ARDEN UPDATE #8: Setback

Today our little champ suffered a serious setback. X-rays taken this morning during Arden’s post-op at Seattle Children’s Hospital showed her femur is out of the socket.

Alli wrote this:

So, things have not quite gone as planned. Arden’s femur has dislocated (which was a concern) and will have to be repositioned & re-cast tomorrow morning. We are hoping for a non-surgical option, however it is still a possibility for the best outcome. More X-rays will be done on Friday, and we have our fingers crossed for a Saturday return to Anchorage ❤️

We are heartsick over this setback, as you can imagine. But we are in the battle full-throttle for our little Arden whose response to this new normal has been better than we could have imagined. And now, either way they resolve this problem, she faces another round under anesthesia, and she’ll probably be back on pain meds too. Hopefully, they’ll be able to readjust things without a surgical procedure, but either way, this is a tough development.

Thank you for your prayers, your words of encouragement, and for being in this battle with us.


Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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ARDEN UPDATE #7: On Wheels!

Saturday couldn’t have turned out better. This was Arden’s first day up and about. Seattle Children’s Hospital provided an incredible reclining wheel chair, so she was able to ride down the halls of SCH and out into a little garden.

She later said, “I want to sit in that wheelchair forever!”

Once she met all the requirements for discharge (which happened late in the day), she was exuberant. Tata (her other grandmother) had given her a singing Elsa doll. And yes, we’ve already lost count of how many times we’ve heard that doll sing “Let it go!” with Arden and Avery enthusiastically singing along.

Saturday evening, she was exuberant as her daddy wheeled her out of the hospital to the waiting hotel van. Arden, her little sister and Elsa were singing “Let it go!” at the top of their lungs all the way out of the hospital—much to the amusement of people who were watching.

It’s Sunday, and Arden and her family are now settled into the hotel for the duration of their stay here. Things are going smoothly. Arden is chipper, playful, and thankfully not in pain. Her mommy and daddy are already pros in managing her care. A ride outside in her wheelchair was a glorious break from sitting in bed. I took Avery to hunt Easter eggs at the home of my friends, Terry and Ken McNichols, and she proved more than equal to the task and brought home sweets to share with Arden.

Arden’s post-op is April 24, including x-rays to make sure the Spica cast is lined up perfectly to do its job. Once they get the thumbs up (which we pray they will), Arden and her family will be returning to Anchorage. Please keep her in your prayers. She’s just in week 1 of 6 in her Spica cast.


Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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ARDEN UPDATE #6: The First Battle

We are relieved and grateful to be on the other side of Arden’s surgery. She did exceedingly well throughout a very complicated and long surgery. Her recovery has been steady and strong. She is eating solids, talking, moving toes on both feet, and watching cartoons on an iPad. She even downed a chocolate donut with sprinkles.

As her mommy commented on Facebook, “Arden is in and out of good spirits but she’s safe and healthy!”

And for that we are exceedingly thankful.

Mainly her “out of good spirits” is because she keeps hoping someone will help her escape her purple Spica cast. It’s hard to imagine anyone being okay with such confinement—especially such an active, energetic little four-year-old. It will take time to adjust.

Much as we dreaded the surgery, an awareness is sinking in for all of us that, despite our since of relief that the surgery is over, this was only the first battle in the long, hard battle that lies ahead to get Arden back on her feet.

Please pray that she’ll adjust to this new normal, that the Spica cast will do its job to get her leg and hip in working order, and that Jesus will do a lot of healing to get our little Arden up and running again.

Thank you again for all your love, words of encouragement, prayers and support.


Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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ARDEN UPDATE #5: Surgery

ARDEN UPDATE #5: Arden is in surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She has been in surgery for about an hour. She was a total champ through all the pre-op. Her mommy put on scrubs and went with her into the OR and was with Arden when she went to sleep.

Arden will have a purple Spica cast when she comes out. Her choice.

Please pray for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. And thank you all once again for supporting our kids during this tough time.


Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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ARDEN UPDATE #4: Seattle Countdown

Arden, Avery, and Alli have been keeping busy doing fun things while the days tick off. In Anchorage, they took a trip to the library to check out lots of books to read when they return, followed by an afternoon in the park. Then a little bit of shopping, so Arden could pick out a nightie that will be “Spica cast friendly.” Somewhere in there, hamburgers—Arden’s fav!

