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change of plans…

After doing another echocardiogram this morning, the doctors have decided that it is best not to have Cora’s surgery today. They think that perhaps the fluid around her heart is a bit less than yesterday (which would be a good thing), but also the risk of nicking her liver during the surgery is very high. So, for now that procedure is on hold.

So, what does this mean for today? Right now, Cora is being put on an oscillator, another type of ventilator that will inflate her lungs and hopefully increase her lung capacity so that she can breathe more easily and require less oxygen. Pray that she will respond well and quickly to this new device.
p.s. This is James again, and just so you know, whenever I make a post it’s because Joel and Jess need your prayers even more. Please be lifting them up today.
  • JenniferNe - We are new prayer warriors! We will be praying for your family!ReplyCancel

  • The Balzers - I too, find myself thinking of you first and last thing of my day…and many many times throughout. I’m so sorry about this rollercoaster that you’re on. But just know that God chose you as Cora’s parents for a reason and had this planned out before we even knew Cora. He KNEW that the 2 of you, together, and with Him, could do this. Cora is SO lucky to have you both. And we are all so lucky to have you in our lives as well. My life is better because you are in it.

    PRAISE THE LORD the fluid may be going down on it’s own. I will pray that Cora will do well with this new ventilator and that this rollercoaster will end…no more downs…just UPS!

    Praying constantly and loving you guys so much!ReplyCancel

  • The Balzers - oh yes, and Happy 11 months old today, Cora!!! Can’t believe you’ll be celebrating the BIG ONE before we know it! And I just have this feeling that it will be the biggest, baddest, ONE YEAR OLD birthday party EVER!ReplyCancel

  • blessedmomto7 - Lifting up all of you! May God’s peace surround you.ReplyCancel

  • James' Full House - I am also new here and do not know you. But Cora is now on the top of my prayer list. Praying that God will heal this sweet baby, that he will continue to cover all the family with his love and presence. That he will have mercy on this beautiful little girl and do the miracle neeeded in her life. We are thinking and praying for you.


  • Judy - Praying for little Cora right now!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - I have been praying throughout this morning to give the doctors God’s guidance to decide what is the best option for Cora. She is so precious and is far to little to fight such hard battles….but God is with her and with Him she is STRONG to face all things. Lean on Him during this time, be comforted in knowing that so many people around the world are praying for your precious daughter and your family. I pray that the oscillator will work wonders for her and it will help her be more comfortable so she can rest and heal. We may not always understand God’s plan but we know that He has the best at heart for Cora. I pray that He continues to show His mighty presence to your family and show everyone that the power of prayer is so much bigger than any medical treatment.

    Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning and ask that you comfort this family during this trying time. You are more powerful than any disease or medical treatment and you are the Great Healer of all things. We pray that you will heal and repair Cora’s body and continue to help her improve every day. Please help the oscillator work wonders for Cora and help increase her lung capacity so it may remove the fluid from her body. Cast out the cancer and free your faithful servant here on Earth so she can be loved by her family and continue to grow in your Light.

    God bless Your family,

  • Misty Rice-Baniewicz - Won’t stop praying!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Praying for you knowing that our God is the only one in control. It gets to a point where you don’t even know what words to pray because the pain is so deep. Keeping you lifted up in prayer constantly.ReplyCancel

  • Steph - I am new here…..but praying for Cora in Riverside,CA.. I am lifting her up with my arms stretched out as I as they can reach.

    New Prayer Warrior in CA.

  • Karen - Hoping and praying for your entire family from VAReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Our hearts are with you as we so well understand the terrible ups and downs you experience. Bob once said he wished we could just have one day that was normal…but we never found out what normal was. Now, looking back, we know we just wanted one day that was at least a steady ride, and not so up and down. We know you are so exhausted . . . isn’t it amazing how very tired you become just “waiting?”
    Please know we have you ALL in our prayers, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, and most of all, you, Joel and Jessica, and precious baby Cora. You are embedded in our hearts. bob and julaneReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - From a blog-readers’ perspective:
    Joel & Jess, people all around you (for miles around you!) are working, driving, talking… and at the same time thinking, praying and praising God for Cora.
    We feel anxious moments, check the blog for updates and if we find none, we assume there is no change. We wait with you, although apart from you. We want to hear of change and meanwhile we hope and pray for improvement of Cora’s health.
    Thanks for each and every time you blog and know that we share your struggle, in some small way.
    Joel & Jess: if you would, please share your thoughts and concerns throughout the day with short blogs, giving us specific things to pray about.
    Psalm 147:11 The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

