Bringing our boy (@QBWalters1)….HOME! #score #earlyrelease #tackleperthes

With Elijah making steady progress and since we have found a physical therapist (who has never worked with a Perthes patient or an external fixator, BUT is up for the challenge of learning) Doctor Standard has agreed to let us go home to continue treatment a little earlier than we anticipated. Our PT here will be consulting with the therapy team and specialists in Baltimore and monitoring his gains. After almost 3 weeks in Baltimore, we are greatly encouraged by Elijah’s effort, tolerance, and determination. Although being home will provide its own major adjustments and I imagine some setbacks…like, how I’m supposed to get him wheelchaired 🙂 into the house when he’s occupying the wheelchair or how are we gonna get him up and down the stairs? The boy is too big to throw over my shoulders, and even if I could throw him over like a sack of potatoes, the ex-fix won’t allow it. This is where we’ll have to get creative, and we will! Through it all, we are confident Elijah will continue to tackle perthes one play at a time.

He is anxious to be around those who have been cheering him on to show them what he’s made of. We are eager to get him back to where he is most comfortable, most familiar, and most loved. Our entire family is going to face quite a learning curve, but we are home team, we are family. We rise and fall….together. We are fully aware that Elijah has quite the obstacle course ahead, but we are trusting in God’s faithfulness, relying on Elijah’s perseverance, and leaning on your friendship.

Shayne and Elijah’s ride home was pretty smooth sailing, except that he does not like his knee/hip bouncing around from the bumpy road, which is quite problematic on a 9 hour drive. Oh, and apparently Elijah had his greatest nausea attack while in the car…alone… with Shayne. Anyone ever seen Vince Vaughn’s reaction to baby poop on Four Christmases? Yep, imagine that…times 4. The best line was…..Babe, it touched me. Yep, that’s right. With 4 kids I’ve cleaned up more throw up than I care to admit and Shayne, not so much. He handles the blood. 🙂 We’re a good match.

How can you keep pushing Elijah to the goal line:

1. Pray. Prayer is the greatest strategy in this game and life. (Even if it’s not listed in the player’s play book 🙂

2. Encourage him by talking to him, giving him a high 5/hug, asking him about his time away/the people he met/what he experienced. Please DON’T shy away from it. Let him bring you into his world, so he doesn’t feel isolated.

3. Push him. We want things to be as “normal” as possible for him. We realize that this whole situation is going to take some getting used to, but we want him to keep pushing. He thrives on others pushing him.

4. Be patient with him. I know, I just requested that you push him, which I did, but he’s also gone through major surgeries and he’s still recovering and is being held captive by his body. For instance, he is still extremely, extremely tired. I know this is the body’s way of helping him heal. So, if you call him and he zones out 5 minutes later, don’t take it personal. He’s just trying to sort this all out.

5. Get in the game! Come visit him, watch a movie with him, play a board/video game with him, go fishing with him, whatever. He learns, grows, and heals with your investment in him.

Thank you for cheering loud and proud for our boy and for standing WITH us. Time for some hometown tackling. #tackleperthes #tigerup #tigerstrong

Tiff 🙂

Our bright, blue eyed boy.
Our bright, blue eyed boy.

Part boy, Part machine, ALL HEART! Elijah (@QBWalters1) is our #manofsteel #tackleperthes

Elijah is getting stronger each and every day. He has remained very upbeat. He has had a couple setbacks with nausea episodes and an accidental slip of his leg off his wheelchair, which resulted in some major bleeding, BUT other than that he is improving like a beast. I knew my boy was a tough cookie, but his attitude and determination have even surprised me. He has never once asked why this has happened to him, or why now, or why not one of his siblings instead? 🙂 He has just attacked it. You never know what you’re really made of until you are tested, and although we are just at the beginning of the test, he has been exemplary. He has dug deep and I’ve fallen even more in love with him and his perseverance.

