Struck down but not destroyed

Daisy was admitted to Cottage Hospital on Thursday, December 13, where her doctors discovered 2 new cancerous tumors in her abdominal region. One is at least the size of a large grapefruit and is connected to major arteries and organs. The other is smaller and on her liver. Both are considered inoperable.

The tumors are so large they are impacting blood flow to major organs. The doctors feel they must begin chemotherapy immediately (tomorrow) to reduce their size.

The options for additional treatment at this time are very limited and not promising. The Merrick family is currently evaluating all of them and pursuing every viable possibility. They desperately need your prayers for wisdom, strength, peace and God’s leading and nearness.

Most importantly, Daisy needs your prayers for healing. Apart from merciful, supernatural intervention from God, Daisy’s prognosis is bleak. 

In all these things, God’s grace is abundant and sufficient. 

Britt wants you to know that he is experiencing God’s grace in a profound way and feeling an incredible amount of peace and strength and even joy. Additionally, he reports that God seems very present and is discernibly with him. Please pray that the whole Merrick family would experience these things continually and in abundance. 

The family has an abundance of counselors right now with all the pertinent information available to them. We so appreciate your prayers and allowing the family some space and time to pursue Daisy’s well being.

Please pray right now!

Daisy is having a critical scan at 2pm. Please pray!

Dear friends…
Well, here we are.  The end of our trip.  There is so much to be grateful for, so much to still chew on and think about.  We are coming home at the end of the week, and it’s not a moment too soon.  We miss home so much and are in need of the comfort and company it brings.  Cancer treatment brings so many unknowns, sometimes familiarity can be therapeutical as well.  
Here’s the scoop on where we are at with Daisy and her health; we are now in a waiting phase.  Daisy’s treatment has gone according to plan, and so we wait.  Our doctor in Israel has recommended that we wait 1-2 months to scan, as if you scan too early you could miss something.  Most likely we will scan in early January.  After spending 3-5 days a week in the clinic, this break from treatment is extremely exciting to us.  Britt and I have decided to use this time to be peaceful, enjoying “normalcy”, the holidays, and seeing Daisy grow stronger.  We will choose to relax our minds and souls and move ahead when it is time.  Her doctors are unsure as to whether she will need more treatment or not, as there are still options for her.  So for now, we wait.
Daisy is cheerful, and a total trooper as usual.  She had been doing so well with her little workouts until, unfortunately, she had a little camel accident.  We had the luxury of seeing our dear friends from the Mission (a church on the North Shore of Oahu) and were at a really cool place near Jerusalem riding camels and eating lunch.  The camel behind Daisy’s came loping up to her and bumped into her camel, pinning her leg between a metal bar on the saddle and said camel.  Poor Daisy got really hurt and couldn’t walk for two days.  We took her in for x-rays but thankfully she just has bruised muscles, no broken legs.  She had a setback in  her strength building which is a disappointment, as I watched her little legs shrink even further.  Right now she has “gotten back on the camel”, so to speak, (using her hurt leg) although I don’t think she ever wants to get back on a real one.  
Please join us in prayer as we get back home and find a balance between continuing some of her treatments from home, waiting with peace, and being okay with yet more unknowns.  We continue to hold tightly to each day we get with her, enjoying her wit and creativity, continuing to care for her body as well as her mind and spirit, enjoying the gift of all she is to us and remembering that today is all any of us have.  
We count each of you as a blessing to us, and highly value your prayers.  God has reminded us of that in funny ways.  A couple of weeks ago we were on a hiking trail near the Dead Sea when a girl on the trail stopped us.  ”Is that Daisy?” she says with a German accent.  It turns out she had been praying along with her church in Germany, and we were so happy to meet more from her church on the trail.  We laughed and hugged and thanked God that even in a tiny country in the Middle East on a hiking trail with Ibex and Hyrax and date palms He sees us and uses other to encourage us.  So thank you, friends.  In a rugged and intense time in our life you have been an agent of a sort of healing to us.  Thank you to all of you who pray and love and encourage.
We are grateful to the doctors, and the incredible minds they have chosen to use for the good of people.  We are grateful to be able to get a chance at healing with new methods that show promising results.  We are grateful to have met amazing caregivers we consider our friends.  We are grateful that as a family of four still we have grown as tightly connected as possible.  We are grateful also, to be coming home.
Thanksgiving is coming.  There is much pain in all our lives, much to lament over.  But this time is set aside for thanksgiving.  What perfect timing.  Now is the time to give thanks.  Now is the time to name and walk in the blessings we have, from your favorite sweats, to the sound of your favorite song; from freshly made salsa and chips to the love of family and the fact that we are all living free.  Not all will be perfect in this earthly life, ever, but much is to be enjoyed; and all that is to be enjoyed is a gift from God.
Love,
Kate
Psalm 94:17-19
Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.  I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.  When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. 

