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Ian’s Story

Ian Thomas Henderson
left this earth 2/19/2009
after 7 years + 7 months

Lives forever now with his good friend, Jesus...

May 24th, 2008

We’ll start our story 8 years ago…

It was spring and we had just miscarried twins. We were trusting in our Lord that He was at work in our lives even when we didn't understand and couldn't see. That autumn by God's design we sold our town home and moved into our current "family" home - two weeks later we found out we were to have a new baby.

We had a difficult pregnancy and so many times it looked as though we would lose this child, but God allowed him to arrive four weeks early, but safely on July 19th - we named him Ian, which means "God is Gracious".

In these almost seven years we’ve been so blessed with a happy, gentle child. He has a marvelous imagination and loves to play.

This past month we’ve seen marked changes in our boy. He had a bout of bronchitis that they treated with antibiotics. Then two weeks later he began having a dizziness and difficulty seeing. We took him back to the pediatrician who said there was an inner ear fluid which we thought explained the symptoms. His Kindergarten teacher, felt there was perhaps something more going on and was blessedly persistent in sharing what she was seeing and her concerns about it. On her recommendation we took him again to the pediatrician who examined him more fully and recommended an MRI scan.

The head scan was done yesterday, on May 23rd, 2008 and did indicate a sinus infection, but also revealed the source of Ian’s symptoms – a brain tumor. This tumor is located deep in the brain on the brain stem. It is called a brain stem glioma, also known as diffuse intrinsic pontine gloma (DIPG). It is inoperable. It is producing symptoms of weakness, imbalance, and difficulty swallowing and breathing also vision and hearing issues. The "statistics" aren't good.

We must look at this through eyes of Faith. Therefore, through prayer with doctors who share our Faith, a path has been marked out for us and we will follow one step at a time. God has given us the top man – the director of the clinic – of pediatric neuro-oncology at the University of Minnesota who will be our primary physician during this process and will be guiding us through this. We will also be working with the top pediatric radiation specialist – the head of radiation therapy at the Fairview Children’s University of Minnesota.

We are relying on the only PHYSICIAN who CAN touch this. The Great Physician who made our son and therefore knows him intimately.

We believe God is guiding our steps. We trust Him to sustain us and to work His will in this situation. Please pray to that end. We ask Him for perfect healing and believe that He is more than able yet we surrender to His Will - whatever it is.

Thanks for your love and prayers - we need them!

Update: MRI Scan 8/19 showed 65% reduction in volume.

MRI Scan 10/14 showed stability - no change.

MRI Scan 11/14 showed re-growth starting in two areas.

MRI Scan 1/19/09 showed tumor is aggressively growing and has doubled in size since November.

2/19/09 - Jesus called Ian's name and he flew home...

Some have asked for our mailing address:
104 W. 136th St.
Burnsville, MN 55337

Latest Journal Update

Little Sister Joy

For those of you who aren't aware, Ian has a brand new baby sister.  Tom and I adopted a baby girl three weeks ago. 
Joy Marie Henderson was born September 17th at 6:44 am weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and was 19 inches long. 

We fully thought we were adopting a healthy baby girl, but have discovered this sweet little bundle of joy has been diagnosed this week with mitral valve heart disease.  She will need heart surgery as soon as she can safely have it.  We're hoping they are able to repair her valve.  If not repair, they may be able to replace the valve.  Her cardiologists tell us the best place in the nation for this kind of surgery on such little babies is in Boston.  So we await word about when they will send us.  We're currently in the hospital with her in Minneapolis at the University of MN Children's where she has been able to leave the ICU and is now in a regular room. 

Thank you so much for loving our sweet boy Ian and thank you for your prayers for his beautiful little sister...
Grateful for you...
Deb, Tom & Joy

10 people hearted this



Kim Vaughn
By Kim Vaughn
Warm congratulations on the addition of your new sweet girl! Praying for her, and for your family, as you go through this journey...always with hope for her strength and healing. ♥ Such precious news!!
Deb Fry
By Deb Fry
Wonderful news of your new daughter! I'm praying for her and both of you as you anticipate her surgery.
Tammie Dahlheimer
By Tammie Dahlheimer
Deb and Tom,
I am so excited about your new little girl. I think about Ian all the time! Greetings and hugs to your family!
1 person hearted this
Ruth Warner
By Ruth Warner
I remember Ian and the path you walked with him very well. Just today, I thought of the many children (and adults) I followed for a long time. I do appreciate your allowing me to share in the life you now have with baby Joy. I will check into the new site. Hugs and prayers to all of you.
Sheila Jones
By Sheila Jones "Always Sammys Grammie"
I remember your journey and precious son Ian. Congratulation on your new precious daughter, she is beautiful. I will keep her and your family in my prayers as I follow along. 💚