Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Another Recipient of God's Grace

Many of you have asked about Ben. How he's feeling, how the headaches have been.

Ben is good. Tired. Very tired. He usually takes about 1-2 naps a day and he still sleeps about ten hours a night, with one quick wakeup for medicine. When he is awake, he is laying on the couch. Or sitting. He has a few minutes each day - usually in spurts - where he has energy to walk around. Yesterday, he played outside for about fifteen minutes. (If Ben heard me say that, he would have corrected me to say that he WORKED outside. "We don't play, Mom," he tells me. "We work.") Today, he asked to wrestle with Dad. I'm glad I grabbed my camera to snap a few photos because it literally lasted about twelve seconds before he returned to the couch in exhaustion.

As you can imagine, this is a drastic change from our old norm.

I overheard Jack ask his brother this afternoon if he wanted to play a game. "No, Jack, I'm too tired," Ben answered. Jack bent over with his hands on his knees so he was eye-level with his brother, laying on the couch. "But Ben, this is a walking game," he whispered. The sweet invitation still wasn't enough to entice Ben off the couch.

Ben also doesn't like being alone in a room. Andy or I have to be with him at all times. Today, Andy slipped out from next to a sleeping Ben in order to go to the bathroom. I heard Ben call, "Dad! You said you wouldn't leave!" You can tell he feels anxious about something, even though he's not entirely sure what.

The headaches, though, have been virtually nonexistent. We found a better schedule of steroid medication which has seemed to keep him comfortable and headache-free. And for that, we are very grateful.

But perhaps the most emotional change for this mommy I noticed beginning last night. As I was stroking their hair and singing songs, I felt several strands of his hair fall into my hand. I was caught completely off guard. I continued very gently and after I said a prayer and walked downstairs, I showed Andy the strands of hair. We just held each other and sobbed and sobbed.

I had known this was a side effect of the radiation and chemotherapy. Localized hair loss, around the area of the tumor. We had expected it after week 2/3 of treatment. But I put this possibility out of my head once the treatments stopped. He only had one week of treatments. Why would I have given it a second thought?

Even now, as I look down at my fleece jacket, it's covered in hair. Brown mossy hair. It looks as though we live with a long-haired dog who sheds. Except we don't. It's from our son.

My mom is a licensed hairdresser and growing up, people came into our home all the time, giving their requests as she graciously worked her magic. She still does. I'm thirty-two years old and have not once paid to have my hair done. She cut all of our hair until I asked her to teach me to do it myself so I wouldn't have to bother her for those small in-between cuts for my kids. The only spankings I remember receiving as a kid are the ones I got after playing hairdresser with my little sister, but with real scissors! So perhaps I do get a little more emotional about hair than the average person.

But perhaps the larger reason is because this is the first visible sign that something is different. I mean, other than the chubby face and excessive tiredness, Ben still shows no physical signs of having an aggressive brain tumor. Seeing a partial bald spot leads you to believe that this is real. This is happening.

And I am so so scared.

I trimmed each of the boys' hair before bathtime to try and thin out the layers he still has and make the hair loss less noticeable. And I'm just hoping that past experience continues: those boys can grow hair super fast.

Andy and I have been determined to remind ourselves of two Big Truths each day. The first is that our kids do not belong to us. They are simply on loan until God calls them home. And then second is that God has always given us more than we deserve. As a Christian, we acknowledge the fact that we are sinners, saved my grace. If it weren't for the sacrifice God made in sending his only and perfect son to die, we would have been doomed to hell. God created a way for us to live. To prosper. To have Hope.

I am a sinner. I do my best to follow God's Word. To live my life in a way that would please Him. But I don't deserve anything good that happens to me. It's only because of God's grace. His wonderful grace, that He extended to me simply because I asked.

Instead of wondering why God allowed this tragedy to happen to us, we wonder what other unspeakable things God saved us from in the past without us even knowing? Despite what our culture tells us, God owes us nothing. Despite what our generation dictates, we are not entitled to the best. The big house, the money, the prestigious job right out of college. We are not owed anything.

These are the Truths we hold onto. And need to remind ourselves of every single day. Because even though we believe them 100%, it is very easy to get sidetracked.

As we continue to take one day at a time, we have been spending a lot of time in front of the Wii and the boys' new iPad minis (thanks, Make-A-Wish donors!) Lots of videos and lots of snuggling. And rather than wishing each day away, we are soaking up every moment we can, grateful for the gift of life, for every day God allows us to have it.

120 comments:

  1. Praying for your family, for your precious son Ben!!

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  2. Your Amazing! As a mother....as parents. Your taking it moment to moment and recording it in your mind. Using all of your senses taking every precious moment that most of us take for granted. It's a wake up call for all to remember that time is precious. We all continue to pray and to hope for that miracle. Hold on to these memories and we will do our best to pray for more to come. You are all deserving and loved by so many. Your family has touched so many of us. We now, because of you, look at our own lives and cherish what we have. Again, your Amazing and so is your little family! Bless you all for touching out hearts!

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  3. Mindy,

    I don't know what to say except that you and your husband are doing an amazing job. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through but your strength as a mother and your faith are inspirational.

    We keep your family in our prayers every night.

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  4. We're praying for Ben and your family all the way from North Carolina. Stay strong Sauer family!

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  5. Will keep you and your family in prayer. I know this is hard but God is good.

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  6. I have been praying so much for you since a friend posted this blog link on Facebook asking for prayers. Hold strong to your faith and shower those children with love. I don't think you are Catholic like I am, but I can't help but suggest this book, My Path to Heaven. I have been going through it with my children and it speaks beautifully of how there are many different types of lives--rich, poor, healthy, sick, etc.--and that the best path for us is always the one that gets us to Heaven. I keep thinking of your family as we read it, thinking maybe it would be helpful to you down the road for Jack. So many prayers for you!

