The Virgin Mary Giving This Family Strength.
This is the story of Erin Potter.
February 7, 2007: Erin Potter was only 3 years old when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or ALL is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. It is characterized by an overproduction of white blood cells that affects the over-all immune system of the patient. The term acute denotes that it progresses rapidly without treatment. In fact, without treatment, it can prove fatal within a few months from diagnosis.
Fortunately, Erin’s parents, Kevin, who has a construction business, and Jeni, who is a primarily school teacher, was able to provide for her treatment through insurance coverage. Erin went through 2 ½ years of chemotherapy after her diagnosis.
June 28, 2009: Erin’s last day of chemotherapy. She was pronounced clear for 19 months afterwards.
December 2, 2010: Her younger sister Mary was born. Mary proved to be instrumental in Erin’s healing. This is because, upon the wise advice of their doctor, they saved Mary’s umbilical cord and this was used for the bone marrow transplant that Erin had to undergo when the cancer returned.
April 8, 2011: Erin was still able to attend a prom with her sister Annie at The Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland. Entitled “A Prom to Remember”, this is an annual event that gives teenagers (175 of them) battling cancer a chance to celebrate in an environment of acceptance and camaraderie.
“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:14-15
June 8, 2011: Erin had her first bone marrow transplant. She also went through another round of chemotherapy and radiation for 5 months,
March 2, 2012: A regular checkup revealed that the cancer had returned for the second time. This meant that Erin would need a second bone marrow transplant. It was around this time that Erin’s picture with the sparklers and the red figure was taken. Some people have suggested that the figure looks like Virgin Mary. And Jeni Potter, Erin’s mom, believes so. True enough, the figure closely resembles how Mary is depicted in pictures and figurines.
July 18, 2012: Erin had her second transplant. Through a national bone marrow donation program, they were able to find another donor in the person of Frank Reynolds, a 28-year old emergency medical technician, all the way from Long Island, New York, more than 500 miles from Mentor, Ohio, where the Potter family resides. Erin has been cancer-free and has come a long way since then. She even counts Barack Obama and Justin Bieber in her list of acquaintances. Her case has been used in propagating President Obama’s healthcare reforms known as Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. Her parents attribute her life-saving cancer care to said program which removed lifetime insurance caps for children like Erin.
Chronicling the life of Erin, imagine what the family had to go through. Especially for Erin, how difficult it must have been for her to reconcile with death when she is so young? And for Kevin and Jeni, how heartbreaking it must have been for them to see her child suffer through sickness?
But as you know, sufferings make us stronger.
Erin’s parents actually didn’t expect much from the apparition. If at all, they only took it as a sign that they are not alone and that the Virgin Mary is watching over Erin. She was due for another bone marrow transplant that time and her parents have resigned himself to her fate. But, miracle after miracle, the heavens seemed to conspire to heal Erin. The Lord provided for what they needed for her treatment: financial provision, bone marrow donors, emotional and spiritual support even from people they don’t know.
This journey has taught the Potter family to take one day, no, one moment at a time. And to keep looking up and have faith. And the apparition – it was a message for them from up above that they are not alone in their battles. And this is where they draw their strength.
Are you living one moment at a time? More importantly, are you seeing the miracle in each moment?
Signup to get our amazing updates before it goes viral