A Brave Story : Tammy + Rachel

on November 12, 2014 in #thatisbrave with 3 comments by

thatisbravesquared[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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Have encouraging words for Tammy? Have some thoughts about Rachel’s courage after reading her post and seeing her video? Leave them in the comments below!

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  1. posted on Nov 12, 2014 at 5:58 AM  |  reply

    What an encouragement of Faith! Rachel is now enjoying her reward of that faithfulness for eternity.
    May her story continue to encourage & move the hearts of those who hear it as it did me,

  2. Debie
    posted on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:11 AM  |  reply

    My daughter Rachel married Rachel Saxton’s cousin John. I got know Rachel through the family and she became a dear sweet friend of my husband and I. She worked with us in our photography business. She dated a young man that was our daughter and son in laws very good friend. I watched her grow and become a beautiful young lady. Then as her high school year ended the cancer began. Her fight for her life The fight of her life. I have alot more to include but the question to all of you is the same question she asked me a week or so before she was release from her body and pain and suffering. Why is god waiting so long to take her? The only answer I could give her was I didn’t know. Maybe God wanted to make sure she got to say good bye to more family and friends. Within the hour I was on the phone with my daughter and son n law to come home from Washington. They arrived on a Sunday and visited and prayed with Rachel their family and friends. They had to go home the next day, Monday. God took her home Tuesday morning.

  3. Becky
    posted on Dec 02, 2014 at 5:57 PM  |  reply

    My niece, Corinne, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 13 and battled hard for four years.

    From her obituary: ” She was a role model of bravery and an inspiring example of how to fully live a life in the face of adversity.”

    I saw brave. I say so.

    Love and miss you, Corinne.

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