Prayers for Rachel – #PrayersForRachel

On August 9th, 2012, at age 17, Rachel was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor {DIPG or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma}…


This was an outstanding shock to our entire extended family because Rachel does not fit the profile for this cancer!  About 200 cases arise each year, most of which appear in children between the ages of 5-10, and on average most live only a few short 9 to 12 months post diagnosis.  Rachel and her identical twin sister are to start their senior year in high school today… the first time in their lives that they did not attend the first day of school together.

We are all still struggling with this news, and have researched everything we can about this cancer.

While my husband and I were engaged, we decided that I would complete a study abroad program in Jerusalem for six months, something I had always dreamed of doing.  During that time, my hubby lived with his aunt and uncle, Rachel’s family, in an effort to help us save money for our wedding while he attended the university.  My husband has been close to Rachel’s mother ever since he was a little boy, as she always seemed to look out for him… just like he was her own son.  Since she started her family later in life, Rachel and her four siblings are considered more as nieces and nephew’s, than cousins.  We would do anything for this wonderful family!

I don’t know if it is the twin connection or not, but we have always felt close to Rachel’s family!  My husband is a twin {yes, he has a twin sister}, and we have identical twins as you all know well. There are actually five sets of twins in the extended family.

I include a photo below of my husband holding Rachel, with his twin holding Rachel’s identical twin.  My hubby says that those six months helping with Rachel and her siblings did more to help prepare him for actual parenthood than anything else, especially in raising identical twins!

Twins and Twins

While we lived in Kansas City, Rachel’s family kept in touch, visiting us during the summers {see photo below}. Today, Rachel’s family lives only 20 minutes from us.

Twins and Twins

On August 14th, I posted a brief message to our Facebook Page about Rachel’s diagnosis… and our fans were so wonderful in their responses!  Rachel and her family read through each thoughtful response, loving comment, and heart-felt prayer from our fans all over the world!  It brought tears to their eyes to know that so many of you were mindful of Rachel, and praying for her in your own way!

I checked Twitter later that day and saw that some of you began a hashtag of #PrayersFor Rachel that was beginning to trend in some areas!  People all over were retweeting, not even knowing Rachel personally or the details of what was happening with her!

Through all the prayers and fasting from friends and family, including your prayers, Rachel and her parents reached a decision on a treatment.  They felt guided to apply for a program treating this cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and feel very blessed that she was accepted into the program.

If any of you would care to follow Rachel’s journey, as she blogs her experiences and shows her faith and determination in her own words as she battles this cancer, you may do so by following Rachel’s Blog.  Feel free to leave comments on her posts, as I know Rachel would love to hear from you!

If any of you have ever wished you could do something for us, please spread the word about Rachel… you can share Rachel’s blog link {} along with the hashtag #PrayersForRachel on either Facebook or Twitter.  I know how passionate our amazing fans can be… and more and more prayers certainly couldn’t hurt!

Thanks for reading this post, and we wish you all the very best! With a huge heart of gratitude and love from our extended family to yours,

* Note from Mindy: Don’t forget to follow us on BlogLovin, a new easy-to-use blog reader!

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  1. Any brain tumor is inherently serious and life-threatening because of its invasive and infiltrative character in the limited space of the intracranial cavity. However, brain tumors (even malignant ones) are not invariably fatal, especially lipomas which are inherently benign. Brain tumors or intracranial neoplasms can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign);..`^..

    Most current write-up straight from our own web portal

  2. I’m only 13 years old but I really and truly
    Believe exactly what Debbie said she said
    The doctors may diognos it but I stand on
    The word of God and call it “gone in the
    Name of Jesus!
    Also about a year ago our church family
    Lost a four year old little boy to a battle
    With cancer
    It was devistating but every thing will be
    Okay! I believe it with my whole hart!
    My prayers go out to you and reachle

  3. Thats crazy we just had a little girl who just turned five this last weekend from my town diagnosed with the same thing in July. Heartbreaking. Prayers all around

  4. hey mindy I am sorry for you and also for ranchel I have an inoperatible brain tummor too. I can’t remember what it’s caled “brinstem ugleamia” or something like that. Anyway I went to a check up yesterday. I’m mostly ok so I hope you are to. I had radiation and have been battleing it for four years now. Also if you ever see a book called “I’m a super hero” by daxton wild and his mom you should read it. Anyway let me know what you thing of the book and what you did or are going to do for make-a-wish

  5. Oh mindy I am so sorry to hear that but are you going to do any hair does in those six months pleaseeee answer me at my Facebook page haya aljaleeli.