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=my+path+heaven

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    1. Yes! That is a GREAT book for children! The pictures are lovely, too.

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  7. Thank you for updating. Your family and sweet Ben are in my thoughts and prayers through out the day... I admire your strength.... and honestly I am at loss for words. ((((hugs)))) Praying for a miracle. God is able!!

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  8. I can't stop thinking about you and Ben and your family. I continually ask God throughout the day to please work a miracle and heal Ben. This is just breaking my heart. It's no wonder God didn't send his only begotten mother, or father, or brother, sister, aunt or uncle. He gave his only begotten son because there is no greater love than the love a parent has for their child. Stay tethered to Jesus...He is mighty to save. Thank you for your faith and sharing your heart with us.

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  9. I am in awe of you every single day. Hold on to that precious little love as long ad you can.. take a nap with him (b/c you truly deserve one also) and snuggle lots. Smell his hair, rub his cheeks, make his handprint in paint. Cherish every moment and hold on to your faith. It's inspiring and it's also the only thing that will get you thriugh this. Praying for you, for peace, for sanity, and for your heart.

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  10. Always keeping Ben's miracle and your family close in prayer and sending love your way.

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  11. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5

    Thank you for reminding us of the God we serve and can trust completely no matter what this short life brings our way. You are all overcomers in Christ!
    Keeping you steadfastly in prayer for continued peace and for precious moments to keep treasured in your hearts.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Sherrie

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  12. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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  13. As a mom of twins and 2 preschoolers - all boys I can't imagine what you and your hubby are going thru. We were told one of our twins wouldn't live and he is now 6 mos and relatively ok. I am also a stay and t home mom with 4 under 4 . Your blog has made me appreciate what I have more than ever. Thank you. We are praying for you constantly and trusting for a miracle for your sweet Ben. ��

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  14. Prayers for you from St. Louis, MO - from a mom who's been there. God is good. Hang tight. - Cherie Ryan Buijk.

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  15. I lost my 14 year old daughter who had severe cerebral palsy in August, very suddenly. I still cannot imagine the pain your family is going through. All I can do is continue to pray for Ben and your family.

    Karen Hopkins
    Clarence.

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  16. "The Lord is close to the broken hearted. Saves those whose spirit is crushed." Psalm 34:19

    I pray that you will let Christ carry you when the burden gets to be too much. We were made for His arms and He longs to help you, He grieves with you and loves you more than we can imagine. So many prayers for your family.

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  17. I've been praying for you Mindy and Ben and your whole family.

    Wende Moran

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  18. In every difficult situation there's a purpose. Even in these hardest times. Sometimes its helping us to appreciate the blessings in life He gives us. Ask and you shall receive. What miracle are you asking God for? Are you asking for Ben to be healed or to live? Are you asking Him to bring Ben back home to God in Heaven or to grant you grace and to allow Ben's presence to continue to bless your husband, yourself, his siblings and the world. God will grant the desires of a righteous man. What is it you desire in this circumstance?

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  19. Mindy, I am reminded tonight as I read your words of a song (Scott Krippayne, I think). Part of it goes, "sometimes He calms the storm, sometimes He calms His child". I continue to pray for a miracle for sweet little Ben, that God would calm the storm. If that is not His will, I pray that He would give you, Andy and all of your precious family the comfort and peace that passes understanding. God is reaching SO many people through your words, actions, and unwavering trust in Him. Continuing to bring you before the throne.

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  20. I am praying that Ben's tumor is shrinking, and that it is getting smaller and smaller, and soon will be gone, and I am praying Ben lives to be an old man, with grandchildren and great grandchildren of his own. God's will be done!
    "Do not let your heart be troubled..."

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  21. Hug. Big big hug. Mindy, you are the strongest most faith filled woman I know. Blessed to call you my friend.

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  22. Your words have bared your soul. We walk with you in this journey, even though we never met, we walk in spirit. May God's blessing and love give you the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Thank you for sharing.

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  23. Thank you Mindy for keeping us updated on Ben. I think of him everyday and pray that a miracle will happen for him. I also pray for you and your family that you have the strength to get thru this.

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  24. You don't know me but someone shared your blog on FB and I've been reading it the past few days. You have NO IDEA what a blessing you are! I pray multiple times a day for Ben. Deuteronomy 31:8

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  25. I stood over my son while he was sleeping earlier and just broke down. I kept thinking 'Why them and not us? How is my family any different? Why is this happening to this little boy?' I don't know if it will ever be explained. But I do know, that if ever a miracle were deserved, Ben deserves it.

    I saw pictures of him and his dad from his party. My mind immediately went to how I would handle something like that. Being completely helpless and unable to step in and protect my son. It was the worst feeling I've ever had in my life. I don't know your family personally, and I rarely pray, but I have prayed so hard for all of you and especially Ben. He is such a little champion, if anyone can beat this it's him.

    I just want you guys to know that his story has changed my life in a few short days. I'm a tax accountant and this time of the year I work 70 - 100 hours/week. I have been living some of my son's precious first moments through video and pictures on my phone. But that ended a few days ago. I will not miss another moment because I need to make money, please clients, or meet deadlines. Not any longer, ain't happening. I will not live my life knowing there are people in the world who would give absolutely anything for just one extra day with their child, and I'm choosing work over family. If my clients don't like it, they can hit the door. Your family has made that impact on my life, and for that I'm truly grateful.

