On Monday 25th March ’13 Leah was due to have her first bone marrow biopsy, in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast, to try and find a reason for why her blood counts were consistently so abnormal.
The day before, she was feeling very anxious. As she headed out to Youth Fellowship at our church that Sunday night I advised her to speak to her youth leaders about how she was feeling and to ask them to pray with her.
I waited anxiously for her coming home, hoping that the evening had been helpful to her. She burst excitedly through the door “Mummy, they wanted someone to do an I am Second video clip for the Youth Service in church in a few weeks time and I did it.”
“I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.”
Leah was so excited and felt so privileged. One of Leah’s heroes and role models was Bethany Hamilton, a champion surfer who had her arm bitten off by a shark and she had done an ‘I am second‘ video clip. I don’t remember much chat about the pending bone marrow biopsy after that.
When I got to watch Leah’s ‘I am second‘ video clip I was so moved. I love the bit where Leah says “God will let you bend but He’ll never let you break.” When Leah was subsequently diagnosed I remember thinking to myself “Leah, you will learn the truth of those words like you have never known them before.”
She did – I saw Leah bent almost to breaking point in October ’13 when she was battling awful side effects from her bone marrow transplant. However in January ’14 when Leah was critically ill in ICU, she was so filled with joy and peace and love and contentment. She was a princess preparing to meet the King of Kings.