Archive for June 21st, 2013

Shanna Decker: Lose a Leg, Learn to Love

June 21, 2013

I wrote this profile of childhood cancer survivor Shanna Decker for what is now Caregiving in America magazine.Today, Shanna views her cancer and the resulting loss of a leg as a great gift. She is a remarkable young woman.

SHANNA DECKER: LOSE A LEG, LEARN TO LOVE

shanna-decker

Shanna Decker

For one week, Shanna Decker hid under the covers and cried, not wanting to talk to anyone, not even her parents. If you were seven years old, just found out you had malignant bone cancer and were about to lose all your hair to chemotherapy, you’d probably hide under the covers and cry, too.

And yet, after just one week, a week that Shanna said her mother spent not eating or sleeping, the entire Decker family—father Jack, mother Sherrie and 13-year-old sister Melissa—found the peace and strength they needed. “We talked about it as a family and we understood that we were not in control, that this was happening for a reason,” Shanna remembers. “We said, ‘Okay, Lord, take us where you need to take us.’”

That act of surrender changed everything. “We decided that we were going to (more…)