    It's obvious that you have an absolutely fantastic support system, but if Andy ever needs to vent to another father who's a stranger, be it yelling, crying, cursing, whatever gets it out of his system so that any of that anger, confusion, or frustration doesn't carry over into his time with Ben or the rest of the family. I'd be glad to email my phone number. I'll keep praying for that miracle post, because I truly believe it's coming.

    Mike in Oklahoma

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    1. We are never promised tomorrow. You can always make money and memories. Chose memories that of which are most important. Enjoy your family! Mindy and her family are truly an inspiration to many. You're in my prayers friend!

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    2. Mike, that is really beautiful.

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    3. Mike in Okalahoma,
      I felt led to write to you after reading your post. I'm so glad you have discovered the value of the moment. Who is to say that one life is more valuable than another. I think of the parable of the Potter and the Clay. The Potter can make a vessel to hold garbage, or to hold the finest wine, both valuable for their purpose. But it is He who decides, not the clay. We are the Clay. God is the Potter.

      Each of us is as valuable to Him as another, no matter what their walk in life. So, if He, in His infinite wisdom has used this circumstance to change your life, then to Him, the great Potter, be the glory. He has decided the moment and circumstance that you might come to Him, and it is now, through this crisis of another family, God has given you the chance to make that change.

      As Mary must have questioned why it was necessary for Jesus, "her" son, to die as he did. To suffer when he was innocent. So Mindy must ask the same of God in these days. Why does my innocent child have to suffer? The answer lies in God's greater purpose. The Clay does not tell the Potter what it shall be used for. He will is to mold us into what is our best purpose. Ben is being molded. You are being molded. And the Sauers are being molded. All for the Glory of a Father who loves all of us and wants all of us to come to Him. Whatever it takes, one soul is as valuable to him as another. In Him, we are loved perfectly.

      I thank Mindy and Dave for loving God through his final forming of the the wonderful container that is Ben. He is not finished, but He is in control. Amen

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    4. Mike,
      Several years ago, some friends in town went through a trip similar to the Sauer family's with their 4 year old, Jack. Jack's story changed my life as abruptly as Ben's is changing yours -- and that change has remained. I continue to let Jack's parents know what an impact his life has had on mine -- and the things I am trying to use the lessons I have learned from Jack's experience to share with the world and honor God. It reminds us that these children -- whether they be healed here or in Heaven -- are truly still with us -- whether we can touch them or not. And that their lives matter. Thank you for sharing.

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  26. I have been keeping up with your blog for several weeks and my heart goes out to you. No matter how dire the situation gets, you turn it into something positive with your beautiful writing and your true compassion and grace. We don't know each other but I am sending you my love. I have never met your son or your family, but I feel like I am cradling you all in my arms. You are not alone and I hope that you allow yourself to know this. Whether the people touched by your story ever meet you or not, we will be listening, hoping, sending love and Ben and all of you will be with us for many years, affecting us and our view of the world, as you lead by example. Thank you for showing us the way by finding peace.

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  27. Believing for a miracle, praying for all of you!

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  28. I want him to make it, I want it really really badly. The radiation and chemo might hurt him more I think you should check out the Gerson Institute - they can help. But I am still praying, miracles do happen.

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  29. I'm a mom of identical twin boys, too. My heart is heavy for you but I am praying for Ben, Jack, and all of you. I love your perspective on all of this. It is so vital to remember your two big truths, to keep from living in a place of fear.

    "When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul."

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  30. Your precious little boy has become such an impact on so many people. I am touched by your courage, strength, and honesty. Prayers are constantly being said for yo and you family. THANK YOU FOR SHARING BEN WITH ALL OF US.

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  31. Thank you for sharing how Ben is doing. i have been praying Ben will be pain free and God will hold you and Andy ever closer to Him each day. He will and He does. This I know....He is right there with you.

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  32. May God bless and keep you in your journey. He is so present in your walk, as seen in your faithful surrender to His plan. Your reminders of God's grace in all circumstance is beautiful. You rightly shed your tears and even yell out in pain, as did Jesus in the garden, but the faith and trust you're exuding proves He's carrying you through. Christ is so close in our broken places, it's obvious you're meeting with Him, seeing Him in every moment. Praying blessings for Ben and all of you as you shine for Him. Praising God for the beautiful walk you're sharing in your toughest place, one day at a time, great is your faithfulness. Praying you feel Christ hugging you every minute.

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  33. I wait each day and pray that God has decided that he doesn't need to bring Ben home to him. I am praying so hard many many times a day for God's MIRACLE. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless the Sauer family. And I PRAY FOR BEN♡♡♡

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  34. Mike in Oklahoma,

    No need to wait for that "miracle post"... Yours, and many other posts responding to Mindy's blog, are awesome examples of miracles occurring thanks to Ben's life, through Mindy's gracious gift of sharing.

    Mindy, I am in awe of your unwavering faith in God. THANK YOU MINDY, for being a real life hero to strangers like me.
    YOU ARE A GIFT TO EVERYONE AROUND YOU!

    XO, Shellie in Williamsville, NY

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  35. Mindy & Andy, Please take Ben to See Doctor Wexler at Slone-Kettering Hospital in New York City!

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  36. My prayer for Ben

    Padre Pio, may the healings of the sick become the testimony that the Lord has invited you to join the holy company of Saints. In your kindness, please help BEN SAUER with my own special request

    Bless him and his loved ones. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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  37. Thank you for the update. My prayers are only becoming stronger and stronger. I and my children will not stop praying for Ben. Everything is possible with God.

