Dear Donor


Dear Donor,

You don’t know me (yet), but I am the 24-year old wife of the 25-year old man you are saving. You don’t know us or our story, but I want you to know that our journey to this day, to this transplant, to you has been long awaited.

All I know about you is your age, your gender, and that you either live or have lived in Europe at some point in your young life. I know that you are a 20-year old male with a beautiful and selfless soul. I know that your priorities are so much greater than mine were when I was 20-years old. I know that, for the past seven days, you have gone out of your way to drive to the hospital to get your Neupogen shots to prepare your body for this donation. I know that you will walk away from the hospital after you’ve donated and wonder if you’ve made a difference, and if your bone marrow will actually change someone’s life. I know that the answer to those questions is a resounding “yes.” I know that all you have been told about Andrew is his age and gender. But what else do you know about us? What do you know about the person that you have disrupted your own life to save? Nothing. All that you know is that someone on this earth is very sick and needs help, but that’s enough for you. You know nothing about me, and I know very little about you, but I love you.

Andrew has been battling for nearly two years now; not just cancer, but he has battled to stay alive. He’s battled through endless chemo treatments, a handful of days in a coma, needles constantly poking and prodding him for blood, days full of vomit, and so many sleepless nights. I don’t tell you these things for sympathy; I tell you these things because I need you to know how hard Andrew has fought to get to this transplant. I tell you this because I need you to know that we don’t take you and this gift for granted. We have struggled and fought so hard for this life, and we thank you for the chance to keep fighting.

Without you, we know Andrew is out of “good” treatment options and all we would be left with would be experimental studies. Without you, we would have to accept that the life that we have dreamt together would never be. Without you, I don’t get to become a mommy and Andrew never gets the chance to be called “daddy.” Without you, we don’t get to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Without you, we don’t get to take our kids to Hinkle Fieldhouse and reminisce on dad’s incredible, back-to-back Final Four runs until they are sick of hearing that story. Without you, cancer runs its course in Andrew’s body because it doesn’t care about our future and the moments it threatens to steal from us.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for your willingness and thank you for being brave. Thank you for swabbing your cheek and getting on the Bone Marrow Registry, not knowing if anything would ever come from it. I find it absolutely incredible to think that when God made you, He knew the marrow running through the cavities of your bones would some day be saving the life of my husband- your 10/10 match. I think of you often and pray for you daily. It is my greatest hope that you truly grasp the gravity of what you’ve done; you have saved Andrew’s life and for that, I owe you everything.

We hope to meet you someday, but until then, know that you are greatly appreciated and deeply, deeply loved.

Samantha Smith

Andrew’s Bone Marrow Transplant is scheduled for tomorrow, November 6th at 11:00am. He is overall doing well, but certainly starting to feel the nasty effects from the week’s worth of chemotherapy. It seems quite unbelievable that we have not only made it to this day after months of trials and tribulations, but that we have made it to what is going to cure him. It will be years before the doctors ever even consider muttering that word, but we both believe in our hearts that tomorrow is the day that he receives what is going to restore his body. What a gift this is. We hope after reading this open letter to our donor that maybe some of you who have not yet gotten onto the Bone Marrow Registry will consider doing so. It’s not just swabbing your cheek and donating your bone marrow. It’s not just being someone’s hero that day. It’s giving someone the chance to live their life; the chance to have children, to grow old with their spouse, to travel, to laugh, to experience everything that we so often take for granted. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. We have never felt more loved. Please continue to be praying over Andrew tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day for a transplant; probably one of my most favorite days ever.

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” (Esther 4:14)

Finally…We’ve Made It


Friends, as you know, it has been a long journey to get to this day. Originally rediagnosed in May, we had hoped to have met this milestone months ago, but here we are on October 29th, finally being admitted into the hospital to begin the bone marrow transplant process. A lot of life has happened in those few months, a lot of disappointments and frustrations, so you can imagine our sighs of relief as I packed up the Jeep this morning with a month’s worth of clothes, snacks, books, and anything else one could possibly need for an extended stay at the hospital. Are we exhausted? Beyond imaginably so. But, we keep saying to one another, “One last time. Let’s push through this hospital stay so we never have to do this again.” We know that this particular stay will be unlike any others in the past two years, but there’s something about knowing this will be the last one. We know this is going to be awful. We know this is going to be some of our hardest and worst days yet. But we also know that this is going to be the cure. I am downright giddy inside thinking of life without cancer. Nearly our entire marriage has been spent fighting this disease; we cannot wait to be boring and have our biggest stress stem from who is going to choose what’s for dinner that night. We will fight through these upcoming days chasing that dream.

