Instead of a Truthful Tuesday here, I am going to have a Talkative Tuesday about one very special little girl and ask you to join me in prayer for her.
For those of you on my Facebook, you may have notice this past week I have been asking for prayers and posting information about a little girl named Layla Grace and have had her as my profile picture. This story is a heartbreaking one that has had me in absolute tears every day for the past week. I feel like my heart is breaking for this precious angel child who is not even mine, but something in her face reminds me of Nate for some reason. I cry with her family over the struggles and rejoice with the positive reports.
Precious little Layla Grace is a two year old who is, what they have been told, in her last days of battling stage 4 neuroblastoma. She is a sweet, caring, loving little girl who can no longer hold her head up and cries in pain if she even tries. Barring a miracle, her parents and sisters only have a few days left with her, if even that. She is, inexplicably, holding on with everything she has. They were told three weeks ago that she would die within the week. She is still here.
Her parents are very strong Christians who live in the Houston area, in Cypress, TX. The cancer is spread throughout her body and in her bone marrow and she was on morphine to keep the pain at bay, but is so allergic to it and all of morphine's "family" that she has to be given a morphine anti-dote, even as she takes it or she tries to rip her skin off. She is down to 18 pounds now.
On the positive, she has had her first two dirty diapers last night and today in over two weeks and her discomfort has eased considerably and she is able to keep some liquid down. Her breathing is getting better than it was during her interview with Ryan Seacrest yesterday morning and her heartbeat is steady. The doctors call her an anomaly. We, who know better, call her a miracle.
Whatever happens is always God's will and sweet Layla Grace has touched tens of thousands with her story and the story of her parent's faith and Christian witness throughout this ordeal. Her mother said that she is in awe of her strength and ability to continue to hold on this long.
Her story makes me realize that I can not take my time with Nate for granted. Layla Grace's mother said that she would give anything to have her underfoot or sneaking a cookie and instead it's all she can do to not wake her up to just hold her and steal as much time with her as possible. I'll no longer complain about being exhausted b/c Nate kept me up at night for whatever reason - usually hungry.
Please pray, if it is the Lord's will, that He provide a miracle for precious little Layla Grace, that he lay His hands on her and heal her. There are thousands, upon thousands following her in Facebook and Twitter, as well as her mother's blog, and quite a number in Hollywood are aware of her story and are spreading the word. What a witness to these Hollywood elite this would be if God found, in His mercy, to heal her, apart from scientific interference. She is doing home hospice so that she can pass into the arms of Jesus at home when or if she is called. They have basically stopped every treatment for her, the doctors say there is no hope. If it is not the Lord's will that He heal her, please pray that her pain go away and she has a good, pain-free time that is left to her with her family and pray that He comfort her family.
You can find frequent updates for her her at:
and the heartbreaking story behind the beautiful picture below can be found on her parent's website/blog here: http://laylagrace.org/
Shanna, Layla Grace's mom, had an interview with Ryan Seacrest yesterday and it was awesome! Ryan was "Tweeted" about her a few days ago and so he looked her Twitter page up and then her parent's blog and he said, "you always read stories and usually say, 'that's so sad' and move on, but something about this little girl spoke to me and I had to learn more about her story. This remarkable little girl will touch you like she touched me."
You can find the interview in its entirety here: http://bit.ly/9kB1SW
I'm so frustrated because this kind of child cancer CAN be screened for at birth with a simple urine test, and yet, we don't do this here in the United States. So many children would stand a better chance if the doctors knew that they were pre-disposed for this and could watch for it as the children grow older.
Though thousands are storming the heavens for her healing, every prayer helps. I grieve for this family and what they're going through and can't imagine going through the same thing with my own sweet Nate. I am posting her situation below from her mom's words. Thank you in advance, as always, for your prayers.
Layla has always been a healthy child, 80th percentile for weight, a great eater, a great sleeper. She is sweet as pie and a little cuddle monkey (she won’t let you put her down!). She has a very advanced vocab for her age which really helps us manage her pain and give her what she needs as her care continues.
