A MAJOR Milestone & a VICTORIOUS Announcement for @QBWalters1 as he continues to #tackleperthes HIS Way!

I’ve been contemplating writing this post for days. It seems that each time I sit down to write I am flooded with a wave of emotions that take my breath away and leave me wading through my thoughts, questions, wonderings. Writing forces me to confront what I often times retreat from facing. Today is no different. Although, this post has a happy ending. 🙂

Let me begin with what Elijah has been up to since his surgery last November, which left him off his feet again. He was again restricted to his wheelchair (interesting that I used to say “a” wheelchair and now it naturally comes out “his” wheelchair) with no weight being permitted on his legs/hip. Weeks and weeks went by as we tried our best to keep him down and off his feet, which was nothing short of a miracle. He slowly weaned his way to 1/4, 1/2 weight bearing, onto crutches, and then finally after 4 months he got the green light to walk only, but full weight bearing all while doing physical therapy 2-3 times a week. I was riddled with fear and joy as he took his first few steps……..and, although wobbly and certainly not graceful, they felt like steps toward freedom.

Now, while facing so many physical challenges he was also combating being a 7th grade boy (which I know nothing about having 2 daughters before him). Elijah has always been very social, extremely competitive, a stellar student, and up for just about any experience that involves people and competing. However, this year we began to see him really begin to wrestle with who he was before Perthes, who he is now with Perthes, and who he hopes to become. It has been hard to watch him watch his buddies continue to play ball as he tries to distract himself with other activities. His French teacher, who has been a precious and powerful mentor to Elijah this year, called me and said that Elijah stated to her, “I don’t know who to be without my crutches.” This crushed me. Middle school is a time when kids are searching and discovering their identities and my boy was connecting his to his disease. There is so much more to him than Perthes. He’s beginning to see that, too. His story was meant to be different.

Fast forward to this past week and Elijah finds himself back at the specialist’s for a check up. Cue the X-ray, the range of motion evaluation, the leg length measurement, the zillion pain questions, AND………….BAM. The words out of his surgeon’s mouth soared, “Elijah, based on what I am seeing, I am confident enough to release you back to full activity!” Now, these words carry so much weight because they are a permit to return to some of the sports he loves, but they are words also laced with hard work, pain, likely some rejection, and uncertainty. Perthes is not like an injury that you just bounce back from for it changes your skeletal make up forcing you to relearn, readjust, re……everything. So, like Elijah, we don’t really know where his steps will lead and how they’ll look, but we know we can trust HIS leading.

If you thought that was the happiest news, It. Gets. Better. We have prayed and agonized and prayed asking the Lord to not waste our pain, Elijah’s pain, but instead to use it for good, for His glory. We have tried to share, encourage, inform, and care for others along this journey. Just recently we had the pleasure of meeting the President of Cleats 4 Kids, a non-profit working to outfit student athletes in the Cincinnati area who are in need of equipment in order to play sports and attend school with durable kicks to call their own. Sports? Students? Equipment? School? Can you say, kindred spirits? Elijah was so incredibly pumped that he asked to kick off his first action for his Might-E1 Foundation by doing a gym shoes drive and committed to collecting 250 new or gently used gym shoes to get distributed to students in need of shoes for sports and school in the Queen City! Cleats 4 Kids happily and gratefully obliged. So, here is where YOU get to roll up your sleeves, dig out, or buy up gym shoes, kid’s sizes – adult, and help us get them on the feet of a child who needs a step in the right direction! You can drop them to us……or we are more than happy to pick up from you. Either way, the kids win! Flyer below. Feel free to get your kids involved and share!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for walking alongside us on this treacherous journey. Thank you for loving us and being patient with us as we seek to do the greater good in less than desirable circumstances. Thank you for checking in on us. Thank you for praying. Thank you for loving our son. Please continue to do so, as he attempts to…..#pimpthatlimp. 🙂
From my momma heart,

