A Long Journey of Thankfulness
Today is a very important day as we reflect back over the past few years. As you can see from previous posts, the decision to undertake the Gerson Therapy for a boy and a disease that little is known about was a big step of faith. Back in November 2011, when we came to realize that Sy’s case was so severe that his body was not responding to any of the traditional treatment, we were devastated. It was at that point God introduced us to the Gerson Therapy–which would require far more than we had to give. Since the decision to begin the therapy, here are a few stats that we find amazing…
Since beginning the therapy in 2012:
*Sy has consumed over 5,840 glasses of freshly made organic carrot or green juice
*Over 2,000 pounds of produce have been washed, cut, slow cooked, and painstakingly milled to produce over 1,460 bowls of his special soup that he eats twice a day, every day
*We have spent over 4,000 (often late) hours in the kitchen preparing food, restocking produce, juicing, washing dishes, and maybe having a few good cries
*Sy has consumed over 850 bowls of plain cooked oatmeal for every breakfast
*He has also devoured over 1,000 pounds of granny smith apples (sometimes even the core)
*Sy has maintained an amazing attitude about this incredibly limited diet 99.9% of the time. He’s had a far better attitude than us and we were the ones eating and drinking pretty much whatever we wanted.
Within this time, we also had another baby, made a MAJOR career change, an older child diagnosed with autism, and moved from our beautiful functional kitchen to having to do the therapy in an RV. The full therapy requires over 8 hours of prep a day and full-time outside help (that we were blessed to have for 2 months). In the beginning, we remembered being pregnant and completely overwhelmed as Jordan was gone almost 100 hours/week. How were we going to make this work? But God made it sooo obvious that this was the road we were to travel. We were blown away to have the juicer (essential for the therapy) show up on our doorstep. The Gerson training was booked solid and then the institute called us and last minute had 2 openings… And to prove it even more, the community around us stepped in financially and put on a 5K race. It was like each person who ran bought Sy a bag of carrots. Those runners literally helped sustain him–there are so many great races out there but each runner’s participation in this race impacted Sy personally. The amount raised should have lasted Sy about 12-15 months on the therapy but God helped us to stretch it out to 22 months. It was unbelievable!
However, Gerson is not for the faint of heart. In our reflecting this morning, we remember those times of fighting feeling resentful, lonely, tired, frustrated and isolated. We know we haven’t been a great friend, son/daughter, brother/sister, or church leader because we’ve just been trying to cling to God and keep our family afloat. They warn during the Gerson training that you socially give up your life for 2-3 years. We couldn’t completely give it up for our sanity (and to keep some amount of normalcy for our other children) but it definitely was often more than we could bear. But God, in His perfect character, was always faithful and would just remind us to just put one foot in front of the other and continue walking the path. Although we were walking in complete darkness, we trusted Him for a glimmer of light somewhere.
Fast forward to 3 years to November 2014… We knew it was time to have another endoscopy for Sy. Beyond all of the medical stuff, we just knew it in our hearts it was time, especially since our resources were in the negative. A few days before his scope, we went publicly before our YWAM family and asked them to pray for our little boy. We were tired, he was tired, and we needed desperately to move on. They prayed for him in powerful ways we’ve not seen before. So powerful! Picture tons of people marching around Sy and calling out, “Yes He can, yes He can. Do it God! Do it God!” Plus there was a time of literally lifting Sy above their heads (crowd surfing) and praying as we touched him. It was like something you’d read about in the Bible. It will forever be a morning we will never ever forget. And we trusted… And we believed that this was the time for Sy. So a couple days later as I’m holding my boy’s hand in the OR, he giggles and then falls asleep grinning from ear and ear and I’m reminded how much he trusts that God is healing him.
No mistake that on Thanksgiving week exactly three years after getting the devastating news, we get news that we have experienced a miracle of God right before our eyes. Keep in mind that God even orchestrated it so that Sy’s doctor from years at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was moved down to Orlando so we could continue His care (and more importantly, undeniably prove God’s handiwork). With Sy’s EXTREME diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis and continual dead-end roads from before, our doctor stood before us and said these words:
“Whatever you are doing has worked; the data is there. His biopsy results are completely normal and I consider Sy in remission.”
(Remember, this is a disease currently without a cure and we have yet to find information on cases this extreme go into remission…)
So what does this mean? Does this mean Sy will be taking a trip to Golden Corral soon? Sadly (or happily, I guess), no. Keep in mind that Sy was only eating less than 10% of the allowable foods on the Gerson Therapy due to his insane food allergies and keeping him closely monitored. Our goal is to now to add more Gerson approved foods as we work toward a realistic diet that will continue to keep him healthy. Where do we go after that? We will continue to pray and seek God and cross that bridge when we get to it.
For today, we are not celebrating just a simple medically-termed remission.
Today, on this day of giving thanks, we celebrate the fact that God has brought a powerful healing to Sy that can’t be explained away. We will raise a glass of carrot juice to toast His goodness.
(So for those of you who don’t believe in miracles, think again.)