365 days ago, my phone rang and I got a call like I’ve never had before. It was a call from the office of hematology in Lima and the receptionist had instructed me to call Jen’s doctor.

I knew immediately the news was bad but I made the call with Randy at my side. I dialed his number while sitting on the edge of my bed. The words your daughter has leukemia still rings in my ears. I was able to keep my composure during the phone call but as soon as I had hung up, tears stream from my eyes and I gasped​ for air. I cried harder than I probably have ever cried before in  my life. When  I finally got the strength to pick myself up and walk out to the living room and face Jennifer, my legs barely carried me. Jennifer too knew before I even had to tell her.

Like a strong brave soul she has shown us over the last year, she showed such great strengths in those first days. She called her brother Matt while I called her sister Jess. Next I called her grandmother as I stood outdoors in the cool November air. Telling her grandmother and her sister the news and saying the words Jennifer has leukemia, felt so foreign.

From there I looked for someone to console me and I walked over to my neighbors and fell in the arms of Sparky and Doris Brinkman. I needed to cry but needed to be strong for Jennifer so I couldn’t fall apart in front of her. I eventually gathered myself and walked back home and packed my bag to take Jennifer to the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

When we learned a few days later that Jennifer was considered a poor risk and would need a bone marrow transplant, I had no idea what all that meant. But  I have learned so much over the last 365 days. Transplant meant, many weeks in the hospital, a huge hurdle to leap. It meant Jennifer would have the fight of her life.

So it makes sense after 365 days of being nothing but the family fighting cancer to share some good news. After many years of waiting and praying, my oldest daughter and her husband Chris are expecting a baby in April. My first grandchild and Jennifer first chance at being an aunt. And 2018 promises to give us hope. We are so very blessed.

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