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  38. Praying for you all as you walk this most difficult journey. As a 28 year survivor of leukemia and then breast cancer, I have witnessed God's healing hand as well as seen many who battled hard and won, just not this side of eternity. So hard to stay in the moment, but make each of them count. You are doing an amazing work. May God's strength continue to carry each of you.

    Even in the Shadows

    We come to these days
    Of walking through the valley of shadows,
    Not certain whether this is just another valley
    Or the final road between here and Heaven.
    We tread hesitantly at first,
    Not quite certain how to behave,
    Unsure about the steps we should take.
    We begin to release our grasp on you,
    Reluctantly letting go,
    Yet knowing that God’s fingers catch yours
    Even as we lift our own.
    But, then, we find your hand again reclaiming ours;
    We find your hugs strengthening,
    Your smile of joy returning.
    We find we can run laughing through these shadows,
    Holding back the darkness with our love.
    We revel in these moments with you,
    Etching them into our memories for future times.
    These days, though long and unsettling,
    Become our testimony of strength,
    A monument of our love for all to see.
    Though we cannot peer into tomorrow,
    We dance in this moment in the palm of God’s hand
    And we find joy even in the midst of shadows.
    Laura Alway

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  39. Mindy,
    We continue to pray for your entire family. As a mother of 2 boys myself ( my 6 year olds name is Benjamin) I can't read your blogs without crying. As a fellow believer I am encouraged by your strength and what an encouragement you have been to me. We serve an awesome God who can do above and beyond what we can imagine. Thank u for your testimony. Praying for you all every single day!!!

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  40. Mindy, all I can say is thank you for sharing, thank you for teaching us what it means to be strong, to be a loving parent, to stop and breathe in every second and trickle of life around us - this is part of your purpose. We pray for a miracle and moreover a painless happy time for Ben and pray for understanding. Your blogging is beautiful.

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  41. I have never written on anybody's forum before, but I feel the need to in this particular case. I have four children of my own and I have been following your little sons tragic case. First, I pray that God gives you and your family much strength and grace to last the course and second, my heart hurts at the thought of not offering when maybe there is something out there that maybe could offer healing to this little child. There has been a medical revolution in Italy concerning cancer of all types, the therapy can not harm the body as would the classical chemical therapies. This may sound really crazy but cancer sufferers all over Europe have begun this therapy, it is called; " Dr. Simoncini Baking Soda Treatment For Cancer (NaHCO3)"
    The basic idea of the treatment is that baking soda attaches itself to active cancer sells brakes them down and simply kills them off. cancer thrives in dehydrated, not well oxygenated environments and feeds off sugar, so by taking molases (organic dark brown sugar) with ALLUMUNIUM FREE BAKING SODA, the cancer sells draw in the baking soda because they are attracted to the sugar. This may all sound really crazy, but if you research on line there are thousands of cases where people who could not be healed, have been totally healed by this method. You dont have to take your child to Italy, you can treat the child from the couch he is sitting on. Please, please look into it, my own sister, a therapist is doing this therapy with a lot of cancer partients in England.I am not offering false hope, God forbid, I am only offering what has been brought to my attention time and time again, take this as a ray of hope another of Gods blessings, but please when you discuss this therapy will classical doctors, make sure they are open minded, not only intelligent. Right now as we speak, even after open surgeries where tumours are removed in Italy, this baking soda is rubbed into the open wound in order to directly kill off any remaining cancer cells. There is no loss in researching and hoping. God give you all strength, what I have told you is real, now it is in your hands to find out more.

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  42. I contiue to pray for your family and ask God to show mercy and compassion. I hope and pray for Ben's miracle.

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  43. I know that the last comment about baking soda seems off the wall. I too have been looking online for anything that could help Ben and praying that something is brought to your attention to try. I was even looking at the grape juice theory! I am not in your shoes...would I try it? I don't know. Part of me thinks, why not? I am praying for you all every day. My little boy who is just 2.5 prays too...I say who do we need to pray for? "Ben!" he says. I ask why and Reed says, "to feel better!". And we say please God help Ben feel better. Please heal Ben. I don't know if that miracle will happen. But I do know that what is happening around your son right now is God. It has to be. 40,000 people praying? the love and support surrounding your family and your son? That can only be God. And I thank God for this.

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  44. I saw someone share one of your blog posts on facebook last week and I can not stop thinking about your family. You will all be in my heart and in my prayers are you walk this journey with your sweet Ben.

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  45. Bless your heart, young Mama, I am praying for your whole family.

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  46. Praying for your precious Ben and your family as He leads you through this valley.

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  47. i love your strength! still praying an believing for healing! God is good

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  48. My niece just delivered a beautiful full term baby boy, stillborn. She never got to hear him even cry. One of the greatest gifts she did receive, however, was from an angel in the form of a photographer - who in those moments of shock and disbelief was thougthful and took pictures of her baby boy. Footprints, handprints, etc. It happened so briefly - in a few hours, and then he was gone forever. Do you have the plaster cast projects with your kid's handprints? Now would be a great time to do those kinds of crafts. Keeping you in our prayers...

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  49. "Instead of wondering why God allowed this tragedy to happen to us, we wonder what other unspeakable things God saved us from in the past without us even knowing?"

    So beautiful and so very true.

    Continuing to pray for Ben and your family.

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  50. I wish I would have met you when I lived in Clarence, but as sisters in Christ we are family. We are praying for Ben here in Lancaster PA. My 12 year old daughter wore blue to school that day even no one here knew the significance of that. God will and is sustaining you.

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  51. This all has a purpose. A purpose for good. And I am seeing it through this mother. The power and glory of God is being witnessed by so many through this mother and the strength and faith he has given to her. Something that would not have been seen so openly and by so many in any other way. You are incredible and a true role model for life here on earth.

