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Corinne’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. This site has been created to glorify God and to keep friends and family updated on Corinne's, Victor's, and our family's experience with childhood cancer (Ewing's Sarcoma).

Victor died peacefully at home, in joyful anticipation of heaven, on September 7, 2011.  He was 14 years old.  We miss him greatly and look forward to seeing him again for eternity.

Corinne continues to be cancer-free.

(You can view videos links to Corinne and Victor's story under the "Resources" tab at the top right of the screen).

Corinne is our 11-yr. old daughter, the 2nd-youngest of 7 children. In May, 2006 (at 6 yrs. old) we noticed that she was favoring her right leg when she ran, resulting in a noticeable limp. After several initial physician visits, doctors misdiagnosed her with  femoral neuropathy (the femoral nerve was not firing, resulting in an inability to use her right quadricep). At the time, we believed it was most likely caused by a severe "charlie horse" she received in March. We were told to expect a somewhat lengthy recovery period, but that the nerve likely would recover on its own. After many specialists over the next 2 months, a second pediatric neurologist suspected that there was more to the problem. An MRI revealed a large pelvic tumor on Sept. 11, 2006. Numerous lab tests and a biopsy determined that she had a soft tissue Ewing's sarcoma. We rejoiced in finding out that the tumor was localized and had not metastisized into the bone or bone marrow. On Sept 22, she began chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. On December 18, a team of surgeons at the Mayo Clinic successfully resected the tumor and performed a rare nerve graft (from the sural nerves behind both calves) to repair the femoral nerve that was severed.  She has recovered such significant use of her quadricep muscles that no one watching her walk would notice her weakness.  Although she gets scans regularly, she is clear of cancer and loves to play hockey and fastpitch softball.

During Corinne's treatment, God enabled us to meet a 9-year-old boy named Victor undergoing cancer treatment. He was in foster care but almost always alone. The Lord drew our hearts to Victor in an unmistakable way. God moved our hearts to adopt Victor, and shortly after our first inquiries, we found out his current foster parents would no longer be able to care for him, that he had the same cancer as Corinne, that it was located in the same place in his body, and that he was on the exact same 'cycle' of treatment as Corinne. Corinne and Victor had their last 3 cycles of chemotherapy in connecting hospital rooms. They both finished their last bag of chemotherapy within a half hour of each other in July, 2007. 

In April 2008 routine scans showed that Victor's cancer had returned in his femur (leg), a tiny spot on his spine and a lymph node in his neck. He finished more rounds of chemo and radiation.  From March-May of 2009, we travelled to and from Indiana for Proton Radiation treatment in the hopes that we could stop another recurrence.  But in August 2009, his cancer was back in his femur, spine, neck, and pelvis.  He started a clinical trial at the U. of Minnesota that worked well for a while ... until June 2010 when his cancer returned in his lungs.  More chemo at home and now a clinical trial through Childrens Hospitals of Minnesota have not been able to stop the progression of his disease.  But Oh, what a journey it has been.

Victor died peacefully at home, in joyful anticipation of heaven, on September 7, 2011.

We would covet your prayers for our family as we walk down a path that we did not choose, but that God chose for us. The Bible tells us over and over again that God is sovereign, and that all of His purposes will be accomplished. We do not know (and will not know) how God is using these cancers and our experience to further His kingdom, but we "rejoice in our present suffering", trusting Him to provide just what we need, when we need it. He is our portion ... and we are fully satisfied in Him. Thank you for helping us to walk by faith on this path.

Latest Journal Update

Much To Be Thankful For

Just before midnight tonight the phone rang with news that every parent dreads:  Eric had been in a car accident.  On the way home from the State Fair, he and his friends were hit by a drunk driver who entered the highway (35W) on an exit ramp going the wrong way.  The drunk driver almost T-boned them, but Rebekah Tucker (driving the car Eric was in) swerved to avoid him just before the other car hit the passenger door, rear door, and spun out against the median (still going the wrong way). Thankfully, all are fine (albeit one is in jail).  As I wait here for Mike to bring Eric home, I'm thanking the Lord for protecting them - Eric, Rebekah, Jesse, and Scott.

Just before bed, I was reading "Chosen By God", a great book by R. C. Sproul about the sovereignty of God.  MIke and I knew Eric was on his way home and he'd told us not to wait up because it would be late.  I turned off the light but for some reason couldn't sleep and began reading again.  I had just finished reading a statement in the book from the Westminster Confession:

"God, from all eternity, did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass."

Then the phone rang, and in an instant Mike and I were upright in bed with the news.    As Mike scrambled out the door, I got to my knees in thanksgiving to the God who created all things, has authority over all things, ordains all things, and by his gracious plan kept our son safe tonight.  

Some may wonder whether we question the sovereignty of God in the loss of another son almost a year ago.  We don't.  As much as we miss him and yearn for him to still be with us, I can't imagine a 'safer' place to be than exactly where Victor is right now.   

Next Friday (Sept 7) marks the 1-year anniversary of Victor's death, and we've been talking about how we, as a family, want to remember that day.    Ultimately we decided to remember Victor and that day together privately.  But as that coming day looms heavy, it prompted me to stop by his grave today.  As I sat looking at Victor's headstone and reminiscing, it seemed close enough to touch the days when his smiling face was in our midst.  And his words echoed in my head... even his whispered "I love you, Mom" in the car on that frantic day when he couldn't breath and we were racing to the hospital.  I thanked God, out loud, for "all of it" - every speck of the the last 5 years that thrilled us and brought us to our knees with grief.   How unmistakable God's plan and presence has been in 'all of it".  

God so often puts his mark on our circumstances so that we don't miss the author of the plan.  I told Eric tonight that God often puts 'bookends' on his ways... just after Victor's death, Eric had emergency surgery on his neck for a suspicious growth ... and today just a week before the anniversary we feel the breath of God's sovereign grace again.   Yes, in ALL things, we have much to be thankful for.