As we begin to think about transitioning back to life at home, which will undoubtedly have its own set of hiccups and hurdles, I wanted to share the massive machinery that is holding Elijah’s hip in place while making room for the ball of the hip to regrow, reshape, and hopefully restore and rejuvenate the blood flow. Up to this point, Elijah has not been shy about discussing this stinky disease or about showing off the external fixator. I hope when we get home he will continue to inform, educate, bring awareness, calm fears, and shed light on Perthes Disease. It is so rare that many people have never heard of it. Even most medical professionals know very little about it. Elijah will have the ex-fix on for 4 months and will be getting x-rays every 6 weeks for the doctors to monitor the progress. The ex-fix, while looks scary and weighs in at about 8 lbs. is super sturdy, large, and will give him the opportunity to be more mobile than the body casts Cincy Children’s wanted to put him in. Did I mention the ex-fix was HUGE on his little bird leg? It has 6 pins that holds it in place, and the pins must be cleaned daily. Pin infections are very common and I’m NOT looking forward to that first one, but trying to remain optimistic about it. In a stage of life when I’m just trying to get Elijah to brush his teeth daily and not eat his boogers, this new normal of life will definitely be an adjustment….for all of us.

It’s ever so rare for Shayne and I to just have 1 of the kids alone, so we’ve tried to just enjoy him, listen to him, marvel at him, love him. The other night we were asking him about his goals, hopes, plans. We asked him what he thought the Lord may want him to do with his life. He responded, “I think he might like me to be a pastor, a math teacher, or play in the NFL or MLB.” I don’t know what the Lord has for him, but I know he is equipping him, positioning him, and preparing him for what’s ahead. Please continue to pray for his recovery, his attitude, and our approach and strategy in supporting him #tackleperthes. Help us keep cheering our Tiger to that victory line. May he keep tackling with the eye of the tiger, baby! Absolutely grateful for your love. #tigernation

Thumbs up, Tiger!
Thumbs up, Tiger!
The ex-fix up close and personal. The blue bar is the hip extension bar he has to keep in 12 hours a day.
The ex-fix up close and personal. The blue bar is the hip extension bar he has to keep in 12 hours a day.
Elijah's incredible PT therapist. Moche is from Israel, and he is awesome.
Elijah’s incredible PT therapist. Moche is from Israel, and he is awesome.
Ping-ponging with my boy wheelchair style.
Ping-ponging with my boy wheelchair style.
This is how we roll.
This is how we roll.
I like to call this Wheelchair Alley. This is the parking lot right outside the pediatric physical therapy unit. These kids are incredible.
I like to call this Wheelchair Alley. This is the parking lot right outside the pediatric physical therapy unit. These kids are incredible.

Elijah (@QBWalters1) makes a first in ten for sure as he #tacklesperthes to the ground! The pool, prayer, and your packages have been game changing!

You know when the game shifts from not in your favor to highly in your favor? Well, that’s how these last 32 hours have felt, and although there is a lengthy road ahead with this disease and lots of hurdles, I’m going to choose to pause and celebrate these gains!

First down & Victory #1 – Pool therapy – Elijah got to engage in pool therapy for the first time. It could not have come at a better time because the day prior was HARD….knock you down to your knees and make you cry like a baby hard. I knew Elijah would like getting in the pool, but I didn’t know how much he would love it and how emotional it would be. We first had to face the challenge of getting him in a swimsuit since skinny dipping is frowned upon here. 🙂 So, we cut the liner out of Shayne’s suit, tied that drawstring the best we could, wrapped the excess material in a hair tie (my most useful possession), and prayed the external fixator would keep the rest up! Bam! We did it. Secondly, we had to get him into the chair that would hoist him into the water. Took us some time, but he and dad did it! Then came time to raise him up and then lower him into the water. They got him in carefully and it was instant relief for him. Up until this point he has had minimal movement in his leg/hip/knee from surgery and even as he heals he will still only be able to put 50% weight on it for the next 4 months. The water allowed  him the freedom to move and to be him! His PT therapist immediately got him exercising by doing intervals of different stretches. Our favorite was when he had him WALKING on the pool floor. Of course, we had the aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, and siblings watching via Face Time as he was putting one foot in front of the other. It was relieving, motivating, inspiring, and unifying. It’s like we were all in the greatest game of our lives…fighting for him….and cheering him on as our comeback kid. It was so……pure, so powerful. I didn’t want him to stop. I just loved seeing him move. (Video below) There were 3 other kids in the pool for therapy as well and Elijah’s therapist gave them the last 15 minutes to play. There were 2 girls (ages 11 & 13) and another older teenage boy. They became instant pool friends as they squirted each other in the face, played water ball, and just giggled. It was really beautiful to watch. Pool time came to an end, and after 1 hour of land therapy followed by 1 hour of pool therapy Elijah was beat.

