We've had a little bit of sickness in our household for the past few days. Child number two has what appears to be a good old-fashioned case of the flu--aches, pains, coughs, etc. She always has a hard time getting rid of things like this, so I know she'll be "hacking" for awhile. Child number four threw up for no apparent reason early Sunday morning and, though not quite himself for the rest of that day, recovered very quickly. I don't think I need to tell you how thankful I am that he, as far as we can tell, did not have something contagious. Child number three has been feeling under the weather with unspecified symptoms, which probably (at least a little bit...) stem from a desire to be given as much attention as her siblings. I really don't think it's all "put on", though. ;)
It's always stressful when the little ones are sick. But I feel convicted for complaining when I think of parents who have chronically ill children. I've been amazed at the bravery, courage, and sweet, submissive spirit of one parent in particular; Kate Estes. She couldn't possibly know how much I admire her. Her love for her son, Noah, and the way she cares for him and for her husband and their other children is inspiring, to say the least.
Kate's son, Noah, has complex 1 mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (mito). Kate tells Noah's story and the facts about this disease at Praying for Noah. This little guy has won our hearts. I'm friends with Kate on Facebook and when she posts an update about Noah that isn't so good, we do our best to pray especially for him and we feel like we kind of hold our breath a little until we hear that he's better. He's absolutely precious...the whole family is!
Little Noah suffers so much with this horrible disease. I can't imagine the pain he lives with, nor can I imagine how crushing it is to his parents to have to watch, helplessly, as he hurts. I only know a little of what they go through and I...just...there are no words. They care for him and love him and do everything possible to ease his discomfort. They suffer, too, and I know they have to wonder why. But, through it all, even in the times when everything seems to be going wrong, their faith in God shines through.
Noah's faith shines, too.
Noah, in the midst of his suffering, is thinking of other children who are sick, and he wants to help. Noah's Hands of Hope is the result. Here is a quote from their mission statement on the Noah's Hands of Hope blog:
Children battling mitochondrial diseases have to fight for their lives every day and their entire families are fighting alongside them. We believe they shouldn't have to fight alone and we want to help them. In doing so, we want to honor the wishes of our son Noah who is nearing the end of his fight and wants to help other children who are sick like he is.
They have some wonderful, practical ideas. We've been able to participate in an auction, and hope to keep helping as we can. You can read all about Noah's Hands of Hope at the link above. There is a list of ways to help there, as well. This would be a great way to get your children involved in helping others and to teach them the joy of giving!
If you feel led to donate directly to Noah's family, you'll find a donate button on the right sidebar of the Praying for Noah blog.
The Estes have been hit particularly hard of late, and I know they would deeply appreciate your prayers. If you'd like to drop by and leave a note of encouragement for them on Noah's blog, I'm sure they would appreciate that, too!
Thanks for letting me share this with you today. I encourage you to get to know this little guy and his wonderful family!