With the announcement of my daughter (Natalie Orlando's) Leukemia diagnosis, 51 days ago my life took a turn unlike any I could ever imagine. One day I was working, doing my usual things and within a few minutes, I would drive away not knowing if I'd ever return. Nearly everything I had thought was important had quickly atrophied. I had one focus -- securing of the best medical care for my little girl.

To be honest, the first weeks I felt so broken, my heart was as heavy as it has ever been in my whole life. Sometimes not even able to stand because of the gravity of the situation. I became the advocate for my daughter who couldn't speak because she was so young. I immersed myself into her disease so I could fight for her every benefit. Feeling the stretch and taxation in my marriage, family and my faith, I regularly received bad news only to receive worse and worse news after that. BUT out of all of it I knew (and still know) God is good He desires the best for my family. This even has scared me but it has given me even more reason to hunker down in his love. God is my rock and my shield. He has the keys to life and death and even after death we are still secure in His grip. I know that this life will bring trouble but the LORD will strengthen us and equip us to do His work where ever it leads.

I am witting out of gratitude for your incredible prayers and gifts you've showered us. Your prayers have warded off the evil ones plans and have lifted us up when we could hardly holds ourselves together. Your presence has truly made us feel like we are not alone even when I felt like I had the weight of the deepest ocean on my shoulders. The incredible out pour of love and support through this initial stage of Natalie's treatment has truly allowed us to better bear this burden.

We have seen so much support there were actual times where I've felt guilty that so many people have supported us when other families hadn't even had a visitor in six weeks. The monetary support, the encouraging letters, phone calls, emails and the visitors have not simply encouraged us but have spoken to others families and hospital staff too. The prayers have extinguished the fiery arrows of the evil one and have fought back so many undesirables. Your support has given us courage to face our darkest fears head on and has given us the strength to press on with power, persistence and endurance.

At best we have 788 days left of chemotherapy so our fight is truly just beginning, but I will always be indebted to all of you who've lit the walking path for our darkest hour. You are truly the hands and feet of God.

With much love,

Dominick, Dana, Natalie, Nicole and Daisy the dog too

Natalie Orlando

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