We remember it like yesterday.
We were celebrating our oldest daughter’s birthday at our favorite restaurant: Chick-fil-A. Savannah was turning 5 years old! Our sweet Jorja Belle (3 years old at the time), was not herself though. She had a nasty cold about a month earlier, but never fully gained her strength back. Jorja wasn’t even interested in playing with the other kids now. Something was terribly wrong.
This was in the midst of going all in for us as a family. We had moved to Southport, NC about 3 months prior from Cincinnati, OH to follow our dreams of southern living, paying off student loan debt, and enjoying the beach. Our world, and our priorities were about to shift dramatically though.
Two days after Savannah’s birthday, my beautiful wife and I were rushing Jorja to the closest children’s hospital. There we received the news no parent ever wants to hear: our youngest daughter was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease of Leukemia.
Strut for Kids was there for us in a huge way, before we even had a clue of who they were and what they did. They were there for us from the beginning, on the front lines of this battle with us. All we knew at the time, was that there were extravagantly generous people back home who expedited a large amount of gas cards to us. We simply did not understand why complete strangers, out of the blue, would do this for us; it was one of the many signs of hope in the midst of a whirlwind of uncertainty and anxiety.
As we regained our footing within the dark and deep valley that childhood cancer sends families into, Strut for Kids was persistent in their support and care. The organization consists of people who truly care, and instantly connect you with a large network of people who, unbeknownst to us at the time, is quite large. A community of people who have been through the journey of childhood cancer who will pray for you, help rebuild your faith, and ensure that even in the midst of great trials, you are not alone.
Once we realized how significantly chemotherapy treatment would impact our lives, it became clear that our financial situation would also be heavily impacted. In fact, our household income for the following year after Jorja’s diagnosis was cut in half. Strut for Kids continued to be there for us and was able to provide funding to cover our mortgage for a month each year. Without our faith in God, and great childhood cancer support groups like this one, our family would not have had the footing needed to battle Leukemia. Jorja Belle is our lovely, fierce warrior and we are so thankful for the victorious ending to our story. Thank you all for your support that helped get us there!