I cannot resist telling you about this AWESOME girl that I met today. Her name is Ciera. She is 21 and has been battling cancer for years now.
So a few days ago Ben got a sweet voicemail from Ciera saying that she heard about Bennett from a friend of a friend and wanted to give us a little gift. Isn’t that great…friends of friends are telling their friends about my little man?!
Well today I was able to meet Ciera. She and her mom came to the Grizzlies House and met me in the lobby (she can’t meet Bennett yet because he’s still in isolation, but hopefully soon!). Let me just tell you, even from behind her mask (she took it off for the picture but has to keep it on otherwise) she just glowed. She glowed hope. She glowed joy. She glowed love.
And she is a fighter. I asked what her story was and was blown away after the first few sentences that came out of her mouth.
At 16, Ciera was experiencing leg pain and the doctors thought it was shin splints. Well after months of tests and such, it ended up being cancer. The long name is Bcell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. But by the time they diagnosed it, it had already spread. And spread to many places in that sweet body of hers. They worked hard to kill that cancer. At some point she had open heart surgery and a full hip replacement. But she was finally in remission. Then this last April she came back to St. Jude for her year check up and discovered it all came back. All of it. So here she thought she was coming for a quick trip but has now been here almost a year (she’s only been home 2 days in that whole time). Well, this time they chose to do a bone marrow transplant and by the grace of God, her brother was an exact match to her. And now she is on day 83 after the transplant. She hopefully gets to go home on day 101…and she is counting down those days:)
So she’s going through all of this, hear’s about my little Bennett and calls us up to love on us…complete strangers to her. Well that she did! She came with a gift card to Barnes & Nobles and one to Chick-Fil-A because she understands what it’s like to be in isolation for weeks on end. And she and her mom gave me some great tips for around here too!
Oh, Ciera, you have blessed me. You have shown me what it means to love. You love so well. I can’t wait for Bennett to be loved by you too! And I pray I can find ways to bless others like you do.
So friends, let’s pray for Ciera tonight. Let’s pray she gets home on day 101. Let’s pray she is healed from head to toe. Let’s pray her love continues to spread.
Lord, thank you for teaching us love. Thank you for Ciera, my new friend.