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Friday, March 9, 2012

OMG! NO EXPLANATION, OTHER THAN.....


UPDATE:   Many of you already know Andrew will not survive without a transplant.  This is the case in many patients of leukemia and lymphoma, but there was more to Andrew’s story than I shared.  At our meeting last month with our stem cell transplant Dr., Dr. Sonali, we found out because of Andrew’s rarity of his cancer, even with a bone marrow transplant, chances of survival were not good.  I am not sure if I explained his condition in detail, but Andrew has a chromosomal defect, which is causes a proliferation of cancer cells even after a transplant making survival unlikely.  In the human body, there are 23 pairs of chromosomes and in Andrew’s case, chromosome 7 and 8 of his genetic code are fused together.  Because of this abnormality, Dr. Sonali said Andrew would not only have a tough time getting into remission because of this abnormality and thus not being able to get to transplant, but even if he got into remission and healthy to get to transplant, the chances for survival were not good.  That day, Jennifer, Yun and I were at an all time low.  We had just heard Andrew would most likely not be with us for a long time. 
            When we heard the news three weeks ago from Dr. Morgan Andrew was in remission, I was not jubilant and jumping up for joy, as I should have.  If fact, if you recall, I asked Dr. Morgan how I should feel and she said I should be ecstatic and Dr. Morgan does not mince words or say things she doesn’t mean.  She explained a few weeks prior to this meeting, in regular myeloid cancers, normally, it takes more than one round of chemo to get into remission in normal situations, so hearing Andrew was in remission was a surprise. But the fact he was in remission at all with his defect was shocking; I realized I wasn’t jumping for joy because we still needed to find a bone marrow match for him to survive. After I asked, what the chances of the chromosomal defect would correct itself and Dr. Morgan said, “It would be miraculous”.
            Well folks, Jenn and I got a call from Dr. Morgan today saying after further molecular testing:  ANDREW’S NO LONGER HAS A CHROMOSOMAL DEFECT!  Chromosome seven and eight are no longer fused together!  I asked her how and she said that is not the right question, we should be ecstatic and rejoice!  PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!  There is no explanation for this at all, except the prayers of God’s elect have been graciously answered!  My friend in California, who is an accomplished cardiac thoracic surgeon, said to me awhile back, medicine can do so much, but it’s ultimately God that is in control. 
            WHAT DOES THIS NEWS MEAN?  It means Andrew’s chance of survival after transplant just got EXPONENTIALLY better!  We are meeting with Dr. Sonali to discuss the timetable for transplant.  Dr. Sonali did say with Andrew in remission, responding well to treatment and his chromosomes normal, Andrew’s situation is ideal going into transplant.  So, we still wait for possible donors.  We just found out there may be several 6 out of 8 marker matches that will be tested for possible donation.  Andrew is still a cancer patient and will get another round of chemo in 3 weeks as scheduled, but his chances of survival have gone up!
            I asked Andrew how he felt and he was indifferent.  He just said he still needed go through chemo with all the side effects and that sucked. But true to Andrew’s personality, his way of saying he was happy was to ask if we could have family night. We are celebrating tonight by having family night: Movies, junk food and a sleepover in the living room. 
            To tell you the truth, I have been mainly praying for Andrew to be in remission and get a perfect match and I have prayed a handful of times chromosome 7 and 8 would be normal.  I have told a handful of family members to pray for the chromosomes to be normal.  God decided to answer our prayers.  I have taken a liking to the book of Psalms in the Old Testament in the Bible.  I can relate to David and his emotions, his cries for help, exhortations because of God answering prayer and who God is, but it’s David’s raw emotion and crying out to his maker that resonates with me and of course God answering his cries. These verses speak of what I have felt the past few years:

Psalm 4:1
Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 5:3 
                                                                                                                          My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct my prayer to You, and I will look up.
I have also taken solace in God’s promises found in Psalms and other books of the Bible:
Psalms 145:18
                                                                                                                  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
James 5:13-16
                                                                                  Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
I know God very well could have not answered our prayers and circumstances could have been different.  I know as Christians we can be frustrated because God does not answer prayers on our own schedules.  As I have grown in my walk with faith, which was often facilitated by difficult circumstances, I realize there is a reason for everything.  I have often looked at the “small pieces of puzzle” of life and asked why God, but as time goes by, I start seeing the puzzle being filled and realize what those small pieces were used for.  I know there are things that I will not understand until I get to heaven, but I have been learning to be patient and trust in God’s sovereign plan.  I want to make a comment some may find puzzling.  I WOULD NOT TRADE WHAT HAS HAPPENED, INCLUDING ANDREW HAVING CANCER, FOR ANYTHING.  I don’t want a “do over”!  These storms of life have made the man I am today, a man who has grown to be a good father and husband.  The father I am today to take care of my son and my family.  These storms have made the Park Family stronger and closer.  People have taken encouragement from our storms and how we have trusted in the Lord.  And there are so many other blessings as a result of our trials.  If people have been seeing how gracious my God is, praise the Lord!
Thank you to you all for praying continually!  I am finding people getting wind of Andrew’s situation all over the world, people praying for a hedge of protection around our family and Andrew!  Thank you!
****Please continue to pray for a perfect match and that match will be found soon!  With that being said, many of you have asked how you could help our family out.  Many of you have brought meals, material things and above all prayed.  But I ask you to do one big thing: get tested to be a possible bone marrow donor or encourage 
as many people to get tested. 
I BEG YOU TO DO SO! ANDREW'S LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!  FOR PARENTS OUT THERE, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR YOUR KIDS?  FOR THE REST OF YOU, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR YOU LOVED ONES?  I THINK I KNOW THE ANSWER.  PLEASE JOIN ME IN HELP GETTING AS MANY PEOPLE REGISTERED FOR THE BONE MARROW REGISTRY. 
For those that can't make it to a bone marrow drive, an easy way to get registered is to goto the national registry website: http://marrow.org/Home.aspx

Here is list of upcoming bone marrow drives:
Sunday March 11th
Hmart SuperMarket
1pm to 4pm
801Civic Center Dr.
Niles, IL 60714

Click here for store info: 




Wednesday March 14th

University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana:

10am to 5pm

Illini Union: Courtyard Cafe

Click here for more info on the Cafe:




Sunday March 18th

Parkwood Community Church
12pm to 3pm
350 N. Addison Ave
Villa Park, IL
Click here for more info on location:

Sunday March 18th
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91101

1:30pm to ?
Click here for more info on location:

Check out the great turnout at one of the bone marrow drives:



This weekend Everyday Church in southern California registered 150!!!!

The drive at U.I.C registered over 350 people!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!  LET'S KEEP UP THE CAUSE FOR ANDREW, CONNOR (CLICK HERE FOR CONNOR'S STORY:http://www.savingconnor.com/) and COUNTLESS OTHER'S THAT NEED THIS LIFE SAVING CURE!!!!

I BEG YOU TO RESHARE THIS ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR WHATEVER WAY YOU CAN.  ANDREW'S AND OTHER'S LIVES ARE RIDING ON IT! 
REMEMBER: http://marrow.org/Home.aspx 


LEAVE A COMMENT AND SHARE AN "AMEN"!!!!


8 comments:

  1. Absolutely amazing. Thank you Lord! Continuing to pray for a perfect match for Andrew.

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  2. Praise God Joe!!! So amazing beyond words is our God. We are seeing answered prayers like crazy through you guys! Thanks for sharing your heart and soul during this difficult time. We are with you praying and and praying! Just amazed and in awe of out God!

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  3. Joe, this is such incredibly encouraging news. Thank you so much for sharing. We will continue to pray!

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  4. Praise the LORD! SO happy for you and your family! The women of RCC prayed for Andrew this morning and we are looking forward to seeing God provide a match for Andrew with the hope of complete healing in every sense of the word. Thanks for letting us share this journey with you. Still praying!!

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    1. Lydia, God bless you all! We feel the hedge of protection from the prayers of God's army, helping Andrew's Army. PRAY FOR A PERFECT BONE MARROW MATCH THAT WLL BE FOUND SOON!

      Blessings,
      Joe

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  5. Joe, amazing... so incredible!!! thanks for keeping up with the blog because we know how difficult it is... everyday my children and I are praying for Andrew and your family. He is an amazing child and you guys are an amazing family. We are thankful for you. We are truly humbled... love you.

    Heather, Joe, Sophie, and Sam

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  6. Hi Joe,
    I wanted to let you know that the Bone Marrow Drive that is being held at Parkwood Community Church is actually scheduled from 12:15-2:15pm. Hope you and the family had a good weekend. Thanks!

    Lydia

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  7. It's amazing. I shared this with my church leadership yesterday, and one person pointed out: God changed Andrew's DNA. (I know that's a very simplified statement, but the truth of the miracle is no less).

    Praying for your family.

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