Though not typical for these blog posts to center around being just an update, we felt compelled to do so after so many have asked what can specifically be prayed over. Having said that, this is (loosely) what our impending days entail of and what we could really use prayer for:

Today we are admitted into the hospital for an unknown length of time. They tell us to expect to be here from 4-6 weeks, but all of that is completely based on how Andrew is doing and how his body is responding to the transplant. So we could be in for 3 weeks or we could be in for 8+ weeks; it’s just a matter of when Andrew’s body is ready. This first week in the hospital is solely a week of the most intense chemotherapy possible. The idea is that this chemo will completely wipe everything out of his body to kind of set it at zero. Yes, this is as terrible as it sounds. He will feel completely awful and we expect this to result in the worst days after this has essentially destroyed his body. One week from today, Thursday, November 5th, will be the actual transplant day. On this day, he will receive the stem cells from his wonderful donor. After that, we wait. It is a most delicate process of medicine. For those who are not familiar with a bone marrow transplant, the most simple and straight-forward way of describing it is that they are replacing one person’s (Andrew’s) immune system with another person’s (the donor). From there, the idea is that since Andrew’s immune system is clearly not doing its job, we are replacing it with someone’s that hopefully will. Now, with that runs significant risks. This new immune system could “wake up” in Andrew’s body & recognize that it is not in its own, typical body and attack Andrew instead. We ask for heavy prayer over this. Andrew will be on many medications, but some in particular that allow the immune system to be slowly introduced to its new body, so to speak. This means Andrew’s body will be without much of an immune system for some time which makes him extremely vulnerable. This very real risk becomes that even the slightest infection, cold, virus, things that to you and I with immune systems would have no problem fighting off, could kill him. We ask for heavy prayer over this. This entire process, from chemo to the transplant, absolutely obliterates Andrew’s body and the side effects are brutal. The worst one that he is already encountered is neuropathy. Neuropathy is the dysfunction of the nerves that causes severe pain, weakness, and numbness. Right now, Andrew is numb from his waist down to his knees and then his knees to his toes are in horrific pain constantly. This has wiped out Andrew’s ability to walk on his own; he has been forced to lean on a walker, wheelchairs, and his tiny wife for assistance and stability to walk. For this to happen to someone who has spent all of their life running up and down a basketball court, you can imagine how difficult this has been to adjust to. Typically, this side effect will go away, but it takes months to years for this to resolve. We ask for heavy prayer over this. 

That was the short synopsis of what is to come. Once released from the hospital, he is still bound to the safety of our home without leaving for months. Everything will be very delicate for quite a while. This is the long haul. This isn’t a quick fix, but it is the fix that we have spent years praying for. I thank you for the unending support that we have received. Truly, from the bottom of our hearts, it has meant the absolute world. Every single day, we have some sort of encouragement, be it a card, a text, a phone call, a tweet, etc. It’s been unbelievable. So we thank you, again, for the strength and motivation that you all have given to us. Many have also asked for our address to send cards and encouragements to Andrew, so you will find that below. We love all of the cards and letters, I assure you we read every single one and smile every single time.

804 N Bolton Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46219

This is what the Lord says: ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. I will heal you.'” (2 Kings 20:5)

Bone Marrow Drive at Butler University


(Photo by ZJBPhotography)

Samantha and I want to use the platform we have been given, and the information we have learned going through the process ourselves, to inform people how important this really is. People, unfortunately, will pass away waiting for someone on the registry, not because there isn’t a way to help them, but simply because the right person is not on the list.

Butler University has meant so much to us over the years, and partnering with them to promote such an important cause that has directly affected our lives so much, is amazing. The community has been behind us the whole way, and this is just one way that we want to give back a little bit. This event is being held at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday, September 29th, from 4pm-8pm and we would really love to see you out there; students, alumni, fans, everyone! All of the Butler athletic teams are participating so we know we are going to make a huge addition to this registry; please consider coming and being a part of that. You can donate blood, sign up for the bone marrow registry, or both! Thank you, once again, for your continued support and love. And a very special thank you to Butler University. We find so much strength in this army of Bulldogs rallying behind us, supporting us every step of the way.

