Billy’s Story: A Father’s Journey

In March 2010, my daughter Elise, age 24, was diagnosed with cancer. This shocking revelation began a journey filled with questions, tears, and incredible courage. The weeks following would become a blur of doctor appointments, radiation therapies, biopsies, and several rounds of chemotherapy. As the severity of the disease became more apparent, a feeling of helplessness settled into our daily lives. Her Mom, older sister Sarah, and I were all understandably shaken. Elise, though, never lost her resolve or sense of humor. Her courage during this time was truly inspirational. As the weeks turned into months the “grind” began to take its toll. All of the summer of 2010 was spent going to the hospital or coming from it. Elise was wearing down due to the chemo treatments. In July, however, we celebrated her 25th birthday in her hospital room. The room was decorated for a party, and the mood was festive; Elise had a wonderful day.

Every day our family would cling to any positive news. Little rays of hope kept us going. As summer gave way to fall, Elise’s condition began to deteriorate. Any hope the family had was beginning to fade. During this ordeal, we became aware of alternative methods of dealing with cancer. One of the best resources we found is the book Cancer: Step Outside the Box by Ty Bollinger. But by the time we found this information, it was too late. Her body was too weak, her pain level was too high, and she was shutting down. On the morning of October 11, 2010, at 11:37 a.m., Elise passed quietly with her parents by her side. Words cannot convey the feelings associated with losing a child. Our family’s hope is that if anyone is facing a similar challenge, Elise’s story will encourage you to explore all options before making a final choice in your personal battle with this disease.

Books or Resources that Most Inspired my Healing Strong Journey:
Cancer Step Outside the Box by Ty Bollinger

Favorite Verse:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12 (NIV)


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  1. Billy,
    Thank you for sharing Elise’s story. I pray that your message will save others from similar heartache. She is beautiful and I can’t wait to meet her in heaven!

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