The Taylor Family from North Carolina
Hi, I just wanted to let you know I’d received the gift card in the mail. We are deeply grateful.
In April 2013 we learned Akira, our 19-month-old little, fragile baby had cancer. This was something that seemed impossible and was completely off our radar. Frightening as it was, it was true. We found an amazing doctor in N.Y. willing to treat Akira, only if we could get there. We did, and have for the past 19 months. It’s been so hard and so many difficult decisions have been made. Although my job was kind and they understood, it became clear they needed someone in my position who wasn’t continually absent due to their child’s illness. After 4 intra-arterial chemo sessions and 5 laser treatments we thought she was getting better, but in July, we received news the cancer had returned.
We opted to have radiation plaque surgery. It was a two day process, but cells came back and were growing. It just seems like we can’t catch a break. The burden is tough, our hearts are always heavy. Akira is still fighting and sometimes it just feels like people think she’s cured and think we are ok because we do our best to put on a smile, even though we are crumbling inside.
I can’t thank you for making our daughter an individual and not a number. Thank you Bec [the Ragan’s HOPE Team Leader & Volunteer in North Carolina] for being a part of an amazing organization, that helps families like mine.
The Shaw Family
Over the past 2 years, Ragan’s Hope has been a calming force in our lives in an often times very uncalm world – always there at a moment’s notice, whether night or day, by text, email, Facebook, or phone with a word of encouragement and a kind ear just when we needed it most.
The ladies of Ragan’s Hope often shared tips, knowledge, and information with us to which we are grateful. They spoke from experience and could totally relate as they had once been in our shoes. We found it very comforting to know that someone actually “GOT IT” and understood what we were going thru. In good times and in bad, Ragan’s Hope was there for us, whether we were crying or celebrating.
Ragan’s Hope truly does offer HOPE to others and has been a tremendous blessing in our lives. As we are coming upon an amazing milestone in our daughter’s life, we are reminded of just how far she’s come…
Thank you for caring for us.
Connie S. Shaw and Family
Patricia and Whitney
Ragan’s HOPE has been supporting Whitney since she was 18 years old, when she contracted a virus that made it necessary to have major portions of her arms and legs amputated.
This picture was taken during a special moment for this family and Ragan’s HOPE, when Nick Vujicic came to spend some time with Whitney and Patricia, to minister to them and offer them hope in a special and personal way. Patricia, Whitney’s mother, sent us these words, in how Ragan’s HOPE has touched her life, and the life of her daughter.
Delena and Ragan’s HOPE have been such a blessing, and I have been able to lean on them every step of the way. The messages I’ve received from the volunteers have been wonderful. We have kept every card because they mean so much to us.
Ragan’s HOPE has ministered to us in so many ways: at Christmas we received gifts and a decorated Christmas tree, wonderful people came to babysit my children, and I continue to get emotional support.
It is so touching to know that everyone is thinking about us and praying for us. This helps me to pray more as well. Michele Klaes has become part of our family, and we would not have been blessed with her had it not been for Ragan’s HOPE.
I am constantly telling people about this organization, but there are not enough words to describe what it means to me. I look forward to the day I can volunteer with Ragan’s HOPE.
Patricia (Whitney’s Mom)
The Rojas Family
Little did we know how much healing God provides through the quiet strength and prayers of parents that have lived through the deliverance of a child from the brink of death
In May of 2004, Riley was admitted into Children’s Hospital inDallas,TXfor H.U.S., or Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. Post-diarrheal hemolytic uremic syndrome (D+HUS) is a rare and severe, life-threatening complication that occurs in those infected with E. coli O157:H7 or other Shiga toxin- (Stx-) producing E. coli. There are only 4 or 5 cases per year in theUnited Statesin children. Side effects that Riley suffered were a collapsed lung, kidney failure of both kidneys, which included dialysis and 13 blood and 1 platelet transfusion, internal bleeding, pancreatitis, amongst the major issues we encountered.
What an incredible blessing that someone told Delena about our crisis and that she and Randy, her late husband, and her daughter Ragan, for whom Ragan’s Hope is named, were able to provide companionship and compassion as well as hope through prayer in our time of need. We are truly grateful that God gave Delena the passion and gift to Help Other Parents Endure through their love, support, and encouragement of parents with children with major medical issues.
Over the next 30 days in the hospital, Delena helped us in so many ways. Besides the prayers and support that met our spiritual and mental needs, they met our physical needs by providing hot meals that they would bring to our hospital room, gas cards and parking passes. I will never forget that Randy, after hearing me say that I really needed to get my grass mowed, actually mowed the grass at my house since we never left the hospital for the first 10 days of Riley’s hospitalization, and my yard was over grown. I lost count of how many get well cards, stuffed animals, balloons and gift baskets we received.
What can I say about Ragan, except that she is remarkable in so many ways. She would often accompany Delena and Randy, and would soothingly talk to Riley, 2.5 years old at the time, while painting her nails or just lying in bed next to her as her friend.
When Delena asked us if other parents whom she had previously visited that had children with critical medical issues could come and visit us, we said yes. Little did we know how much healing God provides through the quiet strength and prayers of parents that have lived through the deliverance of a child from the brink of death, but ever so much more impactful, in speaking to a father whose 3 year old had been called home to Heaven with an inoperable brain tumor the year before. Despite his loss, he was there comforting us in our difficult time, and I immediately hugged him, crying and saying that I was sorry for his loss. I write these words to you almost six and a half years later, and yet still I have tears in my eyes and gladness in my heart for the impact that those hospital visits had on my family.
Thank you, Delena, Ragan, and Randy.
The Penland Family
I honestly don’t know how we would have made it through those stressful first couple of years of our daughter’s life without her advice and help as a consistent source of support
Our family has benefitted in so many ways from Delena’s ministry and the work of her team. She knew just how to detect and focus on our most urgent needs. She listened and understood our fears and questions while helping to meet specific needs without being intrusive. The calming strength she displayed gave us confidence to face very difficult times with our baby.
The support she provides comes from her own experiences and her commitment to serving God by serving others. I honestly don’t know how we would have made it through those stressful first couple of years of our daughter’s life without her advice and help as a consistent source of support as we endured surgeries, extended hospital stays and all of the challenges they bring.
Over the last few years we’ve been blessed to work alongside Delena and other volunteers to bring this same love and support to others facing their own medical challenges. We are so excited that Delena is now leading Ragan’s HOPE to minister to even more children and families. We are confident that God will work in mighty ways.
The Penland Family