UPDATE, 2/16/13: Daisy died today, in the early morning hours. She was asleep and in no pain. I wrote the following post in July 2012.
I met Daisy Love Merrick two years ago. She was waiting with her mother in after-school car line to pick up her best friend, one of our kindergarten students. Daisy was smiling and happy and loving life.
The following week, Daisy was rushed to the emergency room. The family was vacationing in Hawaii when a tumor the size of a grapefruit was found in her abdomen.
The discovery of a tumor is never good news. But this news came as a shock at a higher level: Just two months earlier, doctors had told the family that Daisy was cancer free. After a grueling, six-month journey through cancer that had supposedly come to an end, the Wilms’ tumor had recurred.
The surgeons could only remove one-third of it and Daisy was given a 30-50% cure rate.
But through faith, prayer, and love poured out through her church family (her father, Britt, is pastor there), Daisy and her family endured the heartbreak, hair loss, and radiation rounds. Doctors assured the family that Daisy was cancer free. And she was given a gift: normal living for a year.
Then came April 2012. The family received the devastating news that the cancer had returned, and a third tumor was removed. So was her spleen.
Daisy turned eight years old at the end of June.
Today, she is in a battle for her life. I challenge you to read about this brave girl and her family. If you do, all the everyday cares and concerns that you have today will most likely fade.
You’ll feel the need to hold on to your child or loved one with a grip unlike before.
Maybe you’ll think about your role as parent, family member, or friend, and how that might need refinement.
You will probably question God as you wonder about a child’s suffering.
Many unnecessary things in life that seem vital to us will suddenly take a back seat once we come close to the stench of death.
If only we would learn to direct them there before the actual encounter.
You can help Daisy. She’s a fighter, but so is cancer. The family hopes to raise enough funds to pay for traditional and progressive treatments in both the U.S. and Israel. They estimate the total not covered by insurance to be over $500,000. HopeMob.org will feature Daisy’s story soon. Visit PrayForDaisy.com and learn more.
UPDATE, 9/8/12: The graph below shows how a caring community can make a difference. The Merricks are on track to reaching the $500,000 goal by the end of September!
UPDATE, 10/16/12: The Merricks surpassed their $500,000 goal. If the amount is more than they need for Daisy’s treatment, they will keep it in the trust to help others with cancer (especially cancer) or for cancer research.