July 28, 2016 Natasha update

Many of you have been asking how Natasha is doing? After a few weeks of barely being able to swallow any food or liquid, this week Natasha bravely agreed to get an NG feeding tube. So far she has not pulled it out and we are able to make her liquid food to help her not feel hungry and get some nutrition into her. Natasha still has a bit of mobility with her right arm and hand, although this too is weakening. She can give us a weak thumbs up or down and she gently taps her finger twice for yes and once for no.

Natasha wrote a song in 2014 called "This Love is Magic" and with the help of some very special people Natasha's song got recorded. Sadly Natasha has now lost her voice, but her song lives on and her expression of hearing it for the first time is priceless. We could see her surprise and she was mouthing the words, what a gift, what a treasure. Stay tuned for more to come as her song goes global.

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Natasha's Original Raw Ted Talk

I asked Bill to upload Natasha's original raw ted talk, that Kevin Green generously offered to video for us early May 2016 in preparation for Natasha to fly down to Virginia to join her fellow childhood cancer awareness advocate and fighter; Tom Mitchell (Tattoo Tom). I want to share this with you because my communicator daughter has lost her voice and can barely whisper a word, but her spirit is still strong and persistently communicates with us through a communication board, I pray she can continue to use her one hand to point. Please share to help Natasha increase awareness for kids fighting cancer!

 

Natasha's TEDx Rehearsal 

Published on Jul 16, 2016

This practice was recorded in Natasha's home 6 weeks prior to the live recording of the TedX talk with Tattoo Tom. This version was going to be edited to her allotted 5 minutes. Her live talk was shortened further due to a combination of having a bad cold, and progression of her symptoms. We are grateful to Tattoo Tom for helping Natasha check this off her bucket list!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9qn9PVGoX8

 

Guns, abortion, gay rights, racism, immigration, bathrooms, God, and… | Tom Mitchell | TEDxHerndon

Published on Jun 22, 2016

These are the topics that Americans love to talk about and to debate ad nauseam. But more importantly, these are the topics we TAKE ACTION on. Billions and billions of dollars are spent annually to lobby both for and against these topics, friends and enemies are made and lost, families divided, fist fights, mass shootings and even wars are fought over this handful of topics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7Myvpg9oNQ

Our Father

Last Sunday, Bill could not sleep and felt compelled to post this prayer below. A few days earlier Bill prayed a similar prayer with me. When couples pray together it brings them closer together, for which I am thankful.

"Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
You created all things, including our Natasha, who you placed in our care. She is your child. We raise her to you now, asking you to heal and restore her. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 
And Lord, if it is your will to bring Natasha home to you, we ask that you pour out your grace on her throughout her remaining days. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
Fill us with your spirit so that we are guided by your love and wisdom. And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
We rest in your mercy, your power and your glory, now and forever. 
Amen".

This morning I could not sleep;

Natasha wants to know that we will be OK. She has been asking about what heaven is like and we have been exploring the possibilities. We talk about all her heart's desires like; having a baby, continuing her writing, having a farm with lots of animals including a pig, making new friends and seeing old friends again,

And now that Natasha's words are few we still talk about what her heavenly destiny could look like and her mouth slowly whispers ... and walking...

And I say boldly; yes honey walking and running and doing cartwheels, and singing and playing and eating and living. In Heaven we are not bound by time and it is her day, fully healed, and probably leading worship. (Natasha loves musicals,  could be happy living in a musical, she is a singer at heart, her voice is strong)

Natasha knows that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that our bodies we live in on earth does do not define our eternity gifted to us, graciously through the finished work of Jesus. 

We pray with Natasha and remind her that we hold two possibilities; it is still possible for God to fully heal and restore her body, and we ask Him for heaven on earth, in Jesus name! ...and it is possible that God may call her home to heaven soon!