2nd down & Victory #2 – Packages Arrive – When an unexpected diagnosis enters your family you never quite know how it will affect each person involved. We’ve always known that we have incredible support, but the love and generosity that have been extended to us and Elijah have been humbling. Elijah received some of the most personal packages and cards that without a doubt lifted his spirits and reminded him that there is an entire community of friends, family, teammates, classmates, neighbors, and more rallying behind him. It’s like every package/card whispered, “Elijah, you’ve GOT THIS. YOU CAN DO IT.” I saw his heart, his mind, his determination swell with confidence. THANK YOU for taking the time and intentionally going out of your way to let him know you hadn’t forgotten about him. When Shayne and I decided to bring Elijah to Baltimore we knew that meant we were sacrificing him being away from those he loved for a few weeks and beginning recovery alone as opposed to having guests visit every day. That was a tough call for us as we know how much Elijah loves his friends. THANK YOU for sending yourselves and home to him. (A few pics below)

3rd down & Victory #3 – Conquering The Car – This is one of those tasks that I was most nervous about because it meant getting Elijah into a very confined space without injuring and bothering his knee/hip and not getting the external fixator caught up on the seats. There’s not like protocol telling you what you should do, so we were left to guess our way through it. Rather than pretending we knew what we were doing we let Elijah take the lead by listening to his body. He did way better than expected! Although we have to get much better at it, as well as figure out how to make him legal, it was not as horrible as I had anticipated. We went for a short drive and found out quickly he’s not a fan of bumps since they make his leg/hip hurt and throb. This might prove to be quite problematic, because if you’ve ever had Shayne drive you before…..you get the idea. So, we’re gonna keep practicing and it will hopefully get easier, quicker, and more legal. 🙂 (Pic below)

4th down & Victory #4 – Power of Prayer – Each evening we’ve prayed over Elijah believing for God to take this disease and use this situation to build character, strength, perseverance, patience, trust, and FAITH…..in Elijah, in us, in our family. It’s one thing to trust the Lord with our lives, but it’s a whole other level of faith to trust His plan with our children. We are doing our best to do this daily, hourly, when the dark cloud comes close. We know beyond any reasonable doubt that prayer and faith are our greatest lines of offense and strategy against this dumb disease. We know that the enemy would take great pleasure in seeing us fail, blame, question, fight, compare, and worry. However, the enemy has messed with the wrong family. We know that there are huge physical challenges, astronomical financial costs, and major time commitments that await us, but we are also fully aware that you all are raising our hands with us, believing with us, and expecting VICTORY. Jesus is the game changer. Above all else, I want my son to know that MOST in this process.

Bonus Down – Potty Time – Alrighty, well Elijah had not gone you know what on the potty, so we were all eagerly awaiting its arrival and very nervous about it. I mean, how are we gonna get him on the toilet, is it gonna hurt, is he gonna scream/cry, who is gonna help wipe?!?! Well, it sure did come and we felt the best way to approach what could be perceived as scary for the first time since surgery 1 week ago, was how we approach so much of life……with humor. Once we finally got him set, we let him do his thing, and laughed hysterically the whole time. Honestly, it felt great to just let loose and laugh. I love to laugh, and I especially love to laugh with my boys. Any guesses who did the wiping? 🙂

So, we know we’re just in the 1st quarter of this game, but we couldn’t be playing for a better Coach than Jesus, or on a tougher team than the Tigers, or with a stronger kid than Elijah. Take that……Perthes.

Tiff 🙂

Cheerleaders not only cheering for him on the field, but more importantly cheering him on in life!
Cheerleaders not only cheering for him on the field, but more importantly cheering him on in life!
Creeping to the pool.
Creeping to the pool.
Loading up to the pool entry chair!
Loading up to the pool entry chair!
Chillaxin'!
Chillaxin’!
Post pool therapy pool fun with other pediatric ortho patients!
Post pool therapy pool fun with other pediatric ortho patients!
Pool therapy complete!
Pool therapy complete!
First car ride! This is a work in progress. :)
First car ride! This is a work in progress. 🙂
Goodies from friends!
Goodies from friends!
A sample of some of Elijah's mail goodies !
A sample of some of Elijah’s mail goodies !
Smothered in LOVE!
Smothered in LOVE!
The BEST CHEERleaders!
The BEST CHEERleaders!
A taste of home sweet home.
A taste of home sweet home.

Bye-Bye, Epidural…..Hello, Pain. :( Time to #tackleperthes like a Tiger.