If you’re unable to join us this Tuesday, this link will still allow you to register in Andrew’s honor:

Making the Next Month Count


We are about a month away from Andrew’s transplant and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t overwhelmed and terrified. It is surreal to have a date for what seems to be both this impending doom but also this glimmer of hope in what has been a dark past few months. It’s complicated, to say the least. Andrew is such a rock; this isn’t terrifying to him. He, of course, understands the gravity of what is about to take place, but he has such a peace about the future ahead. I, on the other hand, just finished reading a twenty-page document detailing every single possible risk, including fatality. “Don’t read too much into it!” he tells me. Ok, sure, Andrew. I will not worry one bit.

I’m so glad he’s at peace. He’s excited to get going. It gives me great comfort to see his tenacity and readiness for this next battle. He makes me feel like we can do this together and our extensive history should give me no reason to think otherwise. He’s a warrior…but I am a worrier. In my defense, let’s look back at the past eighteen months: cancer, cardiac arrest, coma, cancer again. I feel like it’s fair for me to always panic when it’s been more than an hour since I’ve heard from him. It’s fair to go grocery shopping and breakdown on the car ride home because I pass a funeral home. It’s fair to feel pain. It’s fair to feel strong, but then weak. It’s fair and completely acceptable to deal with things differently than someone else. I’m just so thankful that God placed Andrew by my side, though he copes differently than I, to walk through this journey with me. He inspires me every day, even though I feel like I should be the one pushing him to keep his head up. Andrew is ready for this transplant and though I’m not quite “excited,” his strength and all of your guys’ prayers and support have carried me through some of our toughest days. Thank you all for your love and kindness. You’ll never know how much every single email, message, tweet, etc. has resonated with us and truly touched our lives.

One way we have coped and wrapped our heads around this relapse has been by being proactive about our purpose. We want to spend our final month before this transplant doing good and helping others. We want this next month to count. Though we don’t know why all of this has happened, we trust that it is part of a greater plan bigger than us. We are hoping and believing that part of that plan is the Bone Marrow Registry. We knew nothing about this whole transplant world, but we were especially ignorant about the Bone Marrow Registry and its lack of donors. It broke our hearts to learn how many people pass away because they never received that glorious phone call with someone on the other end saying, “We found a match for you. You can have a bone marrow transplant.” We also had no idea how simple it is to get on the registry and that the process itself is nearly painless for the donor. You fill out a form. You swab your cheek. You’re on the registry and could save someone’s life, just like someone out there is saving Andrew’s. Andrew and I just urge everyone to PLEASE consider joining this registry; there are many out there waiting for a match, and for some, they’ve been waiting years and think it may never come.

Andrew and I will be hosting a couple of Bone Marrow Registry Drives over our next month before his transplant. Our first one is tomorrow, Saturday September 19th, at Lions Park in Zionsville. We are honorary co-chairmen for the St. Vincent Cancer Walk/Run. You can register on their website or onsite if you’d like to support the St. Vincent Cancer Center by walking or running a 5k or 10 miles. Or you can just stop by our booth and hop on this registry. Andrew and I intended to be much more involved with the walk/run, but with his relapse, we had to take a step back. It’s worked out beautifully, though, because we can now host this Bone Marrow Drive and hopefully help save many lives by getting people on this registry! It will take five minutes out of your day; all you have to do is fill out a form and then swab your cheek. So if you are between the ages of 18-44, please consider coming out and seeing Andrew and I! We will be there from 6:30am-11:30am and would love to personally thank you for joining this fight against blood cancers. (Plus there will be a cupcake and nacho food truck, which I know is exactly what everyone wants on a Saturday morning!) We will also be holding a drive at Butler University later on this month, but more details will come after we get through this first one!

If you can’t make it out to see us this Saturday, the link below will allow you to fill out a form online and then they will mail you a kit to swab your cheek. It’s that easy to save someone’s life. Thank you. We love you and feel so loved by all of you.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

The Blog Post I Never Wanted to Write


I don’t have a smooth introduction into this. We have had a difficult time facing this reality, let alone writing about it. So, bear with me as these words stubbornly flow from my fingertips.