God did not give Natasha this horrific disease, God leads Natasha's office, and much of the spiritual nuances being played out are beyond what the human eye can see.  I know in my heart that God is a good, good Father and is lovingly holding Natasha, beyond what we can imagine!

Our Natasha (official Calgary "white hatted" from the Omi concert", our "service dog" Ryder off to a bit of Stampeding, yesterday, rain or shine, nothing stops a cow girl from stampeding!

Our Natasha (official Calgary "white hatted" from the Omi concert", our "service dog" Ryder off to a bit of Stampeding, yesterday, rain or shine, nothing stops a cow girl from stampeding!

Lend a helping hand...

A warm hello to all of you who have been supporting Natasha and her family over the past year.  Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated!

As Natasha and her family hold on to faith and hope, they also deal with the daily reality that DIPG has brought upon them.  Many who follow Natasha on social media want to know how she is doing lately.  If you didn't see it, Natasha added a short entry to her blog.  Her symptoms have progressed since the recording of her TEDx talk a month ago. And by the way, her TEDx Talk can now be viewed, go to her Facebook page to see it! 

To give you an idea of her current condition:

  • Natasha is not supporting her own weight.  She needs to be transferred from bed to wheel chair to sofa, etc.
  • She is fatigued throughout the day
  • Her once powerful voice has weakened.  She must stop to catch her breath before she can speak a full sentence.
  • Her emotions are in flux.  She expresses hope and joy, as well as fear and sadness.  In a moment of frustration recently, she exclaimed "I'm trapped in my body!"
  • With a focus on faith, the family have had lots of conversations about hope, living - and heaven.

The Oncology clinic at Alberta Children's Hospital has been very supportive, and has arranged for Natasha to have access to nurses, doctors and other services in-home.

Natasha has brought together an amazing community of care and love. Friends and family living close to Natasha are banding together to help with meals, dog walks, yard work, visiting, etc.

Anyone wanting to help out while Bill, Saskia and Liam concentrate their focus on Natasha, please consider the following options:

Above and beyond all, please continue to pray for the miracle that will rock this world!!

 

Please pray these blessing for Natasha's Spirit

Natasha, 

I call your beautiful Christ-given spirit to attention in the name of Jesus and I ask that your soul steps aside for you to receive this blessing. Natasha, I bless you with stepping into all that God created you to be. I bless with courage to face the days ahead with boldness and determination. Not to give it to the lies of the enemy that you are defeated. Spirit, I ask that you partner with Holy Spirit to search Natasha's body and to bring every cell into alignment with how Jesus created you. Spirit, I ask that you trigger Natasha's immune system with its design to target and destroy any damaging or cancerous cell. Spirit, I also ask that you partner with Holy Spirit to repair any neurological pathways in the brain that have been affected by this tumour. May Natasha's left arm and left side be strengthened and unhindered. I ask Spirit that you turn to the father and feel his incredible love for you during this incredibly difficult trial that you are facing. Natasha, I bless you with the ability to laugh and experience the joy of the Lord over you each day. May this illness not steal your joy. I also, bless you with a deep peace knowing that your life is in the loving hands of Jesus. He will carry you through this. Remember to ask for His help. He will never leave you or forsake you. Lastly, I bless you with feeling how loved you are by those around you. Natasha, you are cherished!

In the Name of the Victorious King, Jesus!

Thanks Jenna!

By His Stripes Natasha Is Healed

Hello,

I heard God whisper for me to write a post and update you on our journey. If you follow Natasha's FB page you will probably keep somewhat up to date with the amazing experiences she has had the opportunity to participate in.

DIPG is at this point in the human race is incurable. However, we believe that Natasha is healed by the Grace of God (Isaiah 53:5 ...by His stripes we are healed) and we ask you to pray that Natasha receive this full restored healing. as her Mom I stand stand on the authority of God's word on earth as it is in Heaven. Hallelujah! 

This weekend Natasha will walk down the aisle as a flower girl at her cousin Chelsea's wedding. Praise God! 

