Emily McHaffie

To look at her, you would never know that there was anything wrong. Emily is a typical girl who loves pink and purple, princesses, sunflowers, cooking and anything that involves mud in the great outdoors (in a dress, of course!). She has a zest for life and is a social butterfly among her friends.

At age 4, Emily was diagnosed with melanoma, a form of cancer that is very rare in children her age. We had gone in to have a mole removed on her inner knee. When the biopsy came back "atypical", it sent us on an unexpected journey. The next step was to do a lymph node biopsy to see if those same "atypical" cells had spread to other areas in her body. If not, we were done. There would be no other worries.

But the words we heard from the Oncologist were the words that no parent wants to hear... "Your daughter has cancer - melanoma." So after three surgeries (and lots of prayer), a PICC line was inserted and a year long series of treatments began. She would receive interferon five days a week through the PICC line the first month and then shots 3 days per week for the remaining 48 weeks.

Overwhelmed by all of the prayer support and emails we received literally from all over the world, we would know that it is God who has sustained us during this time. His strength is always perfect. And for whatever reason God has allowed us to go through this situation, we have watched as God has used Emily's cancer to promote healing and bring unity in other situations. It is amazing the strength that God gives to children who go through childhood illnesses.

One walk through the cancer ward at Children's Hospital and that is clear. We don't always understand why. We don't always have an explanation. God sees the big picture and we can be confident that He is working all things for the good.

The past few years has not always been easy. Things haven't always went right. It is hard to watch your little girl who doen't understand why all this is happening to her, struggle.

The summer of 2007, Emily was able to "make her wish" through the Make a Wish Foundation of Wisconsin! Her wish was to meet Cinderella and to see her former preschool teacher, Mr. Steve, a vacation to Disney World to make her wish come true! It couldn't have come at a better time! But then, God's timing is always perfect.

Each day is a new day we give back to God. Each breath is a gift He gives us. And the people He places around us are extra blessings. To take the advice from a dear saint who went home to be with Jesus, "Slow down. Relax. Don't worry. Enjoy life." It is amazing how often we fail to appreciate all that God has given us.

Please continue to pray for Emily. If you are going through a tough situation or know someone who is, know that God's grace is sufficient; His peace does pass all understanding; and He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever hope for or even imagine.

Just think of the possibilities!

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