Monday, 22 August 2011

Hard to believe...

A lot can happen in 3.5 months. It's hard to believe that I am sitting in Bronson's hospital room with his car seat in hand, ready to be filled. 
In 3.5 months we have had some of the most emotional times of our lives. As I walked from our vehicle to the elevator I looked to my left, seeing shadows of sad nights where Angela an I sat in our van, crying for Bronson, wondering if we would see him the next day. 
In the last 3.5 months we said goodbye to our dear friend Penny who lost her battle to cancer, leaving behind her husband and family to meet her on the other side. 
And today we say goodbye to Jack Layton who has passed from his battle with cancer-what a journey for so many. 
And so today with reminders of tears shed in the past, we thank God for the blessings He has poured out on us. We are thankful that our family will finally be whole. 
As I look at Bronson laying on his bed, I see his bravery beads above him. Each bead a reminder of what we have all been through/each bead representing thousands of people who have walked this journey with us, supporting us along the way. 
I wrote this out before and I feel I need to do it again...
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

Bronson is coming home. We will continue to update on his life if you would like to continue to see his progress. We thank you for your support. Time to hold my son for a while...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Just out of reach...

Well it's certainly been a while since I've been able to sit down and write on this blog. Life has been so crazy for the past while... Angela is down at SickKids staying with Bronson... I'm here in Brooklin with Kallie while trying to take care of work.  It's honestly not that bad... What's tough are the nights... it just seems so quite. Without Angela and Bronson here, things don't seem to be complete.

Through everything though it has been incredible to see how far we've come... Angela told me yesterday that the head oncologist came by to say how happy he was with Bronson's progress. We also learned how lucky we are to have things work out the way they did. He was talking with a doctor down in California who couldn't believe that Bronson recovered considering the extent of damage from the neuroblastoma and chemo damage to the liver.  He said that Bronson wouldn't have qualified for a transplant by their standards because they would have thought him 'too far gone'.
Our oncologist said that he was pleased to say that it can be done and Bronson is the example! What a story to tell Bronson some day! At this point though it would just be nice to have him home... It WAS supposed to be last Friday... now it looks like it's going to be this coming Tuesday or Wednesday... Seems so close but so far away... A few more days... what a journey. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Counting the minutes

Well I haven't blogged for a while and thought I should tonight. We are really in the home stretch with Bronson...it's hard to believe. I would say for sure that he will be home by the end of next week...at the latest! - At least that's what the doctors are hoping for - we know things can change and so I am not trying to get too excited.

What a journey it has been - and everything seems so crazy right now... Kallie is being watched by friends and family throughout the day, Angela is down with Bronson, staying there each night and I am here taking care of work and trying to make it down when I can - a break would be nice - we will get there soon enough.

Our only concern at this point is that Bronson keeps having some mild seizures... we don't know what's causing it... I am really hoping that these things clear up and that he can began to have a 'normal' life... whatever that is. He turns 3 months tomorrow... hard to believe. So much has happened.

Thanks again for all your prayers... even though we (or should I say 'I') don't update a lot with the busy-ness of it all, we really do appreciate your prayers... they are getting us through this. It will be good to be a whole family again!


Friday, 22 July 2011

A new life...

It's easy sometimes to question why things happen...to question if God is involved or if He just stands by and watches while we suffer. It can be hard to trust God, especially when things are tough... 
From the beginning I have believed and prayed psalm 91 over Bronson's life - that because we love God, he would bring us through this and show Bronson his salvation. So here we are. 

Long before Angela and I met, Angela had a baby sister, born 21 years ago - a girl that speaks very loudly and can say some of the craziest things-but more importantly a girl who loves unconditionally and selflessly. 

We can question at times our purpose in this life... Jeremiah 29.11 says 'I know the plans God has for you...plans to prosper you-not to harm you ... Plans to give you a bright hope and future'. 

21 years ago Sarahbeth came into this world-not knowing she would live to save another. Not knowing that God made her so perfect for a surgery that would save our boy. 

We were told today that Sarah's liver was not shaped normally. Instead of being a bit thicker it seemed to be long and skinnier- making her the perfect donor for Bronson. Sometimes a donors liver can be too big making recovery time a bit more complicated. For example, a liver too big can mean they have to remove the spleen, making it necessary for Bronson to be on a drug for the rest of his life. Sometimes a liver is too big that they would have to leave him open for a few days-which can lead to other complications. But 21 years ago God made SB with a 'clinically perfect' liver to be able to donate to our son. - 21 years ago SB became a hero long before she knew it. 

Sarahbeth is resting. Feeling sick but fighting through. Our son is resting. With a healthy liver that is doing its job and is all closed up. Yes we still have a long road ahead of us. But because of our hero, this road is now a bit easier to travel. 
Sarahbeth you are a God-send and Bronson's personal angel. Thanks for being there for us! 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Big Changes...

