Thursday, April 26, 2007

Prayers Needed for Baby Sam

Baby Sam is a special little boy who has captured my heart (along with his family - especially his mom) over the past 3 years. He's just a few weeks older than my 3 year old. I have been trying to do the math and will probably get it wrong but I believe he was around 9 months old when he was diagnosed with a form of cancer called neuroblastoma. He had a massive tumor which was wrapped around major blood vessels, nerves, and organs. It was too risky to remove it with surgery so he had to undergo chemotherapy in order to shrink the tumor enough to be able to remove it. After finishing chemo, he had surgery to remove the tumor and it was successful! Sam has been cancer free since then. Unfortunately, he has not been free of health issues and that is far from the end of the story.

That surgery left Sam with kidneys that weren't functioning properly. He had another surgery to have a catheter put in his abdomen so that they could do dialysis on him - which they have done faithfully every single night since April of 2005.

The day before this surgery, his dad wrote this on Sam's CaringBridge website.

While waiting for tomorrow to come (Sam's surgery is at 10am Wednesday), I have an interesting story.

If you were unaware, we are Roman Catholic. Today, our parish pastor and parish deacon came by the hospital to administer the sacrament of confirmation upon Sam. As part of this, the person receiving the sacrament selects a saint to be named after. Obviously, Sam is unable to select a saint, so Tami and I selected a saint for him. We selected Saint Benedict.

Benedict means blessed. Saint Benedict lived from 480-547.

Saint Benedict is the patron saint of kidney disease.

As you probably know by now, the Cardinals of the Catholic Church have been meeting to vote on who will be the next Pope. Today, a new pope was elected. As a newly elected Pope, he selects a new name to be called as Pope.

He selected the name Benedict.

This story still gives me goosebumps!!

So, this brings me to this past Tuesday when I got a call from a gal from church. She had called Sam's mom, Tami (a truly inspiring and amazing mom whom I admire a great deal) and found out some great news about Sam. I knew that they had been thinking that he would end up having a kidney transplant but I haven't talked with Tami in a while and last I'd heard they were trying to get him strong enough to go through such an ordeal. Apparently he is ready to go and the long awaited transplant will take place in June. I don't have a lot of the details but I do know that the family will be living in California, where the surgery will take place, for about a month. The year following the surgery will be a critical time and I believe I read on his website that he will be on medications the rest of his life. Please feel free to visit his website and read the history or even just the recent posts from the family to keep up with his story.

Most of all, the whole reason I posted all of this, is to ask everyone to please PRAY for Baby Sam, his family, his doctors and nurses. Please pray for the person who is so selflessly giving their kidney to this special little guy. And please pray that his body does not reject the kidney.

I'll keep everyone posted on this sweet baby's progress.

St. Benedict, pray for Baby Sam!

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