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Zach’s Story

A Gift from God is the only way to explain what Zachary is to Mary Ann and myself. Through months of weakness, struggle and pain, he continues bring smiles to the faces of everyone he meets. He is the kind of child that wont eat the last cookie until he has asked if anyone else wants it.  How honored I am to be dad to such a wonderful son.

 Zach Little,

Zach is eight years old and the oldest of our three sons.  A very intelligent and bright child, always asking questions and not just why, but wanting to know the true meaning of how things work. He is always looking for something deeper than the average child. Zach was diagnosed with medduloblastoma, a form of brain cancer in on July 21st of 2009. In the months prior to his diagnosis he was a very active boy that thought sleeping was a waste of time. He felt that he could use that time taking something apart to see how it works and then trying to get it back together.  With a terrific love of the outdoors, he would like nothing more than to spend his days, hunting, fishing, riding his bike or driving around on the golf cart.  When he is not busy doing these things he also loves playing football and baseball. One of the reasons that we found the tumor was his decline in ability at the end of the baseball season.                                    

Zach was the starting first base man for most of the year and then he started having trouble controlling where he was throwing the ball. Soon after that he complained about seeing double and not being able to catch the ball. This followed with him throwing up every morning. Even though we spent a great amount of time at doctor’s offices and seeing a specialist we were not able to find the cause of these symptoms. On July 19th we were all outside and Zach threw up but it was different, this time when he stood up he complained of extreme pain in his head.  Two days after that I asked our chief of anesthesia to order a head CT and then on July 23rd the tumor was removed after a 9 hour surgery.  The tumor was lying directly on the brain stem.  From the removal of the tumor to now Zach has been battling weakness on his left side and continued double vision.  That’s where this adventure with childhood cancer began for Zach and our family.

I spoke of Zach riding the golf cart; this is the most fun to him when he can have his brothers, Ryan age 6 and Chase age 19 months with him. He will spend hours riding around the yard with them on the cart. He is truly a big brother to Ryan and Chase, ever so carefully looking after them. Always willing to share whatever he has with anyone. Many times he gives up what he wants in order to make others happy.  We were able to attend a Viking’s game this year during his break from radiation.  When they went to get Viking’s helmets with horns on them, there was only one left. Even though, Zach had been talking about having one for a week he was sweet enough to let Ryan have it.

Such a compassionate child, he and his mother went to a local store here in Memphis to look for a Christmas tree for their apartment in the Target House. They looked at all kinds of trees, large and small. Zach picked out the smallest and most humble looking tree there. He told his mom if this tree was an old, lonely man on the street we wouldn’t just leave him there! Why should we leave this tree here?  So now the plans are to take this little tree and decorate it with wonderful and colorful ornaments to give it the chance it deserves to be beautiful.

Filled with faith and love is the most comprehensive way to describe Zach.  Zach has a strong faith in God and knows that all things work to the glory of God. He is a constant reminder to all that know him, of the strength and power of Christ.

Latest Journal Update

One Year Ago

     One year ago today, I cried out to the Lord, please don't let our child suffer anymore. Moments after that prayer, Zachary took his last breath on earth and went to meet God in all his glory. Words escape me tonight on the range of emotions our family has gone through. From joy knowing that one day we will see Zachary again, to full out anger of the fact that we cannot wake up each morning and see his smiling face as he raced across the house to hug us like he did every day. Later on, when he was not able to go out much he would love for all of us to pile up on the couch and watch movies. He would say this is family time and family time is good time.

     Through his short life we have learned so much about love and what it truly means to make each breath count. As a father Zachary taught me much more than I think I ever taught him. He showed me it was okay to cry sometimes, that you didn't always have to be strong because that's what family is for. He showed me that there are so many little things that are so very unimportant when it comes to the big picture of life. How can a child so young be so very well versed in the value of what is important in life.

     Today I sit in amazement of how an eleven year old boy has affected so many people. Many times today we have heard of just how Zachary's life and devotion to Christ, moved someone to a closer walk with the Lord. What a testimony to have when he stood at the foot of Jesus for the first time.

     Ryan, made a profession of faith, a little while back and was baptized today. A chill ran over me as I watched, I stood in the exact same spot as I did when Zachary was Baptized. All I could think about was that one day my boys will run and play again together. For me there is no greater honor than to be their dad and know that our boys are following Jesus and becoming young men of God in front of my eyes.

     Psalms 30:5, states that : For Gods wrath lasts only a moment, his favor lasts a lifetime, weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning. The Lord's time is not our time, when the morning comes is up to him. Zachary's morning has come and ours is yet to be determined. Until that time we will Praise him through each day be it full of joy or the hurt of loosing such a precious, precious child.

      Thank each of you so very much for walking through this journey with us, keeping us lifted in prayer in God's Holy arms.

     Zachary's favorite verse:

ISAIAH 40;31 But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.