It's hard to believe that our son is over 2 months old now. In 2 months time he has battled cancer, been on life support, battled infection, and now battles while waiting for a liver transplant - time has past by far too fast. 
This has been such a busy time for us... this past week for example we had our church sports camp, prepped jobs for our cabinet business and laid to rest our precious Pennie, who is now experiencing Heaven in ways we only dream about - not to mention trying to make it down to see our son! 
It's so hard to know what to feel/think at this point... Angela has been so good through all this... she has made it down almost every day to spend time with him... In the past two weeks I've only been down once. My connection lately has been the pictures Ang sends me via iPhone.  Days go by and life goes on, but here we are feeling like something is missing... - something IS missing... no matter the work I do and fun we have, life feels empty without our boy. 


But it feels like we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sarahbeth... Angela's sister is a 'perfect match' as a donor for Bronson - the workers at the hospital was telling us that they've never seen such perfect anatomy... There is a huge process to make sure things work out for a liver transplant... not only do you have to be healthy, but internally, your veins and lines have to line up properly to ensure the surgery can be successful - and again...she's a perfect match. An answer to prayer? I'd like to think so. 


So here we are... this week brings huge changes for us... Changes that I am not sure I know how to prepare for... I am so excited for him to have this surgery but scared with the chance that there could be complications. I'm nervous because I don't know how many more nights I can go home and look in his room only to feel the emptiness it holds so deeply. Whatever this week brings... we face it with our family, friends and the community of people that have held us up through all of this. 


If you haven't had a chance yet I'd encourage you to take a look at Ang's blog. Sarahbeth is making a huge sacrifice doing this for us. She will be able to register for E.I. but still has bills that won't be covered... we want to make her recovery as easy as possible - she could potentially be off of work for 3 months. 
Angela's blog has an option set up to give online to PayPal. 
....Even after having cancer myself...I've never known the struggle of trying to continue on with life and trying to pay the bills... yet this time around things are very different... 
We have been blessed to have people help us... We would love to help pay that forward with Sarahbeth. If you can join us in this journey, it would be an incredible weight lifted off of her shoulders.  


To lay down your agenda... your goals and current plans to save a life is such an incredible, selfless act of compassion. We are so blessed to have Sarahbeth come along side of us in this journey. Again we thank you for your prayers in this battle, but also humbly ask that if you can help lighten the load from S.B's shoulders, it would be an incredible help...  ( you can do so through a PayPal account and use the email address livertransplant@live.ca)
Thank you again for following our journey... though it doesn't end this week... it is definitely a turning point... please continue to pray...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

It's been a while

It's been a while since I've written a blog do I figure I should get on that. 
It's been a busy few weeks. Angela and I are on our way down now to SickKids. I really haven't had the chance to see much of him lately and am really feeling disconnected. 
Only a few hours today doesn't feel enough to make up for missed time. 

We got on the GO early this morning because Bronson gets to meet his Great Grandparents today (Kessler)-so that's exciting for him. 
It's hard to believe that we are creeping up onto months! Ang and I just want him home. 
We have a few family members that could possibly be a match for a liver donor, so we are looking through those possibilities over the next few days. The doctors told us that even with good candidates, only 1/8 end up being a match-we are praying we get the match on the first try-more than that we are praying still that he won't need a transplant and that his liver is going to start working by the grace of God. 

Life feels like a blur right now. Between working, taking care of things at home, and making it to SickKids, it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. We are praying for continual strength but we would really like to see some progress here. 
God is in control... And that's what we need to hold on to at the moment. For now I'll look fw to holding him for a while! 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Playing The Waiting Game

...hmmm...
Not quite sure where to start today. We found out yesterday that Bronson has been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant... Today we found out that he is blood type O... which means that he is a universal donor...but means he can only receive O type livers... :/

The waiting list is as long as 2 years for a liver like this.  
What a thing to think about... that the best liver we could obtain for Bronson is one from a baby who has passed away. It's a lot to soak in...
Then we've found out that we can get one from an adult, but there are very tight regulations on donors...i.e. healthy, fit, free from disease, etc. In the first few questions of the form, because of my cancer history it takes me off the list.
It's hard to know what to write...or what to think tonight... This process changes his life. For his lifetime he will have to take medication... he will have to worry a lot more about things like chicken pox... things that I was hoping would never happen to him... I don't know what to think...

This doesn't change things for me... until he is on that table getting the transplant I will be praying for his healing...

I asked that as he waited, if his liver started to fail, are there any options of treatment to prolong his life? The answer was no... The liver has to work in order to live...

This next part is not something I am comfortable with writing... but from the messages I have received I think it's necessary. We have already received about six offers from people willing to give up part of their liver. What a humbling situation to be in...
We were told today that Canada is one of the worst countries for donors... Not enough people think about it.   But today has changed that a bit...

Again this is not something I could ask of someone... Major surgery is involved for anyone considering. 3 months of healing would then follow... but this is for those that have volunteered - and there are very specific guidelines to be approved. If you would like to talk to me further please email me @ jon@btcc.ca .

This is a hard place to be in... but to know that people are wanting to step up to this for us... there are no
words to describe my gratitude...