About four months ago, we learned that Andrew’s cancer has returned. We both lived in a state of shock and depression for a while after we were hit with this news. We’ve taken the past few months to cope with this and what it means for us. Family and close friends were told, but otherwise, we’ve intentionally kept things very quiet and private between us. Truth is, we’ve enjoyed normalcy. We’ve enjoyed having conversations with friends and strangers that didn’t center around cancer. We’ve enjoyed our leap of faith in buying our first home together, truly believing in the core of our hearts that we had beaten this disease and were free to move on with our lives. We’ve enjoyed feeling like two twenty-four year olds. We’ve enjoyed living without wondering. Andrew and I want to hold onto that as long as we can, but we know things are about to get more rocky in our lives. We have so cherished and valued the support and prayers of the community that has wrapped itself around us and we know we will desperately need that yet again.

Andrew will have to undergo a bone marrow transplant. This is an intense procedure. It has great risks, but potentially, great reward. This could be a cure. It could be an answer to prayer. It scares the heck out of me, but it’s our best option at this point. Thankfully, we have a donor. That was a huge victory in and of itself. Andrew will be out of commission for quite awhile and we would so appreciate your prayers over our next year or so. There will be some very tough days, days full of vomit and frustration. Pillowcases covered in thin, wispy hairs that have fallen off of Andrew’s head due to intense radiation and chemotherapy. Stacks of books and a Netflix queue full of movies and shows recommended by friends and family. This will be our life for the months to come. But who is ready to fearlessly face this thing head on? Andrew, of course. Sure, we both went through sadness and confusion for awhile, but Andrew has handled the idea of this next phase like he always does- like a warrior. Cancer really picked the wrong guy to latch onto. We are about to kick its butt to kingdom come. For good.

So friends, with a heavy heart from a worried wife, I ask for prayers. Prayers of praise and thankfulness, first and foremost, for God has a beautiful plan for all of this. We thought He had finished this chapter of our lives, but He has something else in mind. We welcome that, accept it, and pray for the courage to live it out as Christ sees fit. We’re so thankful for modern medicine and that something like a bone marrow transplant even exists. What a miracle. Andrew and I ask for prayers for patience, comfort, and bravery as we face the months ahead. Patience for the months to go by smoothly and quickly; (and for all of the Butler games we’re going to have to miss this season! ;) ; comfort as we truly do not understand why this is happening in our lives, but trust in the will of the Lord; and bravery as this is just plain scary. It’s terrifying to think of “what if,” but we pray for valor and boldness to be triumphant over this.

“Grace carried me here and by grace I’ll carry on.” 

One Year Since the Deep Sleep


A year ago today, I was called and urged to get to the emergency room. I was told Andrew had collapsed and he didn’t have a pulse. I waited for the phone call back saying they had gotten that pulse back. I waited…I waited…I waited. About twenty minutes later, I screamed out in both anguish and relief; Andrew’s heart began to beat. On the paramedic’s last cleared attempt to shock him back to life, it began to beat. A year ago today, I stood in front of doctor after doctor telling me they weren’t sure he was going to make it. I was told that Andrew wouldn’t be “Andrew” even if he did miraculously wake up. I was preparing to become a widow at the age of twenty-three.

A year has come and gone. It has had its ups and downs. We bought our very own house together and tackled a flooded basement a few months into said home ownership. We traveled to Cabo and I let the sunshine beat down on my face while Andrew covered himself in towels from head to toe to avoid sunburn. We have laughed, we have dreamed, and we have strengthened our marriage. But we have also still encountered hardships. Once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient. Checkups, maintenance chemo, scans…it all feels never ending sometimes. We get frustrated. We gawk at the amount of miles and gas spent to and from multiple hospitals. We feel overwhelmed at the longevity and permanency of its place in our lives. But then I think back to where I was one year ago today, where Andrew was a year ago today. I also think back to walking through the halls of the ICU & seeing sick patients and grieving families. Did they all have the same miraculous outcome as we did? No, they didn’t. Did they get to leave one week later, laughing while trying to get the hang of a steering a wheelchair with a loved one in tow? Not all of them. Do they get to look back, one year later, and think of how far they have come? No. But we did get this miraculous second chance at life. Andrew and I did laugh as I clumsily pushed him through the hallways of the ICU, making every nurse in sight nervous to entrust this tiny woman to support this humungous man. And one year later, we are sitting here thinking back to how far we have come in 365 days. Thank You, Jesus.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

A Bulldog’s Battle


A lot of you have already had the opportunity to read the incredible story CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander posted just a few days ago. It is by far the most in-depth look an outsider looking in will ever read on the past year and a half for me and Andrew. It is hard to read- even for me. I lived those horrific moments, but it still brought tears flowing from my eyes and a heaving from my chest as I remembered those days. I am so blessed Andrew is alive. I am so blessed I have so many more years of memories to come with my husband. I am so blessed that I am not a widow at the age of twenty-three.

