Thursday, June 14, 2012


June 14th (12:49am) 

It is with sadness that I found out our friend Connor, the 7 year old boy who got a bmt the day after Andrew's and whom we have become close to, has failed to have his donor cells engraft.  Here is Connor's mom, Stephanie's post today on Connor's blog:

June 13 Day +27 - Chimerism Test Results

We received the worst possible news - the cells growing back are all Connor's cells NONE are from the donor!  The Bone Marrow Transplant did not work! I am in Shock and don't understand WHY God would allow this to happen to him?  Why give us this match?  Why put him through 35+ days of Hell?  The BMT Team is meeting this afternoon to come up with a new game plan -but we are now facing our worst fears and don't know how we will come out of this.  IT ALL SUCKS!

Jenn and I have been privileged get to know Connor's mom and dad, Stephanie and Steve and their great character and giving nature. We first met through a mutual friend, Peter Cho who's wife Kim had got diagnoses with Lymphoma the same time of Andrew's relapse, and realized that both of our sons needed a bone marrow transplant (bmt).  We had many bone drives organized to find a match and after the miraculous news of Andrew's chromosomal abnormality clearing up, we both found matches within a week of each other.  What are the odds of that?  Andrew had his bmt a day before Connor's and the Park and Lim families were excited, but a bit pensive, to get the process going.  Almost, a month post bmt, both families are grieving but for two different things.  A potentially failed bmt and Andrew begin critically sick in the icu with odds of 50/50 to survive.  I know God's sovereign plan was have our live cross paths so we could help and support one another and in this case to help one another process and grieve the stresses in our lives.
I went upstairs this afternoon from the icu to goto Connor's room and see what the results of the test were.  I know by peeking in, something was wrong.  Steve came first and we had a lengthy discussion about the specifics and how things just suck and that live is not fair.  Poor Connor went through all this for not.  I have learned from being someone who has grieved many times because of my divorce,  Andrew's cancer battle and other afflications that it is not necessary to say many words when you try to console someone who is grieving. In actuality the less you say to someone grieving often times is better, trust me I know.  Words were so inadequate.  All I could say was that I understood Steve's and Stephanie's pain, say I was so sorry and just hug them.  You see, I have that unique angle.  God allowed me to go through certain pain, so I could just "be" there for people.  I don't have the secret to comfort others nor am I a licensed therapist, but I have one thing:  Jesus Christ and knowing he records all the tears his children shed and how he will wipe them away, being the ultimate comforter he is.  But one thing is required: FAITH.

***please read this interesting devotional I read yesterday on our tears:
click here

I have the hope that there is reason for all this.  I told Steve and Stephanie that this was totally unfair for our boys to endure this !%$@! and I had no answer why these things were happening.  I told Stephanie that somethings will not be answered until I meet God.  But I know there is reason for everything.
And there lays in my modicum of faith.  My faith has wavered through the hard times and I would be lying if I said my faith was strong throughout the last six months with Andrew's relapse.  But my faith remains that God's plan is sovereign. There is a reason for Anna's death, Ernest's death, Andrew's critical condition and Connor's disappointing news.  My faith has been never been lost because of brothers and sisters who have encouraged me and admonished me to always lay my eyes on Jesus. It still doesn't take all the grief away, but It gives us hope.  I am reminded of a very well known verse which encourages me continually:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Well those plans may not be the way I may see fit, but I trust my plans conjured up by pea sized brain is so unremarkable compared to what my God has in store for Andrew, Connor and our families. 

Andrew's echocardiogram and ultrasound showed no signs of fluid outside of his lungs.  So he will not need to be tapped for fluid removal outside of his lungs.  We found a huge open sore on his bottom from apparently not being ambulatory.  He remains totally helpless with Jennifer and I, mostly Jennifer, wiping him down in lieu of baths, wiping his poop when he goes and other things a normal healthy 17 year old should be doing.  
I am glad that I came down a day early after hearing the 50/50 chance of survival.  When I got to Andrew's room I saw Jenn Schneiderman, a stem cell doctor but not our main attending and who we have seen mainly in the ICU and Dr. Morgan, Andrew's oncologist of 3+ years.   They both noticed I was bummed and I told them I was down because of what Dr. Sonali, Andrew's main stem cell doctor, said.  They both said that I shouldn't dwell on the numbers and they agree he is a very very sick child, and Doctors are not good at predicting things like Andrew's condition.  Dr. Morgan, who is a brilliant clinician for over 35 years at Children's, reminded me of Andrew's odd of survival, 10 to 20% pre bmt and how he beat the odds with the chromosomal abnormality clearing up and Andrew getting a bmt. Jenn Schneiderman told me that she has and always be upfront with us.  She feels we are far from not being to do more for Andrew and let him go.  


-Pray for Connor that God would miraculously start the donor cells to engraft!   Let me remind you all the miracle of Andrew's chromosomal abnormality clearing up!  God is in the business of miracles!  The doctors will test Connor for engraftment the next few weeks.  So let's "get on our knees" and pray for this miracle.  I distinctly remember when asking Dr. Morgan what the chances Andrew's abnormality would 
clear up and she said, "Miraculous".  God can!  

-Pray for Steve and Stephanie as they grieve and wonder why this is happening.  Pray for a hedge of protection around this wonderful couple and they would somehow see how God has their backs and Connor's

-Pray for Andrew and a "miraculous" turn around.  Let's pray big and pray specific.  Pray for the lungs, liver and kidneys.  

As I end this blog, I am reminded of some comforting verses, verses I cling onto. Verses that I have personally fulfilled in my time of sorrow and grief:

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit

Psalm 46:1-2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

Psalm 71:20-21
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Matthew 11:25-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.



  1. Grieving with you brother. I pray your family and the Lim's profoundly sense the nearness of the Lord in this moment. -Peter & Kim

  2. Joe Jennifer Andrew Girls,
    Our hourly prayers continue - we love you guys and will do anything we can for you! Best idea read in today's message: now we are on our knees during much better focus and Divine clarity. We love you, Lynn Frank Lauren Kendall

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