Ang and I are very tired...and getting a bit sick..so we are taking tomorrow off...Please continue to pray with us that we will see God's grace in this situation!


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Only Takes a Moment

In a moment your life can change... You can be welcoming your new son in the world and in the next moment you can see him flying overhead to SickKids Hospital. In a moment you can see your child in the NICU and the next you can see him breathing on his own, in his own room, acting as normal as a baby should! Oh and his sister and cousins got to really meet him for the first time today! Very exciting!

I've learned to cherish every moment... I've learned to thank God more and more in the good times and the bad - and I am so thankful for where we are now! Bronson is doing great... Over this past week he has been moved out of the NICU and to a different floor - he is definitely making great progress. Today I was able to bottle feed him! He did pretty good - what a great feeling... tomorrow night Ang is going to sleep over with him... All these things that we could never imagine happening are actually pretty exciting things!

Though we don't miss the NICU for obvious reasons, we do miss the nurses! Jane and her right hand girl Hailey, Judith, Megan, whom we have never met because of night shift, but always took time to give Bronson a bath... These people are so undervalued - And of course our nurse practitioners and doctors, like Didi and Dr. Anders, who is now back in New Zealand... we are truly blessed to live in this country!

Bronson still has a lot of fluid build up on his tummy. We need to continue to see improvement in his liver and hope you'll continue to pray along with us as fervently as you did from the beginning! Though I have no doubt the miracle of medicine has played a big role in Bronson's life, I have seen God's hand through this whole process... We couldn't have made it without the peace that comes from knowing Christ - we couldn't have made it without all of you, around the world, praying for Bronson... 'The fool in his heart says there is no God (Psa. 14) - let him say that when he's in our shoes. Through the good and the bad I will praise the name of the Lord.

Angela and I were talking on the way down to the hospital today... saying that there were points throughout this journey that we would drive home secretly thinking that we were going to get a call that night telling us the worst has happened... There have been times as I've prayed that I pleaded my case with God...asking for Bronson to be able to live out the full days of his life... but at the same time trusting that He had the big picture in front of him, and even though it tore me apart to think it... that we were trusting God to do His will for the glory of the Kingdom of God - I am glad He is giving Bronson back his strength... :)

Bronson is still not out of the woods... but that sunlight is certainly shining through. The more I think about what we have gone through the more I think about the glory of God... In the month of August we are going through a DVD series from Passion called 'How Great Is Our God'. Louie Giglio walks you through things as big as the stars in our galaxy to things as tiny as the science behind what holds our body together... No matter how big our problems are...our God is bigger - no matter the position of our joy or sorrow, our God has a plan and as purpose through everything... and for that I am thankful today. (If you would like to see this series and you're in our area, please check us out!)

Continue to pray for Bronson... and tonight please also pray for our Pennie... who needs a miracle... we are so humbled and blessed to have so many of you lift us up in prayer! Thank you!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

On The Mend...

It's been a while since I've updated with a post so here we go. Bronson is doing so well! We are so happy with his progress... Each day he is more awake and more alert - it's just this darn liver. His Jaundice levels have increased to about 330... whatever that means... but it's not changing his progress at this point... he 'looks' the best he has since day one.

There is talk of moving him to a different floor because 'he no longer needs the assistance of the NICU' - but they are going to wait till he is weaned off of the last of his pain killers. It seems strange that we haven't seen improvement in his liver yet, but I am believing that any day things are going to start improving...

This past Sunday I spoke for Father's Day at our church (www.btcc.ca). It had to be one of the toughest messages I've ever given. By faith I spoke boldly believing that God is going to bring our little guy through this. By faith I continue to believe that's going to happen.

Please continue to pray... I know it's easy as time moves on to forget about the urgency of prayer because we get used to a situation... It's the way our society builds us... Please continue to pray because we know it's only through prayer that he is going to rebound now... we don't want to even consider the thought of a liver transplant. He's going to get better...even better than he is now... he's going to be home soon.... By faith I am believing for this!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Everyday takes faith.

Sunday-Father's Day-....

Everyone deals with suffering differently. Some get angry, some scared... Some simply lose faith in a world that has continued to spin while theirs has come to a screeching halt. 
What do you do when you lose a loved one? Or like our friends to the south, what do you do when your home and ecerything you know is ripped from you through horrific tornadoes. 
What kind of God lets this happen? 

Mike (my brother and lead pastor at btcc) asked me about two weeks ago to speak on Father's Day. With hesitation I said yes. Part of me doesn't want to-mostly because as a father I can hardly keep it together knowing my son is battling for his life. Mostly because there are times I feel helpless knowing that all I can do is trust God and trust the doctors to bring our boy through this.
Yet I am still on deck for Sunday. My thoughts are based a bit around the story of Abraham and Isaac. Why? 

Four years ago as you know I had my own battle with cancer. Because of this I didn't know if Ang and I would ever have kids. During the next few years while I was in youth ministry I came across a particularly tough situation - a student had 'cried wolf' regarding a tough situation and I had to act. Unfortunately I was wrong - and parents were obviously upset. As I spoke with a very upset mother - who - in a moment of tears and anger said 'how could you ever know, you don't have children'...