Below is Matt Norlander’s story. It is lengthy, but well worth the read. So grab some tissues and take a few minutes out of your day to be reminded of God’s goodness and sovereignty.

A Bulldog’s Battle by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports

Our Fearless Resolution


It’s not breaking news that the year of 2014 was a rough one for the Smiths. It was brutal. It was relentless. It kicked our butts over and over again. We counted down the days leading up to 2014 in Lithuania- confused and waiting to hear results of a scan on Andrew’s chest. On January 2nd, we sat at our kitchen table with the General Manager of his basketball team telling us in broken English that there was a large tumor in Andrew’s chest and things were very serious. 36 hours later, we were on an emergency flight home. A week later, we received a heartbreaking, dream-crushing cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy treatments began a few days after that. We have spent a lot of our days in the hospital- some days in agony, some riddled with impatience, and some with only one of us conscious. I’ll be frank, this year has been terrible, and I have never been happier to see the clock strike midnight and have 365 days behind me.

This year has been one of conscience decision-making. Aside from taking a few days to be filled with tears and give into our sadness here and there, Andrew has been wonderful about choosing to stay positive and has endlessly encouraged me when I failed to do so. I fully admit that there have been some days that I have been stunned with fear of the day to follow. I have wallowed in sadness and the injustice of it all, and I’ve struggled with the idea of moving on from the chaos and madness of this year. How do you pick up the pieces after a year like this? It seemed like every time Andrew and I felt like we could reset and start over something bad would happen. And not just bad, something that would rock us all over again. I hated that this disease began to alter our decision-making and made us second guess planning our future. I remember the exact moment that this hostility flooded my body and anger boiled over towards this illness: Andrew and I talked about the idea of one day having kids and it was followed by a “but, what if…?” He didn’t need to finish his sentence, and we both knew the “what if”. What if treatment didn’t work? What if the cancer came back? What if we created a big, beautiful family and then things went wrong and I had to take care of them and Andrew by myself? What if? It was in this moment I realized that we had given this sickness too much control.

Andrew and I refuse to give this past year and all of its awful counterparts authority over our lives. Ever since that conversation, we have consciously rejected the paralyzing fear over planning a future that might never be. What good is a blessed, God-given life if you’re not going to live it? This disease has been life changing, of course, but we refuse to let it be life crippling. “God sometimes takes us into troubled waters; not to drown us, but to cleanse us.” The Lord didn’t bring this illness into our lives for it to take over and suffocate the goodness, but to mold our hearts and use us to help others. I smile from ear to ear when I read the many messages and cards telling Andrew and I how much we’ve helped others. I don’t smile because I think we did it, because I assure you, it wasn’t us. I smile because I feel a purpose for all of the suffering and heartache this past year. Andrew and I both strongly feel and believe that if only one person breathed a little easier because of sharing Andrew’s beautiful testimony, every minute of this past year was worth it.

So to 2014, good riddance! Thank you for your many lessons, but I’ve never looked forward to a new year more! We cannot wait to dream and live our crazy, beautiful life in this upcoming year. Andrew is doing extremely well and we are not looking backwards! Blessings to you all and we truly wish you the happiest of New Years. I pray that this year will be your best yet! :)

“The doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock.” (Tony Gaskins)

“I was facing death, and then He saved me.”


There are no words to describe that heart sinking, gut punching, life changing phone call. “Andrew collapsed at work, Sam. The ambulance is on their way and they’re working on him.” My Andrew? My Andrew that I had just spoken to less than an hour ago? He was fine; this can’t be right. My head spun and my heart shattered. I prayed, I cried, and took off to make it to the emergency room, unsure of what I would find when I got there. In short, that day and the days following were the worst of my life. The emotional and physical tornado that took over our lives has left quite the mark and, admittedly, we’re still trying to work our way through it. That is why it has taken over a month since Andrew’s stint in the hospital to update or post much of anything; we’re still trying to process and figure everything out.

