This is Lydia’s story – my seven year old granddaughter’s story. Most of us are fortunate enough to go through life free of major medical issues. Lydia is not so fortunate.

On October 14, 2023, she was admitted to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando, where she was diagnosed with leukemia. More specifically, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her chance of survival is estimated at 85 – 95%, so we have an optimistic outlook. In the mean time, her life will be very different from what it has been.

The Road Ahead

Lydia began the long process of chemotherapy just four days after she was admitted – a process that will last for two years, with weekly hospital treatments for the first six months. The steroids will cause painful swelling and other side effects. She will lose her long beautiful hair (she was extremely upset when she learned that), and she will not be able to enjoy playing with her friends and family as she did before.

The medical part is pretty much common knowledge. What isn’t is all the other changes and expenses that go along with it.

  • Each of those trips to the hospital in Orlando will put 122 miles on their vehicle, along with the gas.
  • When her dad is taking her to the hospital, that two hours of travel time plus hospital time is time he is unable to work. No work – no income.
  • Lydia’s weakened immune system means major changes in their home, including changes to the air conditioning system, providing a room of her own, a separate air filtration system for the room she is in, and numerous other modifications.

How you can help

In the world of a seven year old, dollars and budgeting and planning just sort of happen. The real world is, of course, quite different. As we’ve just seen, something like this involves a long list of expenses that aren’t usually thought of as “medical” expenses – expenses that are far beyond the resources of a young man with a building, repair, and maintenance business with three full time employees, and his wife busy home-schooling their three children in addition to her duties as wife and mother. They work hard to uphold traditional family values.

Their medical plan is a Christian cost sharing program in which they must pay the first $10,000 of medical expenses each year starting in June. All those non-medical expenses are in addition, and they add up quickly.

Our family and our church family help as they are able. Perhaps you would like to be a part of Lydia’s story.

Everyone can help by praying – pray for healing, pray for Lydia’s comfort, pray for patience and wisdom, and pray for Lydia’s family. The Lydia Updates link is where we’ll post any specific prayer requests, as well as a place you can follow her progress.

If you are able, and would like to help with the financial burden they are facing, we have set up several ways you can do that. The most direct way is by check or money order, since there are no processing fees for that. Many will prefer using a credit card, and we have that covered also.

If you wish to give anonymously, use the GiveSendGo link. There you will see a “Hide my name from public view” checkbox. You can then enter whatever you like for the “Show donation as” field. GiveSendGo will, of course, have your information, but that is not accessible to anyone else.