I let it wash off my back because I knew she was hurt and really didn't mean it, but it still stuck with me. A nerve that no one knew about was hit.
There where nights when I would pray so hard to believe that God would still bless us with children. When I would 'remind him' of Psalm 91- that because we loved him, he would grant us long life and show us his salvation - his favor. 
And here we are. Another day sitting on the train, heading to SickKids. I can't help but feel a little of Abrahams pain. Though the Scriptures don't say anything about his fear of sacrificing his son (Gen: 22), I am sure there were questions going through his mind. 
At the end of the day though he never questioned God... Never doubted him - and God saved Isaac from death. 

So here I am. Heading to see Bronson who still needs healing - who still has a liver that is not up to par - who still needs our prayers. 
My topic on Sunday is still finding hope through suffering. God still knows our pain and struggles. Even though he gave Man the freedom to ignore him and live for themselves, it is in time of sorrow that he reminds us that he is here to walk us through it and bring us out unharmed. 

As my brother reminds me-three boys were thrown into the fire for not giving up on their heavenly father - three boys came out not even with the smell of smoke on them...(Dan 3: 19-28)

If you're around I'd love for you to join us on Sunday. It will be a day to remember for me. Hopefully the same for you. www.btcc.ca

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Good Day

As I write this, my little boy is resting in my arms. It's quite the feeling every time we get to hold him. He seems to be doing so well but his billi levels show differently. In the past 2 days they have jumped almost 50 points. 

Everyday is a roller coaster. Tears of sorrow and tears of joy. Angela just finished giving him a bath-so proud to watch them. As he sleeps now I can't help but feel hopeful. Yes the doctors are concerned and yes we have reason to be concerned. But I am reminded even as we speak with them that God is much bigger than these issues. 

We have an incredible team of doctors and nurses working with out boy- and by the grace of God if it wasn't for them, he might not be here right now. But I am believing that beyond the diagnoses of his liver at the moment... Beyond the concerns... God is going to be faithful. I have every feeling to believe that he will be restored. 

It's days like today that I could sit here for hours and rock him. I took time this morning to read to him Psalm 91 and John 16.33. We believe in a big God-and there my hope will rest. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Tough Day For Bronson

On my way down to SickKids. I'm so excited to see my baby boy but already feel heart broken knowing he has been in pain the last few days.
It's a hard thing to overcome...pain and sickness. The feeling of not being physically able to do anything for him. If I could lay my own life down for him I would in a heartbeat.

But here we are. And as hard as some days are. As hard as it is to see him go through what he is dealing with I still have hope in a healing God.

The following is the bridge from a song by HILLSON UNITED. It draws from John 16.33
If you would like to hear it click here.

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failure
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome
All our heartache
And all our pain
God our healer
He has overcome

All our burdens
And all our shame
God our freedom
He has overcome

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failures
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome

God our justice
God our grace
God our freedom
He has overcome

God our refuge
God our strength
God is with us
He has overcome



Isaiah 55.11 tells me that Gods word will not be returned void to me today. So beyond the battle I'm fighting within. I still am giving my son to God believing that he will restore him to us.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Another Day

Yet another day has passed. May 9th to June 9th... Here we are.

It's hard to see him the way he is. It's hard to see him struggle for air. If I could breathe for him I would. If I could give him a lung or liver I would gladly without hesitation. But I stand next to him feeling like my hands are tied. I'm in a place that I can only rely on God. He's brought us this far and compared to where he was a month ago, he is doing better.

I couldn't help but be drawn to the Book of Job as we sit here on the GoTrain. Chapter 5 specifically has stuck out to me. My plan at this point is to continue to present my case to God. We are brought to this earth for a purpose. To know the grace of God and share that grace and love with others. Bronson hasnt had a chance to do that yet. He needs to grow strong. He needs to lift up those weaker than him - He needs to teach this love to his children so that they may do the same.

We have a purpose. And though my heart is heavy today - cancer will not hold my awe. We will live out our days - I will walk and talk with my son before I leave this earth - we will both know that God has brought us through this for a purpose - and even through these tough times we will thank God for the plans He had laid before us and hope we've made the most of it.

Today is a tough day. But I will not forget Christ's words.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

His promises are made new every morning. And so I will continue to wait on them.

What's Next...

Well as I write this, sitting on the train...they are beginning to prep Bronson for his procedure. He has a lot of fluid on his belly and it is making it especially hard for him to breathe at this point. At the moment his o2 is as high as it can go with his low flow air...we are hoping they don't have to intubate him.

It's tough to know what to think at this point. So many people have mentioned to either us or family that they believe God is going to heal him-which I have no doubt-but today I feel that my faith is struggling. It seems like Bronson is taking a few small steps forward and a few giant leaps backwards.

