Thursday, November 08, 2007

Emily Project for November

Wanted to introduce you to the latest of my Emily Project families. I love telling all of you about these families because I hear from so many of my clients and readers how you pray for them and think of them often. I am still asked about past recipients constantly and I love that this blog gives me a venue to request prayers and thoughts for those who need it. Could there be a better use??

The Davidsons were nominated by a friend of theirs, Kris, an angel who wrote me to tell me about their heartbreaking situation. This one hit close to home, as baby Sadie was born last October and is the same exact age as my baby girl, Maddy.

Sadie, at age 4 months, was taken to be seen for what her parents thought was a bad case of constipation. Jennifer, Sadie's mom, told me the story yesterday about how they were sitting in a room full of sick kids, waiting to be seen, and many of the sick kids had croupe. Jennifer remembers looking at her husband and saying "Well, at least she doesn't have croupe!" No, she didn't have croupe... from Jennifer's Carepage journal, from February of this year--Sadie was then 4 months old:

"All of her tests are mostly complete and it is confirmed that she does have Neuroblastoma cancer that has stemmed from her adrenal gland on her left side to the nodes in her liver. This caused her abdomen area to grow quite large and we hope that the size will be reduced in the coming days. The DNA test results are not back yet but we should hear something by next week sometime. The good news is that her bone marrow and bone scan tests both came back negative. Sadie has started her chemo treatment this week and will undergo additional treatments for probably the next 9 to 12 months. She is handling the proceedure fairly well but I am sure would rather be home with her brother and sister. She will be in the hospital for another two weeks where she will take a additional chemo treatments as her tests require. "

Later more bad news:

"News just came back today on Sadie's MYCN gene tests and they are not good. The MYCN gene test shows that the gene has extra copies of the cancer. Her stage now is 4 and she is in the high risk category. The Doctor has said that the results of the test are most rare and Sadie will now have to undergo the most agressive of chemo treatments every 3 weeks for the next 6 months. After next series of chemo, in approximately 2 weeks, Sadie will have surgery to put in a catheter to enable the Doctors to collect stem cells for upcoming procedures. After the 5th or 6th round, (in about 6 months), Sadie will have another surgery to take out any diseased cells including portions of the liver if necessary. Shortly after that procedure, Sadie will have to undergo a bone marrow transplant. During this procedure, Sadie will have a stay in the hospital for a 6 week period. She will also be very vulnerable to any type of infection. "

What is not said here is that Jennifer and Jason were given a 20% survival rate for Sadie. Think about that for a minute...

And reading back over this journal is why I was SO AMAZED at the little baby that I photographed yesterday. She has now completed her chemotherapy, her bone marrow transplant, and is now in a clinical trial therapy which is, as Jennifer described to me, like an atom bomb to her system. But the good thing is that after the treatments are finished and she is on a break from them, she feels great. At our session yesterday, I did not see who I expected, a sick baby recovering her tiny 13 month old body from cancer. I saw a fighter, I saw eyes that were enjoying every sight and sound, I saw a healthy glow and HAIR, I saw a precious belly that was full of raisins, I saw smiles and hand clapping and outright JOY. What's more is that, aside from poor big sister being sick, the JOY was felt by the entire family. After spending Sadie's almost entire life of watching her suffer, her loving family is now able for this short time to watch her learn about what it feels like to be outside during a Texas Fall, what grass feels like, what big kids look like on Field Trips...and they were taking every second of it in and enjoying every. last. drop.

Imagine that. Imagine having pure joy at our childrens' smallest accomplishments and victories. Imagine living right in this very moment and loving it. And if we learn anything from their story...imagine it NOT taking cancer for us to do that.

Jennifer and Jason have the attitude of "It could be worse." Imagine THAT. Imagine waking up in the morning and rather than focusing on everything that is wrong in our lives, taking the time to realize that every moment is a blessing. Even in the face of cancer...of a baby. WOW.

With that, I want to introduce this amazing family to you. I wish I had more pictures of their middle daughter, but poor gorgeous blue-eyed baby woke up that morning with a nasty cold and felt not-herself throughout the session. We are getting back together after the holidays to make sure we capture sisters and big brother all together, since that has been Jennifer's dream since Sadie was born.

After you view these pictures, I want you all to do three things for me...

1-Jennifer mentioned to me yesterday that prayers and other's support are one of the things that gets her through, so leave a comment below for the Davidson's with your support and prayers--let's try to get at least 100!
2-Visit Sadie's Carepage and read more about her story and pray for her.
3-Think about their story and try each day to tell yourself that no matter how bad things get, things could always be worse!

***Edited to add: Many have asked how to leave comments--just below the last picture, click on the part that says "xx Comments"...a box will pop up, leave your comment in the box and fill out your name (or you can choose to be anonymous) below that. ***

The whole family, enjoying Sadie being able to STAND UP!!

Even 2 year old Delaney seems to realize how special this is.
The clip was a huge milestone for mom, who has waited for that hair for so long now...


She kept leaning down to kiss her handsome big brother, he was loving it.
This is what pure joy looks like:
And this is the face of strength, courage, and victory!
She loved my camera...

28 comments:

Natalie said...

Beautiful pictures...beautiful family! What strength....I am always so amazed at how people rise to these occassions. May these hard days be just a chapter in little Sadie's long life...and may they help all of us appreciate each and every day a little more beautiful! God bless your family...

Natalie said...

...oops....I meant to say....may they help us appreciate each and every day a little more...or make each and every day a little more beautiful. Somehow the two got jumbled together....forgive me....I have a 3 month old....still trying to recover from pregnancy brain! ha ha

Debbie said...