Bye-Bye, Epidural – So, for the first 3 days post-surgery Elijah’s pain had been fairly manageable, although he was vomiting quite consistently. Today, however, that would all change because the “big boy” epidural was coming out and shortly after his catheter. Obviously, they wean him off the epidural slowly to allow his body to adjust, but what an adjustment. He managed fairly well until about early evening. That is when his pain kicked into overdrive. For the first time he was really feeling the effects of the surgery. It wasn’t pretty. Lots and lots and lots of tears from both of us. Of course, it hit at a time when Shayne had stepped out to get something, so it was the nurse and I desperately trying to calm him down, ease his fear, and distract him from the pain. Hoping I don’t ever have to experience that again with him…..ever. The nurse flushed some meds through his IV to help and eventually he drifted to sleep. Hard to watch, especially since the day before the nurses were all calling him the cruise director of the children’s wing as he socialized and visited with many other kids. Sounds like Elijah, right? The boy never stops talking. He has lots to say, and I love hearing his voice. The medical team was hopeful that if he got a good night’s rest and had no other pain hiccups that he would be released the following day.

The Tiger Breaks Free!  – When Elijah awoke he was whooped from the painful episode the night before. He was dying to sleep longer, but PT came in to get him moving. After throwing up twice he managed to get in a good walk with his walker. He then returned to bed and slept for 4 more hours. Due to his nausea he had not had an appetite at all. This was a bit concerning to the nurse and they discussed keeping him longer, but the doctors felt like he had done so well that if we were comfortable taking him that we could go. Was I comfortable? Um….NO, but did I know that the Lord would provide Elijah the strength and us the understanding…..absolutely! So, we packed up his very colorful Tigers, Stix, Buckeyes, & Mosaic room and loaded him up in the wheelchair and prepared to bust the Tiger out of his cage! As we walked over to the HP House my mind was flooded with emotions. We had planned to go on a family vacation this July and instead we’re wheeling our boy out of a hospital as he faces a very tough disease. Not my happiest moment, but God is still good….ALL the time. I tried not to question why, but instead asked the Lord for the how…..how can you use this for your glory? He reminded me that he already has worked it for good. One of the staff members who came in daily to clean Elijah’s room was named Barbara. We took such an interest in her and her story. She’s a single mom who had her daughter prematurely. She weighed 1.4 lbs when she was born, and she’s worked at the hospital for 8 years. We got to love on her, encourage her in her faith, and pray with her. It was so special. God does know what He’s doing, doesn’t He? And, we were off……

Hello, HP House – Directly next to the hospital is the Hackerman-Patz House, which is a home where families can stay for a bit more affordably than the price of a hotel, but with the convenience of traveling back and forth to the hospital for physical therapy. It’s such a special place as you get to meet families from all over the globe who are facing similar health challenges. Getting Elijah in a car is going to be quite a daunting task at first, and this allows us to wheel him back and forth to the hospital.

Time to #tackleperthes – Ok, so day 1 with Team Walters went like this…..

Elijah had PT at 9:00 am and it was a beast getting him there for it. He is still very nauseated, especially in the mornings and it takes what seems like forever to get him to stop vomiting or feeling like he’s going to faint. We plugged along and got him there with several minutes to spare. Score! This was definitely 1 of his toughest hours so far. His therapist pushed him big time and encouraged him to fight through the pain. The moans and tears were plentiful. I was sad for him, because I wanted it to be me not my boy suffering through this ordeal, but I was overwhelmingly proud of how far he was willing to take his pain threshold. PT wiped Elijah out physically and emotionally and he took about a 4 hour nap. We totally let him because we knew what was ahead…..pin care and showering for the first time since surgery.

We thought it would be best to get him showered closer to bedtime, so it would help him rest. We knew this was gonna kick our butts, but I don’t think we realized just how much. Helping him shower will become a daily ritual because it is also how we will clean the 6 pins holding his hip and leg in place and do our best to keep him from getting a pin infection. So, getting a 10 year old 80 lbs. boy who cannot walk and has 6-8 lbs. of hardware sticking out of his leg is quite the challenge. So, instead of a shower for 1 it turned into a shower for 3. Shayne and I were just lucky enough to remain clothed. I held Elijah under his arms from the back while he held onto the shower bar and Shayne began taking off all the gauze and bandages on his pins. HOLY. HOLY. HOLY. This was the first time we really got up close and personal with his pins. I began to tear up, but Shayne gave me the dreaded “don’t you dare or this whole shower operation might fall apart” look. I sucked it up and Elijah who was obviously in a delicate state soaked up the water. I could see the healing waters flow on him, around him, through him. I could sense that for a moment he felt like he was…..Elijah. We finally got all his pin pads replaced and got him tucked into bed.