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  52. Two years ago I almost lost my only son. I cant imagine what life would have been like without him. I cant say that I know the depth of your pain... and I would never compare my pain to yours. I just want you to know that I am here..... My sons situation was quite different. He didn't have cancer. He was burned in a horrific fire. 40% of his body. He has had 10 surgeries. Been hospitalized more times than I remember. He is truly a walking miracle. At first I was angry with god for allowing this to happen to my child but came to the fact that it was God who was there with me. It was God who allowed my son to stay with me for some greater purpose even if it couldn't have been for a lifetime to reach and touch other people through his story. I am sure that each tear that feel from my eyes was shared by God as he felt my pain. And I wondered for a moment if this is how Mary felt when she watched as her son gave his life and stood back with no control knowing God had a plan for her son. I want to thank you for your encouragement and your words. You son is a walking miracle. Everyday spent and every moment remembered is a blessing. Sometimes God does give us more than we can handle.... but it is then that we can lean on him to help carry our cross. of all the people in all the world her chose you to be Ben's parents. You both are truly blessed and have truly blessed all of us with your faith and encouragement through the hard times.

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  53. Wearing a blue bracelet, praying throughout the day for your family. I keep recalling the story of Lazarus....he was dead four days before Jesus came on the scene. To give God the glory! God bless all here.

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  54. May the God of Peace be with you each moment! We pray many many times each day for the miracle that God will simply take the tumor away and Ben will be instantly healed!! Love and prayers from VA!

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  55. Mindy Sauer I believe God provides us with cures to our ailments. We have been led astray by western medicine and it's hard to see and believe what may be right under our nose. Ezekiel 47:12 "but on both banks of the river will grow up all kinds of fruit-bearing trees. Their leaves won't wither, and their fruitfulness won't wane. They will produce fruit in every month, because their water comes from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for eating, their leaves for healing."
    Their leaves for healing, it's all right here on this Earth for us. Growing, given to us from God. There are many natural remedies to try, one may help your little Ben. We are all praying for him.

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  56. Thank you for your blog, for your testimony of God's grace and mercy and goodness. I understand soooo much of what you are sharing. My grand daughter and grand son were born with a rare genetic disease. My grand daughter passed away last May at 3 1/2, and my grand son who is 2 will have a very short life as well. God has used this suffering to put things in perspective for our family....in the same way He is doing so in your family. Its so easy to question..How can God still be good in this??? But He is, and you will see His mercy and His presence in many ways in the days to come. I am breathing a word of prayer for you now. That you will continue to experience Gods peace and that your sweet Ben will be comfortable until its time for Him to be with Jesus.

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  57. Prayers for your family. You are a tremendous witness as to the faith you hold in Christ.

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  58. Praying for you, Ben, and your family. "Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

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  59. Mindy you are an inspiration to all of us.Your strength and courage are awesome. I was so touched and humbled at the benefit for Ben. We are praying for Ben and all your family and if people come to the saving grace of God through this it's a miracle.
    Being a mom and gramma I would look into the baking soda thing, can't hurt at this point. Love and prayers from Rushford!

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  60. This is such a heartbreaking story. I too, have been praying for Ben. What is so amazing to me in this process, is the COMING together of all of GOD's children for this little boy. I am touched by the organizations, and the people in those organizations who are displaying blue4ben, and/or conducting fund raisers for him. It is amazing, because we know that with every thought, donation, bracelet worn, blue item displayed, comes a prayer for this blessing, Ben. I have never seen such an outpouring of selflessness in our community, all because of Ben. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us. You are, and will be granted with God's grace through all of this.

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  61. "Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart,
    Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more."
    ~Padre Pio

    Prayers and support from the Southern Tier of NY. I have been keeping your whole family in my heart, since I read one of your earlier blog posts shared by a friend on Facebook. Your depth of faith is inspirational to me. Thank you for sharing your son's journey. Wishing your family peace, grace and strength to support you along the way. Praying for a miracle...

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  62. You are truly an inspiration to all. The way you are handling this with such courage and grace takes my breath from me every time I can actually get through out of your posts. (normally stop bc I cant see from crying for you) We are praying hard for Ben each and every day.

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  63. Here are a few starting points should you be interested in investigating this natural and phenomenal cancer killer;
    The FIRST site is the official clinic and research center, please just take a look.

    http://simoncini-cancer-center.com/en/home


    http://drsircus.com/medicine/sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/cancer-studies-ph-medicine

    http://www.naturalnews.com/035876_baking_soda_cancer_fungus.html

    http://www.cancertutor.com/simoncini/

    http://www.cancertutor.com/faq_inexpensive/

    http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/05/06/baking-soda-is-proving-to-be-an-effective-treatment-for-cancer/

    I hope this is a help.

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  64. It is amazing how God is carrying you and your family through this journey. Thank you for sharing with us. These are two of my favorite scriptures,
    "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain in the House of Israel,you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and carried since your birth. Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am he, I am he who sustains you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am The Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,Do not fear; I will help you, do not be afraid, For I myself will help you, declares The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel."
    Thank you Andy and Mindy and May God bless you and keep you and your beautiful family.

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  65. Praying for Ben from North Carolina.

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  66. We are so very, very sorry that all of you are going through this. You are in our prayers every day. You are so strong and courageous, even though I am sure you do not WANT to have to be. My heart breaks for you, and I am praying for a miracle.

