Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
In Loving Memory of Boey
Jenessa Nicole Byers (Boey), another sarcoma little one close to us lost her battle Thursday evening. Many of the world saw her and her family in October on Extreme Home Makeover.
Another mom described Boey in a wonderful way when she said:
Boey indeed heard the words ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant’ when she entered heaven (Matthew 25:21 NLT).
For those of you who didn't know Boey, she was only 8 and her bracelet says Cure Pediatric Cancer. In honor of Boey, I want to remind you of the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act Bill and how Boey made such a HUGE impact on Congress. There were 7 senators signed on to the bill before Senator Wyden spoke about Boey’s battle before Congress in Washington D.C on June 4th, 2007. Now there are 46 senators signed on! There are 176 cosponsors in the house (out of 435 members). You can find out more about this bill by clicking HERE.
Thank you Boey, for everything you have done to find a cure for cancer. You lived a life of significance and through the Lord, you are now healed in heaven.
If you would like to leave a word of encouragement to her family please do so at their web site/blog:Jenessa Nicole Byers (Boey) It would be nice if you let them know you came from Rebekah's Page.
The beautiful white rose that has touched so many of us in so many ways is by and used with permission from Australian photographer Lisa Hocking. Please see her blog and thank her for its use.
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Merry Christmas To All
It has been a very emotional morning, in a very good way. We have been wonderfully blessed by all of you and wanted to reserve this spot for a more complete update. For now we want to say Thank You to all of you for making it be such a wonderful day and most of all THANK YOU to God for his Son and our Savior.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007
A Short Update
We are so sorry for taking so long to update. Computer/Internet problems are plaguing us left and right.
The GREAT news: Rebekah's scans were clear. Thank you all who have been praying and paitently waiting for results.
The not as great news: Rebekah still continues to be bothered by emotional issues regarding the house. Last thursday her afternoon aid said she did not have a good day at school at kept saying "not booboo house."
Mommy and daddy still are trying to work plus spend as much time trying to salvage what we can and sort out things out at the house. We have had some wonderful people helping out with child care and right now that is the biggest need. We cannot have the girls at the house and we need to be there. Ugh.
So far the rental house has one dining room table and 4 chairs. We have one love seat. And one table in another bedroom with computers on it. We are still looking for dressers big time, as well as other furniture to fill in.
Thank you for all of your ongoing prayers, thoughts and donations. They are ALL extremely helpful.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007
We received this picture basically showing what the firefighters saw on their arrival. Here they are "waiting for water."
SO many things have been happening this week and we are sorry to not have more updates. That said, almost nothing has happened inside th house. BUT, there has been lots of planning, meeting with insurance representatives, contractors, realtors, etc. Today we met with the Salvage Contractor and his construction contractor as well as the new insurance adjuster. We have an adjuster from the company's "major loss" divsion. Compared to what he is used to (he just got back from the fires in California where million dollar houses were burnt to the ground) we are a smaller loss. And for that we are grateful and our hearts go out for those that are much worse off that us.
Speaking of those that are much worse off than us, in our area there are 100's or 1000's of families that have completely lost their homes to flooding in the last few weeks. There was one 18 hour period that you could not get to our house through the water, but our house was spared the flooding, only to be taken by another force. Please be in thoughtful prayer for those that have lost houses and have nothing to salvage.
It looks like the trailer in the driveway will remain a "home base" for daddy to do some work and for mommy and daddy to manage the salvage, overhaul and rebuilding of the house. But starting tomorrow (Friday) we should be back together as a family in a rental home that the insurance company has solidified for us. Thank you to Allan and Heidi (the home's owners) for helping to make this possible for us; you are a blessing to us. Tomorrow the new beds should be delivred and tomorrow night our first night in the new place. Daddy has not been with the girls (excepting a few minutes/hours here or there) since the fire and we all miss being together.
Today the school bus dropped Rebekah off at the house and again she expressed a very stong feeling that she wanted nothing to do with the house. She kept repeating "boo boo" and using her hands to say "I don't like" which is a sign (for her) like she is pushing something away. And she was backing up away from it. Apparently we are going to have some work to do with her on this.
We especially want to thank all of you at your extremely generous gifts and donations. Our hearts are so comforted with the toys, the clothes, the furniture and the paypal donations and gift card. You all have managed to help allow us to meet the emergency needs of "right now." We expect that the real needs will hit us as things start to get settled down and we figure out what we really loss, what will be covered, and what will not. It seems the insurance company initially will give us what they think is the "current value" of each item (afer it is all estimated which will be weeks or months. Then, when we replace items they will pay the difference in their "current value" and actual replacement value. That pretty much means we will have to buy stuff to get paid back for it. And then of course their "value" will be different than real value. We will have to see how that all plays out but we have been trying very hard not to ask for or take something that the insurance company has an obligation to repair/replace.
