[Once a week, I am going to be sharing with you a brave story sent in from a reader. You can comment, respond, encourage. Want to submit your own story or a story of a brave friend of yours? Head to thatisbrave.com!]
This week’s #thatisbrave story comes from Tammy. I absolutely love when people see brave in their friends, even after the battle is over. Amazing. Her words and these names are used with her permission.
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My friend Rachel was diagnosed with osteosarcoma while a senior in high school. They told her she would lose her leg, but miraculously, they were able to spare her amputation and instead were able to cut out the bone and replace it with a titanium rod. After chemo, the cancer was gone, but it came back. She beat it twice. It came back a third time three years later and this time it was ugly. Just when one tumor was removed and treated, another popped up. She celebrated her 22nd birthday with friends before traveling to OHSU in Oregon for her treatment which began on her birthday. At the end of that treatment, a third tumor appeared and it was inoperable.
Never did she stop smiling. Never did she complain. She was greatly involved in our local chapter of YoungLife as well as Cross Fit. It was while at Cross Fit that she noticed the arm numbness that was the return of her cancer. She thought she’d injured herself lifting.
Rachel always put Jesus at the forefront. She still has a YouTube video of her story. It has over 13,000 views. Several people gave their lives to Christ at her memorial, which was so well attended that some people had to stand at our church, which seats 500.
She requested that her service specifically be a non-somber event. Not boring, but a “turn up the amps, rock the house with some worship music” type celebration of life.
And oh, did she live.
She was never focused on anything but giving God the glory for the miracles in her life. She believed He would heal her, and His healing was eternal. I believe her story will continue to lead people to Jesus, as will her video.
To me, Rachel faced more in those four years with bravery than many of us will face in an 80 to 90 year lifetime. She was determined and strong, and passionate about her faith and was always trying, always fighting for what was right.
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