Dear friends…

Well, here we are.  The end of our trip.  There is so much to be grateful for, so much to still chew on and think about.  We are coming home at the end of the week, and it’s not a moment too soon.  We miss home so much and are in need of the comfort and company it brings.  Cancer treatment brings so many unknowns, sometimes familiarity can be therapeutical as well.  

Here’s the scoop on where we are at with Daisy and her health; we are now in a waiting phase.  Daisy’s treatment has gone according to plan, and so we wait.  Our doctor in Israel has recommended that we wait 1-2 months to scan, as if you scan too early you could miss something.  Most likely we will scan in early January.  After spending 3-5 days a week in the clinic, this break from treatment is extremely exciting to us.  Britt and I have decided to use this time to be peaceful, enjoying “normalcy”, the holidays, and seeing Daisy grow stronger.  We will choose to relax our minds and souls and move ahead when it is time.  Her doctors are unsure as to whether she will need more treatment or not, as there are still options for her.  So for now, we wait.

Daisy is cheerful, and a total trooper as usual.  She had been doing so well with her little workouts until, unfortunately, she had a little camel accident.  We had the luxury of seeing our dear friends from the Mission (a church on the North Shore of Oahu) and were at a really cool place near Jerusalem riding camels and eating lunch.  The camel behind Daisy’s came loping up to her and bumped into her camel, pinning her leg between a metal bar on the saddle and said camel.  Poor Daisy got really hurt and couldn’t walk for two days.  We took her in for x-rays but thankfully she just has bruised muscles, no broken legs.  She had a setback in  her strength building which is a disappointment, as I watched her little legs shrink even further.  Right now she has “gotten back on the camel”, so to speak, (using her hurt leg) although I don’t think she ever wants to get back on a real one.  

Please join us in prayer as we get back home and find a balance between continuing some of her treatments from home, waiting with peace, and being okay with yet more unknowns.  We continue to hold tightly to each day we get with her, enjoying her wit and creativity, continuing to care for her body as well as her mind and spirit, enjoying the gift of all she is to us and remembering that today is all any of us have.  

We count each of you as a blessing to us, and highly value your prayers.  God has reminded us of that in funny ways.  A couple of weeks ago we were on a hiking trail near the Dead Sea when a girl on the trail stopped us.  ”Is that Daisy?” she says with a German accent.  It turns out she had been praying along with her church in Germany, and we were so happy to meet more from her church on the trail.  We laughed and hugged and thanked God that even in a tiny country in the Middle East on a hiking trail with Ibex and Hyrax and date palms He sees us and uses other to encourage us.  So thank you, friends.  In a rugged and intense time in our life you have been an agent of a sort of healing to us.  Thank you to all of you who pray and love and encourage.

We are grateful to the doctors, and the incredible minds they have chosen to use for the good of people.  We are grateful to be able to get a chance at healing with new methods that show promising results.  We are grateful to have met amazing caregivers we consider our friends.  We are grateful that as a family of four still we have grown as tightly connected as possible.  We are grateful also, to be coming home.

