I want to introduce you to the recipient of some of Abbie’s most fervent prayers recently. One-year-old Bella Pollard is the daughter of Bo and Noel, who go to our church. I first met Noel a few years at one of the Beth Moore Bible studies I treasured so much. I liked her from the start, but upon finding out she was a PICU nurse, I knew she was truly special.
I was thrilled when Bo and Noel were expecting their first baby. Our Bible study group, demographically at least, leans toward the more mature side…more grandbabies are welcomed than new children. So, Bella’s arrival was exciting for all of us.
The next Beth Moore Bible study I was able to participate in was a different group, but to my delight, Noel was there, too, accompanied by little Bella. Noel always brought a “busy bag” of things to occupy Bella during the discussion and video, but look at that face….can you understand why I was distracted by her? Bella was a beautiful, healthy growing baby…learning to make her way around enough to get her hands on whatever she wanted.
After that study ended, I didn’t see Noel for a while. It is not uncommon for me to miss church several weeks in a row, caring for Abbie at home. One Sunday early this summer, I managed to get Abbie and I there on time. We were sitting in the back row, when I saw Noel walk down the center aisle…in a maternity dress! Little Bella, pictured here with Noel on her first birthday, was going to be a big sister!
I can’t recall exactly where I was when I got the first email, only that the world started spinning and I had to read it three times.
Bella had a growth in her tummy. It had been diagnosed as a malignant neuroblastoma. She would have to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy in preparation for the surgery that would hopefully remove the growth.
Noel’s pregnancy had become a complicated one, and now she entered the unfathomable world of “cancer mom”. Because of the toxicity of the chemotherapy, which would be shed by Bella during and immediately after the treatments, Noel could not care for her during these periods in order to protect the growing baby. I could not imagine a more heart-rending position, until recently.
Baby Jackson arrived on October 28th, a chemo day for Bella. I cannot fathom all the emotions contained in this photograph. As I write, Bella is with her daddy, Bo, in Boston, awaiting surgery scheduled for Monday.
Having taken that torturous walk to the OR with Abbie numerous times, I cannot begin know what this must be like for Noel — having an entire continent and half an ocean between her and her baby girl at this crucial moment. Nor can I imagine what Bo is going through, dealing with all of this without his wife and partner there. And precious Bella….five rounds of chemo, and now this major surgery.
Abbie, and our family, will be praying without ceasing until we hear Bella has come through this smoothly. Your prayers added to ours would mean so much.
The family is posting updates at http://www.giveforward.com/bella, where you can also contribute financially to help them through this severely challenging time.
I mentioned to Abbie that I was going to be asking you to pray with her, and she was VERY excited about this. She truly knows the power of prayer. At Thanksgiving, I was on one side of her, and Ray was on the other. As we joined hands around the table and began to pray, her whole body relaxed remarkably. I thought perhaps only I had felt this. After the prayer, Ray looked over at me and said, “Did you feel that?”
She knows Bella, and the Pollard family, need us…and she knows we can make a difference. Pray for Bella!