Tiffany

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Basketball Club Tryouts Flyer-2

 

From The Heart Of A Father – Important Update on Elijah as he #tacklesperthes

I love movies, but only certain kinds. I’ve never been a superhero or sci-fi movie fan. Even as a kid, movies like: Star Wars, Superman, Batman never grabbed my attention and still don’t. I think mainly because they were so uninspiring to me, so predictable. I have always loved movies and stories about ordinary people who overcome extraordinary circumstances to achieve the impossible: Rocky vs. Apollo Creed, T.C. Williams Titans vs. segregation, William Wallace vs. England, even Happy Gilmore vs. Shooter McGavin. Maybe it was because I was aware of how ordinary I was and each character gave me hope that I could be something greater than what I saw in the mirror.

I remember the first time I saw the original Rocky, which happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. I was forever transformed with the fearless underdog with courage to dream the impossible. As soon as the movie ended, I cracked 4 raw eggs, threw them in a cup and moments later threw them up. I loved his heart, guts, belief and most of all his overcoming attitude. When I read the Bible, that’s what sticks out most to me. Every great leader in scripture began an ordinary underdog with a call from God on their life, and who had to overcome major obstacles to live the life they were created for. Even Jesus himself came to earth as an ordinary man who overcame the greatest pain humanity could have handed Him and changed the world.

As a dad of 4 amazing kids, I am learning the greatest pain I can endure is seeing my children go through pain. When Elijah was diagnosed with Perthes 3 years ago, I was a glass half-full dad. I had the, “No Big Deal we will beat this and move on quickly” attitude. 3 years later, and I have discovered I was wrong. We have not beaten this disease, but I am even more certain this disease is not close to beating Elijah. I am like that 5 year old Shayne all over again watching Rocky for the first time, except I’m sitting ringside wishing I could take every punch and hold up his hands in victory. God recently whispered to my soul, “Shayne, if you took the punches, Elijah would forfeit the victory.”

In less than two weeks, Elijah will have his biggest surgery to date. One with no promised outcome, no guarantees, only hope. We have traveled the country, met with some of the best surgeons in the world and realize our medical options are limited. We are told there is no concrete data on this surgery, because they have really not seen many if any cases like his due to his age. Even with all of the setbacks, what I continue to watch now more than 3 years in, is a young man who continues to fight day after day and night after night. Most days people will say, “Elijah looks great,” but what people don’t see are the all too often nights he lies in bed crying because the pain in unbearable. When most people would throw in the towel (like me), he gets up and keeps forging ahead. Refusing to opt out on of football season in more ways than one was difficult, trying out for basketball knowing he would not even be able to play if he made it and then having to hear for the first time in his life he had been cut, waking up every morning early to go to show choir to sing and entertain in rehearsals knowing he won’t perform on stage this year. Why? Because quitting is the easy way, and he, on his own, chooses to keep fighting. Many days I feel like Adrian in Rocky 4 when she yells at Rocky, “Don’t fight, Because YOU CAN’T WIN!” Even when the doctor said, “Elijah every surgery you’ve had up to this point is a piece of cake in comparison.” He once again decided that on November 27th he will step into the ring to face an opponent that doctors say can’t be beaten. He’ll trade in his football and sports equipment for a wheelchair, walker, and crutches again.

I have finally changed my prayers for Elijah. It use to be, “God, get Eli back to what and who he once was,” Now my prayers are, “God, I trust you with his life, for a fight this big, use him in big ways. I just want your will for my boy.” My amazing wife, has fought just as hard. In some ways if Elijah is like Rocky, Tiffany is his Mickey. Always in his corner pulling the best out of him, and encouraging him like no other.

I will never rejoice in his pain, setbacks, and disappointments because it’s the hardest thing I have ever had to watch. However, I believe that God knew he could trust Elijah with this journey and he is going to be a greater man of God because of it. I no longer want God to get him back to what he was, I pray God gets him to a place that few will go; A life that inspires others, and will live a life that will change the world.

