Last chemo appt !

Hallelujah!     Praising and Thanking God for all his blessings!

“Praise the Lord!     Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord!    Blessed by the name of the Lord  From this time forth and forevermore!    From the rising of the sun to it’s going down, The Lord’s name is to be praised.” Psalm 113:1-3 

Today was one of our best days of Bennett’s life! We ended a part of our 3 1/2 year journey today. He had his last iv push of vincristine chemo today! He is very excited and thankful to accomplish this feat.

He started taking prednisone today for the next five days. He will be glad to not have to take the steroids anymore. It really bothered him that the steroids could be weakening his bones. He also had his last methotrexate chemo pills today that he has been taking weekly. He will continue to take his nightly chemo pills of 6mp until Saturday. July 3rd is his last day of taking any chemo or steroid pills!

We pray that God continue to blesses Bennett keeping him in remission forever. We pray that his leukemia will never return and that his body will not ever need any chemo again!

We thank and praise the Lord! We thank all of the nurses and Dr.’s at St Louis Children’s Hospital for taking such good care of him. His Dr. today was celebrating today too. She frequently admits that Bennett’s side effects and issues were challenging at times. Again, we would do any of it all over it again to have Bennett in our life!

Hamilton laying with Bennett at the clinic.

Kari, Bennett's clinic nurse since his first clinic appt.

Bennett ringing the "no more chemo" bell

Dr. Shenoy standing proud with her "miracle" patient.

 Bennett is the first patient to ring the “no more chemo” or “I’ve graduated”bell.  It’s a new thing that they want to start and hadn’t placed on the wall yet.  They asked Bennett to do the honors and before it’s an official fixture to be the first to “ring” the bell.  He received alot of nice items from child life.  His nurse got him a chocolate chip cookie cake.  He received a certificate of completion of treatment from his Dr.  What a day!  It’s almost sooo overwhelming that you’re afraid to get too excited or celebrate too much.

Thank you for your prayers, support and your love through this long  journey.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14

Posted by Cindy on June 29th, 2010 in Inspiration, Updates | 2 Comments

Busch Stadium

Bennett in left field

Bennett in left field

Bennett batting

Bennett batting

Bennett on First Base

Bennett on First Base

Bennett out of the dugout

Bennett out of the dugout

Tyler & Bennett in dugout

Tyler & Bennett in dugout

Bennett talking to A-Rob in the dugout

Bennett talking to A-Rob in the dugout

Benton Rangers

Benton Rangers

Gpa & Gma Johnston

Gpa & Gma Johnston

Bennett & His favorite Nurse

Bennett & His favorite Nurse

Bennett & Hamilton

Bennett & Hamilton

Believe In Miracles!

Believe In Miracles!

Posted by Cindy on June 8th, 2009 in Inspiration, Sports | 1 Comments

Everything that…..

I believe that everything happens for a reason. If you think to yourself and think about everything that has happened in your life. God has planned everything that has happened in our lives.

If we knew WHY things happen? God does, and it makes us stronger. We need to believe that it happened to make us a better person.

We are all doing God’s will when we wake up every day and not sin and when we help people out.

God already has our lives already planned out and what is going to happen to us. Whether we like it or not.

Everything is for a reason. At times people get scared and forget what they are doing. Or forget what they need to do.

Because sometimes living can be overwhelming at times. In one minute everything could change and you wonder, Why am I doing this?

Why do I have to live and go through this? BUT everything that doesn’t kill us, can only make us stronger. Well, this is the reason I wrote this.

The last 2 years of my life have been the best times of my life! A lot of things have happened to me more than most people go through their entire life and I’ve done it in just two years!

I went up against death when most people don’t have to deal with that until it’s their time to leave us.

When I get sick and lose all my muscle and hand and eye coordination, this is one of the biggest things. Some people don’t think about that but athletes do.

I think about Jon Lester that had cancer and came back and played as a pitcher in the MLB. Most people think of Lance Armstrong. They didn’t have to take chemo every day.

There is ups and down when playing sports and trying to get back on your feet. Not knowing which day is going to come when you are going to be knocked down on your knees again.

That’s why I don’t take anything for granted and live life to it’s fullest! And Thank God for every minute.

Two years ago when the Dr. told me the news, I did not cry but was scared. I knew right than, this is happening for a reason.

God is going to take care of me. It’s all going to be fine. There is not a stronger thing to think about than this.

Most people would have cried their eyes out and would have freaked out. This is one thing I always think about every night since then.

I ask myself, What does God want me to get out of this? I think I have figured some stuff out.

I know I have a year left of treatment and anything could happen between now and then.

But most people would not think this but, I’m thankful that God gave me cancer. I have learned so much and have got to do things I would have never done.

Even though I am a young man and only been here for 15 years, I think I am more mature then most men and women that have been here for a longer time.

Just because I have learned from life to: Be Strong, Help People, Do Everything To The Max Because You Don’t Know If It Will Be Your Last.

