Help HANK TANK cancer!
Many of you know that Dave and Dawn’s son Henry has cancer.
Below is a post from Dawn as well as a link to a Facebook page for regular updates. There is also as link where you can make donations towards medical expenses online.
Keep the Reiss Family in your prayers.
A Letter from Dawn
A family of six. Two working parents. Three kids in school, one in preschool. Our lives were busy, but well-organized. Our schedules were crazy, but we were handling it. Our house was noisy, but we enjoyed it. Then Henry kept getting fevers. He’d complain that his body hurt. Thinking he had some sort of infection, we thought Henry would get some antibiotics and we would be on our way. But on May 5, we were completely knocked over by what the doctors told us. To say we were stunned is putting it mildly. You can never prepare yourself for unexpected news like a cancer diagnosis. I look back and think, I should have been more prepared. But how is that even possible?
We were in shock for about a week. I was grateful for the shock phase because it kept me insulated from the deeper, harder emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I am a crier through & through. But the reality has not fully set in yet. I kinda don’t want it to. You’re actually telling me my 3-year-old son has an advanced form of cancer? This is just a dream, right? It doesn’t feel real. My mind immediately goes to all the cancer movies and shows I’ve seen in my lifetime; every time I watched one, I thought, That’ll never be us. And yet.
My two prayers from the start of all of this have been: Lord, please protect my son. And Lord, please govern my thoughts. I can’t eke out much more than that, because my concentration is shot. The Holy Spirit can take up the slack for me. And I can rest in the prayers that everyone else is praying. Truthfully, I can hardly make sense of what is happening. It’s too big and too much and nearly more than I can handle. I feel calm and strong a lot of the time, and then other times, I can’t contain my panicked tears. But here’s what I know to be absolutely true:
1. God is unchanging, all-knowing, and good. I have believed this to be true (with all of my heart) for 30 years – since I was 11 years old. I’m not about to start doubting it now when I need Him most.
2. My family is strong. My parents and in-laws are all-in. My husband is everything I need him to be. And our kids, though sad and emotional, are hanging in there with so much love.
3. Our church and our extended network of friends is incredible. We barely speak the need before someone is right there, ready and willing to meet it. We are showered with so much love, provision, understanding, support, tenderness. We are learning to accept the love of God through others, and it is a remarkable comfort. We are not alone.
4. This might not end well. Yes, we have hope for our son’s complete healing, but I must accept what is a very real possibility: I might lose my child. This thought is unbearable. I have no choice but to submit to the Lord with every day, every challenge, every fear we face. The wideness of God’s mercy is big enough to handle it, and that is what I cling to. Even in darkness, even in death: God is good. And my Henry will see Him face to face, this I know.
Thank you to all for your amazing support in our time of crisis. Our words of gratitude feel inadequate, but they are heartfelt. – Dawn & Dave Reiss
Thank you for holding our family in prayer as Henry is in the Children’s Hospital. When we took Henry to the pediatrician on Thursday May 4, we never imagined we’d be moving him into a room on the Oncology floor 48 hours later. His CT scans show what appears to be a large cancerous tumor near his liver, above his kidney. The doctors have told us it is neuroblastoma, and once the diagnosis is confirmed, we will have to pursue aggressive treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, as his condition is advanced and has already moved to other areas in his body, including in his bone marrow.
Please continue to pray for our boy, us, and our other children as we process and move forward into this thoroughly unexpected journey. We are leaning on your prayers as we are understandably overwhelmed.
God gave us 2 Thessalonians 3:16 yesterday on a t-shirt that was given to Hank: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you.”
Click here to make donations towards medical expenses.
Click here to see regular updates on Henry.
Click here to order your Help Hank Tank Cancer T-shirt.