Here is a testimony of another family who's journey touches my heart. http://www.awmi.net/video/healing/mullins2/

Blessings, Saskia

A Bethel Healing Room Moves To Calgary

If you ever want to experience the anointing of a group of people dedicated to the supernatural healing power of God, you need to visit Bethel church in Redding, California. Or, you can come to Natasha's house in Calgary, Alberta as we have started room our own humble healing room. (message me if you want to pray or need to be prayed for)

Assuming you read our previous news update titled “Blessing that come with Faith”, you will understand the signs we received that led us to Bethel Church.

We arrived Friday afternoon and attended the Friday night service. Natasha sat right up front while the rest out our group sat further back. The worship time at Bethel is very moving and you can't help but feel the presence of God. After worship our whole group came up for the alter call. It was amazing!

Saturday bright and early we arrived at the church to attend the Healing Room. We were given an orientation to the process and Natasha volunteered to share why she was needing healing prayer. We  spent a bit of time in the main church room which was transformed into informal circular, labyrinth like seating.  Artists were painting in the middle of the room, a worship team was singing and playing instruments on stage, artistic dancers flowed on the floor up front below the stage and there was a communion area set up for those interested. It really was a time for us to experience the presense of God before our group was invited in a smaller room where volunteers offered to pray for us.

While Natasha was being prayed for, a volunteer approached me and explained that God had told him to come over to us to tell Natasha and her Mom that, "Today is Natasha's day, God is going to heal her." I, of course, was dumbstruck and eager to have those words sink into my heart. Then I looked at him (Rick Larson) and said, “You’re the one whose testimony I saw on YouTube when I was researching Bethel Church. Your testimony renewed my Faith.” I was even more dumbstruck. He smiled and laughed and said that today was not supposed to be his turn to volunteer in the healing room, but in morning he had felt a nudge to come. He was so excited, as was I.  Here is a link to his testimony of healing https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b1U22fQLMEs It did not take long for a request to have the whole room of about 30 to 50 people to reach out toward Natasha to pray for her healing. It was amazing. She felt heat go through her head and after she could walk better.

There were many other ways our group was impacted and prayed for. It was a life changing experience for us all.

I believe God's promise to me: "Today is Natasha's day, God is going to heal her". I hold this dear to my heart. I know God's timing is not my timing. I know he is a good good Father. 

Please continue to pray with us for God to restore and fully heal Natasha. 

On Monday April 4th Natasha is scheduled to have a follow up MRI. 

Praise God! Peace, Shalom!

Saskia, Natasha's Mom

Blessings that come with Faith

Background:

In April 2015 Natasha first noticed weakness on her left side and began experiencing double vision. On May 01, 2015 she was diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). DIPG is a rare, aggressive and inoperable tumour in the brainstem that occurs almost exclusively in children. The tumour is interwoven, interlaced, knitted within the brainstem’s normal tissue.

In June 2015 Natasha underwent 31 radiation treatments. In august 2015 the MRI suggested the tumour had shrunk by 15%. In November 2015 the MRI suggested the tumour was stable. At Christmas 2015 we noticed Natasha's symptoms got worse and Natasha asked the oncologist for another MRI. In January of 2016 the MRI suggested the tumour was in transition and expected to grow. Natasha accepted the offer to undergo a second round of 17 radiation treatments ending March 1.

Soon after Natasha’s initial diagnosis, she became an advocate for kids fighting cancer. Please go to the menu icon on this page and check out her blogs, our news updates, her YouTube channel and Facebook page.

This past fall, Natasha asked to get baptized. Water baptism identifies a person as a disciple of Christ and celebrates the passage from an old life into a new life in Christ. Simply stated, it is an outward sign of an inward change. Natasha has a strong faith, recently telling her mom "I have so much faith in God that my first daughter is going to be named Faith”. 

Recently:

God has given us three unrelated coincidences that have drawn our attention to anointed healing miracles occurring at Bethel church in Redding California.