  • Anonymous - Bless your hearts! I cannot fathom the pain you feel. know so many are praying continuosly.
    A stranger on Earth, but sister in Christ.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - We are praying daily for you.
    John and JodyReplyCancel

  • beckley - my 3 and 5 year-olds are praying for you today in milwaukee…ReplyCancel

  • aimee - Hi ! I found your blog through Angie Smith’s Blog (bring the rain) and when I first saw Cora’s sweet face, I knew that it would be hard to forget. Since then I have prayed for both her and your family often. It must be so hard to see your sweet baby so sick….it’s heartbreaking for a stranger to see your baby hurting. I just wanted to let you know your family has not been far from my thoughts, and have prayed for Cora each time I kiss my children Matthew and Anna.ReplyCancel

  • The Halls - Macs and Bevs,

    We have been praying for the extended family, Jess, Joel and Cora. Addison really wants to see her. She is not really sure why she can’t, but she prays that they will let her soon!

    David Hall & family

    PS. The NBC youthgroup has also been praying for you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Joel & Katie - Praying for Cora and the Mac family…

    J&K (Atlanta, GA)ReplyCancel

  • kana - Still praying several times daily for baby Cora and her family!!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I thought you should know that I have shared your story with all my friends and family and they too are on their knees praying for your baby girl.

    May our God bring comfort and peace to you this day.

    Macalla Yi-SeattleReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - My Name is Joan I am from the National Cancer Coalition. It is a not for profit Oraganization that offers fiancial support to families like yours. It can help deter cost for gas, food and bills during your time of need. I urge yu to go to this site or call this number 1-800-891-7086. Someone I spoke to on the phone today gave me your site and asked me to pray. That I will do but PLEASE contact us to see what we can do to help you in your time of need.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I wanted to let you know I am still praying for you all…and now you have become part of our evening family time. Please know you have touched our hearts and lives. (although I am sure this is not the way you wanted to do it) But thank you for being so transparent w/ your battle and faith!!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Dear Lord- We thank you for Cora and the amazing witness of her family. Please put your arms around the during this scary and difficult time. Forbid Satan to even enter their life and help the draw near to you. Lord you tell us to come to you when we are hurting. Jess and Joel our at your feet show them your light during this dark hour. Help Cora heal Lord. We praise your name! AmenReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I don’t know you or your family but I came across your story through another blog. I have two daughters of my own and my heart is breaking for your beautiful little girl. I will be praying for her and your family through this difficult time. Stay strong and God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - So thankful to hear that Cora’s fluid is going down on it’s own praise God! I think of you all day long and pray that you will continue to find peace and comfort in Him.
    Love In Christ
    Kelly and CourtneyReplyCancel

  • laney - …we thank you Lord for this change in plans…we trust You that the doctors were so wise in their decison…continue to hold up these sweet parents and grandparents…make this little one well…we prasie You for all good things…amenReplyCancel

  • have a lovely - praying for your baby girl!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • seabafive - I do not know you all, but fell in love with little Cora the first time i saw her picture. How could you not with that adorable smile! I have been praying daily for Cora and for your whole family! Praying that you soon will see that precious smile again!ReplyCancel

  • Angela - I am also new here, but praying for Cora and her family daily. I pray that our God will heal this sweet little baby girl.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - PrayingReplyCancel

  • Danielle - I just found your blog and your sweet family hasn’t left my thoughts since. I am praying for you all throughout the day and wishing you all peace, health and some sleep. Keep your chins up- your baby needs you!ReplyCancel

  • Lori (mom to a 25wker) - I do not know your family personally but please know that I am praying for sweet Cora! Stay strong baby girl!!


  • Lisa - I as well as my entire bible study group are continuously praying for beautiful Cora and all of you.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - I found your blog through another one that I read daily. Cora’s name will be lifted daily in prayer.ReplyCancel

  • Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat - I will daily offer this version of the traditional Jewish prayer for healing on your daughter’s behalf:

    Mi she berach avoteinu,
    M’kor hab’racha l’imoteinu
    May the source of strength,
    Who blessed the ones before us
    Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing
    And let us say: Amen.

    Mi she berach imoteinu,
    M’kor hab’racha l’avoteinu
    Bless those in need of healing with r’fuah sh’leima
    The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,
    And let us say: Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - We continue to pray for each of you. The kids ask about and pray for Cora everyday.
    ryan, gina & kidsReplyCancel

  • PamperingBeki - Praying today for each of you.

