Sometimes life just isn’t fair. I don’t have to tell you that. It’s difficult for us to understand why things happen. We have to trust there’s a reason — but it still hurts.
Earlier this week, a friend sent me the Facebook page “Prayers for Oakley Nimmo.” It chronicles the journey of 3-year-old Oakley as he battles a relapse of Stage IV Neuroblastoma.
For the last year, Oakley has traveled from Camden, Arkansas to Little Rock’s Arkansas Children’s Hospital for regular treatment. His Stage IV diagnosis is the most advanced of the disease.
When I started to scroll through the posts on his page a few days ago, I saw positive and uplifting videos and pictures of community support. There was hope for a full recovery and return to a normal childhood. But in the last few days, things took a turn.
These are the things I struggle to understand. The news got worse.
Two weeks earlier, Oakley and his family were surprised with the news they’d be heading to Legoland in Orlando thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 14 days later, they’re back in the hospital clinging to prayer. Chemo has been started. Radiation begins Monday.
There are plenty of reasons for his family to feel defeated, and I’m sure in some ways they do. But I find their response to the latest developments nothing less than courageous:
“Even though we are mentally and physically drained, we feel the love of God wrapped around us,” wrote mother Shelby Nimmo. “We are blessed to have such a entire community of support to help us when we have been knocked down so hard.”
The town of Camden has been in Oakley’s corner throughout his battle. It’s time for the rest of the state to know his story and shower his family with support.
Whether it’s well wishes on his Facebook page, sending Christmas cards to the hospital, adding Oakley to evening prayers, or a making donation to the family’s GoFundMe account (as I did), let them know they aren’t in this battle alone.
Shelby (mom) says it best: “Once again, through lots of tears, we rise, we stand, and we fight.”