I feel like I have grown up in the last two years. I thank God for giving me the chance to do just that. Even though some times things have been against me, I have just learned to deal with it and live life!

I believe everything happens for a reason…………………………

Bennett Page
May 24, 2009

Posted by Bennett on May 25th, 2009 in Inspiration, Updates | 3 Comments

Our 2 year journey

February 20th marks a special day for our family as Bennett celebrates his birthday.

It also was the day 2 years ago that he was diagnosed with leukemia. Bennett is doing so good now and we thank God for his healing. We won’t ever forget the life threatening struggles and complications that Bennett went through. We thank God for our blessings today and hold unto them as we know anyday they could change.

Thank you for being a part of this journey and still by our side today.

I have attached a few pictures of how he has changed in the last two years. He went from a boy to a very mature young man.

2/22/07 in the hospital

2/22/07 in the hospital

bennett-1-smallbennett-2-smallbennett-3-small
February 2009 !

February 2009 !

“We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.” Hebrews 6:18-19

Posted by Cindy on February 21st, 2009 in Inspiration, Updates | 1 Comments

Bennett on SI Sports Connection

Posted by admin on November 16th, 2008 in Inspiration, Sports, Video | Comments Off on Bennett on SI Sports Connection

SI Sports Connection Article

This month’s edition of the SI Sports Connection magazine features and article about Bennett being named on the Jr. High SI All star baseball team while fighting leukemia. The magazine is published by Jim Muir and photos by Ceasar Maragni. A letter at the front of the magazine from the publisher states this:

Also this month is another story about another young man who also overcame great odds just to be able to play sports again. Bennett Page, an eighth grader at Benton Middle School, was diagnosed two years ago with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which took him away from the baseball diamonds and basketball courts that he loved and left him battling for his life. Earlier this fall Bennett returned to sports and played baseball for BMS team and was chosen to compete in a year-end all-star game. Bennett’s triumphant story is a testament to willpower, positive thinking, and prayer.

Here is the link to the article: http://issuu.com/sisportsconnection/docs/nov_2008/8.

A special thank you to Jim and Ceasar for bringing Bennett’s journey to many sports fans and southern Illinoisans! I pray that Bennett’s positive attitude and willingness to never give up will bring others encouragement, believe in God and provide faith that they can do anything. I’ll never forget this quote, “whoever said,”  “winning isn’t everything, never had cancer.”   Bennett continues to win this fight! God has blessed us in so many ways.   He has given more than what was ever taken away.

This story about Bennett will be televised on SI Sports Connection program on channel 3 (WSIL) this Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

A Portrait of Courage

A Portrait of Courage

Posted by Cindy on November 11th, 2008 in Inspiration, Sports, Updates | Comments Off on SI Sports Connection Article

All Star Game

Wow! What a game! Today was the Jr. High All Star baseball game held in Marion. Our team (east team) included Benton, Carmi, Eldorado, Hamilton Co., Harrisburg, Johnston City, Marion, and Metropolis. We were down 2 to 4 and had last bats in the 9th inning. We came back and won 5 to 4!! Yeah!! The West team included Anna, Carterville, Centralia, Dupo, DuQuoin, Herrin, Mt. Vernon, Murphysboro, West Frankfort, and Wolf Branch.

Bennett managed to get on 1st base when the catcher dropped the ball on his 3rd strike. He ended up stranded though on 1st in the 1st inning. He batted one more time and had a hard hit to left field that was caught. It looked like it was going foul but stayed fair and the left fielder had a great catch. Bennett played right field for 3 innings and no-one hit it out there. The first part of the game was a pitcher’s dule and there were many strike outs in the game. Bennett and his fellow Benton players were so happy to be a part of it and represent our team and town. They enjoyed hanging out with other players that they are friends with and have played against for the last several years.

We are so proud of Bennett. His endurance, strength, and motivation sets a great example for all athletes and cancer patients. He is going to bed early tonight because he is going duck and goose hunting early in the morning in Shelbyville. He can’t wait! We go Monday morning to check his counts, we are praying that they have increased dramatically so he can get back to his full dose of chemo.

May God continue to bless Bennett #10!

Posted by Cindy on October 18th, 2008 in General, Inspiration, Updates | 4 Comments

Hope, Love, and Faith

Our friend Brittani tonight married her high-school sweetheart. Actually they were in 8th grade when they started dating. During Brittani’s freshman year, she was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, Ewing sarcoma. She went through treatments at the hospital in Texas. She was chosen for a clinical study of a new drug which ended up causing problems with her lungs. She had her lung transplant last summer and stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis for 3 months. She came home at the end of August and finished her senior year.

The Dr.’s have told her recently that she needs another lung transplant. She has a rare disease in her lungs that makes it difficult for her to breathe. It took everything that she had tonight to walk down the aisle, stand during the ceremony and dance with her dad and new husband!

