Saturday, August 04, 2007

Life's Challenge...

I was challenged in my bible study this week to consider how my life can make a difference for God's kingdom. I have pondered this thought all week and would like to share with you a prayer that I recorded in my journal. I don't usually share this type of personal information here on the site, but I really felt God's nudge to publish it.

How Can I Make a Difference for God?

God, I ask you to fulfill this scripture through my life.

1 Thessalonians 5:16
"Be joyful always! Pray continually! Give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus!"

I ask that the Holy Spirit fill my life so fully that others will physically see His presence in my spirit. Even though life is not always happy, keep me EVER mindful of your presence, so that I can experience true JOY daily.

I ask for a grateful that can experience a peace that passes all understanding. Help me to be grateful in ALL circumstances even when the pain is sometimes more than I can bear alone. I am truly grateful that you meet us in that hour of need!

Father, I boldly ask that you fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit to defend me and my family against the enemy's schemes. I pray for a fire that Moses witnessed in the burning bush. I pray for a passion for life like this fire that doesn't burn out or destroy us, but gives us a VEAL for life!

I commit to "love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength." Mark 12:30. "I pray also that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the HOPE to which you have called me." Ephesians 1:18

Open my eyes father, to opportunities, so that I can make....
an eternal difference for you!

Truly yours,
Your servant.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy July 4th!

It is so nice to have a day off! We are full steam ahead in preparing for the upcoming foundation events.

July 19th is our Dinner and Silent Auction. I am so grateful that the community has responded to this new event. We have 27 tables available for the dinner and almost all of them are already hosted. We certainly didn't expect to sell out our first year, but it seems that this may become a reality! We are truly grateful for God's blessing and your support. SO much planning has been involved in pulling off this event. Please pray in the coming weeks for the final preparations.

Just around the corner is the 4th Annual Golf Tournament.
August 20th at Musgrove Mill in Clinton, SC
We have availability to host 18 - 20 teams, so please make us aware if you are interested in placing a foursome in the tournament. We are also accepting raffle items. Items that are usually donated: golf equipment....bags, clubs, towels, gift certificates for golf outings, gift certificates for golf shops, artwork, signed sports equipment, restaurant gift certificates, etc.

Announcement about profit sharing:
We have tickets available for sale for a day at Pump-It-Up...inflatable zone. August 16th from 4 - 5:30pm in Greenville, SC
Then, we will be heading over to Chick Fil A on Woodruff Road for dinner. Chick Fil A is donating a portion of their proceeds to LHF! Hope that you will join us! :)

These are the upcoming events that we hope you all will be praying for. Starting this month through the end of November the foundation will be very busy. Please pray for Lauren's endurance and our strength.

Poor little baby, she is battling her 4th case of pneumonia this year. She is completing her 2nd week of antibiotics. Her progress has been steady in the last few days and she seems much improved! Her pediatrician was able to hear nice breathe sounds in her lower lobes. We feel certain that the deterioration in Lauren's ability to swallow is what is causing the reoccurring pneumonia. Even though Lauren is tube feed, she still has to protect her airway from secretions. It just doesn't seem that her brain is giving her the message that her airway has been compromised until she has already aspirated.

So, please pray for our girl! This is a harsh reality of her disease that we did not anticipate this early. Lauren will turn 10 years old this month! :)

Many of you are so polite to ask about my mom. Her cancer is progressing. She is taking 3 different types of chemo every other week. All of which seem to be holding her numbers steady. She is very weak and sick a lot. She is the most determined woman that I have ever met. She has battled this disease for over 2 years now and still has an incredible drive and desire to live! I pray for God's grace and HIS presence for her in the coming months.

Last but not least, I celebrate our INDEPENDENCE today! Praise God, for HIS love of our land! Thank you men and women who sacrifice for our freedom.
Forgive us Lord, when we take this for granted. Please forgive our enemies who try to compromise this freedom. Help us to all see life as a gift given from You. If only we could see each individual as You created it, with Your purpose and desire for each, then we could see beyond our differences.

Thank you God, for all your blessings! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lauren is feeling much better! Thank you all for the love and support. The pneumonia has resolved and she is back to her cute little self again.

Work with the foundation has been dramatically changing in recent weeks.
We would like to welcome on board our new employees:
Trish Cummings, Marketing Director
Betsy Hinson, Financial Director
Lori White, Communications Director

You guys will be receiving emails from these ladies from time to time, so please know that their emails are valid and are supported by Andy and I.

