Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You are not alone

Dear friends,

Please keep our new friends, Mike & Anne Won and their 4-yr old daughter Ella Joy in your prayers. 3 weeks ago, Ella Joy was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It is heart-breaking to hear of another beautiful little girl afflicted with cancer. She has started treatment here at Lurie, and they have a long road ahead of them.

I did not know Mike & Anne personally, but within the Asian-Christian community, there are about 0.5 degrees of separation between most people. Jeannie knew Mike from growing up, and the 3 of them intersected at some points at U of I. Unbeknownst to us, they had been attending a community group at our church, Harvest, and very recently decided to attend regularly. When word of the shocking diagnosis got to us 3 weeks ago, some mutual friends connected our families, and we reached out. It's amazing to see how powerful a shared experience can be. It was as if we skipped over all the small talk, the typical questions of what do you do for a living, how are your kids, what's your story, etc, and there were instant hugs & tears of mutual understanding. Such a powerful connection. We visited for dinner to talk, get to know each other and ask some of those questions that we skipped the first time around. By the time we left, after 3+ hours, I felt like they were family.

I am positively sure that these past 3 weeks for them have been a roller coaster of emotions. I am sure, b/c we went thru the same ride earlier. There are differences of course, Soph had an immediate need for treatment with surgery and 18 days in the hospital, whereas Ella Joy had some time to decide upon the best course of treatment. 

Regardless, I am thankful that God has brought our families together, if only to remind each other that, you are not alone. This road can be awfully lonely. So many friends and family have supported us, helped us, propped us up, prayed for us, but at the end of the day, when we drive home from church or outings or events, it's a lonely place for Jeannie & I, and there are not many of can truly relate to what we are going through. I hope we can be ones who not only support, pray for, and encourage the Wons, but give them some sense of community, even in the midst of this unimaginable pain, heartache, and despair.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Read their story & follow their journey on their blog, http://annewon1.wordpress.com/. As they get their feet under them, I am sure there will be opportunities to support them financially, with meals, other favors etc. As I learn of them, I will pass along to all of you.