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  67. Hello. My name is Pastor Caitlin and today I am sitting with my friends Matt and Alissa as their three year old, Josie, has a biopsy done on her DIPG brain tumor--she has been given 4-12 months to live. A friend connected me with your blog, and I shared it with Alissa who would love to talk to you, if you ever have time. Josie is also a twin (to her sister Sam), and has a younger brother. Alissa is especially looking for some peer experience in caring for Josie's twin in the midst of all this. Her blog is www.josiemgrove.com If you are inclined to be connected to Jo's parents, could you email me so I can get you Alissa's info? My email is the one linked here, or pastor@ststephenlc.org Regardless, know that your family is in my prayers.

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  68. I sleep 10 hours a night and take naps too, so don't feel like that is so unusual. :-) God's blessings on Ben and the fam. <3

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  70. Your words are so very insightful....thank you for reminding us that we have so much to be thankful for...God bless you!

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  71. My heart breaks, and tears come but I am still petitioning God for a miracle for Ben, and for strength for all of you.

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  72. As a mother myself, I can't imagine what you are all going through. I check daily to find out how precious Ben is doing and each time I cry and wonder why this wonderful family and why this sweet little boy?. None of this makes sense, but the way I see it is that God already knows his plans for us when we enter into this earth. He is a powerful man, but always know he loves each and every one of us. God blessed you all with a wonderful family because you are all loving and caring people, good people and I don't think he wants to splitthis family apart. I pray for you all and both of my kids say a prayer for little Ben each night before bed. My heart breaks for you all and I know Ben has a lot of love helping him through this. A miracle and prayers is all he needs

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  73. Hi Sauer Family,
    Just a mom from South Carolina. I check in on you every day and pray for Ben in my morning prayers, in my evening prayers and as I think about him in my day. What a bright little light and life -- what a blessing to have him here. My prayer for your sweet son and for your family is first that God use a miracle and second, that, just like you are doing with Ben, He stay with you every second. In Christ's Love, Leslie

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  74. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

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  75. "Take these hands....lift them up. For I have not the strength to praise you near enough. I am nothing, I am nothing...without you." Praying for our Lord to embrace you and give you strength to hold on. I don't know you but through your testimony have fallen in love with this precious boy xxoo

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  76. We're praying for a miracle. Please know that you give me hope daily and are an inspiration to others going through life's unexpected heartaches.

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  77. All the love in the world to you. My grandparent's song for each other comes into my mind, "Always," by Irving Berlin. It makes me think of how God loves us. It's so obvious how much you know this, but the words are so beautiful and say it so perfectly:

    I'll be loving you, Always,
    with a love that's true, Always.
    When the things you've planned
    need a helping hand,
    I will understand,
    Always, Always.
    Days will not be fair, Always.
    That's when I'll be there, Always.
    Not for just an hour,
    Not for just a day,
    Not for just a year,
    but Always.

    So much love.

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  78. You are such a tremendous witness, and I am in awe of your faith in the face of such unspeakable sadness and uncertainty. I know that God promises to be our "refuge and strength,an ever-present help in times of trouble." I know that He is holding you all right now. And it is all because of grace. But still, we all hurt. And when we hurt, He hurts. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. And we are still praying for a miracle. Much hugs and love sent. Tomorrow at our school (Ben Franklin Elem. Ken-Ton District) we are wearing Blue4Ben! As well as all other schools in Ken-Ton!

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  79. Thank you Mindy for the update on Ben and your family. Yet again...you leave me speechless and I continue to be inspired by your word of God. I feel as though you are uplifting your family, friends, and this endless list of strangers on your blog. Thank you for this! ;) My husband and 3 children pray for all of you multiple times every day. We are not giving up HOPE for Ben and your family...endless thoughts and prayers.

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  80. My prayers continue for your sweet Ben. It is so evident to me that God is carrying you every step of the way, otherwise, you couldn't possibly be this calm and inspirational. I pray he continues to not have any headaches and he is able to gain a little strength. May you continue to feel His presence with you at all times. God Bless.

    COLE's Prayer Team

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  81. Continuing prayers for you from NC.

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  82. A dad's explanation of death and heaven to his 5 yr. old. http://jcollinsthestandard.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/daddy-i-dont-want-to-die/
    Praying in Ohio.

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  83. Keeping Ben and your family in my prayers. your words are such an inspiration and I have been keeping up on your blog since I first heard about Ben. I will continue to pray and have hope. <3

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  84. Praying for you so much; you have a beautiful way of looking at this situation and I truly believe God takes the good ones back as soon as He can. Ben is obviously a special boy and I will be praying for you all nonstop

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  85. Wow, this brought tears to my eyes. While I'm not a religious man, I pray to god that he sheds some light on your family during this difficult time. Your family is beautiful and I wish you the best; stay strong.

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  86. I saw a post on Facebook to pray for Ben, so I clicked on this blog to find out what he needed prayer for. I was blessed by this post and love your attitude. Truly, God is good even when times are hard. I'm praying that you will continue to experience God's grace and feel His loving presence as you go through this trial. I've never faced losing a child, but I have experienced losing my husband at age 32, and I can assure you that God's grace was and still is sufficient. May the Lord use you and your sweet family to bring glory to Him. Praying for you in Alaska.

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  87. You have been often and my mind and in my prayers these past days since I first found your blog. I cannot imagine the breath-stealing moments you've endured these past weeks and I wish more than anything this wasn't a part of your story.

    We spent the month of January in the children's hospital with my 7 year old for a sudden and serious illness. It was shattering and terrifying and hallowed and surreal all at the same time.

    I remember sitting in the prayer chapel for a few stolen moments and sobbing. There was a big blank book where families had written their prayers - heart-desperate pleas and goodbyes and anguish. And I sat there looking up at the stained glass windows and couldn't pray anything except: Please, no! Not my child.