Please be in prayer for complete agreement by all the parties and what need to be done to make things right and totally cleansed and restored, especially in light of the radiation damage to Rebekah' respiratory system. And be in prayer for mommy's visit with the doctor tomorrow to talk about scan results. This will be the first time daddy has not been able to be at this meeting and that bothers him a lot.
And finally, please pray for a nameless family who is on our hearts and also in need.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Another Day Past
As we wake up this morning we keep hoping that this nightmare will be over. Obviously it will not be. But as each hour goes by, and as each trip into the house happens, we are able to "deal with it" more and more.
We miss all being together. The girls and mommy have been staying with Grandma A in town. And much like the days of Rebekah's cancer treatments, daddy has been staying in the camping trailer; instead if in the hospital parking lot he is in the driveway at the house. This has been difficult as it has been into the 20's every night and the camping trailer is not exactly made for winter environments. We miss being with each other very much.
Mommy brought Rebekah to school yesterday and Grandma M stayed home to take care of Sarah. In the afternoon we let the bus bring Rebekah home...no, its not really a home any more...to the house so she could have her bus ride. Grandma A met her here in the driveway. As Rebekah got off the bus daddy held her tight (he has only seen her a few hours since they left in a hurry as the house was burning) and asked her if she wanted to go see the house? She again said "not my house, boo boo" and would not look towards the house, going straight back to grandma's car. Daddy tried to explain to her that we were going to be finding a new house for a while and she seemed quite upset over that.
Mommy has been working hard with the insurance company on so many fronts. One of those things is getting temporary housing and it sounds like we might have a house available to us by Rebekah's school in town about 5 miles away. It sounds like it will be 4-5 months as people give initial estimates. We met with the insurance investigators, an intial claims adjuster and more salvage people too yesterday. People started taking things out of the house (clothes and electronics) to work on trying to recover. Many things are going to be recoverable, many more not. The decision was made that the girls toys are not going to be recoverable and that was difficult. As mommy and daddy were taking one last walk through the house last night we moved a pile of "stuff" and right there was the book that "Dora and Boots" signed and gave Rebekah during her Make-A-Wish trip; we both broke into tears in each others arms.
Here are a few more pictures of the playroom. We don't have a lot of pictures of the rest of the house yet but the photographer from daddy's fire department took a lot and is going to bring us some that we can put up for you and give you a better picture.
For now the video that she put together is about the best that we can do and we'll try and attach or link it here too. Mindy Hughes created this video as a special momento for us privately and the link got out so we started sharing and it has been received wonderfully all over the world. Thank you Mindy.
We can't link it directly here, but you can see more of Mindy's pictures of the fire at her website by Going to Her Site, then clicking on Gallery, and then Banks Fire District 13, and then Firefighter Adams' House Burns.
The initial outpouring of support from all over the country (and even across the oceans) has been wonderful. After Rebekah's cancer treatments and the help you all provided then we thought, we hoped that we would be over ever having to take help from anyone again and had actually had a year where we were able to start helping others. Its amazing how one day can turn your whole life around, again.
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Sunday, December 09, 2007
THANK YOU ALL...
...for your kind outpouring of prayers and thoughts. We don't know whether to say again, or still. This is getting kind of old and sometimes we do have to wonder "why us?"
This afternoon daddy's fire department put on a birthday party for Rebekah to replace the one she didn't get last night. It is difficult to call 911 and tell them your house is burning down. But it is FAR more difficult to call Grandma and say we can't have Rebekah's birthday party. Not only did the fire department save our house but today they saved Rebekah's birthday.
Rebekah received just a perfect mix of some clothes, stuffed animals, baby dolls and other fun items. With all of the people (especially the other little kiddos) and the food and presents she and Sarah were both quite happy.
Today mommy and daddy were on the phone with the girls. Mommy and daddy stayed in the trailer last night (oh no, the trailer again!) at the house. It got down to 23 degrees and was snowing, burrr. The girls stayed at Grandma's. Anyway, while on the phone Grandma asked if we were going to stay "at the house" tonight and Rebekah in the background could clearly be heard saying "Not my house. My house boo boo." It was cute and sad all at the same time.
Today has been very difficult going into the house. You can't turn around with crying. Then we come back to the trailer and see all the support from all of you and we can't help but crying even more with joy. The first salvage guy came today for an initial view. The belief is that just about everything is going to have to be stripped to the studs and rebuilt. All of the attic will need replaced. They believe they can clean all of the clothes okay but the food is gone as are most of the toys.
Many have been asking what they could send or do to help, or about paypal. All of this notwithstanding, we are going to have Thousands of dollars of medical bills out of pocket the first couple of months of the year as Rebekah's trust is about empty. You can still donate to Rebekah's trust (www.HelpRebekah.com for info) and that will help. Money donated to her trust can not be used for our general every day needs and if you really wanted you can send to daddy's paypal account (paypal AT attorney adams DOT com - of course deleting the spaces and using the characters instead of the capitals.) Or you could send gift cards to Toys R Us, Costco, or Target. We don't like asking but we also don't like telling you nothing when you ask about helping.
