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Nathan Charles’s Story

We have 4 children: Sarah, who is 11; Matthew, who is 8 1/2; Nathan, who is 7 years old; and Tabitha, who is 4 years old. Nathan was born on Dec 28, 2006. He began having seizures just before his 1st birthday on Dec 24, 2007. We have had multiple EEG's and a CT scan that were all normal. The doctors believed he had BPVC (a type of childhood migraine & vertigo disorder). In October 2008, his seizures began to happen more frequently. Where he used to have them once or twice every few months, he began having 10 - 15 a month. The Pediatric Neurologist sent us for a MRI on January 14, 2009. It was suppose to be very routine and they did not expect to find anything. However, just a few hours after his MRI we received the devastating call that Nathan had a tumor on his cerebellum that went over into the peduncle. We were sent to Duke on January 16, 2009 to see a Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Dr. Grant, who said we needed to set up surgery right away. On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, Nathan went into surgery to remove the brain tumor. Dr. Grant was able to remove a portion of the tumor but had to leave about 45% of the tumor. Pathology reports show that the tumor is a low-grade astrocytoma, both grade 2 (Brain Cancer). The tumor started to grow as of an MRI on 3/5/09. So Nathan had an InfusaPort placed in his chest on 3/11/09 and we started chemo on 3/12/09. The chemo is to try and keep the tumor stable for as long as possible. We are still praying for a miracle and that God will remove the tumor. Nathan was off of chemo from Aug 2010 until October 21, 2011 when an MRI revealed a 3 mm increase in growth on the brain as well as a tumor inside of the spinal cord (neuroglial tumor). He had surgery to remove most of the spinal cord tumor on 10/31/2011 and began chemo with Vinblastine on 11/14/2011 and Avastin on 12/14/2011. Both meds had to stop in Spring 2012 because his quality of life had declined. The cancer progressed again in Sept 2012. On 9/4/12 both the brain tumor and spinal cord tumor showed growth. Started chemo with Temodar and Etoposide 9/12/12 and started a third drug Revlimid Oct 2012. These are just to try and stabilize the tumors but will not get rid of the cancer. It is just to try and buy time. January 6, 2014 an MRI showed that the cancer is progressing. The brain tumor is enhancing with more active blood vessels and there appears to be a second lesion in the brain. On Jan 23, 2014 Nathan started off trial Everolimus daily then had to stop 2/8/14 due to complications. February 20, 2014 showed another spinal lesion on the T5-T6. On April 7, 2014 Nathan was able to get into the Phase II clinical trial of AZD6244 through Duke University which he is still on now. While there are many things that cancer does, there are many things that cancer cannot do:Cancer is so limitedYet in all these thingsIt cannot cripple love, it cannot alter hopeWe are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.It cannot corrode faith, it cannot destroy peaceFor I am persuaded that neither death nor life...It cannot kill friendship, it cannot suppress memoriesNor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height or depthIt cannot silence courage, it cannot invade the soulNor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God,It cannot steal eternal life, it cannot conquer the spiritWhich is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39written by: anonymous
View Nathan's video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHfMIJsdssM

Latest Journal Update

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! We know that we have many friends who hold many different beliefs. We want you to know that we consider each of you our friends and because of that we want to share with you our beliefs and the hope we have and where it comes from. Several months back we were talking to Nathan about what his hope was for everyone battling cancer. He said that he would love to see a cure for cancer one day but that his hope is that everyone would come to know Jesus as Savior so that either way they will be healed, either on earth or in heaven just like him. This for us is the message of our lives and the message of Christmas.

See Christmas is a time of love, joy, peace, hope, and faith! Christmas is a very important time for us because it is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, which is where our hope lies. We believe that Jesus came into the world, born of a virgin, to save us from our sin by His sacrificial death on a cross so that all who call upon His name and choose to follow Him will spend eternity with Him in heaven. So for us, we celebrate Christmas because of Jesus Christ being born in a manger, some 2,000 years ago. This gift was made available to us when Jesus chose to give His life on an old rugged cross to pay for our sins as well as everyone in the entire world which gave us the opportunity to have the gift of salvation to all who would accept it. But it didn't end there because 3 days later, Jesus conquered death and the grave when he rose again, alive, and promised us the same resurrection. We are thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ that was given to us and can never be taken away or surpassed.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17 NIV) God loves each of us so much that He sent His only Son for us so that we could spend eternity with him if we accept it. The greatest gift anyone could ever receive this year is the gift of salvation. Why do we need a Savior? Romans 3:23-24 tells us "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." See none of us are perfect, and although we like to classify sins as good, bad, justifiable, unjustifiable, big, small, etc to God sin is sin. Sin is anything that is wrong, and we all sin, daily. Whether that is breaking one of the commandments (i.e. lie, cheat, steal, envy, etc) or telling a small lie or even sins of the heart (i.e. pride, self-loathing, unforgiveness, etc). Because of this sin we are separated from God. Romans 6:23 tell us, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Because we have to pay a price for our sin we are sentenced to death and eternal separation from God.

But the awesome news is found in Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus doesn't want you to be perfect, he just wants your heart. There is nothing you have done or can do that would make Him love you any less. Jesus died to pay the price for our sins so that we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV) There is nothing we can do that will earn heaven or make Him love us any more. Jesus wants a relationship with us and it is through His grace (giving us something we don't deserve) that He gives us eternal life if we will accept it. Romans 10:9-10 tell us, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." We must pray and acknowledge that we are sinners and that Jesus came to save us from our sin. We must ask Him to forgive us for our sins and turn away from our sins. We must accept that the only way to heaven is through Jesus' shed blood on the cross. We must choose to follow Him.

You all hold a special place in our hearts BUT Jesus loves you more than you could ever imagine. Regardless of what any of us have gone through or are going through today my friend, please know that there is a God in heaven who loves you so much that He sent His son, Jesus, so that you could spend eternity with Him. God's love is perfect, never-ending and unconditional, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39 NIV)

Today, if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, will you make that decision today. If you never have accepted Jesus as Savior please pray: "Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and that I have done things that I can never make right. Please forgive me for my sins and help me turn away from those things that pull me away from You. I know that you sent Jesus to die for my sins and rise again so that I too could have eternal life with you. I accept that free gift of salvation. Please help me to follow you daily." If you have already accepted the gift of God's son but have pulled away, turn back to God and let Him bring you the peace and comfort that only He can. We pray that you all have a Merry Christmas as we celebrate Jesus, the reason for Christmas in the first place.
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1 Comment

Linda Snead
By Linda Snead
Well said! MERRY Christmas to you and your entire family. Nathan, Tabitha and the entire family is called out in my prayers every day. Also the doctors and nurses who take care of them. God bless you and keep you.