    God bless you Macs.ReplyCancel

  • Summer - This beautiful girl and her amazing parents will be in my prayers tonight as every night.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa K. of XSBaggage & Co. - I have been praying through the day and night since I heard of Cora’s story yesterday through a blogger friend. I will continue to pray for her recovery, and also that God continue to give you, her parents, the strength that you’ll need to help her through this.

    Isn’t it comforting to know that God is in control and that he hears each of our prayers?

    Praying for you all from Port Angeles, WA.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - A whole bunch of us here in Spokane, Washington are praying for your entire family and the hospital staff.ReplyCancel

  • Susie (So Blessed) - continuing to pray…ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Praying in Indiana!!!ReplyCancel

  • Nate M - Dear Joel and Jess,

    You don’t know me, but Nate and Dee and their family are dear, dear friends of ours. We love them like family and because of that, we have come to love you and Cora like you are family also. We are praying for you and for God’s sustaining grace to surround each of you as you go through each day.

    Psalm 3:3-8

    But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

    With Love and Prayers,

    Derena DanubeReplyCancel

  • anglswngs - Found you through Bring The Rain and I have been thinking of you all day today. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. Praying in Annapolis.

  • Amanda from Indiana - I’ve heard your story and just thought you may want to know that there are many prayers coming from Crawfordsville, Indiana. I will send my email on so that others can pray for you angel also. I won’t stop praying!
    With Love,Hope,Faith,& Prayers,
    Amanda Frazier and FamilyReplyCancel

  • Old Beach Bungalow - I’m praying that God heals that sweet little angel and provides peace and comfort to her family.ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - I found your story through a friend’s blog. I just want you to know that I am praying for you and your sweet baby here inNew Mexico. I have asked all of my friends to pray. Just know that people all over the country are praying for Cora.ReplyCancel

  • merrilee z. - I am a friend of your cousin, Nancy Wasley, and she has passed Cora’s story on to me so I can spread the circle of prayer. We are all praying for Cora now, and know that God’s wisdom and mercy will prevail.

    We are also praying for you guys, as your strength and resilience is as important to Cora’s recovery as her own.

    Please know that Cora’s prayer circle reaches far and wide and is unending.ReplyCancel

  • Elaine - Prayin for you in California.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Praying for your baby girl in central Illinois.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - My son was in the hospital approximately 9 days ago having his appendix removed. On the day he got to come home, my husband mentioned your family and your situation. My husband, Price Wright, works at Cessna with I believe Cora’s grandfather. After my husband told me your news I began to weep for your family. The Holy Spirit has moved me to tell everyone I know about this precious baby and to ask for prayer. Even though we have never met I want you to know we are praying for you and your family.
    Price and Laurie WrightReplyCancel

  • Mama Kat - Still praying!! Is there anything else we can DO!?! I feel helpless…is there somewhere we can send cards or care packages to??ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Always praying for you sweet baby Cora… in the car, cooking dinner, brushing me teeth… ALL THE TIME!
    God is bigger than all of this.
    He is in control.
    People across the nation are admiring your family’s strength in the Lord during this difficult time. People are receiving and coming back to the Lord… all because of little Cora.
    God bless this child in her hour of need!
    ~Prayer WARRIORS from OklahomaReplyCancel

  • Starsnrose - You may well not realize it now because of what you experiencing, but your sharing the Lord’s word has been an inspiration to me. We are all enduring so much loss and chaos in our lives now and having you to remind us to always look up is a testimony. Thank you for reminding us.

    I am continuing to lift sweet Cora. I will also be sharing your website with those I know will pray.

    Looking up now!
    Alice LarkinReplyCancel

  • The Metz Family - Hi! You do not know me, but I just wanted to tell you, that your story has reached Hattiesburg, MS. I will be in prayer for your family and your beautiful baby girl. She is so precious. I will pray that you have strength, peace, maybe some rest, but most of all, healing.
    Stacey MetzReplyCancel

  • The Mershawn's - We’re still here praying….ReplyCancel

  • Thompson Tales - I don’t know you, but I just found your blog…As I read your blog, my heart broke for you and your family as you struggle with Coras illness. My family will definately have you in our prayers, and God speed for a quick recovery.ReplyCancel

