Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grace Under Pressure: Prayer and RAK request

One morning after being woken by my son at 2 AM I stumbled in to my computer and saw I'd just gotten a comment from "Nancy". I hopped over to her blog "Are We having Fun Yet?" after reading in her comment she had a terminally ill daughter to learn a little more about Nancy and from what illness her daughter Jessica suffered. Three hours later, I was still reading: the stories, pain, struggles, humor and joy she shared so candidly about her daily life and her amazing family completely captivated me, she is courageous, witty, and takes nothing for granted. They get through each day through their love for each other and their faith in the Lord, they are just amazing. I am going to be posting more about Nancy and her daughter later as they have some new medical issues they are dealing with, but the really pressing request for prayers today is for Nancy's nephew, Marcus.

Tragically, Nancy’s sister Karen, has a son Marcus (Nancy’s nephew and Jessica’s cousin) who is also terminally ill, with cancer. You can read more about Karen, Marcus’s recent Make a Wish trip to Pearl Harbor, and see pictures they just had taken of their lovely family on Karen’s blog “I Made it Through Another Day”. My original intent was to ask you to send cards to lift up the lot of them: Nancy, her family, Jessica, Karen and her family and Marcus. Recently, however, Marcus is not responding to chemo, hospice has been called. It is difficult to summarize in one post the depth of their pain right now and their need for prayers and support more than ever.

Marcus Russell is 17, and has been battling brain cancer for 2 years. He was diagnosed on Oct. 2nd of 2006 with a brain tumor and had surgery to remove it the very next day. He underwent chemo and radiation treatment and did quite well during that time. Marcus has been very active in marching band and church. His family, friends and community have been very supportive of him. While on his Make A Wish trip in Hawaii in August, Marcus became very ill and it was then that they found a new tumor. Within a couple of week's time he developed multiple tumors throughout his brain. He started a brand new chemo treatment (which made him quite sick) and this last week the MRI showed that it wasn't working. He has already become blind and is now unable to walk. They've been told he only has days left.

When I asked Nancy what they needed, she said: “Just asking for prayers would be awesome. Prayers really do help. Back when we placed Jessica into hospice I got so many emails with good thoughts, prayers and love that I knew I would be okay. I also knew that God heard each and every prayer and those who offered up the prayers were also blessed.”

Your prayers and RAKs would be amazing. I had one other idea that you might be able to help with: If you are able, would you consider putting Marcus's pic and part of this post on your blog? Can we let others know who he is, that he was here? When Karen asked Marcus what he would like the world to know about him and he said, "I am the dark night - I am batman". (When you read their blogs, you'll see they are always ready to lighten the mood with a joke, no matter the circumstances) Nancy says: "He is a man of few words and he doesn't even want to think about what to say. (But they were excited about this idea of posting his pic and gave it their blessing) "BTW, Marcus has always been a fan of batman and a WWII buff. (Family) recently took Marcus to an air force base and the airman presented Marcus with a helmet and other things. They were impressed with Marcus's knowledge of the jets and he even knew all about a new one that will be available next year."
You can also leave comments for the family and get updates at: (set up an account and then click on "visit a carepage".... enter "marcusrussell" no spaces - and it will take you to it)

Here is an address for RAKs (they gave permission to list it here)
I Made it Through Another Day
Karen's address is:
Karen Russell or Marcus Russell
100 W. 500 S
Providence, UT 84332
My heart just breaks for them all, this post doesn't begin to do their story justice, but I wanted to be able to do something. I'm praying they all feel God's presence with them now and His comfort and love (and maybe, even a miracle.)
God bless, thank you for reading.


  1. While I don't have a blog, I will enroll Marcus on an International Prayer Wheel. This reaches almost every nook and cranny of the world, and they will all hold him in their prayers. You are very brave to post this message.. But thanks so much for caring and sharing

  2. This family is most certainly in my prayers and I will be sure to pass along the request made for prayers.

    Please let them know that many others care and share in their sorrow and we pray that our love will be felt and be a measure of comfort to them.

  3. OMGosh heart is just breaking and tears run down my face as I look at my own teenagers.........I just cannot imagine the pain, and yet courage and love this family possesses! Yes......I will be honored to share this post on my blog and most certainly offer up prayers!!

  4. I'm not very computer savvy, but I will TRY and figure out how to post this on my blog. I will definately send a RAK.

  5. Thank you for sharing this story, Melanie. It breaks my heart, but I am glad to know of the struggles of this family so that I can send positive thoughts their way.

  6. Melanie, upon reading this post, my heart is breaking. My prayers to Marcus and his family. Cancer has touched our family too many times. My Mom passed and my brother just had vocal cords removed. I can't imagine having a child suffering from this horrific disease. I will put their names on the prayer list and also send cards. I wish there were more I could do. May God give this family the strength and courage to help them through this devastating time.

  7. I can send {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}} and prayers. My heart goes out to Marcus and his family, I too know the experience of a family being touched by cancer. Peace and kindness to them

  8. Melanie, you are such a sweetheart for posting the prayer request and RAK for my nephew. Thank you for taking the time to do this for such a special young man. We truly appreciate it.

  9. Thank you for sharing this story about Marcus. Having just lost my sister cancer just 4 weeks after diagnosis, I have so many empathy for this family. I do not have a blog--however I can place him on prayer lists.

    Darlene L

  10. Thanks for the information, I'll be following along and praying!

  11. What a touching story & beautiful photo. Marcus's stunning eyes and gorgeous smile will be gracing my blog (holy sweet handsome face Batman!) and prayers for him & his family will be in my heart. Thank you for posting about this beautiful family. I know from cancer struggles with my loved ones how much it means to feel the power that love is in our world.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing Marcus' story and I will pray for him and his family. I will also ask that they be put on a prayer list as well. I know some times people think that prayer is only for healing the sick but it is also to help them find peace for their journey back home to be with the Father. I always pray for the survivors first because they are left behind with their grief and I believe their loved one is in God's hands and no longer suffering. I am also so grateful for all the hospice members they are truly the angels on earth. God bless you for caring and sharing.

    Debbie/Phx AZ

  13. Sigh...such a very sad story. This family and Marcus are in my prayers. I've included a link on my blog too. Thanks so much for bringing this story to everyone's attention.

  14. Thanks Melanie, I will post this on my blog because I think prayers can do a lot!!!
    I am praying for him a nd his family.

    God bless


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