Meet Layla Grace....
You can find more info on Layla at http://laylagrace.org/ but, I feel I must share this story with you.
Layla, this precious little girl was described as a great eater, great sleeper, and a sweet little cuddle monkey who had an advanced vocabulary for her age. Her mother writes that she had a great 15 month checkup but at around 16 months Layla's sleeping and eating habits changed and she became more irritable. Time passed. Her parents thought they had a picky eater on their hands. A ear infection was said to be the blame for a swollen eye Layla woke up one morning with, and her hard and distended belly was treated with medication for constipation. After another weekend of no dirty diapers, she was referred to a GI specialist who ran some tests.
Layla has a massive cancerous tumor (Stage 4 Neuroblastoma) in her abdomen. It extends from above her left kidney, around her side, over her belly and wraps around her aorta. In addition, the cancer is in her bone marrow. Sweet little Layla went from normal happy and healthy to lethargic, in pain, and skin and bones in a matter of a week and a half.
Frequent updates on Layla’s status can be found at http://www.twitter.com/laylagrace.
The Marsh Family can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, I do not share this story with you to depress you. I do not share this story with you to scare all the new mothers out there who happen to be reading this blog. If you have some spare time, take the time to read the blog Layla's mother is writing. Of course she is not choosing to blog over spending her dying daughter's last moments with her. Layla sleeps a lot and her mother is finding a way to pass the time, vent, express her emotions, and update the CRAZY amount of people and celebrities who have been following Layla's story. Sometimes I think posting information that is too personal on Facebook is at times inappropriate, but I recently learned that sometimes Facebook, email, blogs, and Twitter can sometimes be the best way of communicating with a large group of people. Just imagine if Layla's mother had to personally update each person on Layla's condition each time she was asked. Thank you, Lord, for technology! And I know that blogging really at times is a form of venting. It's free therapy! (if it's working!)
Yesterday Layla's mother wrote this:
And that is why I am sharing this story with you. This is probably one of a family's worst nightmare stories. I could see this emotionally scarring a person, a mother, for life. I could see this depressing her beyond belief. I could see this causing so much anger and hatred for God in her heart that she never turns back to Him again. I can see how some would say "God is not answering her prayers" and "God is letting this innocent little girl die." But WOW! This mother is taking one of the worst things a mother would ever have to face, and is letting it bring her CLOSER to God!My relationship with God has grown so much the past few months. That is all Layla’s doing. I’m so grateful that I was blessed with this angel on earth. She has taught me patience, faith, strength, grace and love. She has continued to amaze me over and over again.
She also posted this verse yesterday:
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
-2 Corninthians 4:7-12, 16-18
On February 28th, her mother wrote:
Still, we kept praying expecting a miracle. Never give up hope, that’s our motto. God doesn’t bring the bad, he brings the good. But we knew in the back of our minds that it might be part of God’s plan for her to return home to Him. It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that God’s work with Layla here on earth is nearly complete.She has the right idea! She is being an example of true FAITH to us all! You never ever ever give up hope, and give your life (and the life of your children) up to God, trusting that whatever He chooses, life or death, peace or pain, will be a part of His perfect and pleasing will, giving glory to Him! I know she's struggling. But her testimony is and will be so powerful! She is a hero of mine! And not only her, but all of the people who are in pain and still find a way to trust that God has a plan and whatever it may be, you're happily along for the ride!
I know that Layla Grace is not the only child suffering from cancer. I know that her mother is not the only person that is being a great example of someone who has TRUE faith in the Lord. This site and story was simply brought to my attention, and I felt the need to share. I hope it touches your heart and teaches you the many lessons it has seemed to teach me lately as I've been reading. I will continue to pray for Layla and her family as they go through these last days, and also for her family as they cope with the loss of their daughter. However, God performs miracles everyday (so don't think I'm giving up hope!)
Follow Layla on Twitter
Update February 2015: I believe the website is no more and the Twitter account looks like it is no longer being updated. Praying that the family has coped well with the loss of their beautiful daughter and that the Layla Grace Foundation is a success.