I began this little blog about seven years ago, which makes it a grandmother of a blog in internet years. I started it as a platform to inform friends and family and a whole community of people who had been praying for and supporting my family as we went through a hellish journey to save our baby Jack from an aggressive heart condition. (Also, a wonderful place to exhibit my skills in writing impressive run-on sentences.) It’s only fitting that I dust my little blog off and hammer away at the keys as I tell you, dear readers, about my little friend who is in need of your prayers.
Melody (Melly) Spurgeon is a four year old girl who, in 2019, was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and a mass of polycystic astrocytoma tumors and cysts in her brain. Now, please don’t ask me to explain this because I’m only versed in pediatric cardiology, but as you can guess by the ominous sound of the diagnosis that this is an extremely complex and dangerous condition. Because of the rapid growth of these tumors she has been placed on several chemotherapy treatments in a hope to meet fire with fire. As would be expected she is living in the throws of the side affects of the chemo mingled with the affects of the tumors, cysts, and hydrocephalus. All of this plus a world wide pandemic which is threatening to the most fragile of us, and Melly certainly fits that description, and you have one insurmountable situation. But God.
Sweet Melly has endured too much for such a little lamb, and yet and yet she is only still in the very thick of this marathon of pain and sickness.
Only today, she has been admitted to UC Davis Medical Center because she has been too sick to keep any nutrients in her body for the past several days. After all of her surgeries and countless meds and the grueling side affects of both, now she is in a hospital full of masks and monitors and pokes and prods. When every child ought to be home safely with their family she has to be taken away from all of that and endure as only a fighting child can endure.
Melody’s mother, father, and three brothers are living in a dark world that is all too familiar to me and my family. A dark unknowing that is so cavernous and suffocating that you find yourself, quite literally, gasping for breath because the pain of “what if” is too much for one soul to bear. It is the not knowing that is strangling. While they wait and hope that these surgeries will bring relief, wishing that each one was the last but slowly beginning to understand that this is the new normal and that there may never be a tidy “last”, the rest of the world still spins around them as if their own world wasn’t in pieces on the floor. When our Jack was in the worst throws of the disease, we lost years of birthdays and Christmas’s and barely heard a word anyone said because all that pulsed in the loud thrumming of blood in our ears was the constant fear, what if. It’s a hell, a desperate and unforgiving hell of dread when you are asking what if questions about an innocent child who is suffering. It is a pain that some of us have known and those of us who do, know the kind of lump that forms in the throat that makes eating feel impossible, the fog that forms around the brain that makes thinking feel improbable, and the physical pain in the body that makes life, as you know it, feel unbearable. If you know what I am describing then you are members of this terrible club of knowers. We know a kind of darkness that we would not wish on anyone. If you know this, then you know what life is like for the Spurgeon family right now. If you have never known this kind of agony, thank God, you are blessed. If you have known this king of agony, thank God, you are blessed richer still. God has the most tender kind of place in the cup of his hand for the likes of us. We know what it is like to see a child suffer just like He knew, He is in the knowing club, too.
Quarantine is painful for the most robust of us, but here is a family whose every day revolves around the care and survival of this very sick little girl and they are forced to, largely, go it alone. In a time when we should all be rallying around them in an overwhelming surge of support and care, they are alone. The Coronavirus is a double edged sword and it’s families like the Spurgeons who are feeling both edges of it. It poses a profound threat to Melly and, yet, they are desperately and utterly hemmed in by the isolation.
This Christmas I want you to knock this family’s socks off with your generosity. Having a sick child is painful and depressing, but the bills only get bigger, the jobs still require hours, and the other children still need new shoes and clothes for their ever growing bodies. Here is what the Spurgeons need very badly today. They need a whole community of people to remind them that you are still invested, still supporting, and still praying for a miracle for this beautiful little song of a girl.
Mark’s work truck is not working and the repairs cost more than a new truck. Mark needs a new work truck.
The Spurgeon kids are doing what kids do best, growing at enormous rates. They need new clothes that fit their every stretching bodies. Hand me downs are fine but something new after months of wearing too small clothes would sure feel fine, don’t you think? Here is a link to an Amazon wishlist for their family, you will find non-clothing items that would be really helpful for the family. The kids need new clothes.
Cost of living for a family of six in California is otherworldly ridiculous. Throw in gas, lodging and food for frequent hospitalizations, medical bills, medicines and equipment, and the occasional days off that need to be taken from work and you have a recipe for financial disaster. I remember our own financial nightmares when living in Boston and would hate for our friends to see the same kind of year after year poverty we endured when Jack was at his sickest. If you go to Gofundme it may appear that they have a fair amount of money waiting for their use, but much of that money has already been used for basic survival. Plus, they were recently forced to find a new home in the middle of all of this. They are going to need our financial support again and again, this is not a one time donation kind of situation. They need help now, often, and repeat. Money, baby, bring on the money.
Visit Gofundme to give a safe financial donation. Visit customink.com and buy a #mellythefighter tee to show your support, proceeds go the Spurgeon family. If you want to give physical gifts email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can figure out a safe, germ free way to help our friends. So let’s recap, the Spurgeon’s need:
A New Truck
Clothes for the kids
Money, especially a commitment to give regularly.
Go and Do unto the least of these.