We also have moved the foundation from our home to a new office location. My husband has graciously donated space for us to use in the upstairs of his office so that we all have accessible work space and our own computers! Thank you so much community for the many items that have been donated to get the office operational.

These changes are bringing much needed organization to the cause. God is truly blessing the effort and we are incredibly grateful for His continued guidance. Please pray for the LHF staff as we make these transitions. I am so eager to see what God has in store for us as the journey continues! :)

Hope that your kids enjoy their summer....I know mine sure are excited that this is their LAST week! :)

May God keep you safe during your vacation travels.
Cindy :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!

Lauren decided to give her mommy an unforgetable Mother's Day. We ended up spending the last few hours of mother's day in the emergency room.

Lauren developed a little tummy bug last week with fever. Even though the stomach bug resolved itself in just a couple of days, Lauren developed a fever on Saturday. This was our first indication that there must be a secondary infection to the virus. With the progression of her disease, her brain does not do a very good job of relaying to her gag reflex that there is fluid close to her airway. When she throws up, fluid is able to "leak" into her lungs causing bacteria to form an infection. Unfortunately, the vomitting typically leads to aspiration pneumonia.

The pneumonia was confirmed last night. Lauren's fever last night caused her to have a seizure which lead to further vomitting. This episode of vomitting was a little different than in previous occurances. The volume was much larger as if she had not processed her formula all day. This is something new that we have not faced before. It seems like her stomach is not unloading as it should. Maybe if there are other Sanfilippo parents who have already experienced this, you could provide us some insight.

I do want to document for parents out there...that our suction machine has been a life saver....literally! If you have not made the investment in such a device, please take our advice and add this machine to your medical supply list. As your child advances in the disease, this will be a most have to clear secretions.

Thankfully the addition of 2 antibiotics (Cleocin and Omnicef) appear to be doing the trick for the pneumonia. Even just 4 doses appear to be making a difference.

Even with the struggles of the day, I am so grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Mother's Day...what a blessing! My children are the light of my life and I feel so fortunate that God has chosen to give me the honor of being mom to two of His most prized possessions!

Give your children an extra ounce of patience, love and support today! :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Please pray for Isabel Jurado in the photo above. Isabel is one of Lauren's Sanfilippo friends... living here in S.C.

Isabel had her first seizure tonight and I am sure her family would grately appreciate your prayer support. There is nothing like feeling the comfort that only God can provide.

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Boy it has been busy these last few weeks...but isn't that the story for all MPS families!! :)

Please pray that our technical issues with the networking of our computer system goes smoothly! :) We are in the middle of transitioning our entire system to a new server, so I hope that this process will make things much more efficient for the foundation.

Things are really rolling along. We have had two recent profit sharing events... you guys are the greatest supporters! The attendence in March was 166 and the attendence in April was 251! Wow! We can not say thanks enough!

Next on the list...
We are making preparations for our annual meeting, May 3, 2007 at 7pm to discuss:
>updates from 2006
>the calendar of events for 2007
>volunteer opportunities... etc.

This is open to the public. If you have ever considered becoming a part of LHF, we would love to have you in attendence. Please check out the details from our home page under Board Meeting!

Hope to see ya there!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lauren is so cute giggling in the room next door! It is so great to hear that sound again. She is still continuing to do well.

We do have a prayer request to share with you all concerning one of our tournament directors for the foundation. Cat Green and her husband, Ron direct the paintball tournament for LHF. Cat was involved in a car accident and will be undergoing back surgery on the 21st. They will be removing bone from her hip to repair a disc in her back. Thank you so much for remembering her in your prayers.

I would also like to thank you all for the continued prayers for my mom. Her chest tube is continuing to drain fluid, but at least this is providing much needed relief for her breathing complications.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week. :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spring is in the air!!

The spring thaw has finally arrived!! Our family is so much healthier in the warm weather, so we are thrilled to see it come!

Little Miss Lauren is doing well. She still has not been able to attend school since December. We are hoping to begin again this month. Flu and RSV season should be on their way out...PRAISE the Lord. Thank goodness she will be out and about in the world with us again!

Please continue to pray for my mom. She is still hospitalized and will be going home soon with chest tubes for drainage. This is something that our family will be new to, so there will be some training in the next few days to give us details for maintenance.

We are so grateful to all of you for the beautiful cards and messages. It is so encouraging to feel your support.

Sending our love from the McCraws! :)

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a week! My mom was admitted back into the hospital with fluid accumulating in her lungs from her cancer. But, she is doing pretty well. The fluid was removed from her right lung over the weekend and the fluid in the left will be removed tomorrow. I'm sure that this will bring some much needed relief. I pray that the procedure will be successful.