Yesterday the three of them arrived in Seattle. The Seattle Children’s Hospital shuttle picked them up at the airport and drove them to the hotel, where they are settling in.

Pre-op was today (Wednesday) at 4:10pm/PT. Surgery tomorrow at 6:30am/PT.

We’ll have around 7hrs of waiting while Arden is in surgery and recovery.

We all have mixed feelings as the surgery approaches. The same old wishing we would wake up and find out this was all a bad dream and at the same time overwhelming gratitude for Dr. Blumberg, Seattle Children’s Hospital, an army of family and friends who are praying, and so many who have contributed generously to Arden’s GoFundMe.

I am reminded of what my grandfather used to say, “The Lord has his arms around us.” That is the story of our lives, and we are hopeful.


Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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ARDEN UPDATE #3: Anchorage Send-off!

Before traveling to Seattle, Arden wanted to take pizza to her class on her last day at school. Good thing her mom is a manager at Papa John’s. Little sister Avery got to take pizza to her class too. 

Arden is wonderfully oblivious to the seriousness of her impending surgery. She knows the doctor is going to fix her leg and that she will wear a cast. She doesn’t have categories for what that all means. Which is just as well. Frank and I FaceTimed with them today. Arden and Avery were chatting, singing, and flitting around the room with butterfly wings on their arms. 

Oh the innocence of childhood! 

Arden, her mom, and Avery leave Anchorage for Seattle on Tuesday. They’re planning a last minute outing to the Seattle aquarium. Pre-op is Wednesday when both Tata (Hilda Rodriguez their other grandmother) and I will join them. Their Daddy, Tony, will be right there for his girls. Surgery is Thursday. 

We’re grateful that our GoFundMe campaign has reached the half-way mark and then some. Notes from donors have been so encouraging. This is the big week, and we are standin’ in the need of prayer. 

Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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ARDEN UPDATE #2: Under the Mercy

Five years ago today, I was wheeled into the operating room at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. The pulmonologist who diagnosed me with Stage 1 lung cancer said it was a mercy they caught it so early—doubly so since I never had any symptoms.

Like happened to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose Stage 1 lung cancer was discovered during X-rays for a fractured rib, my cancer was “accidentally” discovered when doctors were checking for something else.

Every day I am profoundly mindful of God’s mercy to me.

Next Thursday, April 18, the little girl who turned Frank and me into grandparents will be wheeled into the operating room at Seattle Children’s Hospital. I must admit I dread that moment. But Arden is under God’s mercy too. A severe problem that remained hidden inside her little body for her first four years (still could be hidden) was mercifully caught in time for surgeons to do something to correct it.

Reconstructive surgery will take place at Seattle Children’s Hospital, one of the world’s most advanced children’s hospitals. Her surgeon, Dr. Todd Blumberg, was trained at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP), by Wudbhav N. Sankar, MD, CHOP’s specialist in orthopedic surgery for hip dysplasia.

The road ahead won’t be easy for our little one. Anyone who has ever loved a child will know this is exactly the kind of journey you’d do anything to prevent. Thankfully Arden’s journey is already bathed in mercy. We keep reminding ourselves of that. Only think of children with hip dysplasia who don’t have access this kind of help.

When we were first blindsided by Arden’s diagnosis and her medical crisis lurched into full gear, a close friend sent us this timely reminder—by Anglican Bishop Steven Charleston of the Choctaw Nation from his book, Hope as Old as Fire:

In heaven on high, a hand unseen turns a page, and your life changes. How much of life is spent changing? Waiting for a change, surprised by change, riding change like white water through an uncertain canyon. . . . In all things know change for what it is: your teacher. Do not be afraid for the Changeless One never turns a page without a purpose.

Friends and family who are praying us through this ordeal are part of the mercy. As one friend said, “You have a whole army of people praying for Arden.” Mercy is also showing up in those who are contributing to Arden’s GoFundMe which is almost at the half-way mark.


Reminder: Don’t forget Arden’s GoFundMe! She’s begun the long road to recovery from severe hip dysplasia. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re convinced she’ll go the distance.

Help us go the distance to our GoFundMe goal!

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