March 27, 2020 Update

Listen to this article

There was a point this month when I had started a celebratory blog post recognizing the one-year anniversary of Josh’s cancer diagnosis, and all of the events which followed afterwards. Certainly, it is amazing the difference a year can make, something I often thought about last March when I would think about what life had been like just a few months before. Josh has made a lot of progress since those first few weeks, and it is thanks to his hard work and perseverance.

We also owe a lot of thanks to his army of doctors, all of whom worked in earnest to treat him, and guide us along as we made some difficult and unexpected decisions. We were also humbled by how much our friends, family, and community stepped forward to assist us in so many different ways.

Most poignant for me was March’s Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival meeting because around the same time last year I had been attending a meeting while receiving updates via text and phone calls from my wife on the latest developments with Josh. In just a couple of hours, his visit to the ER for a scan turned into “They found a mass,” and “He’s being transferred to Devos Children’s Hospital.” Hours later, I was back home and watching Josh’s icon on my Find my Friends app as he was transported via ambulance to Devos. Theresa and Kayla had left to join Josh, and I could see my wife’s icon in Find my Friends closely following Josh.

This year, I attended the SMSF meeting with lots of questions about how the Coronavirus Pandemic would impact the festival. We hoped for the best case scenario but as we all know a lot has changed since then. This week, the committee made the decision to cancel the festival. It seems as though life has changed a lot this month as everybody do what they can to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

My family has stayed close to home, and we are taking things day-by-day. I am continuing to look for a job, and Kayla has been attending her CMU classes online. Although Josh’s therapy has been cancelled the last few weeks, he has continued to improve.

When we started this blog a year ago, the plan was that it would tell Josh’s story. Now, the story of his recovery continues, but we are all experiencing a situation that is scary and uncertain. If there is anything that I’ve learned from the past year, it is how important it is to keep fighting, and hold on to hope that things will get better.

So, I hope that everybody who reads this blog post are in a place where they are secure and healthy. I also wanted to invite everybody to reach out either in the comments or by email to with your thoughts about how this crisis has impacted your life, and how you are coping. Let’s stay connected and try to talk about what’s happening, because we are not alone in this.


  1. Hang in there Josh. Love to see that beautiful smile. Hope and faith are the lessons I have learned about.

  2. I am beyond happy to know he has successfully came through this. As a parent myself, I know this is one of our worst nightmares coming true. And to know he came through it and survived? Feels like I can take a deep breath. He’s a boxer who came to the fight of his life. And won! You guys, your whole family, is amazing.
    I’ll be honest and say I have mixed feelings about being isolated. As someone who deals with anxiety, it takes the pressure of it. But I do miss being social. (I’m a huge bag of living contradictions!) My heart breaks for the world. I have been following this from the very beginning, when it started in China. Reading news from China and internationally. Long before it hit the US news cycle. So NONE of this surprised me or caught me off guard the way it did for most Americans. That helped me a great deal in emotionally dealing with it. And being ahead of the disinformation dump that happened. I take my dog on walks daily. Try to sit outside in the sun with her. This all helps. I keep in contact with friends online and chat with many of them daily. I’m a writer now, and writing really helps.
    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s an amazing one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *