Toddler battles leukemia with a smile, CHM shares more than $600,000

By Adam Abolafia, Vista, Calif.

From the May 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine

In April 2018 we took our young daughter, Alivia, to the pediatrician for a routine checkup.

Alivia had developed some spots on her legs and back. After a visit to the clinic, we learned that her blood platelets had dropped to a dangerously low level.

We immediately took her to a children’s hospital in San Diego, about 45 minutes away. Over the next 24 hours medical staff drew multiple vials of blood.

The unthinkable news came just days before Alivia’s second birthday: our only child had acute myeloid leukemia. Blood cancer.

My wife, Jaclyn, and I were devastated by the news and overwhelmed by the urgency to treat her quickly and rigorously.

However, we also felt a surreal sense of optimism. After all, we thought, this is Alivia we’re talking about. Despite her young age, she is the strongest and happiest human being we have ever known.

We acknowledged that God is bigger than Alivia’s diagnosis and that He would protect her. He would speak through the doctors and nurses as they guided her treatment, He would speak through us as we journeyed this path with her and, most importantly, He would speak through Alivia.

A hospital financial representative soon paid us a visit. There was concern that our bills would not be paid, so I explained our CHM membership. We could tell that at first they were uncomfortable with the concept of health cost sharing. However, they agreed to a meeting with their chief administrative officer and the supervisor of CHM’s Member Advocate department. The meeting assured them that the ministry would help with the costs.

God revealed his incredible strength while Alivia underwent treatment. She smiled and laughed every day throughout seven months of chemotherapy. She was more than fit for the fight of her life. The hospital staff was touched by her indomitable spirit and she recovered so quickly from each round of chemo that she was always discharged from the hospital 10 to 12 days early. The medical staff called it “The Alivia Phenomenon,” but Jaclyn and I called it God’s grace.

CHM members, too, have proven themselves faithful to help us lift the heavy financial burden. In 2018 we submitted more than $1.2 million in medical bills. Through God’s miraculous provision, we received an overall 50 percent in healthcare provider discounts and CHM shared the remaining $600,000.

CHM and Brother’s Keeper staff handled each bill swiftly and professionally. Seeing the financial needs met helped give us strength to continue the fight. Ministry members sent us numerous cards and letters with meaningful words of encouragement and prayer. Without question, our family is blessed to be part of such an amazing group of believers!

During this time of testing Jaclyn and I continuously sought the Lord for strength. We believe that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He always seemed to reveal Himself at the times we faced the most adversity, doubt or fear.

Two Bible passages that gave us great encouragement are from the book of Isaiah:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Today Alivia is in remission and still smiling. We give our sincerest thanks to CHM and Brother’s Keeper members for your continued support.

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