Most of the time you and I pray for God to take something painful away that He is trying to take us through. Every pain is a testing season in our life, we will either quit and settle, or discover God and prepare for the promotion in life that we are called to. I trust God more than ever that this test in Elijah’s life is the set up for a life never lived by average, that it is a life being trained for something BIGGER. GREATER. STRONGER.

John 16:33 –  “….in this life you will have trouble, but TAKE HEART I have overcome the world.”

Still growing as a dad, a follower of Christ, and child of God,

Shayne

 

Another Major Setback Is A Setup For An Even Greater Comeback! #tackleperthes

It has been a little while since we have last blogged about out resilient QB.  Sometimes it seems life can hit you so hard you have to pray to even find the words to share. Well that is where we have been the last couple of months.

Much has transpired since our last update, though in many ways we now feel like we are back to square one, we have also seen Elijah grow in determination more than ever before. He daily continues to have pain in his leg, and struggles to once again do the things that so many times we take for granted: run, jump, play. Despite the obstacles he refuses to give up, slow down, or stop.

After Lacrosse in the spring, Elijah, for the first time in 2 1/2 years got the chance to begin focusing on playing football, the sport he loves more than life itself. As his coach for many years I knew how hard it was going to be on him, but as his dad I have never been more proud of any person in my entire life.  Every single day I would watch him run with a limp pushing aside the pain for the prize. He was and is so full of faith saying to us all the time, “Mom and Dad, I will keep training every day, so when God heals me I will be ready to go.” His single goal, overcome the disease and become the QB for the 7th grade Tigers. Through summer workouts he would run and train as hard as he could, never making excuses because of the pain, through the laughs of other kids because of his loss of speed and of his limp, he refused to get discouraged, he just kept going strong, to do what our first surgeon told us was not possible, “Have Elijah take up an instrument because he will never play sports again.”

As 7th grade football practice started this year, his determination grew to play QB. Day after day we would drop him off and pray, “God, not only protect his body, but even more so his mind and heart to never give up, never lose faith. God, give him a victory in whatever way you see fit.”

Many would ask or wonder, “Why let Elijah continue to play?”

Our answer was simple, “Because he may never get another chance to do what he loves again.”

On August 16th, his hard work paid off….Though just a scrimmage, coach said to him “Elijah you’ll be playing the QB position today!” We know for most people that would be good news, for us, it brought tears to our eyes, because we saw a kid defy the odds and do what  doctors said couldn’t be done. As we watched him play that day, we watched not from a football standpoint, but as parents we took in a moment of pride regardless of the outcome. He played well 3 of 4 passing, threw a TD pass and all we remember was seeing our QB1 stand out there as a man of God, which was nothing short of a miracle. It was so rewarding to see him lead, strategize, and work in tandem with his team.

On August 17th, we had a different experience. After waiting for over a month to hear from Dr. Whitlock to give us the findings of the “Hip Summit” he had with specialists from around the country about Elijah we were delivered devastating news once again. Elijah’s hip, femur and pelvis were completely disfigured. We were told that he is facing his biggest surgery to date. One that would require multiple surgeons, 12 hours on the surgery table,  and the “hope” this would save his hip and leg.

So, here we are again.  Dr. Whitlock scheduled his surgery and suggested we reach out to other hip specialists around the country to make sure this is the right move for Elijah and us. We took the news much harder than he did. Elijah just asked Dr. Whitlock 3 questions…. 1) Can I finish the football season before doing the surgery? YES, IF YOU CAN CONTINUE TO HANDLE THE PAIN. 2) If I do the surgery how long until I can start training for football next year? IF ALL GOES WELL YOU COULD POTENTIALLY BE CLEARED TO PLAY IN 9 MONTHS. 3) Can we schedule it in November so I can be ready for 8th grade football? (Dr. grinning at his determination) WE WILL TRY, ELIJAH….