    I thought of Abraham taking Isaac up the mountain and Job and his children and all those confusing stories that don't make sense and they terrified me, and all I could do was hold tight to the thought of Christ's suffering. That he too was with us and all the families in that hospital in the pain of those moments - that he came to us in the dark places and showed us his hands and his side, where he bears the weight of suffering and illness and death.

    And I pray that he will come to you now - in these moments. I pray, too, that this cup might pass from your lips - and, that if it doesn't, that he give you courage.

    I also wanted to give you this link, to Scripture set to music, for the moments when reading seems impossible: http://oratiocontemplativa.wordpress.com/about-the-audio/

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  88. Belive in Ben and the power of love for your family. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

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  89. Hello Mindy,

    You don't know me. I came to know about Ben and your family through my daughter, Shannon Bruck. She had earlier told me about Ben and just yesterday she told me about your blog. I am writing to tell you that I will keep little Ben and the rest of your family in my prayers every day. I have not read any of your other entries, but today's message is such a tender and inspiring one and I thank you for it. I can only imagine the pain of watching your child as he faces each day and bears this terrible tumor, but your faith that God will help you and your family throughout all the days ahead strengthens me. It is obvious that God has you and your family in His hands, as he has all of you, and that knowledge is obviously a comfort to you. I will be keeping up with you and your family and will be praying continually.

    Love from Diane Patrum

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  90. Thank you for the beautiful reminders in your post today. You are so wise, in the midst of your tragedy, to recognize that we deserve nothing but have been given so much. That is not easy to say, much less to live. As Ann Voskamp says in One Thousand Gifts, "Count His gifts. All is Grace." Praying for continued strength and peace for your family.

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  91. Have my blue on about to head to work. Praying that Ben finds some extra energy today to play with his family and wrestle with his daddy. I'm constantly thinking of you guys.

    Mike

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  92. Love to you and your family! God Bless you all!

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  93. It breaks my heart so much, I live in Clarence and Ben is such a sweet boy as is your entire family. I have two little boys of my own and they mean everything. Please let me bring a smile to Ben's face as I would like to have Smokey Bear come and see him. I am a Forest Ranger for the State Conservation Department and would be truly honored to do this. I just want to help bring a smile to everybody's face. Good Bless you and your family

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  94. Just learned of your precious Ben's battle from a dear friend; and want to encourage you that I will intercede before our Father who is Great Physician and able to exceed all our expectations. Please never stop trusting healing is possible.

    While continuing conventional treatment, I encourage you to investigate a raw diet? I encourage a visit to: http://www.cancertutor.com/rawfood/
    www.therawfoodworld.com/
    http://dc1store.com/ (Daniel Chapter One, founder of biomolecular nutrition.)

    Flooding the body with Oxygen inhibits growth of diseases, I own a copy of "The One Minute Cure, The Secret to Healing Virtually all Diseases", by Madison Cavanaugh which is available on Amazon or http://www.1minutecure.com/promo/. The cost is minimal, treatment is less than 1.5 cents per day.

    In Christ,

    Carrie

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  95. May the Lord bless you and keep you
    The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
    May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
    Amen
    This is the benediction my dad used to give at the end of every sermon. It is embedded in my brain, I heard it so often! I hope it gives you some of the peace and comfort it always gives me. Praying in Warren, PA

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  96. I have never met you or your family. We live on opposite coasts. But I read your story through Facebook and my soul weeped. As a mother myself I cannot imagine. As a fellow believer in Jesus Christ I am thankful that His arms hold you. I pray for you, for your husband, your children, little Ben. Every day. May His presence, His peace, His love, His hope carry you.

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  97. Hi. My name is Joanne. I am a mother of two and a fellow Christian. I live in RI and have been praying for your family since I heard about Ben. His story has tugged at my heart. I'm wondering if you have ever heard of RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) made from Cannabis? It has successfully treated and cured cancer. I've seen it for myself. A woman named Tina Renee here in RI with stage IV liver cancer. I know there is quite the stigma about this plant that God created. However it is healing people all over the world without side affects and risks that most cancer treatments come with. I have felt compelled to mention this on your blog for some time, but i havent for fear you are bombarded with alternative suggestions. Know that my family is praying daily for your little boy.May God bless your hearts with His peace that passes all understanding.
    I have joined an RSO foundation here in RI that is providing this medicine for free to those who cannot afford it. Here is some general info if you are interesed:
    http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/23/20-medical-studies-that-prove-cannabis-can-cure-cancer/
    also you can look up the RI RSO foundation page on facebook.
    Joanne Harrison

    please feel free to contact me mrjm1021@yahoo.com if you feel that God is moving you to look further into RSO.

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  98. In my prayers. Much love for you and your family!

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  99. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  100. Please lord heal this little boy..

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  101. You and Andy are beautiful, strong, and loving souls. We are all with you and precious Ben, holding and praying.

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  102. Praying for your little boy and your family daily. Lots of love and hugs from Wisconsin. <3

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  103. Your words and story have helped my faith to grow. I always believed but now it's different and in a great way. Ben isn't just a boy who wears blue and is sick. God put him here to help others believe too. I started praying again before bed with my son all because of your story. With God all things are possible. God has put Ben here to help a community find peace and comfort in the everyday hustle. No matter what happens know that your sons story has touched of many and he is miracle. So are you and your entire family. May God bless you all.

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  104. Your words and story have helped my faith to grow. I always believed but now it's different and in a great way. Ben isn't just a boy who wears blue and is sick. God put him here to help others believe too. I started praying again before bed with my son all because of your story. With God all things are possible. God has put Ben here to help a community find peace and comfort in the everyday hustle. No matter what happens know that your sons story has touched of many and he is miracle. So are you and your entire family. May God bless you all.