Our conversations here are not much different than our chats at home as it pertains to setting goals and making strides. We ask that each day he makes a gain, has a victory, improves on something. You know how much we love sports in our family, especially football, so we decided to start listing all the “downs” he/we get. Today’s were quite significant for all of us. We ask that you celebrate the little victories with us, continue to pray that Elijah tackles Perthes like a Tiger, and cheer him on all the way to the finish line. He is a champ.

Monday’s yardage gains:

1st down – Elijah’s first full time physical therapy session post-hospital completed! He was fierce.

2nd down – Elijah was able to stand over the toilet and you know…pee. Might sound like a simple task, but I can assure you it is not!

3rd down – Team Walters pin care complete for the first time!

4th down – Elijah’s first shower post-surgery complete! Boo-yah! Felt like we won the Super Bowl!

Thank you friends and family for your infinite love and support. Here in Baltimore doing our best……

One proud Tiger momma,

Tiff 🙂

Day 5 - Being released from the hospital!
Day 5 – Being released from the hospital totally unsure of what is to come, but super proud of checking step #1 off the list!
On of the sweetest sibling exchanges to date seen here as Judah was praying for Elijah.
On of the sweetest sibling exchanges to date seen here as Judah was praying for Elijah.
Team Walters on the 4th of July before the other 3 set out to visit family in NC, so we could focus on Elijah. NOT a fan of our family being fragmented. :(
Team Walters on the 4th of July before the other 3 set out to visit family in NC, so we could focus on Elijah. NOT a fan of our family being fragmented. 😦
The mighty "cruise director" according to the nurses as he buzzed in and out all around the children's wing chatting it up with others.
The mighty “cruise director” according to the nurses as he buzzed in and out all around the children’s wing chatting it up with others.
First day of full PT appointment post-surgery. Cue the tears, moaning, grunting, and pain. Brutal.
First day of full PT appointment post-surgery. Cue the tears, moaning, grunting, and pain. Brutal.
Walking out with his head held high after that first PT session.
Walking out with his head held high after that first PT session.
Totally crashed after expending so much physical and emotional hustle after PT.
Totally crashed after expending so much physical and emotional hustle after PT.
The Hackerman-Patz House - our home away from home....for now.
The Hackerman-Patz House – our home away from home….for now.

Our Perthes Quarterback’s Days 2 & 3 Post Surgery! Baby steps….cue the vomit!

Thursday – Day 2 – None of us got much sleep because the medical staff was in and out all night checking, poking, prodding, you know, doing all the things they do. We’ve tried to really take the time to get to know each of them and a bit of their story. They’ve all been so remarkable. Shayne slept in the recliner and thought he was dimming the lights, but was actually turning the thermostat down, so it was frigid to say the least! Ha.

Elijah awoke in pretty good spirits and asked right away to see his siblings. They were thrilled that he asked for them. Shortly after he was up his physical and occupational therapists arrived to have him walk for the first time. I was a nervous wreck. As always, he was up for the challenge. It was a slowwww process helping him out of bed, onto his walker, and then the floor. Once he sat up the vomiting began…over and over again. He took his time, regrouped and then walked 3 steps using his walker. We were VERY proud of him and so were his therapists. His pain has been almost zero because they have him on what they call a “big boy” epidural. NOT looking forward to that little sucker coming out of his system.

His stomach started feeling a bit better around lunch time and his big sister Savana got to feed him. Most people can’t stand hospital meatloaf, but not my boy. HE LOVES IT! (Pic below) It’s been special to see how our kids interact with each other on this new journey. Precious seeing them so tender, gentle, and concerned with one another. My heart swells with more and more love for them each day.

In the afternoon the physical therapist came in to show us what will be months and months of exercises. I’m use to having push-up battles with Elijah at home, which is probably why this was particularly emotional to me. Instead of sweating it out side by side I was now delicately bending and flexing his ankles, knees, and legs because he can’t walk. It hurt my heart, but I was reminded that this is part of the process.