So our next surgery is scheduled for November 27th at Cincinnati Children’s if we elect to do it here. Over the next several weeks, we will travel to Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, and possibly Boston to meet with doctors as we search for answers to help our boy.

For the past several years, it has been a wave of emotions, devastating news, glimmers of hope, surgery, hard work, and more devastating news. We chose to share this journey of pain with so many never for sympathy, but so you can see our faith in Jesus on display. We will never understand the why’s of any of this, but we do trust that our God IS bigger than this disease, our God is doing miracles in our boy, and our God will never leave us of forsake us. We know a miracle is being played out before our eyes and that our son is being crafted into a man of God who has been set apart.

Also, if life wasn’t crazy enough in Walters World, Elijah has a dream in his heart and vision in his mind to start a Foundation to help young disabled athletes play the sports they love. Next summer he is hoping and praying to pull off the QB1-Limp Strong Sports Camp. Though it is still a long way off and a lot can happen, its another determined drive to keep going and help others….

Trusting more than ever,

Shayne and Tiffany….#tackleperthes

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QB1 Calling the play

 

 

 

 

Learning to love the limp…..living with Perthes 2 years & counting. @QBWalters1 continues to #tackleperthes

Wow! Well, it is shocking to believe that 737 days have passed since Elijah’s initial Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease diagnosis. We spent so many days in a fog that it is sometimes still hard to believe that Elijah has confronted so much. I get asked on a daily basis from concerned and curious friends how Elijah is doing, and because we also began this blog as an encouragement to those who would be diagnosed after Elijah and would need a place to read, research, and attempt to understand, I wanted to pause to give an update.

In October, when we were horribly concerned that Elijah was regressing (again) when Doc asked us to make a sudden trip to Baltimore after unclear x-rays, we were joyously surprised that after Doc ran his own set of x-rays and physical evaluation he CLEARED Elijah for all activity as we all continue to watch what the bone does because the bone is still partially GONE. I relive that moment…..a lot. “Elijah can begin resuming physical activities.” Those words. While most moms are wishing their boys would sit still for 5 minutes I was ecstatic to hear, “Elijah, you can start running.” Although those were words we had craved for years, they also were words that brought upon a whole new set of questions, of fears, of emotions, of expectations.

So, we returned home and tried to navigate through this new season with Elijah, letting his pain be our guide with his activities. Doc said to give him permission to tell us when he begins hurting or when he is sore. This was a new normal for us as Elijah has never been one to just sit back and let life pass him by, and this would be no different. He immediately wanted to play basketball. I was a hot mess as I had to wrestle with the nagging questions: Will he be in pain? How will he run? Can he run? Can he keep up? How will his teammates treat him? How will he feel after being sidelined for 2 years? How will he handle not being as agile and athletic as he was before Perthes? What if he falls on his hip (and, oh how he did)? Of course, Shayne reminded me that he’d be just fine, and he was. That first game had me on the verge of tears the entire time as I watched my baby……..run the best he could. 2 feet gliding on the gym floor. He may not have been the swiftest, most poetic runner, but he was moving AND smiling that big beautiful smile. A BIG thank you to his coaches and teammates for supporting him. Elijah is a competitor at heart and to see him competing again was miraculous for me when 2 years earlier they said he would never play ball and compete again.

Elijah then got right back in the rotation at Mosaic where he serves on the Mosaic Kids worship team singing, dancing, and serving as a sound technician. He also had the awesome opportunity to love and serve families at the Hope Cafe in downtown Cincy. Of all the activities Elijah gets to participate in seeing him serve others trumps them all. So grateful for our Mosaic family and how they have rallied around us and given him the chance to serve and develop his gifts.

