Our Little Ezer’s Big Battle

In late March, our Arden (Allison’s 4 1/2 year old) was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. She only complained recently that her leg was hurting, so you can only imagine the shock this diagnosis was for us.

X-rays revealed her femur is completely out of her hip socket. “How she has managed to be so energetic and active all this time?” is the question we’re all asking. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon in Anchorage who diagnosed her remarked with amazement, “Arden is one tough little kid!”

He referred Arden’s case to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Todd Blumberg at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH). After that, things began moving quickly. Arden has already had a consultation with Dr. Blumberg that underscored the seriousness of her case.

Surgery to reconstruct and restore the normal functioning of her hip and leg is scheduled for Thursday, April 18. She’ll be in a Spica (body) cast for 11 weeks and then rehab to learn to walk again.

I’ll be going to Seattle via Grand Rapids, where I’m speaking at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s final Talking Points Conference. So I’ll be there to support and help out during and after Arden’s surgery and later in Anchorage.

Obviously, Arden’s diagnosis has been devastating to our family. It is impossible for us to think of anything else but her. We are concerned for our little ezer and the battle she faces and want to do whatever we can to help Arden and her family get through this.

We’ve launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover airfare for multiple trips between Anchorage and Seattle and for household expenses when Allison takes an unpaid leave from work to care for Arden. I’ve written more about Arden’s situation on our GoFundMe page: “Arden is one tough little kid.”

In the meantime, thankfully Arden is not in pain. She’s carrying on and doing all the normal fun things little girls her age do. The grown-ups in her family are the ones who are feeling anxious (and that is an understatement).

Our comfort and hope are in knowing Arden is in the Lord’s hands and always has been. But we’re under no illusion that this battle will be easy. Already we’ve been blessed by extended family and lots of friends who are praying and under the burden with us. And we hope others will join them.

I’ll be posting updates here and at GoFundMe as the battle progresses. Please pray for Arden, support her GoFundMe if you can, and help me spread the word to others!

About carolyncustisjames

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6 Responses to Our Little Ezer’s Big Battle

  1. MJ Ehle says:

    We deeply groan when one of our small and strong “ezers” (or her brothers) suffers. Standing alongside, reading stories, wiping away tears, praying, hugging…all seem insufficient in the face of pain. But from personal experience, I know that God magnifies and multiplies our efforts, transforming them into the touch of His hand. April 18 is marked on my calendar to pray.


  2. Pete Ahlstrom says:

    All four of us will be praying for Arden Allison and you.


  3. Melissa says:

    Hello! My sister was born with the same condition. She wore a cast on her hip/leg area for a year when she was 8 months old. She runs several times a week, rides her bike, is a ski patrol, a nurse She is 55. She is an ezer for sure. So glad your Arden was born in this time, this medical age, this amazing medical healing that can be done!! Will be praying!! It is difficult surgery, forcing the femur into a hip socket that is not really there. May the Lord bless her and care for her as only He can in the coming days!

    Melissa Davis


    • Every once in a while someone tells us something that is so incredibly heartening. Thank you so much for telling us your sister’s hopeful story. I will pass this on to Alli and Frank. And yes, we are so grateful for the advances in medicine. I ache to think of children in places who don’t have access to these blessings. So thankful our Arden is going to get help.


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