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  105. Hello Mindy! My name is Alexandra Palmerton. I don't know if you recognize that from Facebook and Bald for Bucks, but I wanted to let you know that even though im too young to do much, i'm doing everything i can to help! Ben is the most adorable kid i have ever seen, and i'm sure he'll turn out healthy and happy soon enough. I'm keeping you in my prayers! Have a nice day! (and say hi to Ben for me!)

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  106. I'm so sorry for all you're going through...I've been praying for Ben! I'm sure you get bombarded with suggestions, but I wouldn't be able to rest unless I suggested to you that you watch the documentary "A Beautiful Truth," and look into Dr. Gerson's Cancer Therapy. Prayers for you all!

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  107. Dear Mindy & Andy: I have been in the medical field for over 40 years, first as a nurse. I keep up with medical advances on a daily basis, as it's always been a main passion for me. Ever since hearing about Ben's diagnosis, I have been determined to get my friend, Barbara's, recent cancer Victory story to you. I watched all last year as she was told by 'experts' that she should 'have immediate surgery or plan her funeral', then months of not accepting that & relying on prayer & healing scripture. She also tried several 'natural healing' remedies that I scoured from the internet. One was turmeric-(90% curcuminoid-Nature's Way brand can be found at Wegman's). This was a treatment I saw baffle doctors 10 years ago when a woman I know in her 80's was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her daughter, being a big advocate of natural cures, began giving her the supplement tablets daily. Her tumor disappeared' & she is into her 90's now! Oh, & both she & her daughter have always had a strong Faith...But back to Barb. When she finally sought 'traditional' treatment, she underwent daily radiation for 4 weeks. Then had 2 chemo treatments, the second being the last that she could tolerate. When she finally went to CCS Oncology for another opinion (at my constant urging), she was told she hadn't gotten HALF the radiation she needed! 3 weeks of Targeted radiation with the True Beam & NO CHEMO & the tumor was visibly gone! No hair loss, no nausea. The only side effect was a temporary dulling of taste sensation, which has returned to normal after several months. After 4 months her checkups have been clear. Through this all, her Faith has never faltered. She spoke healing scriptures daily, called prayer lines, had friends, especially me, praying for her healing daily. The one thing she never would allow in her world was a NEGATIVE view. We have both been attending the Chapel for several years-in fact, I met her there. I believe God put her in my path for this reason. I prayed all last year that her 'healing would be a testament to the power & glory of God & her Faith in His Promises'. Now this is a reality. She did attend the benefit last week & left an envelope for you with healing scriptures & some info on CCS. 'With God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE" ~ If you truly believe & ask, Miracles do happen. This is what I am now praying for Ben. Please, please...get an opinion from CCS before you give up HOPE. GOD Bless.

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  108. Hello, you do not know me but a good sis in Christ of mine sent me to this blog because she has a friend who is a friend of yours. I am sorry that you are experiencing this trial with your son. I pray God's blessings and Shalom over you and your boys. I pray that the Lord would reveal to you the real issue and the cure to the doctors. I pray for healing. I pray for endurance and strength to both you and your little one. I would also like to make a recommendation. I represent a company called VIBRANT HEALTH. Many of our products are great antioxidants/amino acids and generous in vitamins and minerals, along with probiotics and adatogens for stress, and other ingredients. Our products contain anti-cancer inhibitors. These products are all whole food greens and wheat grass juices derived from mostly organic sources. I would recommend that you, if possible, add these supplements to his regimen, as I believe they will add an extra level of protection as well as health to his body. You can purchase these products - or at least most of them - at Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens, Whole Foods and other organic markets, on online at our website - it is a little more expensive though - at www.vibranthealth.us I would recommend you starting him off with the following: (1) Junior Green Vibrance (superfood) - one scoop in am and one in pm; (2) rainbow vibrance (super antioxidant with anti-cancerous ingredients); (3) Field of Greens (vitamins and minerals from 100% greens and wheat grasses); and (4) PureGreen Protein (vanilla) which contain essential amino acids derived from plants. Since he is on the steroids, they take a toll on his body as well as his energy and bones, that is why he is so fatigued. I do not know what other meds he is on, but if you get him started on this regimen, it will give him an upper hand at feeling better, considering all that is taking place. All of the above powders can be mixed with organic apple juice and water, either a 1/2 to 1/2 ratio or more or less juice per 12 - 16 oz of liquid. I would recommend he take the PureGreen Protein with Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (8 oz) and you can mix a little apple juice into that as well. I hope you can try this and I hope it will help. The last product I would recommend is targeted to joints and bones, and that is the Joint Vibrance. This powder (also in caplet form) turned my life around!!!!! It truly is a wonderful product as I suffer from an auto-immune disease which affects my body and stamina and this powder gave me my life back, energy, flexibility and less pain and inflammation in my body. Again, all or most of these products can also be ordered online at www.vitaminshoppe.com If you have any questions about an specific targeted plan for your son, you can contact Mark Timon, the formulator at Vibrant Health, concerning treatment options. He can be reached at mtimon@vibranthealth.us GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS!!!!!

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  109. Praying for you daily here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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  110. Our Charismatic prayer group prayed for Little Ben this afternoon. One of the women will be giving me information about a doctor in Cincinnati who has been trained in Israel to perform delicate surgery on the brain. I'll be receiving that information from her tonight or tomorrow. I'll send it along to you. Barbara Raugh/ Pinehurst, North Carolina

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