Elijah then wanted to try lacrosse. Now, this would by far be more physical then basketball, and honestly the only reason we wanted to give him permission to play is because he always wanted to play pre-Perthes and we could never work it out due to his baseball schedule. We hesitantly agreed and crossed our fingers that he could handle it. Although, he is of course working to regain strength and stamina, he lights up on the field; not because he is a star, but because he CAN be out there shoulder to shoulder with his teammates and eye to eye wth his opponents. Been a cool learning curve learning about the lacrosse life. His coaches and teammates have been extremely patient and encouraging with him. What a gift.

I can’t forget to mention that back in the fall Elijah tried out for the Loveland Show Choir (Loveland has a stellar program). Again, it is never a surprise to me that Elijah wants to do everything. He LOVES people. He LOVES competing. He LOVES traveling. He LOVES performing; therefore, making show choir a perfect fit. He has grown and developed so much, traveled (even got to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville), and relished in all the victories! Show Choir has been such a highlight!

So, as we turn the corner with our eyes set on summer, Elijah continues to participate in physical therapy, has just begun some strength training, and engages in daily stretching sessions. We have an upcoming x-ray scheduled where Doc will see how the bone is hardening, if the bone has begun any regrowth, and how the bone is shaping. One misconception about Perthes is that people assume that because kids are walking and don’t have an ex-fix attached to their hip that all is well. I wish that were true, but sadly it isn’t. There are typically other surgeries ahead, chronic pain, and the struggle of trying to “get back” to the active lifestyle they once knew. I’d like to say that Elijah is the exception and that he will just resume his previous strength and stamina, but I honestly have NO IDEA what is ahead for him. And, I would be lying if I said that I still don’t have days when I question why, or wonder why my boy, or beg God to just restore him, but I would also be lying if I didn’t share that I have far more days that I submit and surrender to the fact that I TRUST JESUS with Elijah. The Lord knew him and loved him even before I did, so I know I CAN TRUST HIM, but sometimes when someone you love is hurting it’s just…..hard. My dear friend shared with our church recently that we must stop settling for only what we can see. This is SO TRUE. Most of what I have seen of Perthes has been ugly, sad, debilitating, expensive, confusing, hopeless, and more. However, I am going to choose daily to trust in what and who I cannot see, for the Lord has called us to walk by FAITH. So, even if Elijah’s journey takes another detour, experiences another setback, even if God doesn’t restore his body the way I believe Elijah hopes He will, HE IS STILL GOOD.

Heartfelt thanks to the many, many, many of you who continue to lift Elijah up in prayer, encourage him with a high five, or simply inquire about his well being. Your love and support have offered us so much strength. WE THANK YOU. Please keep praying as Elijah continues to #tackleperthes one play at a time.

Hopeful,

Tiffany

Below are pics & videos in recent months. Makes my heart pitter-patter. Determined to find purpose in this pain……may these serve as an encouragement to those new families just getting the news that their child has Perthes.

Straight Outta Baltimore….BETTER than expected news for Elijah – @QBWalters1

So, the last 10 days we have felt a tsunami of emotions as we faced another hurdle with Elijah’s battle against Perthes. A week ago our specialist told us we needed to get Elijah to Baltimore, so that he could attempt to discover and make sense of an unfavorable x-ray, but really stellar range of motion. Our hearts began to throb again as we wrestled with discouragement and more unanswered questions. We were definitely not sure what we were going to hear once we arrived in Baltimore. With the love and support of our church, friends, family, and the sixth grade Loveland Tigers we ventured off in search of more concrete answers in Baltimore. We tried to remain upbeat and positive for Elijah, but I gotta tell you we were struggling internally plagued with all the….WHAT IFS?