  6. Hi,
    I am 14 and I love doing hairstyles on my little sister (5), so I check your blog almost every day and have been since last year. I am very shocked at this news, as I expect your whole family is too. I just wanted to let Rachel know that I am praying for her, as are many other families. I wanted to let her know that she is not alone, I will think about you and pray for you every day until I know you are better. You need to hope for the best, and God will take it from there.
    Best wishes,
    Amalie (CA)

  7. I am so sorry to hear this, but Dr’s are not always right and change in diet and prayers can go a long way.

    I want to share with you an article I read today:

    I would encourage her family to keep checking into alternative methods and treatments. Sometimes a cancer/tumor is a way for the body to try to heal itself and wall off an infection. The doctor get it wrong – while they are well educated, they are not God.

    Our daycare provider’s son was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3, had treatment and twenty years later is still in remission after much prayer and change in diet.

  8. I first became aware of DIPG last year when we were praying for a little 5 year old girl who was diagnosed. We since lost our own little girl of another illness. Please know I am praying for Rachel and all of you who love her.

  9. I am a longtime follower of your blog and my girls have sported many of your styles. I am also a longtime supporter of St. Jude and am fortunate enough to live in Memphis and see the wondrous works those doctors provide. She is in the best hands – between St. Jude and God. We will lift her up in prayer.

  10. Hi,
    That is terrible news…. I am 11 and my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer 6 or 7 months ago. Many tears were shed but we prey every night and through it all her tuner is 67% gone… She is a walking miracle for with the type of tumor she has almost never disappears like that. My grandma has a positive attitude everyday and goes on with life the best she can. Her fight isn’t over but she will fine. So will ur niece

  11. I know Rachel! Well, I didn’t get to know her personally but we go to the same school. And I know what an amazing runner she is! I also know a lot of people personally that do know her and we’re all very very sad that she’s sick. But all of us are keeping her in our prayers!

  12. I am french and regularly I see and read your hairstyle ideas . Today, I am very shocked. I cannot do anything only praying, but I want to hope that it’s very much and Beautiful Rachel will be in ggod health. Miracle is always possible.

  13. I know what the doctors diagnosis calls it, but I’m standing on the Word of God and will call it “Gone in the name of Jesus!”.

    That is the number one thing I pray for this child. Healing, happiness, and a long life.


  14. My prayers will be with your niece & all of your family as she endures what this journey has & will offer as well as asking God to give all the doctors the wisdom they need to help treat Rachel. Stay strong Rachel & family, God is in control.

  15. 30 years ago, our young pastor’s wife was dx with an inoperable brain stem tumor. Prognosis was very bad. She was sent to 3 surgeons. They even went in and removed a ‘feeler’ for biopsy. The last scan, no tumor. It was gone. It was a miracle. The surgeons were all shocked. This summer I met up with them on facebook. They had 2 more children, now having grandbabies. They have pastored a church in Idaho and are now retireing. Headed to Thailand to begin a new ministry. I remember how dire it was initially. As if a brain tumor is too big for our God to heal. Well I know of one that he did heal, so I am praying full of faith for you and your beautiful family. May God pour his blessings out all over you and the doctors and nurses as you begin this journey. <3 <3 <3

  16. Hey I just wanted to say I will be praying for Rachel and my grandpa and aunt died of cancer and It’s very sad… You just have to keep praying and know God will do the right thing. I am very faithful and will remember Rachel. She will be ok… you just have to rely on how God wrote her life book.

  17. Oh Mindy and family,

    I am so sorry that you all have to go through such a horrible thing. It is obvious that you are such a special family and love runs abundant, which will help Rachel during this time. Miracles occur everyday at St. Jude’s. My family and I will continue to pray for Rachel and her family as well as those helping her.

    God Bless.

  18. Hello, I became aware of your niece via my friend, who is a part of your hairstyle facebook page. I lost my son at the age of 7 from a DIPG. I can understand what you and your family are going through..and I wanted to offer up any help I can give, whether it be someone to talk to, or a help finding resources, ANYTHING.
    Praying for your beautiful niece.
    Meg–Mother of Angel Tyler, forever 7

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