Thanksgiving is coming.  There is much pain in all our lives, much to lament over.  But this time is set aside for thanksgiving.  What perfect timing.  Now is the time to give thanks.  Now is the time to name and walk in the blessings we have, from your favorite sweats, to the sound of your favorite song; from freshly made salsa and chips to the love of family and the fact that we are all living free.  Not all will be perfect in this earthly life, ever, but much is to be enjoyed; and all that is to be enjoyed is a gift from God.

Love,

Kate

Psalm 94:17-19

Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.  I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.  When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. 

Hello friends!  The donkey in this picture followed Daisy all around a living museum in Nazareth.  He was so cute and friendly, he even followed us into the little synagogue.  They couldn’t resist each other…
We continue to be overwhelmingly grateful for all the help and support we have received to get us here, to allow our girl another chance.  We are daily humbled by your generosity, by your love.  Please know that not a day goes by that we don’t think of how blessed and thankful we are for you.  We look forward to the day we will get to turn around and do the same for others, to share the love you have shared with us to help kids like Daisy fight for their lives.  Let’s pray it is soon.
Daisy is holding up well.  She has received the Lymphocytes and it was a long week with fevers and some chills as an immune response to the foreign cells.  The doctor said she handled it well, so we were pleased with that.  I’m dumbfounded by all the treatments Daisy has endured.  Such strength.  She continues to receive her usual treatments as well.  We are planning on leaving Israel soon, provided that all is well, and are praying for a clear scan.  Her doctors have given her their safer options, hoping they will provide Daisy with a cure, but can be less efficacious than the riskier options.  They say that cancer is a moving target so you need to fight “dirty”, a.k.a. “sneaky”.  We have provided Daisy’s body with several “weapons” to get rid of it’s enemy, spies that will hopefully get those cancer cells while they least expect it.  So let’s keep praying that these immunotherapies do the trick.  We want to come home!
Daisy now has hair long enough for a little bedhead!  (And mini faux-hawk).  Her spirits are high, and she continues to be easy going, sweet, hilarious, and excited for all the things she wants to do in the future.  (Today she asked if she could ride a flying lion or at least just be floated by balloons.  ”I’ll hold a rock or something so I don’t float away.  Please mom?”)  She continues to loathe her frequent shots, understandably, but bravely puts one foot in front of the other.  She is having a hard time with her weight lately, losing a few pounds that she barely had in the first place.  She’s a wisp.  We have spent the past week stuffing her with as much high calorie foods as we can and so it seems to be coming back up again.  Also, her little muscles continue to be extremely weak.  Those of you who know her may have noticed how the simplest of movements take great effort for her.  It’s impossible to gain muscle if you can’t gain weight, which is most likely due to her damaged sole kidney.  These things have been an issue for her for a long time, but we need to see improvement soon or recovery will be really really lengthy.  The body is so interconnected; I know helping one area can help another, yet sometimes it seems like it’s all just falling apart.  Daisy’s doctor has prescribed jumping on the bed twice daily for ten minutes!  So we have been faithful with our “workouts”, but even something that should be easy can be extremely frustrating when you cannot jump without assistance and discomfort.  I have seen some progress though, as Daisy puts forth all her effort, so, snaps for Daisy!
Please pray for us as we wind down our journey.  I’ll give you a nice little list…
1.  First and foremost, I will say it again as I have said ten thousand times, HEALING!
2.  Weight gain
3.  Kidney function, restoration of the damage (she spills needed nutrients)
4.  Strength!  I want to see my daughter skip, jump, dance without fear and pain
5.  That we can finish well.  We are homesick, pooped, and ready to come home, but know we must cowboy up.  We want to go out strong, confident, and peaceful.  
Peace, love, and blessings to all of you from us…
-Kate

Hello friends!  The donkey in this picture followed Daisy all around a living museum in Nazareth.  He was so cute and friendly, he even followed us into the little synagogue.  They couldn’t resist each other…

We continue to be overwhelmingly grateful for all the help and support we have received to get us here, to allow our girl another chance.  We are daily humbled by your generosity, by your love.  Please know that not a day goes by that we don’t think of how blessed and thankful we are for you.  We look forward to the day we will get to turn around and do the same for others, to share the love you have shared with us to help kids like Daisy fight for their lives.  Let’s pray it is soon.

