Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Recap
September is one of our favorite months at Lighthouse Family Retreat. The reason for that is because we get to share so many stories and shine a light on the impact of Childhood Cancer. We just wanted to take a moment to share a preview of all the stories that were shared last month. If you didn’t get a chance to read or listen, now is your chance!
It's an honor to host Michael Lage on the Lighthouse Podcast today for our first Childhood Cancer Awareness Month podcast as he shares about his experience losing his brother to cancer. A little bit about Michael - he has been married to Monica for 10 years and lives in Atlanta. Together, they have 3 kids with another one on the way soon.
Michael shares how he was impacted by childhood cancer when his youngest brother, Tim, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He walked with Tim through many challenges - chemo, amputations, physical therapy, learning to use a wheelchair and more. Yet In the midst of those challenges, Michael and his family leaned on God and prayed consistently. His parents created a safe space to land, they engaged him and his siblings in the hard conversations and invited them into the process of Tim's cancer journey. Now that Tim is gone, Michael reflects on those times and is grateful for how the journey impacted him in infinite ways as a man, father and husband.
Cancer took a lot from our family. It stopped our “what was” moments. It changed our “what is” moments. It stole our “what was supposed to be” moments. Cancer changed our family forever. Courtney Mount shares about the dual life that grieving parents live.
On the second week of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we had Emily Settle join Chris & Christy in person on the Lighthouse Podcast. Emily has been married to Jonathan for 14 years this month. Together they have 5th-grade twins, Abby & Hannah, 3rd grader, Hope, and Lucy who was promoted to Heaven at age 4. Emily and Jonathan joined us last year to discuss Lucy's full journey. We encourage you to listen to that conversation.
On this episode, Emily shares how she still has "what-ifs" but holds on to her faith in God. She also shares the rollercoaster ride of hope and devastation while they weren't given facts along Lucy's battle. Emily discovered many blessings along the way as she remembered some of her favorite memories of Lucy. She had a perspective shift through the experience and realized it's best to surrender all. In closing, she reminds us all that all things are temporary and there is much more to this life.
Rachel Escobar shares about her son, Carter, in the blog today. In 2018, he was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Carter had a great sense of humor, content nature, and an amazing smile. Carter was always full of joy! Rachel walks us through the journey as well as some encouragement to other families. When you pray for God to be glorified in the lives of your children, you don’t expect that will come through their suffering and death.
We are in the third week of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Today Chris & Christy are spending time with Amber Vess on the Lighthouse Podcast. Amber's daughter, Megan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and Glioblastoma on August 12, 2016, and fought a good fight. She was fully healed as she entered Heaven on May 16, 2020. Amber and her husband, Randall, have six children from age one to twenty-four.
On today's episode, Amber walks us through Megan's journey as well as how the family is doing currently. She also shares her heart for fostering children and why it's important to her. To shine a light on Childhood Cancer Awareness, Amber talks about her favorite memories of Megan. In closing, she tells us how she learned to "plan for forever, yet live for today."
Connect with the Vess family and their foundation that was created in Megan's honor - Live Like Megan Foundation.
In today’s article, you will read responses to interview questions asked of Lucy’s big sisters. Abby & Hannah are in 5th grade and Hope is in 3rd grade. We thank them for their time and openness to share all about remembering their sweet sister, Lucy.
Read Abby, Hope, and Hannah’s blog post
We are in the last week of sharing bereavement stories and bringing awareness to the impact of Childhood Cancer. Today on the Lighthouse Podcast, Chris & Christy are talking with Courtney Mount. Courtney has been married to David for 32 years and together they have 9 kids and 6 grandkids! Their youngest daughter battled cancer for a year and was fully healed when she entered Heaven in 2020.
On the episode today, Courtney walks us through the days and weeks of testing, waiting, symptoms, and diagnosis. She also explains the hard journey of treatment and hospice care. When you hear "your child has cancer" your brain goes foggy and nothing really sinks in. However, through it all, Courtney knew that the Lord was with them. The Lord gave them the peace that transcends all understanding. He also placed people in their path to provide encouragement and community. In closing, Courtney shared about a new children's book that she has written to help families walk their children through a terminal illness. You can learn more about the book on her Facebook community - "Millie Finds her Miracle."
Mark Myers reflects on memories at the beach with his daughter, Kylie, and the grief that has followed since she passed away. Other memories poured out of us, and sometimes tears. There is no expiration date to sadness. Grief will always have its tentacles close enough to latch onto us. But I found on that trip, for that moment in time, my memories were mostly happy ones of a girl we love and miss.