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The discovery of the tumor inside Josh’s head hit all of us like a ton of bricks. Life was filled with ordinary, far more routine problems and then suddenly he was on his way to Grand Rapids because of a mass and swelling in his head. The MRI confirmed it was a tumor. Suddenly, we were making trips back and forth from home to Grand Rapids as Josh underwent brain surgery, recovery, and then therapy at the Mary Free Bed Hospital. It was a little like living dual lives, as we balanced Josh’s treatment with our other work and home responsibilities.

Normally, the big focus is on the story of Josh’s fight with cancer and recovery, as well as our struggle to support him. Today, I wanted to recognize everybody who have helped us over the last nine months.

Thank you to everybody both near and far from our family and our community who have helped us over the last nine months. This includes prayers, favors, food, understanding and a listening ear or two, and financial support. I couldn’t have imagined life taking the sharp turn that it did in March, but as I look back, I can’t imagine what life would have been like if we didn’t have people around us who cared enough to lend us their support.

Another part of the story involves dozens of doctors, nurses, and physical therapists who have worked with Josh throughout his recovery. This begins with Josh’s local doctor who set everything in motion by urging us to take him to the ER right away and the surgeon who was able to remove the entire tumor. Josh has also been constantly lifted up by the team at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital and the Mary Free Bed.

I am also grateful for the Hope Lodge in Grand Rapids, where I stayed while I was in Grand Rapids helping Josh and later when we returned for his doctor appointments. It is a beautiful facility with an awesome mission.

I’m thankful for Theresa who has been super awesome keeping everything organized and traded off with me when Josh was in therapy.

Finally, thank God for listening to everybody’s prayers and guiding the hearts, minds, and fingers of everybody who has been in charge of Josh’s treatment.

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