Wow - what a story. Deanna, these pictures are absolutely wonderful. The love they share is so evident, and your whole post is such a great reminder to enjoy every moment we have with the ones we love. I certainly be praying for Sadie and her family.

Jen Jesseph Photography said...

Mega prayers for this truly special family. Beautiful images, Deanna! You have a heart of gold.

Sugar Photography said...

what an amazing family and story

I've bookmarked sassy sadie's page, and will be checking for updates!

she is such a doll!

Beautiful Things said...

What a beautiful family! It radiates from the inside out! I'll definitely be praying for them and for little Sadie. God has something special for each of their lives through all this.
May He continue to pour out His grace on them in the coming months.
The "Emily Project" is such a wonderful idea! Bless you for the joy you are bringing to so many and for being willing to use your talents to bless others!

k.murphy said...

no words...only tears of JOY! She is beautiful...and MAN, can you see the Light in their eyes? What a gift she is...Deanna, you rock.

((hugs))

Lamentations 3.22-24
every morning...

Coryj98 said...

My thoughts and prayers are with this family!

Denise said...

Sadie your a beautiful little girl that has blessed your parents life in so many ways - you show them that the miracles of life, joy and happiness are just a laugh away.

To Sadie's parents, you are strong people with such loving hearts - an inspiration to all.

Sadie's big brother and sister, you are both so brave and strong for being there for your little sister and your parents.

"The love that one family holds for one another, is stronger than any tie that binds."

Elisa said...

We will be praying for Sadie and your family. I can see the love in your family just in the pictures. Love and fatih will get you through this hard time. We'll keep praying...

Jennie said...

What an inspirational family. They will be in my prayers for a full recovery and to continue to live each day to its fullest.

Meridith said...

We are praying for you as you go through all of this!

carol said...

Wow! Beautiful pictures and an awesome story. You can just feel God at work in this family as you see their joy in the midst of their trials. God's Blessings to this family as they continue their journey!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, Jason, Sadie and family, Greetings from Highland Village! May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord set His contenance upon you and give you peace. What a blessing God has given you to have such a precious child to love. She is beautiful and joyful and confident, and yes, sick. May you draw close to God as He gives you strength together. Our son underwent serious surgery when 3 months old and the handing him over for procedure was among the hardest things we've ever done as there was a chance we wouldn't see him again... He is now 4 and giving us a run for our money! Praise God, through whom all blessings flow. He will give you strength, lean on Him. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love and Peace, The Rochelle's

Elaine said...

I will pray for Sadie and that she continues to spread the joy that is so evident in her life and that of her family. "Do not fear for I am with you. Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet baby girl who looks just like her Daddy! Thank you for sharing your story about Sadie. You have helped us put our crazy moments in perspective and appreciate all of them. Our thoughts will be with your family.

Suzanne

Kristen said...

Wow! What an amazing family. I have been keeping up with the Davidson's through their Care Page and they are truly an inspiration. It's so wonderful to see them all smiling in these pictures.
Kristen Corscadden and family

Kristen said...

Wow! What an amazing family. I have been keeping up with the Davidson's through their Care Page and they are truly an inspiration. It's so wonderful to see them all smiling in these pictures.
Kristen Corscadden and family

Pam said...

What an awesome inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story.

Carol T. said...

I will be praying for little Sadie and your entire family. She is so beautiful and the joy of being in the moment caught so well.

Blessings to you and your family.

Debbie Tudor, Deanna's mom said...

All good thoughts and prayers for this precious girl. She looks wonderful...

Tonya Marie said...

I will be thinking of Sadie. What a little fighter she is!

Paige Kearin said...

Love the shots!

Brent Murphy said...

JD and Family:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys in this challenging time.

Debbie Gonzalez said...

Reading the story of sweet Sadie was very upsetting. As I continued reading and reading, I felt sadness all through me, then anger. at the end of the story followed pictures of sadie and her family, That then brought tears to my eyes and at the same time peace. It's true when they say pictures speak alot. Seeing that strong beautiful family made me feel that all is possible with faith. Tonight when I put my girls to sleep. I'm going to tell them the story of Sadie and her family and then we are going to pray for her and her family every night and we are going to follow her story until our prayers are answerd. As I always tell my girls, as long as we have God and faith, then everything will be fine. God bless you! Sadie is so blessed to have you as a Family. once again keep your Faith. Know that with no doubt that the Gonzalez family in Castroville Texas WILL continue to have faith and hope for Sadie and her family. May God continue to keep you strong. God bless.

Beth said...

After reading the story, I expected to see a sick little baby. I couldn't have been more suprised and delighted to see this beautiful baby girl! I can only imagine what she and her family have been through but your pictures show her complete trust and love for her family and vice versa. And what a handsome big brother!! One meaning of the name Sadie is "princess", and it couldn't be more fitting for her. Thanks, Deanna, for capturing these images. Jennifer and Jason, I admire you and will be praying for your family.

HollyH said...

J.J. and family-- you are NEVER far from my thoughts!!! The pictures are amazing, and it's heartwarming to hear the successes that Sadie has had!

Colleen said...

When first saw these pictures I was moved at how much love pours from them. Like other people commented, I could not see sick little girl... only the perfect love of Sadie. We can be sure that her love is perfect because it comes from God; in fact, it is God. It reminded me of the quote : "Loving well is our highest calling. Being loved well is our greatest gift". Thank you for sharing a glimpse of Sadie's perfect love. Sadie and your family will be in our prayers.

Love comes from God John 1:47