Save Her Life. Whatever It Takes.
August 23, 2010. We sat on our daughter’s bed, silently staring at the floor. Tears streamed down our shocked faces. We had just received the most devastating phone call of our lives.
Four months earlier life was normal with all its hectic routines of having four children. Homeschooling, fun activities, church stuff, family activities…they filled our weekly calendars. Kristina, our 8-year-old, was in karate. She loved it–could take her older brother down if needed!
One afternoon she came up to me, “Daddy, my arm hurts a little.” I gave it a quick exam and saw nothing, so I told her to go back outside and play. The next day she complained again. The slight pain was coming from her upper right arm. Nothing seemed unusual about the appearance. I thought it might be sore from playing outside or something. Later that night, after the girls had their baths and pj’s on, Melissa and I watched them play and dance around in the living room.
Something caught my eye. Kristina’s right upper arm was a little bigger than her left. My first thought was that this karate stuff really builds muscles in little girls’ arms! “Kristina, come here,” I said. I showed Melissa, and we agreed she needed to see her doctor. One arm bigger than the other…this didn’t seem right.
Her doctor immediately led us to another doctor, who led us to Texas Children’s Hospital. We went through a couple doctors there who were trying to figure out what was going on with Kristina. Melissa and I had no idea what was about to happen. A couple more months went by, and then the journey we were about to embark on began with that devastating phone call.
“Mr. and Mrs. Barrett,” said Dr. Thompson from Texas Children’s, “I am so sorry to tell you this. Kristina has cancer.”
There we sat on our daughter’s bed. I held the phone in my hand–trying to figure out if this was real. We sat. We held hands, and we cried.
So here we are, now, 17 months later. Kristina’s tumor had already spread to her lungs at the time she was first diagnosed. But those 9 little tumors have not grown nor spread in the 17 months we’ve been on this journey. We attribute this to the many prayers of thousands of our brothers and sisters–God is so good!
I research a lot. I look for other therapies that could cure my daughter’s cancer. It’s a rare cancer called Clear Cell Sarcoma. I would do anything to save her life. No matter the cost. I would spend it all, go anywhere, do anything if it meant she would have a chance to beat this cancer and live. She’s my little girl.
This is physical life. But what about spiritual life? That’s a matter of eternal life and death. What about other children? What about other moms and dads? What about people who need the cure for their disease of sin–the disease that will cost them an eternity apart from the Father Who loves them so.
Would we do anything to save their lives? Spiritually? Would spend whatever it takes, go anywhere, or do anything if it meant someone would have the chance to trust in Jesus? I believe that when we really think about it, we would.
This journey we’re on with Kristina has changed us. We like the change. God has changed us, and it is good.
He has brought us to the point of being willing to do whatever it takes to reach someone for Christ. We understand that if God calls us, He will guide us. He has not asked for our opinion, but for our obedience. We trust Him.
Kristina is doing well these days. Her tumors are still there, but they are stable. We rejoice in that!
But little children all over the world are still sick. Moms, dads, old and young. Someone needs to bring the cure to them.
It’s evangelism. Let’s journey.