Andrew and I are private people, which may seem odd considering we have this blog. But I even fought this blog and said no to until I could no longer deny that the Lord was calling us to share our testimony through recording this journey. With that being said, we can’t share every detail of those 12 days spent in the ICU. Those were the most private, intimate moments that we’ll ever have between us. But what we do want to share is how much of an absolute miracle Andrew’s life is. And I understand that is hard to comprehend and grasp without having all of the details, but trust me when I say, the fact that Andrew is alive is only possible by the grace of God. The fact that Andrew can walk and talk is a miracle. The fact that Andrew woke up out of his medically-induced coma as my husband, the same man I fell in love with years ago, the same goofy man who laughed with me just hours after awakening, the same man who fights through every single battle with every ounce of strength within him, is an absolute miracle. The fact that Andrew and I are sitting here together, side by side, is a miracle. Our hospital room was frequently flooded with doctors, nurses, medics, ER staff; all of the people that took care of Andrew at his worst. They had all heard how remarkably and inexplicably well he was doing, but they just needed to see it to believe it. There was no way that the man they had resuscitated and worked so vigorously on just days before was sitting up in his hospital bed, smiling and laughing. Several nurses that had been in the medical world for thirty years made a point to note how they had never seen anything like this. And I must say, I never dreamed I would see anything like this. How many people in this world get to see an honest to God miracle? I don’t use that term to negate the exemplary and impeccable care and treatment Andrew received. The medics, nurses, doctors, and specialists worked tirelessly on Andrew, and for that, I could never give them a big enough hug and thank you for. But every single one of them recognized that things should have been worse. Despite their care and despite their efforts, Andrew should not be where he is today. The initial scans looked bad. The circumstances were tough. The fact that he has cancer complicated things. Basically, things were not looking great the first day or two. I did not sleep for those first three days because if things got worse, I needed to be there for him. But if he miraculously moved his head or squeezed my hand, I needed to be able to see that, too. That’s how bad things were; we were at the point where I just needed to see something. Something to show me that he was still there.

In those moments, I prayed to God that Andrew would wake up and, of course, knew that I was going to love whomever came out of that coma endlessly. But I certainly was not the only one praying. Thousands and thousands of people were blanketing Andrew in prayer and I truly, truly believe that he was being prayed over every single second of those days in the ICU. I know, without a doubt, that the Lord heard each and every one of those prayers and gracefully gave my husband another chance at life. Andrew woke up quickly, which is not typically the case; we were preparing ourselves to potentially wait days for him to fully come to. He didn’t make me wait long to let me see that beautiful smile and share in side-splitting laughter. He was there. He was alive. He was Andrew.

Three weeks later, we are snuggled in our cozy home about to make cinnamon rolls and watch the premiere episode of “Houdini.” Andrew is doing wonderfully and every day gets easier and easier. He is starting work again this week and this time, I will be at his side as his company graciously offered me a position since he clearly cannot be trusted to keep breathing on his own ;) . We have hit the reset button on our lives and plan to continue to live every day as fully as possible. The mantra of living every day because you’ll never know when it’ll be your last is a common one, but I truly hope and pray that after reading this, maybe that will sink in a little further in your hearts. I was speaking with Andrew a mere forty minutes before he collapsed and he was completely fine. For days, I feared that was going to be my last conversation with him and that I’d never hear an “I love you” again. Be grateful for those breaths filling your lungs and the “I love you’s” that are spoken from your loved ones mouths. Live each day as purposefully and gracefully as possible and love one another as the Lord has loved you. (John 15:12)

A note from Andrew: Even though I can’t remember everything, I just wanted to thank all of the people that came to visit Samantha and I at the hospital, and for all of the prayers, cards, gifts, and well wishes we have received. I know that Samantha would not have been able to get through the first few days in the hospital without all of your support and I am truly grateful for how well everyone took care of her when I was unable. Things are getting back to normal slowly but surely and that can only be attributed to the many prayers that have been said over the last several weeks. Thank you again and we look forward to continue to report good news.

“The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and then He saved me. Now I can rest again, for the Lord has been so good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!” (Psalm 116:6-9)