May 30, 2012

When Nathan was attending High School at a small Christian academy, he won a good number of athletic and academic awards every year.

One day as Steve and I sat out in the audience and watched as  he was honored yet again, Steve leaned over to me and whispered, “When Sarah is in High School, we’ll have to work hard at finding other things besides academics to celebrate with her since she’ll never be able to receive the academic recognition Nathan gets.”

He was making that statement based on multi-paged studies we’d gotten from Sarah’s neuropsych testing at Duke following her cancer treatment.  Basically the reports stated that Sarah would struggle in school, she would need extra help, and her slow processing speed and cognitive disabilities caused by massive doses of chemo would ensure that she would always have extra difficulty in her academic pursuits.

Well.  Last night Steve and I attended an Award’s Ceremony at Manteo High School.   There were just a few kids called forward who had earned straight A’s for the year.

Sarah was one of them. (And that’s even with taking a couple of Honors classes.)

There was just one student who was called forward for the Sophomore English Award.

It was Sarah.

As I watched her walk forward for her first award, I couldn’t help but think back to that somber conversation that Steve and I had had during Nathan’s award ceremony and I just had to smile to myself.   Because even highly trained doctors and highly learned psychologists don’t know everything.

The doctors told us Sarah would probably die.  The psychologists told us Sarah would never do well academically.  With those two prognoses in mind, can you just imagine my emotions last night as I watched my very much alive daughter walk forward not once but twice, to be honored for her academics?  (I’m teary even as I type this.)

Yes, I realize that she does have some cancer-caused learning issues.  And based on Duke’s recommendations, she has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place at school.  But she hardly uses any of the modifications available in the plan and the fact that she was awarded those grades DESPITE the learning issues? Well, I just have to say that some things in life have no logical explanations.   And I, for one, am glad  because life would be one dismal and non-inspiring journey without the joyous mysteries of the unexplained.

Smart people I know–doctors, psychologists–get it wrong sometimes.  And another smart person I know–Sarah–is going to quite happily spend the rest of her life continuing to prove them wrong.



Sarah, holding her awards after the ceremony.  You go, girl!DSC_5728

70 responses to Wrong.

  1. I have just written a post very much like this:) praise God for Sarah and Taylor!!!! He just finished 5th grade. His last yr at elementary school and he had honor roll every semester of elementary. He too has an iep, but uses few of the accommodations. Two miracles who ate proof that God answers prayers and the text books are a guide not gospel. Congrats Sarah!!!!!

    • Kim,

      That is so wonderful to hear that Taylor is doing so well!  I know that makes your mama heart happy, especially after seeing him go through everything he did.

  2. How wonderful! Congratulations to Sarah. Those are great accomplishments in High School!

    • Thanks so much, Jill!  I wish I had been able to earn such good grades in High School–but I never did.  It is a great accomplishment!

  3. Congratulations to Sarah.  Not only is she smart, but she is beautiful!

  4. Sarah, I am so proud of you. What an honor it is to know you and be considered a part of your family. You go Girlfriend!  Love, Susan

  5. well deserved, Sarah!!!!!!!!!

  6. Way to go, Sarah! 🙂 

    I was born with a rare facial anomaly.  At one point, the doctors did not hold much hope for my parents if I would survive.  Doctors thought that I would be blind.  At one point, a psychologist thought that I would have intellectual disabilities.  An observant preschool director noticed that I did not have the social skills of a child with intellectual disabilities and told my mom to have me re-tested.  Happily the psychologist told my mom that I had average intelligence.  I graduated from high school in the top 30% of my class and as part of the National Honor Society and got accepted into the university that was my only choice to attend.  I also missed a total of a year of school form eighth to twelfth grades.

    • Kristi,

      I just love these sorts of stories–so uplifting and encouraging!  And I’m so thankful for an observant preschool director who was invested in her job and invested in her kids and took the time to speak up and make a difference.  Thanks so much for sharing your story and congrats on your amazing accomplishments!

  7. Innkeeperswife May 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    We have had our children prove us wrong on many occasions.  Welcome to the club!

  8. Way to go, Sarah!!! 

    Gayle in AL

  9. Pilotbutterfly–Ann Martin May 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    So proud of Sarah and her accomplishments.  To God be the glory — great things He hath done!  Sarah is an inspiration to all as are her parents.  Only He knows the future.  Treat her to something extra special–maybe ice cream. You go, Girl, and show the world.  Love you!!!! 

  10. Congratulations, Sarah!  What wonderful accomplishments…….and TWO of them to boot!  Your fortitude and determination to excel are a constant source of inspiration.  Congrats also to Mom and Dad….you have every right to beam with pride!  Thanks for letting us share in your joy.