It's times like this that I am glad others are believing and praying for us. We are still believing and still trust that God will restore Bronson but I feel like I don't know what to pray anymore. God has the ending already worked out. I feel like I'm just along for the ride now.
I want to bring him home and let him rest in his own bed. I guess that's my prayer for now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Life is a Highway

Insert Tom Cockrane tune here...

Life can throw so much at you in no time at all. I remember when we lived in Labrador there was one road in and out when we went on vacation we would have to drive the dreaded Baie Comeau road. An 8 hr drive from city to city with 1 stop along the way. A drive with more twists and turns than a Roller coaster. One with many stops to remind us what we ate that morning.

I feel like I am on that road again. Knowing the journey is a long one and knowing there will be tough days is not an easy thing to prepare for.
Bronson is having a tough day. He is breathing fast and and seems to be battling. A few moments ago I asked everyone for prayer and just now the nurse says he seems to look better. Whether it's the morphine kicking in or the lasix helping to relieve pressure, or God hearing our prayers, it's a constant flow of emotional news.

I keep reminding myself that God is bigger than this...bigger than his symptoms and bigger than our fear. I'm reminded today to continue to give thanks for hid life. Even in these moments God continues to hold our boy in his hands.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Our Pennie For Your Thoughts

Today we are heading down to see Bronson again. Currently sitting on the GoTrain thinking about everything.
Today we had a good service at our church. Good music and good preaching. But today I can't help but think of others that are battling as well. So many are touched by cancer. So many have their lives drastically changed because of what it can do.

Today I think about our Pennie. Pennie Park. If you knew Pennie you would know a love like no other. You would know a woman that only came to know A relationship with Christ a few years ago. Most of all you would know a woman that even through sickness knows that God has great things in store for her.
Pennie was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. She has had some good battles and some tough ones-today Pennie needs a miracle. Radiation and chemo are simply trying to improve her quality of like right now. The next 'natural' step is not something I am will to accept at this point.
I have seen God's grace in my life...I've seen it in my sons life and I am believing that the grace that was given to us would pass to her.
A lot can be said for someone's testimony-even to the end. But I believe that more can be said for those who are restored.
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

So today I'm thanking you in advance for your prayers over our family-but I pray that you will take Pennie under your wing as well. That we would believe for a full restoration and that today she would feel the warm healing touch of Christ's garment. I know there are great people praying for us today, but I humbly ask that you would also pray for our dear friend as well.
Matt:18.20

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Patience...

“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.”


Patience is a virtue... No, actually it's more of a pain in the butt. Bronson has made so much progress. And to be able to hold him today makes us want to bring him home so much more... He seems to be doing so well, yet he still has such a long ways to go. 
Today was a good day. His Jaundice levels dropped from about 290 to 230 (still a long ways from zero), and his clotting levels are a bit better. 


He has been at SickKids for almost a month... it's hard to believe... almost a month ago we didn't know what to expect... almost a month ago we almost lost our one and only son - but here we are... one month into this and we've grown closer together as a family...closer together as a husband and wife... closer together as people who trust in a loving God. 


It's incredible that through all of this..through the tough patches...through the sad times, the peace that we still feel from God. Don't get me wrong, I want my boy home and I wish he was home from day one... but for whatever the reason is that we can't have him yet, we are trusting that God has a purpose and is working it out in his time... 


If you've been reading from the beginning of our journey, I hope you've hugged your child, your spouse, your family member that much more... I hope you've taken the time to cherish the time you have with your loved ones that much more... because we never know what tomorrow brings... 
14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. - James 4v14



Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Days Like Today


Because of today... this song has been on my mind... have a listen...

              - Brian Littrell (more than just a Backstreet Boy)


“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”
      - Oscar Wilde


I could get used to days like today... We both had a chance to interact with Bronson...see him looking around - look at us... we were able to hear him cry... we both held him. 


Even through my own trials with cancer I never appreciated life and family the way I do now as a father. It's days like today I feel like I can see just a little bit through the eyes of God... To see my child fight through a tough battle - to see prayers being lifted up by people all over the world - it's an incredible thing to see faith in action. By name people around the world might be strangers, yet through Christ it feels like extended family. 


I can't begin to describe how proud I am with Bronson. He may go through life, succeeding at everything he puts his hand to, but these are the days I will remember... the days when he was finally sick of artificial life and decided to breathe for himself, by pulling out his breathing tube... A step so monumental in his progress that the nurse was caught off guard and had to hit "the big red button" - that brought everyone running... Oh what a trickster... only a few weeks old and already messing with people - He's definitely an Anthony. 


What a a story to tell... 
    Beyond stories that I can describe on a blog, I have seen such blessing poured out from God on our life... even through this trial. I have never seen such prayer, love and support that I have seen in this situation... to know that literally thousands of people are praying for us - for Bronson - it's a humbling experience. 


Many see 'religion' as a crutch. They see it as something that's only useful for the weak... I don't quite view it the same way. We all go through life winning and losing at different battles... But in the times that matter, I will boast in the fact that my strength is in Christ. See, in situations like this, Christ hasn't been the crutch I've leaned on... He's been the foundation that I stand on. 