The first came through Kris, the mother of Liam’s friend, Max. On Monday February 1, Natasha and Saskia joined Liam and a group of his friends for dinner at a pizza restaurant.  Max’s mom Kris was there and introduced Saskia to Becca, mom of Liam’s friend Preston. Becca was the first to tell Saskia about Bethel church and sent her a video link of one of their healing services.

The following day, out of the blue, Saskia’s nephew Dan texted Saskia telling her that he and his wife were taking an on line course from Bethel church. They were wondering if we’d be interested in learning more about it.

The third coincidence came on Thursday February 11th.  Bill got an email from his old high school friend, Joy. She said that she was following Natasha’s story and praying for a miracle.  She also mentioned that her eldest son, Curtis, was recently ordained at Bethel Church in Redding, CA.

By this time, Saskia was thinking, “OK, this is weird. Three times I am getting unrelated nudges to Bethel Church in Redding California.” Doing her due diligence she began researching and learning.

She ordered Bill Johnson’s latest book, listening with all her heart with a renewed openness to any nudging guidance from God. 

We know Natasha is in God’s hand and we are trusting Him, and we are asking God to hear our prayers to heal her fully. Saskia’s prayer is for Bill, Liam, Natasha and herself is to stay open to God working in our lives "outside of the box” as we know it!

On February 15th, Saskia mention the three coincidences to Natasha, jokingly saying, “Maybe we should go for a trip to visit Bethel”. Moments later, Natasha called her back into her room and said, "Mom, God just whispered to me that you, me and Kris (Max’s mom) are supposed to go to Bethel”.  Saskia replied, “Ok. You tell Kris.” (Kris has also been struggling with health issues and could use some healing)

Natasha told Kris, who was thrilled to be included. Saskia then asked Becca if she would like to come along.  Becca quickly replied, “I’d be honoured.” 

The week of February 15th, Saskia showed Liam a video testimony of God’s healing and part way through he blurted out; "We have to bring Natasha to Redding. God wants to heal her.” He looked shocked and said to Saskia, “God just told me that”.  He later described his experience as suddenly getting tunnel vision, and feeling his heart slow right down.  He is amazed that God spoke to him so clearly.

Liam shared his experience with his friend Preston (Becca’s son) and they both agreed that they should join the trip to Redding.  They also agreed that their friend Dylan should come as well. Like most of us, Dylan has a wounded soul and could also use some healing. All three Mom’s agreed to chip in for Dylan’s flight.

In the process of coordinating travel arrangements, Becca informed Kris and Saskia that an anonymous person has paid for everyone’s flights!

A couple days ago, Bill was relating all this to his mom, Lynn.  She was taken aback and had a hard time waiting for Bill to tell the full story because she had her own Bethel story to share: Recently, a friend of hers, who has been regularly praying for Natasha, approached Lynn to say, “Lynn, I need to tell you about this Bethel church in Redding, California.”

Natasha finishes her second round of radiation tomorrow, Tuesday March 1st.  Plans are complete for the entourage to visit Bethel church in Redding, CA March 4-7.  The group includes:

Liam, Natasha and Saskia

Dylan, Max and Max’s mom Kris

Preston and his mom Becca

We believe God can fully and miraculously heal Natasha right here and now. We know God is not limited to time or place, and, we also know God works in mysterious, glorious ways. We are faithfully following his nudges. When Jesus walked this earth, many were healed through the power of God. We believe that miracles are available today. We faithfully believe God can fully heal Natasha, Kris and Dylan as well as touching Saskia, Liam, Preston and Becca!  If you agree say, “Amen!” God is always Good!

 

Thoughts from Natasha's Dad

Thoughts from Natasha’s dad… …

This journey started May 1st 2015.  Within this journey are many stories:

  • A young, healthy, active girl suddenly having to deal with an aggressive tumor growing in her brain, and all the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual turmoil that brings.