Layla had a great 15 month checkup. At around 16 months her sleep habits and appetite started to change and she started to become more irritable. Mid March appetite began to decrease. At the time we thought we were dealing with a “picky eater”. Beginning of May Layla woke up one morning with a swollen eye. We took her to the doctor and she was treated for an ear infection and the doctor said the swelling was just a result of the ear infection. At the same time we noted that her belly was hard and somewhat distended. She had not had a bowel movement for a few days and we were concerned that she was becoming constipated.
The next day we took her to the pediatrician who put her on Mirilax over the weekend and told us to call back Monday. By Monday morning she was not eating at all, still no dirty diaper, her activity level had decreased and was rubbing her belly and lower back and saying “owie”.
Our pediatrician referred us to a GI specialist to see why she was so constipated and wasn’t eating. On Thursday May 7th as we sat in GI specialists office expecting to be told that Layla would need some kind of treatment for constipation we instead hear words like “Cancer” and “Leukemia”. A series of X-rays and tests were ordered and we were sent home to wait on the results.
That evening about five minutes after we walked in the door we got an urgent call from the GI specialist telling us that the test results were in, that things were not good and that we were to bring Layla into the ER immediately and that a team of doctors would be waiting for us.
Layla has a massive cancerous tumor (Stage 4 Neuroblastoma) in her abdomen. It extends from above her left kidney, around her side, over her belly and wraps around her aorta. In addition, the cancer is in her bone marrow.
Our sweet Layla went from normal happy and healthy to lethargic, in pain, and skin and bones in a matter of a week and a half.
“For a little while I’ll lend you a child of mine for you to cherish while she lives, and mourn for when she is gone. Look after her for me! It may be two or three years before I will call her home.
Will you care for her?
She’ll bring you love, joy and happiness and should her stay be brief, you’ll have a whole host of memories as solace from your grief.” I cannot promise she will stay, since all from the earth returns to dust, but there are lessons taught below that I want this child to learn.
Will you love her?
I’ve looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true, and from the masses that crowd life’s lane at last I HAVE CHOSEN YOU. Now will you give her all your love and not think your labor in vain and turn against me when I come to take her back home again.
I fancied that I heard you say to me: “Dear Lord your will be done, for all the joy your child shall bring the risk of grief we’ll run. We’ll shelter her with tenderness. We’ll love her while we may, and the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay. But should the angels call her much sooner than planned, we’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”
“I’ll lend you for a little while a child of mine, God said, for you to cherish while she lives, and mourn for when she’s gone.”
Someone wrote this for little Layla Grace and it is beautiful...
Layla Grace, Layla Grace, with your sweet sweet smile and your angel face
You have moved many while running your race, darling Layla Grace
Though you are young and your years be few
God’s doing wonderous things through you
In present times we don’t understand
It can be hard to see His hand
But we know it’s part of a greater plan
We believe this to be true
For those on the outside looking in
We see a giant girlish grin
It’s hard to fathom endurance so great
And the fiesty fight of this featherweight
In the midst of suffering and enormous pain
Your parent’s steadfast faith remains
What a testament to all who view
The trials you are going through
We pray for a miracle, Lord once more
Pray more fervrently than we’ve ever prayed before
Have mercy on your witness small
Bring healing, peace, and rest above all
Lord, you alone know what’s to come
Bring peace and healing to everyone
To all of whom this girl did hear
Whether distanced far or nestled near
You’ve blessed us with a heavenly light
Her courage shining bold and bright
Bring her family peace tonight
Steady their ship and steer
And if you call this wee one home
No longer on this earth to roam
If her moments left are fleeting, brief
Comfort us admist our grief
Remind us of your perfect will
Hold us firmly, planted still
Let our hearts remain aware
That she is in your loving care
You will hold her tiny hand
And guide her through Your glory land
No more need for her to cry
As you sing her heaven’s lullabies
And rock her gently in your arms
Untouchable to hurt or harm
What a special treasure made in You
This precious child with eyes bright blue
A shining reflection of your glorious face
Lord, Thank you tonight for Layla Grace.
For each measured moment before family may part
Make sweet cherished memories to keep in their hearts
She’s made this world such a brighter place.
Lord, Thank you tonight for sweet Layla Grace.