Most of all, we need your prayers as this is becoming really REALLY stressful.
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Saturday, December 08, 2007
It's Rebekah's Birthday and...
...our house burned down today. Not totally to the ground, but uninhabitable and a total loss inside. The girls and mommy got out okay and went to a neighbor. Daddy got what he could out of the house and then helped with whatever direction he could with the firefighters (his own department). The girls playroom will need to be totally rebuilt and all their toys in their are pretty much destroyed.
We're not sure where we go from here but will let you know as we can. Prayers, please. And prayers for scan results next week. We don't have our house but we have each other and we don't want that to change.
Edited to add: The morning after. Things are not going real well emotionally (as I am sure you can imagine.) Going back inside is very difficult. Today the salvage people should be here and we will find out where we really are. Here is a link to a short video daddy's fire department's photographer put out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StlgiPLr8fU
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Friday, December 07, 2007
Here we are, yet again waiting in our familiar waiting area for Rebekah to be done with scans. We got here early and went and got her facial x-rays (panorex) first and then down to MRI and CT. While we were in the first waiting room the girls made a new friend - Lexie (sp?). They had fun waiting for all of us to be called. When the nurse came in and called "Lexie?" for her to come back, Lexie shouted out "What?" It was so cute:
After the panorex we went downstairs to MRI and Rebekah got in "hospital jammies" and got a toy to play with once we get home. Just what we needed - more toys....
It was so cute when daddy carried Rebekah back to the MRI room to get started (she had already had some amnesia medicine (versed). He layed her down on the gurney and they went to prepare her IV. She was looking loopy and the nurses were trying to talk to her to distract her from the poke and she opened her eyes real big and said "NO TALK!" and then closed her eyes and didn't even flinch with the post.
We won't know results until next Friday. Ugh.
posted by Rebekah Christine @ 9:19 AM Send this post to a friend: Share a thought or prayer: 2 Comments
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Scans Friday, Birthday Saturday
It is scan time again. Well, it is past scan time. They were due in November, but Rebekah got sick when we had them scheduled, so we had to postpone them. Now they are here. It is always an emotional time for us... It seems this week we've been asked hundreds of times "how is Rebekah doing?" With each question, we have to question it ourselves. "As far as we know she is cancer free, but we've got scans this week so we'll know more next week." becomes our answer. Meanwhile, we realize that our life could change dramatically once again. Any time we have scans, that can be the case. It is a nerve wracking, emotionally draining time. But, it is part of our reality...
What will the scans show? We don't know. Nothing in particular is worrying us about a return of the cancer, but it is not always evident. After all, that is why we do the scans. All we can do is live today as if Rebekah is cancer free and pray for "cancer free" results and for God's grace, protection and guidance as we travel this road. When will it get better? Does it ever get better? I just don't know the answer to those questions. Some days I wish I did.
Friday morning, we will have to be at the hospital early to try to get Rebekah's panorex before the MRI and Chest CT. She doesn't get to eat in the morning, so we have been talking about it today. Generally, we will talk about the next day's activities before we go to bed - so the girls know what to expect. They do seem to do better when they know what to expect.
Saturday is Rebekah's birthday! She will be turning 6. She will be a "big" 6 year old. She got to take cookies to school today to celebrate with her classmates. She seemed to be excited to take the cookies. The note came back from school that she acted embarrased when the class sang happy birthday to her. We will have a family birthday party for her Saturday night. She has decided that she wants a tractor cake just like her sister had. That makes mommy happy, because it takes much less time to decorate than the Dora cake does.
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*** PLEASE BEAR WITH US. THE HELPREBEKAH.COM SITE SEEMS TO BE HIJACKED BY THE PROVIDER. WE ARE WORKING ON IT. If you would like to help, you may donate to Rebekah's Trust by using paypal with the address "email@example.com".
Name: Rebekah Christine Location: Banks, Oregon, US
Rebekah is a wonderfully active little girl fighting for her life; and WINNING. She lives with her mommy and daddy and her younger sister Sarah. In the end of 2004 we found out Rebekah likely had Cerebral Palsey as well as some other muscular/nerological issues (Dyspraxia). It took 6 months for us to get over that and get her started with special classes to help her grow to her fullest potential. Then, in April 2005 she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, an inoperable cancer (it does not deserve a capital "C") in her face and neck. This Blog is about how this beautiful little girl and her family are coping with life on a day to day basis. Come share with us. It's okay to cry, to laugh, to love and to pray but whatever you do, go home and love your own little ones just that much more. If you are new to this page and want to see where it all started we suggest you go back to the April Archives (below) and look to through the first couple of posts (at the bottom).