formula easily. Pray that we would be a light on this hospital floor. That people would see Jesus through our family. Pray for my mom and step-dad as they are traveling through the night to get home from their vacation. Pray for Jim's parents as they come into town tomorrow. Pray for strengh for our parents as they care for our boys. Please pray for her to completely beat this.

We will need your prayers and support and are thankful that we have an amazing support system. I would really like to decorate Abbey's room with colorful pictures and scripture verses that we can learn as a family. If you live close, could you please pick a verse and write it on poster board in bright colors to decorate her room... Thank you those of you who have already been amazing to us. We so love our Jesus and all of you too. Please feel free to send this to anyone who will join us in praying. I will be sending out e-mails as things change and will try to start posting updates on our blog too. Thank you guys... we love you.

Jim, Shelley Jacob, Abigail :) & Micah


BethanyM said...

I told Connor about Abbey's illness on Friday afternoon. After asking some questions, he had an urgent look on his face and exclaimed, "We have to call her! Have to tell her don't be 'fraid cuz your Mama will be with you!"

It was very sweet--comfort and empathy from one three year old to another!

S. Szilagy said...

My heart goes out to you Shelley and your beautiful family. My friend, Carrieanne, gave me your website because my son Carter who is 2 years old was also diagnosed with A.L.L. He was diagnosed on October 30, 2008 so we are just a few weeks behind you all in treatment. If you ever want to talk, you can contact me through Carrieanne. We are praying for Abbey and your family! May God bless you all!

Andrea @ Mommy said...

I just found your site - I'm praying for your precious daugher and family!

Crystal said...

Just came across your blog. Please know that their is a family in Texas praying for your Abigail, you, and your family. It is heartbreaking to hear these things. She is absolutley beautiful. You have a beautiful family and God is watching over you all. He will protect and heal your sweet girl!

mamabuddha said...

My name is Monica and I go to church with John and Sue. I learned about precious Abbey a while ago and just wanted to let you know that I am praying for God to work in her and heal her quickly. I'm also praying that God will be with you and your family as you struggle through this time, I know it's not easy to see your child in pain or sick. May God watch over you and your beautiful family. (I can't believe how much Abbey looks just like Sue!)

krystyna said...

I understand you very much, my greandson Kevin is fighting with leukemia.
It started in the same way.

Be strong!
I'll be pray for your beautiful daughter and for your lovely family!

Jeremy & Renee St. Clair said...

Jim / Shelly I spoke to Jon Gerken tonight and he told me that he had talked to Jim fairly recently and he told me about what was going on with your daughter. We will be praying for Abbey and you all as you go through this valley in life. Remember God will never give you more then you can handle. Even though I am sure it seems more already God has his hand in it. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity." We will be praying and following your blog. My email is

Annie Miller said...

I found your blog about a month and a half ago. I was watching the JUMP Dance Convention live webcast and the dance "Praying for Abbey" came on. My friends and I sat in total silence during the dance with tears streaming down our faces. It wasn't until then that I realized what Abbey was really going through. I pray every night that God will bring peace over your family and continue to heal Abbey's body. Tell Abbey to keep strong and keep fighting hard and eventually she will push through! Much love to your family! :+))