Daisy is holding up well.  She has received the Lymphocytes and it was a long week with fevers and some chills as an immune response to the foreign cells.  The doctor said she handled it well, so we were pleased with that.  I’m dumbfounded by all the treatments Daisy has endured.  Such strength.  She continues to receive her usual treatments as well.  We are planning on leaving Israel soon, provided that all is well, and are praying for a clear scan.  Her doctors have given her their safer options, hoping they will provide Daisy with a cure, but can be less efficacious than the riskier options.  They say that cancer is a moving target so you need to fight “dirty”, a.k.a. “sneaky”.  We have provided Daisy’s body with several “weapons” to get rid of it’s enemy, spies that will hopefully get those cancer cells while they least expect it.  So let’s keep praying that these immunotherapies do the trick.  We want to come home!

Daisy now has hair long enough for a little bedhead!  (And mini faux-hawk).  Her spirits are high, and she continues to be easy going, sweet, hilarious, and excited for all the things she wants to do in the future.  (Today she asked if she could ride a flying lion or at least just be floated by balloons.  ”I’ll hold a rock or something so I don’t float away.  Please mom?”)  She continues to loathe her frequent shots, understandably, but bravely puts one foot in front of the other.  She is having a hard time with her weight lately, losing a few pounds that she barely had in the first place.  She’s a wisp.  We have spent the past week stuffing her with as much high calorie foods as we can and so it seems to be coming back up again.  Also, her little muscles continue to be extremely weak.  Those of you who know her may have noticed how the simplest of movements take great effort for her.  It’s impossible to gain muscle if you can’t gain weight, which is most likely due to her damaged sole kidney.  These things have been an issue for her for a long time, but we need to see improvement soon or recovery will be really really lengthy.  The body is so interconnected; I know helping one area can help another, yet sometimes it seems like it’s all just falling apart.  Daisy’s doctor has prescribed jumping on the bed twice daily for ten minutes!  So we have been faithful with our “workouts”, but even something that should be easy can be extremely frustrating when you cannot jump without assistance and discomfort.  I have seen some progress though, as Daisy puts forth all her effort, so, snaps for Daisy!

Please pray for us as we wind down our journey.  I’ll give you a nice little list…

1.  First and foremost, I will say it again as I have said ten thousand times, HEALING!

2.  Weight gain

3.  Kidney function, restoration of the damage (she spills needed nutrients)

4.  Strength!  I want to see my daughter skip, jump, dance without fear and pain

5.  That we can finish well.  We are homesick, pooped, and ready to come home, but know we must cowboy up.  We want to go out strong, confident, and peaceful.  

Peace, love, and blessings to all of you from us…

-Kate

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." -Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)
We are in awe of the love of Jesus toward Daisy and the Merrick family through the overwhelming generosity and support of so many of you. At the end of September 2012, we not only met but exceeded our fundraising goal for Daisy’s care and medical treatment. Praise God! We appreciate each one of you and every gift both big and small.
The Merricks are still in Israel getting the best care possible for Daisy so their final expenses are still not confirmed. So what happens with funds raised beyond what is needed to care for Daisy over the next few years? The trust was founded to honor the Merrick’s desire that they go towards helping others with cancer (especially children) or towards cancer research.
We want to say again how deeply thankful we are for your constant and consistent support through prayer and giving. Please continue watching this blog for updates to better inform your prayers for Daisy and the Merricks.
God bless you!
Tyler Morgan Executive Director The Daisy Merrick Trust

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." -Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)

We are in awe of the love of Jesus toward Daisy and the Merrick family through the overwhelming generosity and support of so many of you. At the end of September 2012, we not only met but exceeded our fundraising goal for Daisy’s care and medical treatment. Praise God! We appreciate each one of you and every gift both big and small.

The Merricks are still in Israel getting the best care possible for Daisy so their final expenses are still not confirmed. So what happens with funds raised beyond what is needed to care for Daisy over the next few years? The trust was founded to honor the Merrick’s desire that they go towards helping others with cancer (especially children) or towards cancer research.

