Christi’s Story

Site created on July 30, 2020

Hi all, 

It is so comforting knowing you are all here for Christi and it shows just how much she impacts lives on a day to day basis. My name is Marianna (Mae) McElveen and I am Christi’s daughter. As many of you know, my mom and dad were both diagnosed with cancer (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma & Leukemia) while my mom was pregnant with me. When I was born, my mom went through multiple rounds of radiation and surgery which were both extremely successful. In May 1997, my father passed away. From that day forward, my mom had one purpose in life and it was to take care of me and make sure that I have the best life that she can give me without my sweet dad being on this earth. 

My mother was told that if she would want more children, it would be difficult due to the intensity and strength of her radiation treatment. It is now 2020 and my brothers (Robert-17 & Charlie-13) and I are living proof that my mom is the purest form of a miracle. She has taken on roles that no mother should take on and she has had to endure things that no human should endure. 

In December 2019, my mom started to feel run down, slow, out of breath constantly, etc. She went to the cardiologist and he explained that due to her radiation treatment over 20 years ago, her heart has weakened exponentially. We were told that a pacemaker would improve her quality of life and will be a great temporary fix until we have to start thinking about major surgery, which we were told would be YEARS. About 3 weeks ago, Mom was feeling horrible again. She went back to the cardiologist and they came to the conclusion that her heart health has declined way faster than expected. She was told that she would have to undergo an Open Heart Aortic Valve Replacement.  Her hopes are high, but it is hard to keep a smile on at all times.

She went into surgery at 7am on 7/30. I was able to FaceTime her right before she went in and she seemed to be relaxed and her nurses were wonderful. Right now, we are thinking the toughest part will be recovery. COVID has made this experience a lot harder than it should be. She will have to completely isolate for the entirety of her recovery, including from my brothers, which is very tough on her. She will need a lot of help and support over the next couple of months and this is where we need to step in. She has an amazing team of friends and family who are willing to do all they can, but again… COVID and distance are not in our favor. We need to limit her exposure, so unfortunately no one will be able to go in the house and see her for the time being.

For those who would like to help out, here are some ideas:

- Meals
- Flowers/cards
- Phone calls/Facetimes (Limited, but so appreciated)
- Care baskets
- etc    

If you have any other ideas, please reach out to me at ( and we can set something up!

Christi is an angel too close to the ground. I have sat here trying to write about my mom in the confines of a few paragraphs, but it merely is not possible. She is a light that was so intricately placed in our lives and now it is time for her to be cared for. 

We will posting updates on this page, so keep checking in! 

Thank you all for your love and grace,


Newest Update

Journal entry by Christi Roe

Dear Friends,

This is Christi, and I am so very happy to finally be able to update this.  I have been home from the hospital for about a week and a half.  I keep being told that my progress will be slow and steady, to just be patient.  The Lord is teaching me patience for sure!

What I really want share is my gratitude for the absolutely remarkable outpouring of love and kindness that my family and I have been shown these past few weeks.  My surgery and the time following, went pretty much opposite as I had planned in my head!  God had different plans and his plans were far better than mine.  While in the hospital, I had constant peace about the situation.  I wasn't able to visit with my children or other family members, but that made us appreciate phone conversations and facetime calls, that much more.❤️.  Each of my three children were just blown away by the number of phone calls, texts checking in on them, meal offers, etc.  They each said, "Mom, you are so loved."  It impacted them and made the entire situation easier for them.  Thank you.  I appreciate every single text, voicemail, message on here and facebook, card, and act of kindness.  The day I came home from the hospital, I was surprised by a beautiful yard.  Friends had even come by and weeded, planted flowers and bushes, and laid fresh pine straw.  Seriously!  I'm just in awe.

I could go on and on.  I think my message is this. I try to teach my children and my students to be kind.  We need more of that in our world.  God has blessed us with so much kindness.  I will never get over it and I will always strive to pay it forward. I'm thankful for today and for each step of progress that I make.  Thank you for helping  us through this.

With much love,


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