There can be life after cancer

March 6, 2020

On New Year’s Day, 2017, Kendall James’ parents, Shawn and Kendra James, got the news no parent would ever want to hear, “Your child has cancer!” Kendall was sent to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN, and diagnosed with Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, Stage 3, and Group 3. The treatment plan consisted of chemotherapy starting on January 13, 2017, surgery in April 2017, and radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy beginning May 1, 2017.

I had the privilege of meeting this extraordinary five-year-old girl early in 2017. By April 13, 2017, Book for Hope® began to financially assist Kendall and her family to help offset expenses, gas, lodging, and bills at home because they needed to keep Kendall in the fight against the beast, Rhabdomyosarcoma.

I have made many memories with Kendall that I will never forget. The memory that stands out the most was in September 2018 and brought tears to my eyes–the night of the Diva and Dudes Cancer Event at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, TN.  Oh my, what a day and night to remember for some precious patients from the  Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Kendall was one of the children invited, and to see her in her beautiful dress, twirling, smiling, feeling good, eating, and having the time of her life was incredible! She looked beautiful.

Kendall is seven years old and has come so far. I knew she was facing a giant, but similar to David in the Bible, with prayers from all over the world, she beat the giant – Rhabdomyosarcoma! God used amazing doctors, nurses, surgeons, and a Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital team to help Kendall live. To God be the glory!

I am thankful for all our sponsors and friends who gave to Book for Hope®, which allowed us to help the James family in the darkest time of their life. When a family hears their child has the number one disease-related cause of death in children–cancer–they are devasted. I am sorry that Kendall had cancer, yet grateful God allowed me the opportunity to journey and pray with and for this family.

There are many other children out there, like Kendall, that need our help. Would you consider donating to help keep them alive? Book for Hope can offer you an end-of-year Charitable Gift Receipt for tax purposes.

Written by Gaylon Hayden