We’ll do whatever it takes to save our son.


An emergency surgery; a 1,000 mile flight followed by a “Tijuana or bust” road trip; a border crossing in two ambul ances, sirens wailing; two different stays in PICU; a medivac flight at 500 miles an hour; two countries; four hospitals; and countless doctors, oncologists, and neurosurgeons later, that should be clear.
But there are some things we won’t do. We won’t compromise.
Eight weeks ago, our all star football player was told his sports injury was really a malignant tumor in his chest. In less time then it takes to play a full season of high school football,  Jeremiah (16) lost his legs and the playbook for his life.
 We’re facing a mountain of illness. As I write this, Jeremiah has a fever and a cold. Chemo lowers the number of white blood cells needed to fight infection. Because Jeremiah’s immune system is compromised, he must now wear a face mask and a disposable gown when he leaves his room. Any visitors must do the same.
MD Anderson treats its pediatric patients with care and dignity, even offering free haircuts at the center’s barber shop. Before his fever, Jeremiah had his hair cut shorter in preparation for its eventual loss.
Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma is an aggressive bone cancer and has already metastasized (spread). Jeremiah has numerous spots on both lungs, a large tumor in his chest, and another in his back. He has a 10% chance of survival.
A meeting with MD Anderson’s medical team revealed that Jeremiah’s treatment will involve three rounds of chemo, three or four surgeries, and radiation. Although the bone cancer is resistant to radiation, it must also be attempted.
 In addition, we’re facing a mountain of debt. We’ve been advised that each of Jeremiah’s surgeries will cost between $50,000 and $100,000. That cost does not include chemo therapy, radiation, tests, medicines, outpatient care, or hospitalization. Neither does it include the cost of physical or occupational therapy. Add to that our outstanding bills from McLane’s Children’s Hospital in Temple, Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston totaling nearly $400,000 and you get an idea of the mountain of debt we are facing.
A private benefactor covered the cost of Jeremiah’s holistic treatment in Tijuana and the medevac flight back to Texas, otherwise the bill would be larger still.
In addition, there are other practical considerations too, like medical equipment and renovations to our home to make it handicap accessible.
The tumor in Jeremiah’s back has caused paralysis. Short of the miracle we are all praying for, surviving the cancer will leave Jeremiah permanently disabled.
Pastor  Dale Sochia and King Jesus Ministries replaced carpeting with flooring for Jeremiah’s wheelchair. With help from members of Jeremiah’s football team, the Parkview Pacers, we’ve moved rooms around to accommodate his medical needs.
Our church family, Church at Tree Lake, offered financial help and expanded a door frame.
We’ve also widened the driveway allowing for better access from our vehicle to the sidewalk. We live in rural Texas, surrounded by crops and dust. Moving a wheelchair through dirt or mud during rainy season is untenable.
We’ve purchased a new wheelchair fitted to Jeremiah’s specific measurements and requirements. We’ve created a wheelchair accessible bedroom and closet, with things he needs at his height. Finally, we’ve explored ways to construct a wheel in shower or “wet room,” replace the old vanity with a sink he can wheel under, and switch out the commode.
We also picked up a handicapped placard from the county tax office.   In other words, we’re facing a mountain of change.
 Which brings us to the Mount Moriah of Jeremiah’s story.
MD Anderson began treatment. But they won’t recognize our Christian healthcare sharing plan. They suggested we apply for Medicaid. Which we’ve done. But in a world of bureaucracy, the Gofundme page means that we don’t need government assistance. Never mind the expenses far outweigh everyone’s loving help.
We were advised to redirect funds in a sort of “shell game” which we’ll not do.
As our daughter  Shekinah explains, “We are wanting to be transparent and above reproach in all things [for the glory of God], and also because so many of you are donating to support my brother and family. As my dad was learning more and more from the hospital what it would take to be eligible for Medicaid, he was being asked to be dishonest…as desperate as we are to keep Jeremiah there, that would be a violation of conscience and it would not bring glory to God.”
Compromise would ask us to spare our son at the expense of truth and justice. It would say the ends justify the means.
But one of Jeremiah’s favorite quotes, the one he has on his Instagram, reads, “The man earnestly seeking to live according to the will of God will do daily battle against the spirit of compromise. Do not give in.”
The principles of God have tied Jeremiah as sure as the cords that bound Isaac.
When  Rusty shared his concerns with Jeremiah last night at the hospital, he responded with uncharacteristic seriousness, “As long as I’ve known you dad, you’ve been an honorable man. I trust your decision to honor God.”
Of course there will be those who won’t understand Jeremiah’s or his father’s unwillingness to compromise. Won’t understand compromise is a slippery slope better avoided. Won’t understand there is no mountain pass around truth.
There will be those who throw stones as my son and husband climb their Mount Moriah.
But it doesn’t matter.
As Jeremiah reminded his dad, “We’re trusting in the Lord. It is more important to honor God than please men.”
We’re praying that God provides a way out of this insurance wilderness. That He would spare the life of our son. That He would provide a ram in the thicket.
But even if God doesn’t provide, even if our son doesn’t live, we trust in the lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). We trust in God.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” ( John 3:16).
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).