My poor Dad was visiting at the hospital this weekend and developed a fever. Turns out that he was diagnosed with the food poisoning from the peanut butter that has been advertised recently. He rarely ever gets sick, so it was a total shock for his body. He has been pretty sick, but hopefully he will begin to regain his strength in a couple of days.

As for my kids, they are doing GREAT! Lauren and Cayden both had chest x-rays last week to confirm the improvements from their pneumonia. Cayden has been completely released. Lauren is beginning to wean off of her breathing treatments. She has completed all of her antibiotics...yippeeeee! We are SO grateful that God is restoring their health!

Sure hope that all of you are doing well! God Bless! :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cayden's Awards Day.

Lauren had her first outing since she was in the hospital. She went to her little brother's awards ceremony. Cayden was so excited to get the Terrific Kid Award at his school. I was so glad that Lauren was feeling well enough to share the day with him.

Hope that you are all having a blessed week! Cindy :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Update on our girl:

Lauren had a follow-up with the pediatrician today. Her lungs sound much clearer! Yippee. She will continue her antibiotics for another week and we will be following up a chest x-ray in about ten days. Her horrible diaper rash is also looking much improved over the last couple of days. She was soooo uncomfortable changing diapers, so that is a huge relief. Poor thing, we are still giving her medication and respiratory therapy every couple of hours and that will continue for a couple of weeks. But, we certainly won't stop something that appears to be working.

As you can see for yourself in the attached photos...Her color has also improved...she looks more like her cute little rosie self. Lauren had an allergic reaction to the sheets and gowns at the hospital. Her skin rash from the allergy is much improved as well....nothing but satin and cotton for this little princess! :)

I also dropped in a photo of Lauren's view in the back yard after our beautiful dusting of snow this past week. Hey, here in the south, we get pretty excited about those 1 to 2 inch snowfalls...they are few and far between. Our little guy even brought inside a snowball for Lauren to experience it too. I don't know how families with special needs kids manage in the northern climates. It is so hard to push a wheelchair in the snow!! I honestly don't know how you do it.

Hope all is well for those of you viewing the site. Thank you so much for your continued prayers.

I would also like to add a prayer request to your list:
There is a ten month old little baby in our church...Tillman Chesney...who could use your prayer support. Tillman received a heart transplant this week. Please pray that his little body is able to accept the transplant and that God will restore his health.

Love to all,
Cindy :)

Monday, January 29, 2007


Praise the Lord...we are home! :
Thank you all for your devotion to Lauren. Your prayers, I am confident are the source for her speedy recovery.

Even though we are not in the hospital, she still will have several weeks ahead of her for complete restoration. The schedule of medication and respiratory therapy is about every 2 hours through out the day, so she is going to have us busy for a while. I believe that it was Paul that said...his thorn was but a light affliction. I am so grateful to have her home; I'm willing to work round the clock if necessary to see her feel better.

Her cough sounds pitiful and her diaper rash is SO bad, but hey at least we are no longer battling the 103 to 104 fevers. We are definitely in the home stretch.

Again thank you all so much for your concern, prayers, phone calls, visits, messages, cards, food, etc. We are so blessed to have such a loving network of friends and family. We'll keep you updated on the progress.

I will leave you with this beautiful reassurance in Psalms:
"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? You exalted me above my foes; Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name."

He does lend His ear to our plea and He DOES answer our cry! This is my prayer of thanksgiving today!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's a bright Sunny Sunday all respects...not just the weather. Lauren is much improved.

Her breathing is much better...clearer and smoother. They have decided to up her respiratory and PT therapy today to continue to clear secretions. I'm going to give her Saline aerosol treatments every 3-4 hours to see if we can help in promoting the mucous thinning. She has been such a little trooper with this therapy. We have to use a little paddle to repetitively tap her chest to break-up the secretions. She didn't sleep the greatest last night with the activity, but the rewards of the labor are paying off today. Her lungs definitely sound clearer from yesterday. BUT, certainly let's give credit where credit is due...THANK YOU FATHER for hearing the petitions of her prayer warriors and answering our plea.

They have removed her oxygen this morning, and have taken her off of the Vancomycin. The true test will be tonight when her respiration is usually weaker. If her oxygen saturation is still okay through the night, we will be in good shape.

We didn't get approval from surgery yesterday for the tube feeds, but we DO have their approval today, so she will begin taking some pedialyte through her feeding tube in just a bit, and then move to formula. Surgery is also going to continue to give her the anti-acid medications for the next few weeks to protect her tummy lining.