We still don't know what's in store for Bronson. We have every reason to believe he is going to be restored but there is still some miracles that need to happen. The chemo has reduced the size of his liver and adrenal glands significantly - but currently his liver is not functioning properly... which is serious business... 
But why should we worry? Our boy was diagnosed with 'Bi-lateral Adrenal Neuroblastoma', and even though we were scared...we trusted God... and here we are... - Leaps and bounds beyond where he was 2 weeks ago - why would we doubt that God wouldn't continue to restore him? 


Just like Bronson, I refuse to live an artificial life... Christ said that he came to give life, and life to the full (John 10:10)... so that is what Angela and I choose for our family... to live life with Christ as our foundation... to give him praise through the good times and the bad...  We are believing for good things... 


 “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble,
   I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation.”



So tonight, even though we know we still need to see some major progress... I am thankful to the doctors, but especially to God that he has made the progress he has, and hope you join us in prayer to see his liver restored! 


Good night! 

Monday, 30 May 2011

Hedge of Protection

So today I was working while Ang spent the day with Bronson. He is doing so much better... we keep forgetting that he is still in the NICU. Today while I was working my brother had Joel Osteen playing on podcast. he was speaking about God's hedge of protection upon our lives.

He spoke of Yellowstone National Park. A few years back there was a fire that ripped through the park. As workers made their way through the destruction, one stumbled upon a bird. What caught his eye was how the small bird was laying... It's wings spread out, as if to pose for a picture. The worker assumed the bird ended up in a petrified state with fire and ash all around it.

Still interested, the worker simply poked the bird and to his surprise three baby chicks came out from underneath. The bird could have flown away... she would have saved herself but instead choose to spread her wings over her babies, surrendering her own life in the process.

That's how Ang and I feel. That through everything God has us under His protection.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

         - Psalm 91.4
Through our pain... we are still blessed... 
Bronson is growing stronger every day... I know God has good things in store. 





Sunday, 29 May 2011

Mixed Emotions.

It's hard to know how to feel with the position we are in... one side of the coin our home feels somewhat empty at night... there is a room 10 feet from us that is far too quiet and vacant. There is a baby boy who has yet to see the outside of a hospital (except for his helicopter ride above the city). There's a pain that surfaces at the most inconvenient times... but there's another side....
A side that has seen a love and compassion from so many people around the world - total strangers who, under the family of God have come together to lift our little boy up for healing.
I don't know why this happens... I don't know why we are going through this or why so many people in the world have felt the sting of losing their child - no parent should have to do that.

Yesterday was Angela's birthday... A birthday that was spent with her little boy. Her parents surprised her by showing up and having cake and presents waiting for her in the waiting room.... and as she walked out and as her parents began to sing 'Happy B-day', she couldn't help but overhear a mother on the phone saying 'You better come down to say goodbye'. A mother that could hardly contain the emotion that was taking over. Ten minutes later she heard someone run into the hall and break down sobbing.

I don't know if I can handle that. My prayer from the beginning has been in the hope of the testimony that Bronson would have to live out his days restored and healed. I refuse to believe anything less for him. I refuse to let the urgency of the situation overshadow the faith I have in a healing God... a loving God - but I am not calling the shots.

Tonight I am reminded of Job. A man who had everything - lost it all - and still honoured and loved the Lord his God. There are things that have happened throughout our journey already that has shown me how God is using our situation to reach people around the world... things that I plan to write about once this is all over... like how complete strangers heard about our journey, and along with church family, had a few lemonade stands that said "All Proceeds Go To Bronson Anthony - A baby at SickKids - an act of kindness that we were incredibly blessed through... Where a little boy gave his allowance to 'help Bronson'.

These are the moments that take our breath away... moments that show us there is more than just this earthly existence - we are living in a moment like that. A moment that during the good times and the bad, I will bless the name of the Lord.
Sometimes you feel like you're holding the short end of the stick... and you may have questions - but bring your questions to the One that made all that we know. Life has thrown us a curve ball... but I still choose to say that we are blessed.
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. - CS Lewis. 

May 26th... How Time Flies


May 26th : 954pm

Wow.. so Bronson is 17 days old today....hard to believe. 3 weeks ago we never thought we would be in this place. Never thought we'd be getting up each day trying to figure out who will watch Kallie for the day while we head down to SickKids-but here we are... life is not always fair but we know that God still has His ways of showing himself true to us. 
Sometimes it simply feels like we can't get a break. He's going through his treatments and we are preparing ourselves to start to hear some good news... and BAM... Bronson gets sepsis and E Coli. It just feels like it's constantly one thing after another. 