We want to say again how deeply thankful we are for your constant and consistent support through prayer and giving. Please continue watching this blog for updates to better inform your prayers for Daisy and the Merricks.

God bless you!


Tyler Morgan
Executive Director
The Daisy Merrick Trust

Come down to the Reef sample sale tomorrow, Oct 12th, in Carlsbad, CA from 11AM - 2PM. Get directions here.  All proceeds benefit Daisy.
Thanks to our friends at Reef for your generosity!

Come down to the Reef sample sale tomorrow, Oct 12th, in Carlsbad, CA from 11AM - 2PM. Get directions here.  All proceeds benefit Daisy.

Thanks to our friends at Reef for your generosity!

I woke up every morning this week with the all too familiar feel of my heart lodged firmly in my throat.  It has been an ever present feeling over the last three years…  Sometimes the feelings and fears and stresses of our struggle are overwhelming and my heart travels north, while other times mercifully it stays put, safely in the niche of my ribs.  This week has held much soul searching, much exhaustion of our circumstances.  Upon waking, tears escaped my eyes and slid into my hairline above my ears.  My much loved husband gently reminded me (much kinder than Westley disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts so harshly says to Buttercup) that often, life is pain. It’s part of the human experience, and if you scratch the surface of anyone’s story you will find it.  No one is exempt.  We must face our fears, believing that we will be carried through and held up by the One who made us.  Do I only focus on what hurts and is hard and what is being withheld, or will I thank Him for what is good and right and given freely?  I must not believe God is my cosmic vending machine, spitting out only what I’ve inserted a crisp dollar for, but instead trusting God with where He takes us, not just with our desired outcome.  If I believe God is good and sovereign over my life as well as Daisy’s, circumstances need not dictate our general emotional state, need not cause us to roll into a ball and hide under the covers for longer than necessary.  God is my refuge and my strength. Yes, I’ve been singing this song for months, years; and this week I needed a fresh reminder.

Pity party/pain train/weariness aside, we have still been diligent on our adventures.  We have toured the Galilee, teaching the kids from the Scriptures all the way through the land where Jesus ministered, healed, walked on water.  We have moved to a new town further away from the crazy city of Tel Aviv to stay in an old converted stone barn complete with rings for the animals coming out of the stones.  We quietly watched the Jews observe the most holy Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, dressed in white solemnly streaming into the synagogue.  We have found new beaches, tasted new cafes, been yelled at by new people frustrated by our breaking every driving rule.  We enjoyed Shabbat dinner with an observant family in their sukkah (temporary structure built to celebrate Sukkot), and have been included in the candle lighting ushering in of Shabbat with another orthodox family.  But mostly, my new favorite discovery is the fact that despite all our homesickness my kids are soaking it up, have a new appetite for God, adventure, and learning that is outside their comfort zone.  Love that.

Daisy’s treatment is constant, 3 times a week.  Last week she received another round of vaccine and endured twelve shots in a row.  TWELVE!!!!  She took it like a champ with very few tears.  Next week we will go to the clinic for 5 days in a row where she will receive Lymphocytes from an unrelated donor.  After that she continues more of her current treatment as well as a scan to check progress.  If all is clean, we can return home and continue the shots.  If all isn’t…  Well we cross that bridge if we come to it.  Please keep praying for her healing, for her little tiny self not to fear, as the shots are uncomfortable and give her anxiety.  Please pray that Isaiah, Britt and I have renewed strength to finish well.

Love, Kate

I hold you by your right hand-I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

ps-The photos are of the kids swimming in both the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee.