The next 24 hours will be critical to her discharge.

What are we praying for today:
*RESISTANCE to secondary infections. Her room is surrounded by flu, RSV, and serious upper respiratory infections. Should she contract something else, this would be a serious set-back.
Also praying for:
*No Fever
*No Vancomycin
*No oxygen
*Tolerate feedings

If she can show as much improvement in the following 24 hours as she did the last, we are looking at a possible discharge tomorrow!

Not only do we thank you for the prayers...thanks for the messages. It is such encouragement. We love you all so much! <><

Singing HIS praises today!
Love, Cindy :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's Saturday morning. We are so thankful for a little rest. Andy and I alternated the night last night and slept about 3 hours uninterrupted. It's amazing how just a little rest can make a difference.

Lauren had a much better night. NO SEIZURES! YIPEE!! :)
The pediatrician has already made rounds this morning and thinks that we are definitely making baby steps in the right direction. The doctor is now looking to see her fever continue to decline, begin weaning her off of the oxygen, and to begin very minimal tube feeds of see if her stomach can tolerate it. The pediatrician wants to get official approval from the surgeon before they start the feedings...(surgery has not rounded yet, so we don't have the official okay yet.)

If her tummy handles the pedialyte, then they will begin her antibiotics through her tube as well. The oral antibiotics that they will be using are Omnicef and Clindamycin...for the Sanfilippo mom's keeping record.

The success of how she tolerates these changes will determine how soon she will be able to come home. BUT, at least we are going in the right direction!

What we are praying for today:
fever reduction
tolerate feeding
slower, smoother breathing
tolerate oxygen removal
clear her secretions on her own

Thank you all SO much. Andy and I are so humbled by the support. We can not thank you enough for the love you all show for our Baby Lauren.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lauren's Hospitalization

Praise God for your prayers! She is a little better!

After Lauren's blood-work today, she is now taking 3 IV antibiotics....Rocephin, Vancomycin, and Clindamycin (sorry for the medical professionals out there...I probably butchered the spelling)....but I really wanted the other Sanfilippo families to be aware of what antibiotics Lauren seems to be responding to, so that they will be aware of what may be helpful for their children.

They have also started her on a medication to coat her stomach. This will hopefully help with the healing inside of her stomach. PRAISE GOD....we have seen very little bleeding in her stomach all day! ...and a few moments ago, she had her first stool with no blood! It appears that God has answered that prayer! :)

Thank you so much for your help in praying for her response to the antibiotics. It looks like the 3rd addition today, may have been just what was needed to give us a kick start in the right direction.

Her fever has gradually declined through the day. We started with a fever of 103.8 to 101.4 and tonight it was 100.4! Again Praise God for answered prayer.
She opened her eyes this evening and appeared to be the most alert that she has been in 3 days. She has NOT had a seizure all day.

But, we are still not out of the woods yet. Her breathing is still faster than it should be and she is still working hard to breathe, but it is much improved over last night. They have deep suctioned her twice today and there have been heavy secretions both times. They are also giving her breathing treatments every 8 hours and as needed. Andy and I are suctioning her through out the day and giving her saline treatments to keep the secretions moving. Night fall is always worse for her, so here's hoping for a peaceful and restoring night!!

What can you pray for now:
Continued decline in fever
Continue to respond to antibiotics
Improved breathing and healing in her lungs

We will keep you informed in the morning of how things are progressing. Thank you all so much!

God Bless.
Lauren's Hospitalization

Hello Friends,

Lauren was admitted to the hospital on Thursday afternoon (January 25,2007). Her pneumonia progressed and her fever has continued to persist. She has continued to have seizures through this process as well. Yesterday morning, after having a seizure, Lauren began to throw-up dark liquid that later we realized was blood. Blood was also discovered in her stool. The surgery consult reveals that this blood is probably the result of trama during vomitting/ coughing/ seizures, etc. We are still not sure at this point, but the bright red coloring seems to have stopped which is a good indication that the bleeding has stopped. The surgeons are planning to just observe her today to see how things progress.

Many of you have asked what can you do. Andy and I would sincerely appreciate your prayers for the following:
Fever reduction
Seizures to stop
Respiration to slow down
Infection caused by the pneumonia to respond to the antibiotics

This truly IS how you can be of most service to Lauren and to our family.

