There is a family in our community that is very special to me, my kids drive their son to school most mornings, he hangs out at our house whenever he can, his Mom is a treasure and his Dad is a rock. His Dad also has cystic fibrosis, has battled all his life and defeated the odds and predictions many times over. His name is Chad and he is still fighting hard. Last week he was deemed ready for a double lung transplant, and is in the process of being placed on the list at the University of Minnesota. This is great news, cause for celebration, and yet….
Chad had to immediately stop working, the surgeons told him his full-time job now is staying healthy for the transplant, and he probably won’t be available to work for 12 months. Can you imagine the stress of this on a young family?
There’s more, Chad doesn’t live in Minnesota, but has to be within 3 hours of the hospital at all times. This means that he must be ready to go when he gets the call, mobile within 30 minutes, to meet his new organs. Can you imagine the effort that would take in your everyday life?
Still more, after the surgery, Chad must have round the clock care provided by a friend or family member for 90 days. The plans must be in place at all times, whether the transplant happens in February or in May. Who would be willing and able to offer this to you?
None of these details are lost on Chad and his wife Heidi, they realize this is overwhelming in so many ways, and yet they are hopeful and filled with peace because even though they cannot anticipate all the needs and provide the money required to get through this, they know that God can. And they are trusting Him to provide.
I met with the couple two nights ago and Chad talked about the fact that in order for him to receive healthy lungs, someone would have to die to sacrifice them. His voice broke as he shared his feelings for this unknown person. As a community we are praying for that donor, that they would have the peace of Christ and His salvation, that they would be ready, and for their family to be strong and protected. It is surreal to pray for what is to come, without knowing the details, and yet we do it all of the time.
I am so impressed with Chad’s attitude, he could choose fear or worry to define him in this confusing time, but instead he chooses to be gracious and concerned for others. This fits with who I know him to be, and is a real life example of how we should all view life’s uncertainties.
If you’re so inclined, you can learn more about what we are doing to raise $200,000 towards Chad’s medical bills and living expenses at http://www.chadbautch.com or on Facebook under Team Chad Bautch.