By the evening Elijah was eating pretty good, cracking a few of those beautiful smiles I love, and dropping a couple of funny 1 liners (which I wish I could share), which let me know my boy was still in there….just dampened a bit by the medicine. Judah and Shayne stayed with him through the night and had a Rocky movies marathon. So fun introducing and enjoying movies to them that we loved so much as kids, especially ones that inspire, entertain, and make you cry! Yooo, Adrian!!! After watching them Elijah asked us to look up boxing clubs back in Cincy. He is relentless. Day 2 was in the books.

Friday – Day 3 – We all awoke early as Elijah’s PT and OT therapists would be in early. Today they wanted him to walk 6 steps. As suspected, once he crept off the bed and began the moving and walking process the nausea and vomiting kicked in full force and an added bonus……he got faint and fell into the therapist’s arms. This is the first time he broke down since surgery. He cried, “I just want to go home.” That was brutal. Just wanted to pack him up and take away the pain. Once he worked out all the vomit he conjured up enough strength and determination to not only walk 6 steps, but 12! That’s our Tiger! He was wiped out after that and took a siesta.

Around lunch we were all invited to a July 4th freedom party in the children’s wing playroom. We were greeted with tables full of goodies, an assortment of arts and crafts, and activities galore. The room was filled with families laughing, creating, and for a while forgetting about why we were all here. Elijah met a 9 year old named Gabe who was also here to have a major operation. They hung out, played video games, and talked a bunch of smack to each other! Gotta love boys! It was reassuring to see Elijah’s competitive and playful spirit in full throttle. Seeing all these kids face such grueling surgeries is just incredible. They are beasts!

The evening was fairly uneventful as we tried to all take it easy for Elijah’s sake. We were told that tomorrow he would come off his epidural and his catheter would come out. We knew what that meant….he was going to experience major pain for the first time since surgery. We’d also been warned that the hardest days were yet ahead. #yikes.

Thank you for your continued love, texts, phone calls, emails, everything. We feel the love. Most importantly, Elijah does.

Tiff

Our fab 4. #hometeam
Our fab 4. #hometeam
Our favorite QB pushing through his pain.
Our favorite QB pushing through his pain.
1st walk...baby steps.
1st walk…baby steps.
His hardware WITH bandages. :(
His hardware WITH bandages. 😦 Our very own Iron Man.
Daily Perthes exercise rehab.
Daily Perthes exercise rehab.
Big sis = feeding time!
Big sis = feeding time!
Elijah & Gabe battling it out!
Elijah & Gabe battling it out!
Playing foosball, although both boys could barely see the ball. They kept asking if they scored? Ha!
Playing foosball, although both boys could barely see the ball. They kept asking if they scored? Ha!

Day 1

Elijah made it through his 1st surgery. I can’t put into words how amazing the team at Sinai Hospital are. Dr. Standard is one of the kindest and most knowledgeable Dr’s I have ever met. His surgery was a little longer than expected, but he made it through. Seeing the fixator took time to get use to. He seems to be better than Mom and Dad with it. He has had a few rough hours since being in his room keeping anything down so he is on a clear liquid diet until his stomach settles. We have pushed through day one, pray for a good night….Updates coming soon. Love you all. Shayne and TiffIMG_0048

Baltimore Bound! #teamperthes

We knew today would be hectic, busy, and crazy, but nothing could have prepared our family for the beautiful and overwhelming  outpouring of support and love we received from our dearest friends. Seeing people rally around your son is extremely humbling. In a matter of 10 weeks he went from your typical happy go lucky, stinky, silly, athletic 10 year old boy, to a boy about to face a major surgery, critical recovery time, intensive physical therapy, and an unknown active future. We are facing many, many uncertainties, but as we’ve shared with Elijah time and time again….our God has never failed us and He won’t start now. We are choosing to trust Him, asking Him to grow in us and through us,  reveal Himself in a special and personal way (especially to our boy), and wrap His mighty arms of love and truth around us. I was thinking earlier how we are always asking the Lord to “expand our borders” in His name. I never envisioned that meaning a childhood disease, but if this is how our borders are expanded, we pray that we do the Lord justice.  Please continue to partner with us as we pray for Elijah and all he is about to encounter and experience. May this part of his story be one that brings honor and glory to Jesus. 

Here are some precious pics of #teamperthes as they cheer Elijah on as he #tacklesperthes! Baltimore, here we come!!  

Tiff 😉