Sunday, October 30, 2011


Dear Friends and Readers,

Yesterday I spent some time on the phone with my good friend Shellee down in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvanian. She told me about their 4-year-old daughter's recent emergency surgery due to her unique issue with absorbing calcium. The little girl had intense kidney stones, removed under the knife, and now has to be carried from the upstairs bedroom to play downstairs quietly. She's hooked up to tubes and bags. She's having a rough time. Good news though, she's on the mend, but only at the beginning of the series of hospital visits and surgeries to deal with this rare problem.

Shellee and Zach, her parents, are two of us. They're hopeful farmers and current urban homesteaders. In their 1/4 acre of town lot they have raised their family, amazing gardens, rabbits, and their rescued dog. They have two young girls Madeline and Sarah (Sarah was just born this past year) and no health insurance. Shellee is a stay-at-home mom and Zach works his own antique dealing business, along with several other odd jobs (like out plowing snow all last night) to help keep the family together. Times are tight in the best of times, but they are a happy and grace-filled family. Being highly involved in their church and faith, they are supported emotionally, but they still need our help.

Yesterday on the phone I asked if I could post about their hardship? I told them how the community on CAF might have a few dollars to donate, or good healing thoughts to send their way. Shellee was more concerned about putting me out, then anything else. I insisted. This blog's generosity was why I was able to get my farm. This blog's kindness has supported readers who had lost their footing before, and have donated over the years to help several small families. Some day, this blog might help you, too.

As for the Snyder family: with travel to Philadelphia hospitals, medical bills not covered by the state's child insurance, hotels, and work missed to take care of Madeline: they are in need of our support. If you could send a few bucks, say a prayer, or send them an encouraging comment here on the blog; it would do wonders. I know times are tight for some of us, but even if folks just sent out a dollar each, it could change this young couples world.

Shellee said this on the phone to me last night. She said that she felt this hardship and dealing with the health issues, stress and late bills was just God's way of preparing her for the stresses and trials of running their own farm some day. She said it was something to overcome, and something that would make her family stronger. To find such grace when your little girl is hooked up to tubes and wires, amazes me.

Please donate. Use this button here in this post, (do not confuse it with the similar one on the right side of this blog). If it says "Madeline Snyder" in the donation field, you have the right one. I made a small contribution myself, and will have the family in my thoughts as they face this winter with a new set of worries.


Blogger Joe and Jeannie Family said...

I can empathize with this family. We too just visited the ER with our 10 mo old son who put BOTH hands on our gas fireplace. 2nd & 3rd degree burns - but praise God he is healing without skin grafts. The expense and stress of having a child need care is such a burden. I have made a donation and will pray for her continued healing and that the Lord will provide their every need. Phil 4: 6-7

October 30, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Roy said...

I'm donating in honor of my grandchildren who are in a similar situation right now without insurance. Gratefully, everyone is healthy but things change quickly with children, don't they? Praying now that God will bless this family.

October 30, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Carissa said...

Jenna, I love the fact that you post these stories and that this blog community comes together to help those in need. I made a small donation, knowing that it would be multiplied by all the other generous folks out there. Honestly, I can't afford to give even $20 right now - but your low-pressure pitch, and knowing how much just a couple dollars from each reader would help - empowered me to drop a few bucks in the donation can and still feel it would make a difference. My best wishes to this family.

October 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I thank you all. Shellee and Zach have been amazing friends. They helped me move (literally drove 10 hours roundtrip to help move sheep and boxes), listen to my worries and concerns, and when I feel like I just need to talk to someone about farming's ups and downs, I can call them and they get it.

I sent along what I could. I'm late with my mortgage payment, myself. But am a big believer in the power of community.

October 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hugs to the whole family. I sent a little something - I hope that it multiplies and grows with everyone else's generosity. Bless you for helping, too, Jenna.

October 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Dear Lord,

We ask that You put a blanket of healing light over Madeline. We know how You love the little children and Madeline needs You right now. Bless her Lord and bring comfort and peace to the family. Please provide what is needed. Thank You Lord for Your grace and mercy.

In Jesus' name we pray,

October 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger CDS said...

Hi Jenna, I did a small donation. In July my son donated a kidney to my daughter. Our community had a benefit for them and was such a help towards all those extra things no one thinks about. Praying for Madeline and her family.

October 30, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Thank you for posting this need. I've known hard times and health issues and have made a small donation in gratitude for all the blessings in my life.

October 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger LindaSue said...

Hi Jenna
Made a small donation in memory of my son Hank. I lost him when he was 11 and a day doesn't go by that I don't miss him. He struggled for almost 2 years and 20 hospitalization's before his little body just gave out.
We had no insurance, both hubby and I lost our jobs, due to the care required, unemployment ran out and we didn't get any help. So I know what a few dollars can do. Even a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread can be a lifesaver.

My heart goes out to the family for I know the stress and strain they are under. Just knowing that someone cares is wonderful. When my son died the people I had worked with sent several bags of groceries and an envelope with a collection they had taken up. It went for rent money to keep us from being evicted. Friends of my hubbies family gave money in envelopes and that paid for his cremation. So a little money can help in so many ways.

I didn't mean to rattle on so. It just brings back so many memories. To us ( my hubby and I ) we think that a child is the most important thing in this world, then come our critters, who depend on us and just share their love , no questions asked.
I will be thinking of this little girl and sending positive thoughts and care.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

October 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog has always been first and foremost a story of optimism to me - your perseverence through challenges, your successes, and your community of readers, which has transformed into a team of students, cheerleaders, apostles and friends.
I made a small donation in the spirit of optimism which I hope this family maintains, both through this trial, and throughout their lives as they strive together for their goals.

October 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Praying for that beautiful little girl and I also donated. I know your family of blog readers will help her out! Thank you for posting.

October 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Made a donation and am praying for Madeline and her family.
I miss reading the Snyder family's blog and hope they will begin blogging again after this crisis is over. =)

October 30, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Anja said...

Have done a smal donation myself, sending good prayers their way now.

October 30, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger bree said...

My heart goes out to this little girl and her family. It is a crime and a tragedy that this rich country offers no affordable health care plan for its citizens as other countries do. I have made a donation. Thank you Jenna for doing what you can.

October 30, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Its hard to find things to do these days to "pay it forward" because the media has you scared to walk out your front door, let alone stop to help someone on the side of the road. It has always seemed that in my life, just in the knick of time, I have been "rescued" or made it through whatever I was dealing with. I am very grateful for that and for the people who have helped me. Thank you for giving me the chance to help someone else out, albeit in a small way. Kindness is contagious and I hope it keeps spreading. :-)

October 30, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Another small donation. Poor Madeline, I hope you've been through the worst of it; no child should have to experience such pain so young. (I don't have children, but I have had kidney stones. bleah!)

October 30, 2011 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Dee Anne Anderson said...

Thank you, Jenna, for sharing stories of those who touch your life and need help. I believe God calls us to help those in need, as much as we can. I gave a little, and I hope that the Snyder family will be blessed.

October 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad because I don't have any extra cash to donate, but I *can* say prayers and have faith that Madeline and her family can pull through.


October 30, 2011 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I got a call from Shellee today, she got lucky and was able to spend tonight in the Ronald McDonald House in Philly while Madeline is seen by Doctors. They are floored by the help so far!

Shellee said she will write a thank you letter to be posted here on the blog.

I thank you all, too.

October 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

I'm sending a small donation, too, along with my thoughts and prayers.

October 30, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Lissa B. said...

Jenna, Thank you for posting this story. I really appreciate that you try to bring us together to do some good for people in need. It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in our own lives and not really see the struggle of others until it is too late. I made a small donation on behalf of my two daughters. One is 5, the other is 1. I can't imagine having to go through something like that with either of them. I will pray for Madeline and her family and hope that through all of us, their trial will be a little easier to walk through.

October 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger leslie said...

i am sending a little bit of a donation and a lot of positive energy and love your way. thanks for giving us the chance to help, jenna.

October 31, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger kbmurray said...

Sending a little something for this beautiful little girl. Hope she gets well soon.

October 31, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Misha said...

I'm thankful for 4 healthy kids and health insurance.
My prayers and a donation go out to this family.

October 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Made a small donation. A reminder of all that we have to be thankful for. I will keep their family in my thoughts and pray that Madeline continues to heal.

Jenna, I have been following your story for a little while. Mostly reading and commenting here and there. It is wonderful to find a community of people who share similar hopes and values and can come together like this to support each other in times of need.

October 31, 2011 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a country where people didn't have to beg and hold car washes and spaghetti feeds to get the medical care they need?

Wishing the best for the family.

November 1, 2011 at 2:25 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

I made a small donation to this family. I've been unemployed under employed, and uninsured, and I know how scary it can be. I hope that this little girl can overcome. Best wishes.

November 1, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Zev said...

Prayers to Madeline and her family. So sad that Pennsylvania's CHIP can't help them out more.

November 1, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

I sent a little something. I do live in a country...Australia...that has a fre health care system for everyone, but my daughter and 4 g/children live there in Ohio. She is now a single mum, and her ex husband works for himself. I worry about what they would do if any of them get sick, and I would hope her community would help, just as this one is seeing to little Madeline and her family.

My thoughts and prayers are with them.

November 2, 2011 at 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LETS GO MADELINE!!!! YOU CAN AND WILL LIVE!!! AND YOU WILL COME OUT STRONGER BECAUSE OF IT!!! Im out of allowence right now, would donate if i could

November 6, 2014 at 11:58 PM  

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