I don't know if I will ever understand in this life-time why a baby so young can go through something like this... or if this is something God will walk me and Bronson through once we are in Heaven... but I do know that there is a plan and a purpose through this...
I have been reading Psalm 91 as much as I can... I've felt that it is a Scripture that has been placed on my life... and now I believe it rests on our little boy. 
   - 
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.
 11 For he will order his angels
      to protect you wherever you go.
So Bronson now shows signs of sepsis and E Coli... so the doctors are nervous (as are we) because his immune system is weak at best and may make it hard to fight this off... but lets not forget that we serve a God who is far bigger than our problems... 
We have a funny way of making our problems seem too big...even for God... 
- we have a funny way of forgetting that God breathed the stars into existance... 
So Bronson is sick... and now has a bug... yes we are scared... yes we feel exhausted emotionally and just don't know what to expect... 
- so with that said... I'm done. Ang and I can't do it anymore... but we never could... there is no way we could have ever gotten through this on our own. There is a lot stacked against our little guy... but remember... God cheers for the underdog... GOD... is about to shine... you may read this and think the game is over... but here comes the touchdown. No plague is taking my family... and that's my God given promise. 

May 24th


May 24: 9:57pm
Home now watching the Canucks/Sharks game... Got home about an hour ago...it's been a long day. 
So today they started him on radiation. I really wasn't sure what to think because they were so worried about moving him over to PMH for the procedure - but everything has gone fine... they have such an incredible team at SickKids. We travelled from the NICU, over to this old part of SickKids (that looked like it belonged in a horror movie..like I was going to see the guy from '28 Days Later' wake up out of his coma and start running from zombies...)  - down underground to this passage that went across the street and up to the radiation department. 


We are truly blessed to live in such a country with access to such amazing health care. 
My fears and concerns were quickly put to rest once he was in the room... he is still on a ventilator, but not as extreme as the original one he was on. So he is breathing better and is beginning to get rid of more fluids... so day by day he seems to be doing better. 
It makes me wonder at times if there is such thing as a 'normal' life. Some couldn't imagine going through what we are going through, but maybe we're simply getting it all out of the way now and are going to enjoy the rest of our life... ;)


Besides the great hands he is in at S.K's, it has only been by the grace of God that we are making it through this with our nerves still intact. The hardest thing is to see him in the position he is in...and physically, not be able to do anything for him - but God is in control... and knowing that is what keeps us going. 
People go day-to-day never really thinking about the role God plays in their life - and when their world turns upside down they wonder where He went... I know in a broken world bad things happen that breaks the heart of God... but I know that He is moved by the incredible movement of prayer that is being lifted to Heaven for this little guy... and in that I know we will make it through this. 
We just called for an update and he is resting well... so with that I know I will rest well... and those of you who are starting your day on the other side of the world... please start with a prayer for us while we rest. 
Good night world. 

May 22nd... What Holds Your Awe?


May 22 - 9:32pm

Today felt like our first real progress... it wasn't even that we were given news that was entirely different from what we had heard - but that it was the first time we really felt that the doctors saw promise in the situation - that they felt this was a battle we were going to win. - Hope. 

Hope is an incredible thing. With it, we have the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel... with it we have the strength to move forward... even when the odds can be stacked against us... hope tells us that things are going to work out just fine. 

Hope is what we have felt from day 1 because of the prayers from around the world... Though many of us are thousands of miles from each other... we've been united by a common cause... - to see God's promises restore this little body. 

Cancer has the ability to steal peoples' awe. It has the ability to make people feel defeat when they hear the words and say "I am so sorry for your situation". It has the ability to make us forget that the star-breathing God, became the cross-bearing Saviour, and is now the hope-giving Friend. 

Our hope from the beginning is that God would restore our son... and we are beginning to see proof of that... We may still have bad days, but our hope is in a Christ that defeated the grave... a man who claimed to be thee Christ, and proved so by coming back to life 3 days after a horrible death. 

So that's where my hope continues to stand. We have hope because Bronson is in the best hands in Canada... if not better. We have hope because so many around the world have felt it in their heart to pray for our little guy... We have hope because even when it can seem like it's over... it's not. 

May 21st


May 21st - 11pm

Today we spent some well needed time with Kallie... took her to the park... had a bbq, watched a movie. Just one day to feel like things are normal again... but unfortunately they are far from it. It's not easy to come home and see an empty room where your little boy should be resting peacefully. Instead you're reminded of the fact that he is fighting hard at SickKids. 
I'll be 28 years old this fall. I remember when I was 21 I just didn't have the best year... as I blew out the candles on my cake and thought..."so long 21... you will not be missed..." 23 came along and I ended up at Princess Margaret... "so long 23... you will not be missed"... (except for my wedding... good times had by all :)  ). 
10 years ago, Ang and I hardly knew each other. We worked at the same camp but didn't really talk. And as we walked the paths down at the camp today I couldn't help but picture the younger versions of ourselves... If we only knew what life had in store for us... 

I'm tired of surprises... We just want our boy to be safe and sound in our home... I hope you continue to come along side of us and pray. Pray specifically that his markers will decrease... that his platetes will strengthen... that his body would be restored to full health - that he can sleep in his own bed. 

Good night. 

May 19th - Faith in the Unseen


May 19th - 10:15pm - my thoughts for the night
Hebrews 11.1
 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

 There are times we simply don't understand what this life throws at us... There are times we question the existance of God... times we think 'if there really was a God...he wouldn't let me hurt like this'.. 
I have to say that I have had those moments... but this isn't one of them. Over the past few years I have seen God's hand on my life. We've experienced tough times in life... tough times in ministry... but God has consistently shown himself faithful to us. 