I want to share with you a poem that a church member of ours shared with us this morning. He was not able to go to work today until hand-delivering this to us and reading it aloud with us and to Lauren. It is amazing to see how the holy spirit moves each of us when we are obedient to His call. Jesse mentioned that this words came to him when thinking of what Lauren means to our church.

L...Lo,behold our princess.

A...Aside were wordly dreams cast. All her days and plans were ordained...before they came to be. (Psalms 139:16)

U...Undaunted by her afflictions, she is a blessing to others.

R...Radiant eyes and bright smile, the Holy One within sings a chorus without words.

E...Everlasting is her soul, God's love is unconditional.

N...Near to God is our Princess, she accesses the inner court of the King. Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace...(Esther 5:1)

Written by: Jesse Arnold

These words will ring in my soul today as we watch over and care for our baby girl. Thank you all for your love and support. Just as Queen Esther was willing to risk her life for the sake of others. It is my prayer that Lauren's spirit will touch yours in a way today that brings you the peace that passes all understanding.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hello Friends,

Today was the first day of the prayer ministry offered by Lauren's Hope! This ministry will be called "Heroes of Hope". Your prayers do offer HOPE to these families in need....therefore you are our heroes!

I have had a heartfelt desire to offer a place for Sanfilippo families to voice their prayer concerns for their family; I hope that this blog can serve many purposes, but especially to outreach to these families through prayer.

What better time to make this ministry come into reality, than when Lauren truly needs your prayers.

Andy and I have been up since 1:30am with Lauren running a very high fever. I just couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to make use of this quiet time.

"Heroes of Hope" partners are complied of friends, family, Sanfilippo parents, and fellow supporters of Lauren's Hope. It is my passion to see this ministry become an outlet for Sanfilippo families to find hope and security in knowing that the creator of this universe hears our prayers. There are many of you who have personally requested to be added to the ministry and there are those of you whom I have chosen to include because you are already our prayer warriors.... or...... I just felt in my heart that you would be willing to become one. If you are interested in taking part of this ministry please email me and you will be added to the list:

In our family's experience, we literally feel the prayers that you offer for our real as the shirt on our back. Words can not express our gratitude!

Many of you have requested a quick update on the condition of our kids. To bring everyone up to speed....Lauren(our 9 yr. old Sanfilippo daughter) and Cayden(our 7 yr. old son) have both been suffering with pneumonia for about 2 weeks....Lauren more like 4 weeks. Cayden is doing MUCH better and will actually be returning to school on Wed.

However, Lauren's condition has been more of a roller coaster ride with ups and downs on a daily basis. Our biggest battle with Lauren right now are the high fevers....fevers induce seizures....seizures cause vomiting...the vomiting causes aspiration....aspiration leads to further get the idea. Another factor working against her is her poor ability to swallow and move the secretions from her lungs, nose, and throat. This is all just a result of her neurological decline. Her brain just can't get the message to her throat to cough it out of the way. She is on her 3rd round of antibiotics. Just when we think that she appears to be getting better, we have a set back.

The month of January is always a difficult month for her and has proven to be such again in 2007. I often tease that it would be great if Lauren could go into hibernation in the winter and come out for the Spring thaw. I also tease a lot that Lauren could definitely benefit from a nocturnal mommy....and I know that many of you Sanfilippo moms can relate! :) Almost all of these kids love to stay up all night and cat nap through the day. It is truly amazing how these children have adapted to very little patterns of sleep. I certainly pray that part of our reward as parents will be to have REALLY LONG naps in heaven one day. :)

So, right now, what our family could benefit most from is: rest, strength, endurance, restoration, faith, and to witness the power of the ultimate healer....
all of these things I am confident will be granted through our prayers.

Another request is more on a personal note for my mother. Her ovarian cancer is now spreading. Her CAT scan this week has revealed evidence of cancer in her lungs, liver, spleen, and throat. God bless her.... she still remains secure that God is teaching her through these circumstances and is determined to serve Him through faith. Her unwavering faith has been such an inspiration in these 20 months of battling this disease. Please remember her in the coming months. She is most concerned about her decline in breathing. She witnessed both of her parents struggle with Lung Cancer which ultimately lead to their death.....she vividly remembers their suffering and is concerned of the unknown future.

Again, I express my gratitude to you all for your love, support, and care of our family. I'm not real good at writing individual thank you notes, because I just don't take the necessary time to do so. But, please know of our family's sincere thanks for ALL that you do for us. We love you all very dearly and hope that this letter finds you all in good health....may God bless!

In His service,

Lauren's Hope Foundation
P. O. Box 80081
Simpsonville, SC 29680
Phone: 864-862-8689