  • A mother whose world turns upside down and embarks on a mission to save her child.

  • A father who has the instinct to serve and protect his children and who now finds himself in completely unchartered waters.

  • A brother who, in the midst of defining himself, is thrust into a whole new reality.

  • A close friend watching someone she loves become physically weaker and weaker.

  • A grandmother …

  • An uncle …

  • Cousins …, family friends…, teachers at school…

Natasha’s diagnosis has affected many people, most of all her.  Her desire to ‘go public’ vastly expanded the number of people touched by her story.  Natasha, and all her family, have experienced many blessings over the past 9 months.  The support, in its many forms, from people close and far has been astounding.

Part of my experience has been continually seeking a balance: holding on to hope, faith and belief in positive possibilities, while grappling with the gravity of Natasha’s disease.  I try, and often succeed, at seeing the positive – counting the blessings.

Not today.

Today Natasha had her fist treatment in this, her second, round of radiation therapy.  It was a tough go.  She came down with a cold a few days ago and is congested and feeling lousy.  She vomited just before getting ready to go the hospital.  Her tooth fell out while en route to the hospital (normal part of dental development).  She was assigned to a treatment room different than what she used last time. (it’s actually a better room, but she wasn’t up for something different).  Anyways, the day didn’t unfold as a set up for a successful first treatment.

Hard to see the positives.  Easy to see the negatives. 

I hate:

  • my daughter experiencing the emotional turmoil

  • my daughter experiencing her body become weaker and less reliable

  • the doctors saying they can only treat, not cure

  • the pressure and stress on all of us

  • she isn’t going to school

  • her going through arduous treatment, with no assurance of outcome

  • hearing my daughter calling out to me in desperation for the treatment to stop, – and not responding to her.

I’ve had friends say to me, “I can’t imagine how you are holding it together.”  I’m not always holding it together.  I’m not sure how I get from day to day.  Faith is part of it for sure.  As tenuous at it often seems, I trust in God.  Tomorrow, or the next day, will be easier to get through than today.  Later today, or tomorrow, Natasha will giggle.  Her giggle is nourishment.

Treatment update

Over the Christmas Holidays, Natasha became aware that her left arm and leg were becoming weaker.  She requested an appointment with her oncologist to get tested.  That appointment resulted in the confirmation that she is getting weaker, and an MRI was scheduled.

The MRI happened Monday January 4, and the next day we spoke to Natasha’s oncologist about the results.

The MRI back in August showed a 15% reduction size of the tumor (attributed to the radiation treatments that ended July 2).  The MRI in November showed no increase in size.  This recent scan shows that the tumor has started to grow slightly.  The oncologists expect that the growth will continue.  Our conversation with the oncologist covered the current availability of trials, treatments available here in Calgary, what to expect if the tumor continues to grow, and palliative care services available to us.

Providing a second round of radiation is a new approach.  Many hospitals won’t provide this.  There are a handful of cases that do, however, show this to be safe and life extending.  The oncologist recommended a second round of radiation.

We then had the conversation with Natasha, letting her know that the tumor has grown.  She was not surprised by this, but incredibly sad to have it confirmed.  Her immediate response was “I will do radiation again.”  Knowing how unpleasant the sessions were for her last June, this was a powerful statement.  We then explained that radiation is a treatment, not a cure – AND – we still hold on to hope.

We’ve since spoken to the Radiation Oncologist to discuss the details.  We will likely begin the preparations next week: Natasha will get a new mask made and have a scan for precise measurements of her anatomy.  Those scans will be layered with the MRI scans of the tumor.  This provides the basis of the intricate calculations required for the treatments.  Her first round included 31 treatments.  This time it will be about ½ of that.  The first treatment is aimed at February 1.

We still hold on to hope.  We humbly pray, asking God to heal Natasha.  When we ask Natasha what her prayer request is to God, she says. “I want to live and stay with my family.  It’s pretty simple.”