As we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner at tables around the nation, I’d like to share a story about faith and grace.
Caitlyn Hill is the 11-year-old daughter of dear friends of mine, Michael and Lena Hill. Caitlyn was born with sickle cell anemia, a hereditary blood disorder common in the African-American community. As the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital describe it, sickle cell anemia “causes an abnormality in the molecules that carry oxygen in red blood cells. This abnormality can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body, leading to a number of serious health problems.”
As far back as 2009, Caitlyn has suffered from a recurring series of strokes. Ultimately, these strokes have impaired Caitlyn’s speech and left her without the ability to control some of the muscles in her face. I know that her health has taken numerous turns that left Michael and Lena wondering if she would live through the night.
The Hill family have undoubtedly experienced some very dark days. Throughout it all, they have lived a life full of grace; one rooted in a deep faith that God would reveal His intentions for Caitlyn and her family.
And, He did.
Caitlyn recently underwent a complete bone marrow transport, meaning every red blood cell in her body comes from a donor. The relatively new treatment seems to be working. Doctors now consider Caitlyn to be cured of sickle cell anemia, something once thought to be unimaginable years ago.
Caitlyn’s story is truly miraculous and the full power of her testimony was recently shared publicly when she was selected to be a Kid Captain by the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. The Kid Captain Campaign is a partnership between the University of Iowas and the University’s Children’s Hospital to “honor pediatric patients and celebrate their inspirational stories.”
As the website states,
Caitlyn’s story reminds us all to be thankful for the small moments that we often take for granted. I invite you to watch the clip of her story that was shared with me by her father, Michael. It should remind us all that Thanksgiving is not a preparation for Black Friday.
Thanksgiving is a moment to reflect on those things that truly matter, like Caitlyn Hill.