As the best man and maid of honor gave their toasts to the bride and groom. They spoke of how Brittani and Gavin’s love and relationship has been a true inspiration to everyone. They have gone through together at an early age what most couple’s will never have to go through. They have set the example with their unbelievable hope, love and faith.

Please pray that they have many years together. God has healed Brittani several times in the past and may he perform another miracle!

Bennett & Brittani May 2007

What a miracle and blessing from God!

Posted by Cindy on October 12th, 2008 in Inspiration, Updates | 1 Comments

The Benton Evening News

We Can All Draw Inspiration From

Bennett Page


Bennett Page

By Phil Knapper
Benton Evening News

Benton, Ill. -Before you read any further, you can go ahead and file this column under the “Life Isn’t Fair” category.

On a day when his biggest concern should have been if he got that special gift he asked for, Bennett Page was given a big, fat reality check. When he should have been asking for seconds on cake and ice cream, Page was asking a doctor what his chances were for survival.

On February 20, 2007 — Page’s 13th birthday — he was diagnosed with leukemia.
If you don’t know what leukemia is, it’s a form of cancer in the blood that attacks the good cells and kills them. People with leukemia are at high risk for infection and disease.

As he entered his teens, Page was learning about cell counts and chemotherapy, while others his age were busy with cell phones and Myspace. Fast forward a year and-a-half later and Page is in remission and is ready for anything.

But this hasn’t been an easy 18 months. After initially seeing a doctor when flu-like symptoms just would not go away, Page’s routine has included bone marrow biopsys, chemotherapy and lots and lots of visits to the doctor.

“I got sick sometimes after the chemo,” Page said. “And sometimes I felt fine … but there were a lot of times I just wanted to lay in bed with the television off and sleep all day.”
That is quite a contrast from Page’s life before he was diagnosed. But, when he could, he was out living life to the fullest.

“If he’s got 30 minutes or an hour where he is feeling good he gets after it,” his mom Cindy said. “He does as much as he can.”

Right now, Page is in the maintenance phase and he has two more years of treatment to go. A part of the treatment can be done at home, which is comforting. Except for a stay in the hospital from July 8-16, things are kind of getting back to normal as school is set to begin.

“Right now I’m taking chemo and steroid pills and I go to the hospital once a month for additional chemotherapy,” Page said.

“It’s been a tough time, but our family, friends, and our faith in God has carried us through,” Cindy said. “Bennett is a remarkable young man.”

Bennett is the son of Sid III and Cindy Page. His grandparents are Sid Jr. and Jane Page and Glen and Carolyn Johnston. He has a brother, Hamilton, too.

His progression was never more evident than last Friday night, when he played an entire baseball game for the first time in many moons. Benton’s pony team lost the game, but Page was pumped about the experience.

“It made me feel pretty good,” he said. “I was surprised that I was getting to play the whole game.”

Page didn’t know about the start at first base until he got to the game and looked at the board to see who was playing.

“It has been hard having to just sit and watch everyone else play, so it was great,” said Page. “And I got several assists, two unassisted outs and two singles.”

But, even though Page is on the road to recovery, he still has to watch what he does.
“I’m careful about what I do,” he said. “I stay at home when I have really low counts but, when I can, I still go and do stuff 110 percent.

“I play basketball and baseball,” he continued. “And I still fish and hunt. For the rest of this summer I’m going to Miners games, having friends over and getting ready for eighth grade baseball season.”

So, life is normal again, right?

“That’s hard to say,” said Page. “From then to now, I’m not sure how I can compare … a lot of things have changed so much. It’s hard to say what normal is.

“But I’ve learned a lot,” he continued. “I’ve learned not to take things for granted, I’ve learned to do the best I can and to not be lazy, and I’ve learned you have to make everything you can out of the things in your life.”

There is a website dedicated to Page’s story and his recovery — www.bennettpage.org — you can keep track of his progress and give words of encouragement on the site.
But maybe the best thing you can do for Bennett Page is treat him like any other 14-year old kid … ‘cause that’s what he is, a kid that has had to grow up way too fast under difficult conditions.

That’s exactly what I tried to do when I sat down with him one-on-one for an interview this week and I’m so glad we were able to schedule some time to meet around his trip to King’s Island.

Because getting to know kids like Bennett Page is why I love my job.

Posted by Cindy on August 2nd, 2008 in Inspiration | 1 Comments

Bennett baptized today

Bennett\'s baptized

Bennett was sprinkled today at our church, First United Methodist Church. He was confirmed several months ago and chose not to be sprinkled at that time. He wanted to be emerged and we chose him to be baptized in my parent’s pond when it warmed up. With Bennett’s sickness a month ago we have decided that he doesn’t need to be exposed to dirty pond water so, he chose to be sprinkled in his church. We are praising God for his goodness and his love!

“All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6: 3-4

Posted by Cindy on June 29th, 2008 in Inspiration, Updates | 1 Comments

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