  • leahneer - I found your story on Karla and Dave Banks website. As soon as I read it, my heart went out to all of you. What trials and tribulations you have been through. I am sorry for all you’re experiencing, so deeply sorry. I have been praying for all of you and checking your blog each day multiple times to see what progress has been made. I hope the new ventilator will bring Cora some relief and expand her lungs as they need to be. God has heard your prayers, just know that, and he is on your side…looking out for all of you. Have faith in that if you can through this hard time. I will continue to pray for Cora to heal and recover from the complications that may arise. I also will pray for your strength to make it through this challenge in life you are facing every minute of everyday, as it has to be the hardest thing to go through. I can only imagine what you all are going through. Hopefully words can give you some comfort and know many around the world are on your side and sending up millions of prayers for you and your little girl. I will pray for Cora to have more ups than downs. Bless you and your family, lean on each other and find comfort when you can:) God Bless!ReplyCancel

  • leahneer - I heard your story on Karla and Dave Banks blog. My heart went out to all of you and your dear little girl. Since reading it all, I check back multiple times a day to check in on her and pray each and every day for her and all of you to make it through this difficult time. God has you in sight and will take care of Cora. Rest assured so many people have heard this story and have added you on their prayer list. I continue to pray Cora will do well on the ventilator today and she will be able to gain more air into her lungs. The ups and downs of all this is something I can only imagine. Stay strong and lean on those who care for you and words given. May they comfort you in time of need. From this point….may there only be more ups than downs. God bless all of you:)ReplyCancel

  • Trez - I am praying for you!ReplyCancel

  • Townsend Crew - Remember there will be plenty of time for tears another time… After all this is done, and your little girl is out of harm’s way, THEN you can cry. Take these days with her for smiles and laughter! She needs that more!
    Load of prayers headed your way! Know you are all loved and prayers here in Chicago area where you are being loved.ReplyCancel

  • carissa... brown eyed fox - still lifting… praying… for you all!ReplyCancel

  • Damian, Marla, Clara, Oliver and Isabel - Great God, the giver of all good, accept our prayers and bless baby Cora. Grace, health, and strength to her afford through Jesus Christ our risen Lord.

    In Your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.


  • Scarlet O'Kara - Please hug Joel and Jess and pass on some strength to them…and when you can, please whisper to Baby Cora that so many people are praying for her…

    I am sending out another prayer request, as well as continuing to pray myself…ReplyCancel

  • Rambling Girl - Just checking in today to see about Cora. Gosh it is a regular part of my day these days and so many others as well.
    Remember God is so GOOD!ReplyCancel

  • i love plum - Joel, Jess and sweet Cora…hear my prayers as I am saying them constantly. You drift into my thoughts every few minutes…odd sounding I’m sure as you don’t really ‘know’ me. However, I feel like I know you as though you’re family. Bless you all. xoReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Prayers from a stranger for your family and everyone helping to heal your baby girl.ReplyCancel

  • The Other Side of Me - I am sure that God’s arms are wrapped around you and Cora today. I am sending my best thoughts and prayers to you all today and pray for Cora’s complete recovery.

  • Belle (from Life of a...) - My prayers are with your beautiful Cora as well as you, your family, and the doctors.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - My name is Dawn, and I, like you have done a stint in the PICU at Wesley. Our daughter, Briana, unfortunately, did not make it through our ordeal. I hesitated to send this for fear of making the situation worse for you, but your story touched my heart and the pictures of beautiful Cora brought back a lot of memories. You are in my thoughts and prayers beleive. And know that the PICU at Wesley is the best. We were actually moved from St Francis to Wesley because Via Christi didn’t have a pediatric specialist. We had Dr. Lyndell Green, and he was a Godsend, really. I hope your Dr. is trying everything he can to heal Cora, body and soul. I guess I just wanted to tell you I beleive my baby girl is watching over Cora, so if you feel an angel on your shoulder, I bet it’s her. Take care, God Bless, and hope you get to hold her soon.ReplyCancel

  • katie - sometimes when its hard to believe just about anything, it helps me to remember that i am more loved than i could ever imagine.

    you are more loved than you could ever imagine.
    your husband is more loved than you could ever imagine.
    your sweet baby girl is more loved than you could ever imagine.

    just sending a comment to let you know that someone else is praying for you and your sweet girl!

    a favorite…
    “i consider that our present sufferings are not even worth being compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.” romans 8:18ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I’m thinking about you during the day as I teach, and in the evenings I read your blogs. I’m praying for all of you- for strength, and understanding at the whole situation. God is with you, and even when you grow weary God loves you and is taking care of you. I’ll pray for Cora tonight that she’ll be able to breathe on her own soon again.

    love to you both,
    Jody ChildsReplyCancel

  • LuLu - I continue to pray everyday for your baby.

