Monday, March 28, 2011

Smashing of families

We have had a wonderful time this month with Norman and Margie in our home. It has been such a blessing to have so much help from our families. Christian and Evelyn have had a really good chance to bond with them and develop a trusting relationship. I have always thought it was such a special gift when you knew that somebody loved your kids as much as you did (if that’s possible!)  I feel that anytime you can add people to the tally of 'people who truly love your children' -  you are contributing to your kid's self esteem and confidence as they realize how special they are and how much their little lives matter. So this is a quick thank you to everybody who has spent time to get to know Christian, Evelyn and Ryan, especially over these past two months. Tonight we had some fantastic steak BBQ – by Norman – and even though it may not seem like much it helps us to have a feeling of normalcy when some days just don’t feel normal at all.

Jayden and Christian playing Super Mario in the HOT clinic

Speaking of special people, Chris and I are often amazed at the way the God brings people into our lives. You might not understand it at the time of meeting but it will at some point become obvious to us -  His plan.  This became quite apparent to us on one of our first days at the clinic, in fact I think it might have been our first time in the clinic, where Christian gets his 'small' chemotherapy. We were kind of sitting there in a daze not sure what to do when I hear a man say, “Are you the Crowell’s?” And I am thinking that word sure travels fast and he proceeds to tell us that his church has been praying for our family. So here is this man that I have never seen before saying he has been praying for Christian and I look down and there is a sweet little fuzzyheaded boy sitting in a wheelchair. He says this is my son, Jayden. I cannot believe that this man whom obviously also has a son sick with cancer has been thinking of and praying for us.
 If you have read the previous blogs I have explained a little bit about Christians cancer, rhabdomysarrcoma, which is a very rare childhood cancer (less than 4% I believe) so it amounts to only around 200 cases a year in Canada.  So because we are ‘newbies’ on the Oncology ward at the ACH you spend a lot of time asking people the same questions. What kind of cancer does your son/daughter have? What kind of treatment are you doing? How have their side effects been? How long since you were diagnosed? So I starting into the standard 20 questions of meeting a new parent on the ward and I ask Doug what kind of cancer Jayden has and he says a cancer very similar to the one Christian has. He tells me Jayden was diagnosed just before Christmas and that he is just a little older than Christian.  He is the pastor at a local Airdrie church and Christian’s name ended up on his prayer list. And we ended up in the clinic on the same day at the same time. Talking about our two boys, almost the same age, similar type of cancer, same time and same town – this is no coincidence. God just wanted us to be friends.  On Friday Norman is looking through the local paper to find a church that he wants to go to on Sunday and he points one out to Chris, “How about this one?” And I am sure you know the rest of the story – Doug’s church. God works in wondrous ways. So the Phaneuf family has found a place into our hearts and they inspire us with their uplifting spirit and gracious attitude. They are amazing family for thinking of others when they had so much of their own to deal with. We are blessed to have been smashed together with them and you truly never know how God is working in your life till you let Him lead. 

Ryan - naturally cool!

One of Chris’ colleagues came over to the house early on in our debacle and brought us a special book about gratitude. It has a space to write each day a few things that you are thankful for. So from now on I will end my blog with a few things I am thankful for.
1.     Christian’s excellent dance moves that he has been practicing for the upcoming kids dance
2.     Ryan being such a good natured and relaxed baby
3.   Evelyn doing her midnight jammie changes...they drive us crazy but we will remember it forever

Evan - natually nuts!
Nighty night and don't forget to register to become a possible bone marrow donor  at Thank you for honouring Christian's fight. 


  1. In my hospital room there was a lady that had surgery early that morning she told me she was from oxford and asked if I knew anyone from there. I told her I knew Fred's brother Ruben, she said"Oh I am part of their prayer group " I asked If he had mentioned a little 3 year old boy from Alberta. She said we pray for him every week. I told her that was my grandson.She said he must be a special little boy he is in all our hearts and prayer and we don't even know him . I told her how Special he is .

  2. It is funny how you cannot look ahead and see how things might turn out but you just step out in faith.Such was the case coming out to live with you for this period of time. We came to give of ourselves but had no idea what we would receive in return. These are the moments in life that really matter and are treasures that last. To become part of this family has been a wonderful experience for both of us. To watch you and Chris plow through unfamiliar territory while surrounding the kids with love every step of the way is really amazing. Christian has shown such character as he faces his day to day challenges and even though he hates his pokes will remind you if he thinks you have forgotten. It is great to see the support that people are showing you and they are really investing in a family which will make our world a better place. I am very proud of you all and we will cherish the moments that we have shared with you at this time. "Well done good and faithful servants comes to mind." Thanks for giving us love even in days of trial. We love you all!