    Much love from Ohio,

  11. Praise God!!!!! What a beautiful post and amazing awards for Sarah!

  12. I have only commented a couple of times on Smithellaneous, but I knew today was a day that I had to post! Sara is such an incredible young lady!!  Congratulations to Sara on a job VERY well done!!! I even got a little teary-eyed!!!!

    • Diane,

      Always so nice to hear from a rare commenter!  Thanks for posting about Sarah’s big day and for sending some happy tears our way.

  13. Congratulations Sarah!!!!!

    Dr. Deepak Chopra says believe the diagnosis – not the prognosis!! I have found that to be true many times. We are constantly surrounded by God’s miracles!

    • Holly,   that’s a great quote and one that’s good for any of us to remember.  The prognosis is really out of the doctor’s hands.

  14. Way to go Sarah!  Congratulations on the awards!!  We’re all so proud of you, you’re truly an inspiration!

    I guess it’s not a bad thing to be wrong sometimes :o) Doctors really don’t know everything, do they? 😉

    Renee (aka Marysienka)

    • Renee,

      Nice to hear a doctor say doctor’s don’t really know everything!  🙂  Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment to join in the rejoicing!

  15. P.S. Just noticed the nifty little list of the things that describe you after your name in your replies has “bide rider” instead of “bike rider”.  I’ve known you a lot of years and I’ve never known you yet to ride a bide. 🙂 

  16. Way to go Sarah!!  You are amazing!

  17. Prouder than proud! 🙂

    Love aunt deb and the guys

  18. Great Job Sarah!!! God is bigger then Doctors that is for sure. My son and fam were told alot of things to and none of them have come to past . He has done so well in all areas of his life!!!Prais GOD!!!

  19. That is so awesome… brought tears to my eyes reading it.
    Sandy (cuz)

    • Sandy,  thanks so much for taking the time to sign in, even in the midst of the sorrow in your own life.  Hugs and prayers to your family.

  20. This is wonderful.  So happy that she has been able to accomplish so much in spite of the odds!

  21. Congratulations Sarah you keep on proving them all wrong.  Way to go!!!!

  22. Marjorie Stump May 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    You will not believe how encouraging this is.  Our God is amazing!! King of Kings!!!  Lord of Lords!~!!!

  23. Way to go, Sarah! Becky, how awesome to be wrong! Reaching for tissues now.

  24. It feels  good to be proven wrong so soundly! Wahoo!


  25. So exciting for you and Sarah. It must be all that good home schooling you did with her to catch her up to the school system!

    • Patti,

      I hope I did a good job home schooling her; I sure did my best.    As much as I loved doing it, I’m glad she’s doing so well in public school.

  26. Sarah well done. I got tears in my eyes reading this and the last picture must be my favorite of Sarah from 2012 so far 🙂

  27. Sharing tears with you!  Congratulations Sarah, you go girl!!!

  28. Oh my goodness!!! Congratulations SARAH! Keep proving “them” wrong Girl and don’t ever believe what “they” tell you! You can do anything! Just awesome! I am so stinking proud right now! 🙂

  29. I’m crying too.  GO SARAH!! Thank you, God, for the precious miracle of abundant life you are giving to Sarah and her family each & every day!

  30. Someone much, much greater than doctors and psychologists are at work here and He has some help in the amazing creation of His, named Sarah.  Oh, how wonderful to be this wrong!  Excellent work, Sarah, just plain excellent.  Becky, I don’t know how you kept from downright sobbing with joy.

  31. Doctors can often be wrong! Prenatally, my mom’s bloodwork showed that there was a very strong chance of spina bifida for my birth, which according to them meant a very high chance that I could be mentally disabled. My parents declined further testing (amnio and ultrasound, this was back in 1990). At 21, I am a fourth-year university student on the dean’s honour list each semester, scoring an average over 90% each term of junior and high school, and a voracious reader! No signs of that prediction 🙂 

    Way to go Sarah! Keep up that hard work and keep proving those doctors wrong!

    • Music Girl,

      What a wonderful, heart warming story.  Thanks so much for sharing it.  I know that you can truly relate to this post.

  32. www.lovebeinganonny.com May 30, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Now THAT is a good day. Congrats! I know you are proud!

  33. Congratulations, Sarah!  What an accomplishment!

  34. Sarah, that is absolutely awesome!! Congratulations! Proud of you!!

  35. Perfect logic and doctors really, really don’t know everything.  We have a very big God and He knows the plans He has made for us.  Congratulations Sarah for a job WELL done.  Thank you God for Sarah’s job WELL done! Praise Him!