Help the Hansen's with ongoing financial needs during their numerous hospitalizations & med treatments for their 3 children with CF.
We want to thank our family and friends who started this fund for us and thank you for taking the time to read about our family medical fund. We hope that as you read our story, if you don't know us already, that by the end you will have a sense of the heart and spirit of our family as well as a better understanding of what life is like for our three children who deal with a disease named Cystic Fibrosis.
We have 5 beautiful children Samuel, Hannah, Daniel, Rachel and Rebekah. Currently we live in the greater Detroit, MI area. Three of our five children, Samuel (1st born), Rachel (4th) and Rebekah (5th), have all been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
Back in 2005 our lives were suddenly changed by news of our firstborn being diagnosed with a disease named Cystic Fibrosis. At the time we were missionaries in the Middle East working as the night watch directors with a house of prayer in Jerusalem. Our son was very sick on a holiday visit back to the states and we needed to take him to the emergency room for treatment. It was on his first birthday that he was diagnosed. We had never heard of the disease nor knew anything about it in the history of either of our family lines. Needless to say, the initial shock was quite overwhelming.
At the end of our holiday visit to the states we felt the Lord said to return to Jerusalem because He had more for us to do there with the House of Prayer. We returned and helped pioneer another small house of prayer in East Jerusalem.
It was at that time our son was admitted into the hospital in Jerusalem. It was a tough time for us. But the Lord's grace was with us. Suddenly our insurance in Israel dropped our coverage due to preexisting conditions, we had a massive hospital bill and we realized we would need to return to the states for urgent medical treatment. This was a tremendously difficult decision, but the Lord confirmed that it was what was needed for the time. So, we packed quickly and returned to the states.
We now have 5 children, 3 of which have been diagnosed with CF. In the past 3 years we have been in and out of the hospital with all 3 over 52 times. Usual hospitalization time is from 7 to 21 days with the longest stay being around 30 days.
As with any family who deals with chronically ill children and numerous extended hospitalizations, the biggest need is financial. We have temporarily shifted from running our ministry full time to secular employment. When we returned, Steve taught himself web and graphic design then started his own business. Self employment helps tremendously for flexibility in hours, schedules, etc for one of us to be with the other children during the extended hospitalizations.
We have temporarily shifted from running our ministry full time to secular employment. When we returned, Steve taught himself web and graphic design then started his own business. Self employment helps tremendously for flexibility in hours, schedules, etc for one of us to be with the other children during the extended hospitalizations.
The past two years have been the most trying emotionally, spiritually and financially. This is the reason some friends and family suggested to have this fund for our family started. The last two years have been the most difficult and unusual as they contained the most hospitalizations amounting to a time totaling 8 ½ months in the hospital.
At one point we were informed that our oldest son might not live much longer due to a particular bacteria he was cultured with. We were flown from Detroit to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD for studies and testing to deal with the chronic issues he was dealing with. The Lord delivered us from that episode and did a miracle where they could not find a trace of the bacteria they thought would drastically shorten his life.
Needless to say, the numerous hospitalizations greatly impacted our finances. The past two years our income has been approx. $17,000 per year for a family of seven. Steve lost over half of his clients due to not being able to work. We used up all our savings and reserve finances as well as have numerous unpaid bills due to him not being able to work.
Our only vehicle is also in need of about $2300 worth of repairs at present. This is a pressing need as it is our sole source of transportation back and forth to the Dr's and the hospital.
We are very grateful for you taking the time to read our journey with CF, there is more below about our three wonderful children who deal with the disease on a daily basis and prayerfully considering helping us financially. All funds will be used to pay off outstanding bills as well as future bills during hospitalizations.
If you feel it in your heart to give financially, we greatly thank you! If you want to pray for our family, we welcome the prayer support and you can follow our blog and see photos of our family by the links on the left column. Our kids are awesome and have endured a lot! We are very proud of them and love them very much! They are the biggest blessings to us!
Even if you are not able to give financially, we appreciate your prayers and ask that you share our story with your friends on social media, etc if you would like. We greatly appreciate your sacrifice and generosity!!!
Please know there is an option to give anonymously as well as leave an encouraging comment as "Anonymous". Know that we deeply appreciate any amount given.
You can give by credit card with the donation button on this site or by mailing a check to:
Steve and Tonya Hansen
24487 Kinsel St
Southfield, MI 48033
If you would like to know more about the disease that our children were diagnosed with to know how to better pray for them and their physical healing you can find information on that below.
WHAT IS CYSTIC FIBROSIS
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetically inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). About one of every 3,000 Caucasian newborns has CF. There are more than 1,800 known mutations of the gene that causes CF. More than 10 million Americans are carriers of one mutation of the CF gene. Among Caucasian Americans, about one in 29 people carry one mutation of the CF gene. In other races or ethnicities, one in 46 Hispanic Americans, one in 65 African Americans and one in 90 Asian Americans carry a mutation of the CF gene.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to make a thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and other organs, such as the pancreas. In the lungs, this mucus leads to many infections and damage to the lungs. The mucus blocks the pancreas, so digestive enzymes do not reach the intestines to help break down and absorb food. It can also block the bile duct in the liver and can cause permanent damage in about 6 percent of people with CF. The disease also affects the ability of most men with CF to have children. Also, most men with CF are infertile.