This week was Rosh HaShanah, Jewish New Year.  Everywhere we go, people call out “shana tovah!”, and there is a festive vibe in the air.  We got invited to join in our Israeli friend’s family celebration and it was such an honor!  The dinner was held in an apartment in Jaffa, and there were aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, all stuffed in around a table that held all the traditional foods for the holiday.  The men passed out yarmulkes (Britt and Isaiah got shiny white ones) and said all the the traditional prayers and blessings, while we “amen’ed” and ate the symbolic foods.  At the final amen, we sat and sang some Hebrew songs and clapped along and though we have no idea what we sang it didn’t matter; we had a great time!  We ate piles of Persian food, and one of the uncles kept urging me to eat saying “no problem!” while the spicy fish made my nose run.  That same uncle did some magic tricks for us after dinner and Daisy played song and clapping games with the girls and Britt and Isaiah played ro-sham-bo with the boys (the kind where the loser gets a painful slap. They love that stuff.)  I fell in love with one of the nieces who was currently in the army and darling with long brown hair, freckles and pink lipstick.  We are thankful to be included in a warm family event while we are so far from ours.
Daisy got her vaccine last week.  They gave it over two days as they want to make sure it’s most efficacious as possible.  It took 10 shots plus an IV the first day and 4 the second.  She hasn’t experienced any side effects and aside from the initial pain is totally fine.  The vaccine is prepared with as much tumor tissue as was available, so it will continue every other week for several months.  She has however been getting shots that should boost her red cell production as she is so anemic and those are painful, as well as her GcMaf shots.  She really hates those and I don’t blame her.  We meet on Sunday with our doctor to discuss the next phase, possibly another form of immunotherapy.  If they get good results with the more benign treatments they will not do more risky procedures, so let’s keep praying! 
No matter how much amazing hummus we eat, no matter how kind our new friends are, though the sea is 80* and the air temp the same, there’s no place like home.  We will stay as long as it takes but we miss home, we miss our loved ones.  We are incredibly privileged to have built a life in California.  So, hugs and kisses from Israel to all of you!
Shana Tovah!
Kate
Something funny: Our GPS has a British accent so we’ve dubbed her “Margaret”, but call her “Madge” for short.  Often we misunderstand her directions.  She has been telling us to “curse the roundabout” so we yell and shake our fists whenever we go around one.  Maybe it’s cross?  Course?  Nah, it’s curse….

This week was Rosh HaShanah, Jewish New Year.  Everywhere we go, people call out “shana tovah!”, and there is a festive vibe in the air.  We got invited to join in our Israeli friend’s family celebration and it was such an honor!  The dinner was held in an apartment in Jaffa, and there were aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, all stuffed in around a table that held all the traditional foods for the holiday.  The men passed out yarmulkes (Britt and Isaiah got shiny white ones) and said all the the traditional prayers and blessings, while we “amen’ed” and ate the symbolic foods.  At the final amen, we sat and sang some Hebrew songs and clapped along and though we have no idea what we sang it didn’t matter; we had a great time!  We ate piles of Persian food, and one of the uncles kept urging me to eat saying “no problem!” while the spicy fish made my nose run.  That same uncle did some magic tricks for us after dinner and Daisy played song and clapping games with the girls and Britt and Isaiah played ro-sham-bo with the boys (the kind where the loser gets a painful slap. They love that stuff.)  I fell in love with one of the nieces who was currently in the army and darling with long brown hair, freckles and pink lipstick.  We are thankful to be included in a warm family event while we are so far from ours.

Daisy got her vaccine last week.  They gave it over two days as they want to make sure it’s most efficacious as possible.  It took 10 shots plus an IV the first day and 4 the second.  She hasn’t experienced any side effects and aside from the initial pain is totally fine.  The vaccine is prepared with as much tumor tissue as was available, so it will continue every other week for several months.  She has however been getting shots that should boost her red cell production as she is so anemic and those are painful, as well as her GcMaf shots.  She really hates those and I don’t blame her.  We meet on Sunday with our doctor to discuss the next phase, possibly another form of immunotherapy.  If they get good results with the more benign treatments they will not do more risky procedures, so let’s keep praying! 

No matter how much amazing hummus we eat, no matter how kind our new friends are, though the sea is 80* and the air temp the same, there’s no place like home.  We will stay as long as it takes but we miss home, we miss our loved ones.  We are incredibly privileged to have built a life in California.  So, hugs and kisses from Israel to all of you!

Shana Tovah!