And so here we are... our son, only 10 days old... diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of cancer, has shown us once more that even when life seems to have turned upside-down, God is in control. 

Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars;
and they pass by themselves with out wondering.
~ Saint Augustine

I've had to redo this note a few times... simply because I am so amazed by the grace of God. So many of you have written me... some of you would call Jesus your Lord and Savior... some of you aren't too sure what you think of "religion" at this point... sometimes I can't blame you when you have crazy people in the world trying to predict the rapture... (This Saturday is the new one.)

My boy is a miracle... 
everything about him is a miracle. 
I believe he was born 2 weeks early because God wanted to save his life...
- because God wanted doctors to find this 'rare form of cancer'
- because God wanted to show that he fashioned him together ... and is going to heal him... and is going to show the world that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Tomorrow I have to go in early. A genetics oncologist wants to take my blood to see if there is anything in my DNA that could trace this disease. Tonight as I think about this all I can think of is DNA... 
- see doctors want to see if there is inconsistence in my DNA... 
- they want to see if something has come apart that has made room for this disease. 

Louie Giglio puts it this way... 
So you're at the toughest place in your life... how can you know that God is going to hold you together and bring you through... you know because there is a cross standing over history... it is the place where the 'Star breather' became the 'Sin Bearer'.
- Where the Universe Maker, became Mankinds' Savior... and it is proof that God does not always change the circumstances... he did not change them for Jesus on that hillside, but it is also proof that God always has a purpose in the circumstances and that his purpose and his plan will prevail and will triumph through any circumstances in this world... 

There is prayer happening all over the world for Bronson... the doctors have seen that there is no increase in liver size... that his swelling is coming down... And though there are days we cry for him and hold on to each other, we know that God's purpose is to see him live... and that your life would be touched because of how his little life affected you... 

Written across our DNA is the signature of a loving, healing God... 
When you have time to sit... please watch this video. it will change your life. 

May 16th & 17th


May 16: 533pm...
Well it has been a long day. Seems as though it's a flu bug we have been hit with... today it was nice to know that my dad was up there with Bronson... he got there around 12 and is still there now. He seems to be doing well and responded well when they tried to move him around. I still can't believe that we have a 7 day old baby that is going through chemo treatment. 
When we got home this morning it was tough to see his crib and room, knowing that we couldn't bring him home to let him rest. 
This is certainly a test of our faith, and endurance. but so many people are lifting him up in prayer... Australia, Nigeria, the UK, South Carolina, Dakota, British Columbia, Indonesia, Dubai, Cambodia.. the list goes on... We are so humbled to have so many lifting him up in prayer. 
Tomorrow morning I am hoping to get back to work for the morning, and then spend the evening with our little guy... God is going to do great things through this wee man.


May 17: 542pm

It's hard to believe that our little boy is 8 days old... 8 days old and already has had 3 chemo treatments... 8 days old and already has thousands of people praying for him around the world... what a blessing. The next few days will be crucial. We are going to find out if his liver size has decreased or not... Please pray that it decreases and that it's function begins to increase. 
I can't get over how strong of a fighter he is... when trying to do procedures on him, he decided to wake up and try to tear out everything plugged into him... (this is after he was given a paraletic). He's a tough little guy...  I find myself thinking "what if" at times... But 'what if' never happened for me... and 'what if' will not happen for him... this is not our inheritance... we were meant to live for more than this... Please keep praying.

Hope for the little guy
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
      so why should I be afraid?
   The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
      so why should I tremble?
 2 When evil people come to devour me,
      when my enemies and foes attack me,
      they will stumble and fall.
 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
      my heart will not be afraid.
   Even if I am attacked,
      I will remain confident.

 4 The one thing I ask of the Lord—
      the thing I seek most—
   is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
      delighting in the Lord’s perfections
      and meditating in his Temple.
 5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
      he will hide me in his sanctuary.
      He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
 6 Then I will hold my head high
      above my enemies who surround me.
   At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
      singing and praising the Lord with music.

 7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
      Be merciful and answer me!
 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
      And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
 9 Do not turn your back on me.
      Do not reject your servant in anger.
      You have always been my helper.
   Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
      O God of my salvation!
 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
      the Lord will hold me close.

 11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
      Lead me along the right path,
      for my enemies are waiting for me.
 12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
      For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
      with every breath they threaten me with violence.
 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
      while I am here in the land of the living.

 14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
      Be brave and courageous.
      Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

David faced some incredible trials throughout his life time. Just a little guy, yet he was able to overcome so much... tonight my prayer for Bronson is that he would live out all the days of his life knowing that people around the world held him up in prayer. I don't know if we will ever really know how many people have been praying for him, but I do know that beyond all odds he will be a survivor - he too will wear a LIVESTRONG bracelet, and as we wait patiently, we will see the Lord's goodness while we are here in the land of the living.