Shar­ing JED Shar­ing faith and out­doors with ter­mi­nally ill chil­dren

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Outdoors - Story and photograph­y by Cor­bet Deary, and cour­tesy of Shar­ing JED

s do all young cou­ples, Josh and Lori Harper likely went through a learn­ing curve upon

be­ing blessed with the birth of their son, Je­didiah. But the new ad­di­tion to their fam­ily was well worth the sud­den changes in their lives.

With time, sleep­ing pat­terns were set and what were first con­sid­ered as ad­just­ments be­came ev­ery­day mo­tions. Their son was grow­ing and the fu­ture was look­ing bright. The Harpers epit­o­mized the happy fam­ily.

But three years later, Josh and Lori were dev­as­tated when Je­didiah was di­ag­nosed with Rhab­domyosar­coma (RMS), a rare and ag­gres­sive mus­cle can­cer. The young­ster spent sev­eral stints in the hos­pi­tal, un­der­go­ing two surg­eries and 24 chemo treat­ments.

A min­is­ter, Josh was acutely aware that faith the size of a mus­tard seed could move moun­tains. He and his wife are also hu­man, and not know­ing the fate of their son was a huge load to bear. In turn, the par­ents and a plethora of con­cerned friends and fam­ily prayed vig­or­ously for the heal­ing of this young boy .

At the end of treat­ment came the much an­tic­i­pated scan — the re­sult of Je­didiah's treat­ments. And one can only imag­ine the over­whelm­ing joy when the doc­tor shared his find­ings. Their son was can­cer free.

Although a huge bur­den had been lifted from Josh and Lori, they still felt a sense of heavy heart­ed­ness. Their thoughts re­mained with those fam­i­lies still at the Chil­dren's Hos­pi­tal, fight­ing this dread­ful dis­ease. There was only one thing to do — fo­cus on help­ing oth­ers.

The Harpers had been blessed with friends and fam­ily who pulled to­gether and hosted a ben­e­fit dur­ing their dif­fi­cult times. Aware all of the funds had not been de­pleted, Josh and Lori, gra­ciously used the re­main­ing $8,000 they had been gifted to fol­low their con­vic­tions.

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