After 4 hours at the hospital this is what our surgeon shared with us: Elijah’s bone has healed…meaning the small part that is still there is strong. The decrease/flattening the x-ray was showing was because it had “settled” so to speak from the last surgery. Elijah’s hip is fluid and there is no impingement at this time. Doc said these are the 2 most important factors regardless of the x-ray. He put Elijah through a series of tests and stretches. After an extremely thorough evaluation he said he wants Elijah to begin to work back into running, jumping, playing. He said it’s time to put the bone to work to see what it does and as the bone grows allow Elijah to mold it with motion, stretching, agility, and PT. As he was speaking my mind was racing and my heart was overwhelmed with thanksgiving, disbelief, and hope. Our eyes swelled with tears as we watched Elijah take in the news. Our boy has not had full access of his body for the last 20 months…..20. As Doc was talking my mind just kept replaying over and over again, “Run, Forest, Run.” It was the most beautiful and profound charge!

Now, Elijah being released to full activity does not mean he just goes right back to where he was prior to Perthes striking. However, it does mean that he gets to give it his best shot and that it will take time as he has been out of commission all this time and will have to strengthen his leg/hip. He will continue to participate in PT several times a week as well as engage in daily stretching sessions as he works to mold the bone as it hopefully and gradually grows back. Elijah’s gauges will be his pain tolerance and range of motion. These   2 conditions will drive Elijah’s limitations and progress. Elijah will continue to be monitored by x-rays. For now, he is anxiously looking forward to playing basketball, continuing to develop in show choir, and leading worship with our Mosaic MKids team.

Obviously, we are still in a wait and see mode because life with Perthes is just that…working, waiting, stretching, waiting, x-raying, waiting, and seeing what happens. This whole experience has felt like an insanely wild roller coaster full of ups, downs, twists, turns, rises, falls, and flips. We are not sure what and how this next portion of the ride will pan out, but we are going to do our very best to ENJOY today’s part of the ride and pray we have many more highs ahead than lows. THANK YOU all for journeying along side us whether you live near or far, praying for us when we were weary, and encouraging us when weren’t sure we could make it up the hill. Embarking on yet another new season and trusting God knows best. Time for another tackle…..#tackleperthes

All our love,

Tiff & Shayne

Special side note – Sunday night before heading to Baltimore the 6th grade Loveland Tigers made their last appearance as a team in youth football. In a quick fire decision Shayne instructed Elijah to go out and make 1 final pass. Now, this was not scripted and keep in mind Elijah has not played in 2 seasons. Wouldn’t you know that Elijah, with the strong assistance from the offensive line, nailed the final pass to his buddy Trey. We might have lost the game, but it felt like we won a million Super Bowls. Being surrounded one last time by those he loves and respects so deeply and getting to feel that ball in his hand and watch it spiral through the air to one of his trusted teammates….priceless. PRICELESS. Felt like a whisper from heaven and reminder that HE has got our boy. Quick video below. Thank you to our team for a heartfelt sendoff to Baltimore. Nothing like being a Loveland Tiger.

 

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End of an era…..

 

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Trusting through the trials…#tackleperthes – Elijah @QBWalters1

Wanted to take a few moments and share some significant words and updates about Elijah:

Most of you know that about 8 weeks ago Elijah was given permission to put up his crutches and wheelchair and he was put on restrictions of walking only. Doc felt fairly confident a few weeks later and gave him the green light to do some light jogging; still no running and jumping. This was news to our ears and hearts. It was beautiful to watch him walk unassisted from help aids….beautiful. He still had and has a Perthes limp when he’s walking, but HE WAS WALKING. When several of his friends had been over they even verbally spoke out and said, “It feels so good to see Elijah walking by himself.” You know how giddy you got to see your kids go from crawling to walking? Yep, that’s the elation we felt even though we knew he had a LONG way to go.

Doc instructed us like always to continue to get monthly x-rays as he was monitoring Elijah’s hip from Baltimore. Last week we took Elijah for his x-ray and Shayne and I both analyzed it to death as we felt that it didn’t look as strong and full as his last x-ray. After days and days of waiting (which felt like months) on Doc’s feedback, he finally confirmed that there was reason for concern, especially due to the nature of Elijah’s recent surgery. He said, “We are in unchartered territory.” He is a bit perplexed because Elijah’s range of motion is stellar and he continues to improve at his PT sessions 3 times a week. In a nutshell, the X-ray doesn’t seem to be matching up with his motion. He did not change Elijah’s weight bearing restrictions, but asked us to bring Elijah to Baltimore as soon as possible. So, we will be joining the 6th grade Tigers for their football playoff game Sunday night to cheer them to victory and then off to Baltimore.