Kate

Something funny: Our GPS has a British accent so we’ve dubbed her “Margaret”, but call her “Madge” for short.  Often we misunderstand her directions.  She has been telling us to “curse the roundabout” so we yell and shake our fists whenever we go around one.  Maybe it’s cross?  Course?  Nah, it’s curse….

Last week we went to Jerusalem to visit a dear friend of ours and had a wonderful time.  The kids enjoyed the sights and sounds as Jerusalem is very different from Tel Aviv.  From the piles of spices to the scent of roasting nuts; stacks of colorful tapestries, miles of beads, wood carvings.  Shouts and bartering, men who promise a special price just for us.  Carts of freshly baked pita, taxi drivers honking, stones several thousand years old still in use.  The best part of Jerusalem was the history.  We went to important historical and biblical sites, opened up our bibles and talked about what happened there.  Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Garden Tomb, Temple Mount.  It was a magical day.  The picture above is us down by Hezekiah’s tunnel, looking up at the Mount of Olives.

In the evening we sat on the rooftop near the Jaffa gate with friends and my dear ones enjoying our food and laughing and chatting.  The sun was setting golden to orange to pink and purple, reflecting on the stones of this very beautiful but very conflicted city.  As the night sky was fading to an inky darkness the moon was rising over the Mount of Olives, full and deep yellow; slow and on a stage accentuating the magic of the evening.  Partly I tell you about this night because I don’t want to forget it, partly so my loved ones can be “with” us here.

Winding our way through the old city we made it to the Wailing Wall.  The day was sweltering, but somehow I’ve gotten used to that, almost enjoying it as part of the experience, discomfort becoming part of the beauty of the patchwork.  Being separated from the men’s side of the wall the girls wrote our prayers, knelt together and whispered the echo of them inches away from the stones slick with the oils and tears of generations waiting for an answer for their petitions.  I added mine in with so many, sweat rolling down my back and pooling at the waist of my floor-length skirt.  I know that God hears me anywhere, but the air in that place was thick with hope, drenched in pain, and the intensity of the moment was a gift.  I’m giving you a piece of that gift with the picture of Daisy’s precious fingers stuffing her prayer into a crevice.

The last picture is of Daisy comforting her dad while he gets a blood draw.  This is something she has done countless times over the last 3 years, sometimes more than twice a week.  Obviously being in a foreign land hasn’t affected Daisy’s style, as she dressed as a leopard that day, complete with eyeliner whiskers.  Meow.

Coming up we have the vaccine.  Britt’s dendritic cells are being cultured until a certain point when they will add to Daisy’s tumor tissue and create the vaccine.   Daisy will get the first dose this week.  Please pray as this is no picnic.  (Kids, plug your ears).  It consists of about 8 shots that are each slowly administered near lymph nodes all around her body; armpits, neck, etc.  She will need to be medicated to endure the experience and to help her forget.  We are not looking forward to it, but are thankful for the possibility of cure.  Pray Daisy is able to keep calm, and that the pain wouldn’t be overwhelming. 

The staff at the clinic is caring and wonderful; the Professor is so sweet to Daisy and such a character with his white hair that comes over the collar of his white coat.  We get to go “home” at night after treatment instead of sleep at the hospital.  Daisy can swim, play, learn, eat, and is one of the happiest kids we know despite her circumstances. We feel thankful for so much, even though tears flow and minds grapple, even though knees get sore and hearts are too heavy to carry.  We have much to thank God for. 

love,

Kate

Psalm 48:12-14

Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.  Walk around and count the many towers.  Take note of the fortified walls and tour all the citadels that you may describe them to future generations.  For that is what God is like.  He is our God forever and ever and He will guide us until we die.

Pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton, loves her HE>i Daisy shirt! Due to popular demand, we’ve restocked so you can still get yours at hegreaterthani.com. 100% of the proceeds go to Daisy.
Thanks Bethany for your support!

Pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton, loves her HE>i Daisy shirt! Due to popular demand, we’ve restocked so you can still get yours at hegreaterthani.com. 100% of the proceeds go to Daisy.

Thanks Bethany for your support!