My husband and I have two sons, Max and Jacob.
It’s late. As I write this, we’ve just returned from a soccer tournament that was a 40-minute drive from home, in a blizzard, and finally they’re both in bed.
The thing is, being a parent doesn’t stop for anything. Not for blizzards, not for late nights, and not for cancer.
Julie Rohr is a fighter. She fights for kids battling cancer. Seven years ago her FightaMonster campaign helped raise money for a sweetheart of a little girl who’s parents are my friends. Now Julie is in the fight of her life.
How did we get here
It was July 2017, and I had just gone through another round of CT scans. Checking my voicemail, I heard the familiar voice of my oncologist.
“Hi, Julie,” she says in her quiet, steady voice. “I have your lab results back and I’d like to discuss them with you.”
Julie’s experience sounds so much like my wife Jocelyn’s. Hers sounds so much like every woman who gets a phone call from her oncologist. Julie’s diagnosis was stage four cancer.
Julie chose to lean in and take away something from cancer.
She learned about empathy, coping mechanisms, and gratitude.
Julie told me, “Gratitude changed everything for me. It changed my perspective from being a victim of my life circumstances to being someone that lives every day in God’s grace and surrounded by so much gratitude.”
“You cannot control what happens to you. Life is going to throw you some big challenges — it already has. Both of my children have been through divorce at very young ages, and my diagnosis of cancer a few years later.
As they grow, they’ll look back on all the ways these events affected their lives.
You can allow difficult life circumstances to teach you important coping mechanisms. Often, people tend to only see the negative parts of scenarios like this, but there are beautiful, poignant moments.”
Miracles in the midst of pain.
“My medical journey has been quite astonishing as well, as my cancer is a very rare one and came with a very poor prognosis but I have had several miraculous occurrences throughout this journey that I can only ascribe to the Holy Spirit.”
Julie has maintained a wicked sense of humor as a companion to her deep faith. She can be heading into emergency surgery and have everyone around her in stitches from her quips.
And she’s been known to way poetic. Following her latest health scare in February she tweeted, “I am a stone in the water, the water rushes around me but I lie still, content, strong.”
I’m in your corner Julie, as a fan and a friend. Shalom.
APPLICATION: Follow Julie on Facebook or Twitter. You will learn a lot about empathy, life, parenting and faith. Like and share her posts. Let her know what you have learned from her. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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