Welcome to Natalie's website. We want to thank EVERYONE for their thoughts, prayers, support, generosity and love during this incredibly difficult time. The wonderfully overwhelming response to our plea for prayer and support has led us to creating this website. Although we wish to personally express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone, we know this is impossible at this time. We are hoping that this site will keep you updated on Natalie's battle and with specific prayer requests. We would also like to invite you to share Bible verses and thoughts on Christ with us. This battle is fierce and God's Word, Promises and Encouragement are needed constantly; so any help to keep our focus on Christ will be a wonderful support.
Our precious daughter Natalie is a vibrant, sweet, tender-hearted, smart, beautiful 22 month old little girl. She was born September 21st of 2009 with her twin brother Evan. Becoming the privileged and proud parents of Natalie and Evan was a battle in itself and they are an absolute answer to prayers and a blessing beyond description to us. The past 2 years (almost!) with our beautiful children have been some of, if not the best years of our lives. They have filled our lives with joy, love, adventure, fun, challenge :) and many, many tender, quiet, precious moments that we will treasure forever. We lean on, are thankful for and treasure those times together as a family even more now that we face an uncertain future and a future, at least in the short-term, filled with hours and days spent separated from one another.
In June of 2011, Natalie started tilting her head to the right. At first we thought this was "just Natalie" because it was so cute and sweet and she used to do it when she was feeling shy or flirtatious. It was after a few weeks of family members and friends (thank God) questioning the nature of her head tilt that we decided God might be trying to tell us something and we took Natalie to the doctor. We started visiting with different doctors trying to determine the cause for Natalie's tilt and after ruling out some other conditions, an MRI was ordered. They ran the test on July 21st at Children's Hospital in Denver and the results were devastating. As we watched the head of neurology and oncology walk into our tiny recovery room, our hearts sank, panic gripped us and the walls closed in as we quickly realized the news was bad. We were told that Natalie has a brain tumor in a rare location on her brain stem.
Natalie was immediately admitted to Children's hospital to monitor her health and confirm that the tumor would not swell. She was started on many medications including heavy dosages of steroids to help control and reduce swelling and fluid in her brain. After 24 hours at the hospital, a restless night, filled with a constant presence of doctors, nurses, poking, prodding, crying, agonizing, praying and cuddling, a second MRI was ordered (this time of her spine) to determine if Natalie had metastatic disease. Thank the Lord, the second MRI came back clear. We did know we could be so happy during such an already devastating time, but we were ecstatic, praising God for being so merciful and faithful, so close to us in a time when we were utterly desperate and weak.
The tumor on Natalie's brain stem, however, is still very serious. She will have an 8 hour surgery on Wednesday, July 27th starting at 12pm. The doctors will remove as much of the tumor as possible but the surgery will likely need to be followed with some kind of chemotherapy or radiation. Recovery will also be a long road, during inpatient (weeks at least) and outpatient times, filled with many unknowns and variables. Until then, Natalie has been allowed to come home with us, which means 4 days together as a family again. We will hold close these precious days.
We, along with our family and friends are truly crushed but are trying to focus on the promise that God knows our every step and is cradling Natalie in the palm of His hand. It is through Him that our hope and faith lies and we are fervently praying for Natalie's health and her comfort in this scary time.
Psalm 112:7- "They do not fear bad news. Their hearts are steadfast as they confidently trust the Lord to care for them."
Isaiah 41:10- "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Deuteronomy 31:8- "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”