Thursday, July 14, 2011


Yes, my blog has an international following. Okay, one of the readers was from Australia, so I know that someone outside the U.S. reads my blog. Since many of my friends have no other connection to me but through this periodic writing hobby, I wanted to talk about a kid named Ethan.

The Jostad family was part of our church’s day care operation for several years. I was always impressed with the infectious smiles the family had when they dropped off and picked up their children each day. Mom, Dad, and the kids always seemed to be upbeat. After a while, they had found other child care options, but they still kept in touch with the daycare and some of its staff.

And then one day, the Jostad’s world flipped over. This is how their website describes it:

"In August 2009, Ethan Jostad (7yrs old at the time) was diagnosed with Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma (“RMS”), which is a cancerous tumor that originates in the soft tissues of the body. Ethan had a large tumor in his chest and a few smaller tumors in his abdomen. RMS is very rare and occurs in roughly 40 kids annually in the United States."

What followed next was a wellspring of support from the community…local, state wide, even nation wide and around the world. And then, earlier this year, Ethan’s scans were clear! It was as though the sunshine had broken through the black clouds that had hovered over the family for months.

But the relief and rejoicing was to be short-lived. Again, from the website:

"…the cancer has come back with a vengeance….on June 21st we discovered Ethan had relapsed and once again he was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer that had spread throughout his body"

It sounds so simplistic to say “pray for Ethan and his family.” Yet we know that this is the most profound thing we can do. And yes, the family can use financial support. Unable to work, having to maintain two places to live (home in Oregon and again in New York where the treatments are held), travel expenses, and medical costs. You can find out how to donate through the “Team Ethan” website.

There are many children and adults who are struggling with life-threatening diseases. I wanted my friends who read my blog to learn about one of them. Thank you.