Symptoms of CF include:
- salty-tasting skin;constant cough;
- frequent lung infections,wheezing or shortness of breath;
- a failure to gain weight at the normal rate, perhaps with a large appetite;
- and difficulty in having a bowel movement or frequent, abnormal bowel movements.
The life expectancy of a person with CF is mid 30's. Usual cause of death in a person with CF is lung damage/lung disease due to chronic infection. There are numerous different strands of CF, with more being discovered. Although there are consistent symptoms of CF, each patient has a different experience with the disease and depending on the patient, depends upon the course of their life living with the disease. (visit cff.org if you are interested in reading more info)
SAMUEL DAVID HANSEN
Samuel the most tender hearted, loving young boys you will ever meet. In June of 2012 Samuel was granted a Make-A-Wish trip through the Rainbow Connection of Michigan. He chose to go to LegoLand, Disney and SeaWorld in Orlando, FL! Samuel is 8 years old.
Since being diagnosed, Samuel has been in and out of the hospital for treatment over 36 times in his young life. A usual stay ranges from 7 to 14 days at a time, then returning for home IV treatments through his medi-port for the remainder of the antibiotic course. 12 of those 35 times have been in this past year alone as well as Samuel and his Dad taking a medical trip to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD where they did numerous tests to see what kind of bacteria Samuel is dealing with.
During Samuel's hospital stay, he loves to bring his Lego's and create new creations. He spends time doing his home schooling as well as arts and crafts. He is very giving and thinking about others all the time while in the hospital. He uses his creativity to paint t-shirts and make crafts to give away to his brother and sisters, as well as his extended family and friends.
Some of our hospital traditions; when Daddy stays with Samuel they usually lay out sheets all over the hospital floor, make a sheet tent to hide in or just spend father/son time together in. They also like to hide from the nurses at night and when they come in jump out with flashlights to surprise them. (Although most of the nurses know their tricks, they still play along like they are startled)
Funny story about Samuel in the hospital. Sometimes he watches a video for his breathing treatments. One time he watched Disney's "Aristocats" for the first time during his 9:30 PM treatment time. When the part of the movie where the cats all sing "Everybody wants to be a cat", Samuel stands up in his underwear on his bed and at the top of his lungs starts dancing and singing, "EVERYBODY, EVERYBODY, EVERRRRYYYBODY WANTS TO BE A CAT!!!!" That is our boy! Hahahah!
RACHEL JOY HANSEN
Rachel is our joyous 2 year old little girl. Her name is true to her character... she is a bundle of JOY!!! Rachel was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth. She has been in the hospital numerous times this year as well, some at the same time as Samuel.
She is a go-getter and already knows how to maneuver her IV cord in the room to escape the daily grind and give some adventure to whichever one of us is staying with the kids in the hospital at the time.
Our favorite part of her hospital stay is when she gets unhooked from her IV's to go home. She hops around the room, claps her hands, and in her tiny little 2yr old toddler voice says, " 'appy, 'appy, 'appy, 'appy, go 'ome, 'appy, 'appy" (Translation "Happy, go home!") Then she runs for her shoes, can't get them on fast enough and heads for the door to get out.
REBEKAH LYNN HANSEN
Rebekah was born 9/16/13. She was diagnosed at birth with CF as well as Meconium Illeus which is a biproduct of CF effecting the digestive system. She went through bowel surgery the day she was born and was in NICU for the first month of her life. She has since been hospitalized two other times due to bowel backup from lack of motility in her bowel. We appreciate prayer for her bowels to function properly! :)
Rebekah is a beautiful baby and a tremendous miracle to our family. She never stops smiling and we have all nicknamed her "Smiley"!
WHAT IS DAILY LIFE WITH CF LIKE?
Both Samuel and Rachel, as with all CF patients, have rigorous and very time consuming daily schedules of up to 4 breathing treatments a day (30-45 minutes per treatment), including chest percussion treatments with a vest along with taking oral meds, and IV antibiotics depending on what they are on at the time. Sometimes totaling up to 4+ hours, per child, of medical treatment throughout the day.
If sent home from hospital on home IV antibiotics this is also added to the above schedule; administering IV treatments 3-4 times a day throughout the evening and early morning hours.
One of the more challenging aspects of CF is that it's symptoms are very unpredictable and can flare up at any moment and totally alter your life for weeks/months at a time. It is an unpredictable disease. As a family who likes to have an ordered schedule and way of life, CF just doesn't seem to want to adhere to our schedule. ;)
As you can see and read CF is a time consuming disease and unfortunately this schedule is day in and day out. They do not get to take a break, skip a treatment time, etc, as it could affect their long-term outcome.
We've included letters of reference for those who don't know us personally.
- Pastor Brian Gibbs | Victory at Sarasota Church | www.victorysrq.com (click here to read letter | coming soon)
- Deborah Hachey, RN | Retired CF Team Coordinator | Detroit Children's Hospital, Detroit, MI (click here to read letter | coming soon)
- Jodie Dehart | Family Friend 12 years | (click here to read letter)