  • Lauren - Just wanted to let you know that we are praying for sweet Cora – that God would take her pain away and heal her little body. We are also praying that you all would experience God’s wonderful grace and peace like never before.

    Lauren (Carrianna’s sister)ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. My daughter recently had a 4 month long journey with cancer (AT/RT). It is a roller coaster ride and a half. A lot of ups and downs and all around.
    I will be praying diligently for Cora and your family.
    I do want to inform you of a website. It is a website that has a list of urgent prayer requests that many many prayer worries are connected too. Check it out and if you fill lead, sign up Cora.
    We found first hand that the one thing we needed more than anything from everyone is all the prayers.
    God Bless You and Keep the Faith!

  • Candace and Jesse Unruh - Joel and Jess

    We love youReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Joel and Jessica,

    I was so glad Rob was able to stop by and see you and some of your family. We continue to pray for all of you. I have been using Psalm 121 in my prayers for two other special babies and pray that you and Cora will feel God’s presence and know that He never slumbers. May the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7) There are no words we have that are adequate but we know You can hang onto His Word. Praying,
    Rob and TamiReplyCancel

  • vickisherbert - Joel and Jess have especially been on my heart today. I’m praying throughout the day for this special family.ReplyCancel

  • Rhawnie - Jess–You, Joel and Cora are never out of my thoughts and prayers. Cora is such a brave, beautiful little girl. RhondaReplyCancel

  • Michelle Leigh - I am also a stranger to you, but please know that you and your sweet baby girl are in my thoughts and prayers. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are all going through but I pray that you will make it through this quickly and be stronger for it.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - praying for you all!!!

  • Anonymous - Joel, I just want you know that we have been thinking about you and your family non-stop today. If you need anything, please, please let us know!!!!! Our hearts are aching for you, as we have been praying all day.. and we will continue.
    I hope peace and grace surround you.- – Spencer & Nicole McIntoshReplyCancel

  • Gina - I am new here…praying for your beautiful daughter and your famly…
    heartbroken for you……ReplyCancel

  • Kala Family - Our family is adding your family to our prayer list. Stay strong Cora!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I just wanted to let you know that I am still praying for you and sweet Cora. I pray that God will hold you gently in the palm of His Hand as you go through this fight. You are not alone and you are all being lifted in prayer daily.

    Laura from FLReplyCancel

  • The Mommy - Praying for your incredible little fighter! From Whistler, Canada.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Kenoyer - You don’t know me – my daughter is a good friend of Kendall Smith and I found your blog through Kendall and Joel’s blog. Please know that your sweet Cora is in my prayers every single moment. I have had you all on my heart all day long. My husband and I will continue to lift you all up to the Throne of God – and what an Awesome God He Is! Blessings Overflowing! A friend in Fairfax, VA.ReplyCancel

  • Todd - Joel, Jessica,and Cora:

    I’m really at a loss for words.

    You have been, and continue to be in our thoughts and prayers day and night.

    Todd and TammyReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Father God, I continue to pray for precious Cora. I continue to pray unceasingly that she has the strength to endure these challenges and that her strength be the mercy, hope and peace that her family needs. I ask that this journey for Cora and her family show some positive signs of progress as it is so difficult not knowing what lies ahead. Please show them, Father, that you are with precious Cora every precious minute and continue to wrap your healing arms around Cora and allow her to rest easily so that her little body can heal. I pray, Father, that through all of this that the chemo is working behind the scenes to stop and reduce the growth of this cancer. It’s in your holy name I pray, Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Christina - I scrolled through the pictures again, and seeing little Cora’s sweet face amidst all the wires and tubes is so moving…there is this “babyness”, some similarity, that I can often see in a face that resembles my own little girl. I see it in hers. It’s like looking at my daughter’s face. You have so many people on your side, and by your side, spiritually speaking. I pray that God will indeed continue to strengthen you all, as well as encourage you with the live and virtual support. May he bless the team of caregivers/doctors/specialists there. They seem so great! I wish there was something more tangible I could do, but I will continue to pray.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Joel & Jess, Kim called me with the news of Cora. Words will never be enough to comfort you, but know that all of us at Valley Christian Church in NH prayed for you this a.m. May the Lord comfort you at this time.
    with all our love,
    Rick & Fran RoderickReplyCancel