David, Jonathan, me in Maryland 2 weeks ago. My mom got that shirt for him a while ago and it’s the truth: Colon Cancer IS a real pain in the butt.
When we all found out that my brother Jonathan was diagnosed with Stage IV Colorectal Cancer last December it was like someone punched me in the stomach. I can’t even begin to imagine how that news affected his wife and children.
But he fought. And he continues to fight. He’s been through a full course of radiation therapy and continues to undergo chemotherapy. Jonathan is strong and amazing in so many ways. He is a devoted husband and father, insanely talented (including the very coolest architect handwriting you’ve ever seen), and incredibly selfless as he serves tirelessly in church and his community – all his life.
Of the 1,200+ blog posts I have published, there has never been a more difficult post to write.
Our family learned recently that the chemotherapy has lost its effectiveness and the tumors continue to grow. To say this is breaking our hearts is an understatement. Jonathan’s suffering has consumed me. I think about and pray for him constantly – as well my sister-in-law, their children, my parents, my other 4 brothers. And there are many, many more (his employees, colleagues, students, youth at church, friends, neighbors) who are heartsick about what Jonathan is going through.
Our family has a tremendous amount of faith and there is no question in our minds about God’s eternal plan of happiness for every person that comes to earth. I don’t usually use my blog to share much about my personal life and I haven’t said much about Jonathan’s battle or how it’s affected us this year. But there is something really special about a community of people (you being part of my community) who can make a difference in someone else’s life when they face heavy challenges. I’ll come back to that. First I can’t help but share a few pictures.
The cowlick. The shirt. Honestly, could he be cuter?
Me + my brothers + sisters-in-law a dozen years ago. Jonathan and his enthusiasm in the top-right.
A couple years ago when we met up for lunch during his layover in Phoenix. We live on opposite sides of the country so we were happy to get even just an hour or so with him as he passed through town for business.
David and I went to Maryland to be with Jonathan and his family in February. This was a day or two before another round of chemo.
Hanging out during chemo. My sweet parents have literally been by Jonathan’s side during all of this.
Jonathan & Tina have raised Eagle Scouts. Last week Jonathan mustered up all the strength he had to be there for Tyler and Spencer’s big night.
My mom has spent much of her time keeping her hands busy, crocheting blankets for family members lately.
Taken just 2 days ago. Back: Spencer is 15, Tyler is 18, Tina is Jonathan’s sweet wife of 20 years.
Front: Garrett is 11, Jonathan (just 42 years old by the way) and Kristyn is almost 9.
Every. single. day is precious.
This is true for Jonathan. For his family. For all of us. Even though our family is spread out – from China to the western U.S. to Maryland – each of us has been able to spend time with Jonathan in the past several weeks. What an honor – although a heartbreaking and humbling experience for each of us. And yet it has been an incredibly enriching and blessed experience. I love Jonathan and his family with all of my being.
In situations like this it’s easy to feel helpless. David and I want to do something that will help Jonathan & Tina’s family during this incredibly difficult time as they face so many challenges and ultimately, as they transition to the next chapter in their life. The financial burdens they are facing are unquestionably very difficult.
Anyone who would like to send a donation to Jonathan’s family will have the opportunity to place their ad on my blog sidebar. The ads will be published on September 1 and stay there for 2 months – through October 31. As you know, I don’t have ads on my blog. I have never monetized my blog. This is a very unique opportunity to do something so helpful while also enjoying the benefits of fantastic exposure for your business. 100% of the donations will go to Jonathan’s family.
Anyone who would like to donate – even in a small amount – can most certainly do so without necessarily having to place an ad on my blog if you don’t want to.
Whether you are a company or a family or an individual … whether you already know Jonathan personally, or you don’t … whether you want to place an ad on my blog or remain anonymous in your donation … email firstname.lastname@example.org with what you’d like to do, and she will let you know the next step.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for even considering to help Jonathan and his family.
Hug your family. Spend more time together. Don’t let unimportant, trivial things take away from cultivating stronger relationships with those who matter most.