I’m a little late posting this but I want to share it with all of you. So many people around the world joined us in fasting and prayer on behalf of Stephen. This is a letter that we sent to our ward members last week. Rather than retelling the situation I decided I would just post this.
As a family we want to express our most sincere gratitude to you for your fasting and prayers on behalf of Stephen. It is such a blessing to be able to ask for that kind of support and help when you feel that it is needed. It is like the father of a sick child who said to Christ “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” You have helped build our faith and our belief. We have truely been lifted and I want you to know that your prayers have been heard and answered in a miraculous way.
Stephen showed multiple tumors in his chest and one in is abdomen just 3 weeks ago. The last line of treatment that offers hope of a cure is to have another Stem Cell Transplant using a donor’s stem cells. We had all of our children tested to see if they were a match to be a donor. We were getting discouraged as they each came back without matching. At last our youngest son Josh’s results came back and he is a match! We are so blessed and happy about this. Josh has mixed feelings, as he is only 10 years old, but he is excited and going to be brave. Stephen was given one treatment of chemotherapy to help keep the cancer at bay while our kids were tested. If the tumors were reduced in size and activity from the chemo, they were going to give Stephen another treatment, then do the transplant in January. If he didn’t respond, they were going to move forward with the transplant before the situation got out of hand.
We received his results from his chemotherapy on Wednesday and miraculously, all active cancer is gone! It is in complete remission! The doctors are astounded and so are we. Even the doctors say, with out hesitation, that it is a miracle. We are beyond overjoyed and are certain it is a gift from God. This is the first time in 21 months of constant treatment that his cancer hasn’t been active. We met with the doctors Thursday and given this unusual, and unexpected turn of events, they want to proceed into the transplant as quickly as possible. The odds of a good result from the transplant are much higher if you begin the transplant with your cancer in remission. We feel that the Lord has blessed us with this perfect situation. Our precious Josh as a match and Stephen’s cancer in remission. Stephen reminded us that faith without works is dead . Now it is our turn to do more of ‘the works’ part of the formula. Stephen will be admitted to LDS Hospital on the 18th of December. His stay will be anywhere from 3 1/2 to 6 weeks long. Josh, will begin getting the necessary daily shots on December 22nd and will be admitted to Primary Children’s Hospital on December 26th to collect the stem cells. They are collected from the blood stream. It should only take a day or two. On the 28th Stephen will receive Josh’s cells. Over time, Josh’s cells will completely replace Stephen’s blood cells. If all goes well, Stephen’s new immune system, grown from Josh’s cells, will recognize the cancer cells and kill them if any try to grow again.
We feel so blessed to be living here among friends. You are angels to us. We do not understand why prayers are answered differently at different times, but we do testify that God loves us, is aware of us, and will sustain us to the end.
The Griener Family