People ask us all the time how Elijah is doing and when this will all be over and when he’ll be back to doing all the activities he loves. Sadly, it isn’t a broken arm, a torn ACL, or some other injury that he’ll just bounce back from; it is life altering. We are 18 months, 18 months, 18 months into this battle and each day feels hijacked by this dreadful, pesky, painful, unpredictable disease. So, I’m not really sure when we’ll be on the other side of it, if ever. Each morning we just cling to the fact that at the end of the day we have a boy whose heart and mind are healthy and surrender to the fact that the Lord is in control.

Our boy desires so desperately to have his body back and has been working hard at PT and being disciplined during our at home stretching sessions. Elijah has the courage to believe that even through these times of limitations and uncertainty that he WILL GROW STRONGER THROUGH IT. Funny how sometimes your kids encourage you more than you encourage them. Please partner with us as we need the strength to keep our heads in the game, patience to withstand the waiting, discernment with our Doctor’s findings, and perseverance to keep #tacklingperthes.

Grateful for each of you who care for us. Your loving kindness sustains us.

More to come on our QB.

All our love,

Tiff & Shayne

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Here’s our boy announcing his football team’s game.

 

 

VICTORY! One Step, One Throw, One Miracle at a time

As many of you know, July 15th marked the day Elijah had his second fixator removed. For him it was great relief, for us it was the day the real stress and worry began. Thoughts flooded our hearts, “Will it work? Is it to soon? Will he walk again? Will he heal?” These concerns plagued our thoughts….hourly.

For the past 6 weeks he has not been allowed to put any weight on his leg/hip to prevent another collapse of his hip and give time for the bone to heal. The hope, prayer, goal would be that after 6 weeks he would be allowed 50% weight on his leg and that would be a BIG WIN. SO, a little over 2 weeks ago we had his x-rays and tests to see if his leg/hip were strong enough to take that step. We eagerly sent the x-rays off to our surgeon in Baltimore and waited on pins and needles to hear. One hour turned into a day then into a week, then two and NO WORD. Fear, anxiety, anger, doubt flooded our minds. Last Wednesday evening we had a speaker who never met Elijah at our church come and lay hands on him and pray. He spoke over Elijah, and God gave him and us a word that he would be well!

Not knowing what exactly God was saying we prayed and waited. Then, THE NEXT MORNING we received word from our Dr. that Elijah’s test showed that he is not out of the woods, BUT that Elijah’s x-rays showed that he was better than what our doctor anticipated. He said that rather than just 50% weight bearing that Elijah could slowly go up to 100% weight bearing as he could handle it. His precise words were, “He can get rid of the crutches, as he can bear the pain.” It was literally a MIRACLE from God. He will start this week off at school with the crutches but will be weaned off as his leg/hip strengthen. It was God saying to us, You have a great physician, but I am your great healer.

Last night was a BIG win for Elijah as he got to take a few moments in football to start throwing the football to his teammates (see below). His never, give up, never quit, fighting spirit was on full display. He and we have a LONG way to go in this process of waiting, rehabilitation, waiting, recovery, and waiting, but this was like the sweetest and strongest of whispers from God saying, “I love Elijah more than you know,” and I WILL take care of him.

Again, we are in awe of God and the community of Loveland who have been more than gracious to rally around us. We love our community. We love our church. We love our teams. We are taking this whole process one step, one miracle, one throw and one victory at a time. As small as it may seem to some, we see his first step without a crutch as a MAJOR VICTORY. Clearing the stage for God
Shayne and Tiffany​

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