Thursday, April 5, 2012


I stumbled across a blog a few weeks ago and fell instantly in love with the Needham family. I felt this connection because they live in Athens (my college stomping grounds) and because we have some people in common.

I wish that I could tell you that what I was drawn to was the pictures of their girls at parks I remember or restaurants I frequented or with Harry Dawg between the hedges.

Instead, I found a heart breaking story laced with hope and tears and love and devotion to God like I have never seen. The Needhams are the parents of 2 beautiful girls. The younger, Piper, was diagnosed with leukemia at 3 months. Three. Months. That time in life when sleeping through the night seems possible again was, instead, filled with sleepless nights of a whole other, awful, unimaginable kind.

Recently, Piper relapsed for the 3rd time in her 2 1/2 year life. As you can imagine, the doctors had realistic fears. Leukemia 3 times in less than 3 years obviously means the cancer was of the most aggressive kind. Their precious little family of 4 packed up and moved to Memphis to try a radical treatment that would possibly be Piper's last option for defeating the cancer.

I am heartbroken to say that Piper found her healing in the arms of Jesus this week, not in the arms of her mommy. For the first time in too long, her body was whole and cancer free. Her mother has chronicled their journey with such raw, beautiful honesty, that I cannot do it justice. I am utterly smitten with this family and have weeped each day that I have read her posts. To love God as easily and carelessly as she does during an unspeakable time of pain and grief and hurt and when many would say she would have every right to be angry with God and question His very existence to allow such suffering on a baby is exquisite and amazing and inspiring. She does not sugar coat it or give the"right answers" for a Christian. She mourns and hurts and hates the cancer and aches for healing, but she does it with an amazing balance of serenity and faith. Again, I am selling her short.

Lift them up to the Lord with me. Pray for their peace and the ability to just breathe today. You would do well to click this link, scroll back on the blog as far as you can, and be changed by this family. I know I have been.

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