Recently, Madelyn Switalski was like any child who was about to turn two years old: she was full of energy, giggly and playful. But then, starting on Jan. 7, 2017, her mom, Lisa Panock, noticed something was wrong when – for two weeks – the child battled a fever, which would not go away. After several tests, doctors discovered what Madelyn was dealing with a childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, stage 4.
Madelyn’s treatments will be extensive, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and two stem-cell transplants. Her mom is taking an unpaid leave of absence from work, and her father will miss a lot of work, as well.
But, despite the diagnosis, Lisa, who is a parishioner at St. Raphael Parish in Naperville, said her faith is strong.
“I don’t blame God in any way, and I know some people would normally do that,” she said.
In fact, what the family is going through has only made Lisa’s faith stronger. She believes God’s presence is by her daughter’s side throughout the day.
“I feel His presence when I get support from the nurses, from the doctors, from family members, from strangers, from friends of friends of friends, who are reaching out to me with thoughtful, encouraging notes via Facebook or social media,” Lisa said. “That, to me, is reassurance that God is letting us know He is here with us. He didn’t cause this, but He is going to be here to help us through this, and it’s giving me goosebumps telling you this. I feel in my heart that she is going to be cured, and that He is here with us.”
She and her family appreciate all the people who have reached out to them, with assurances of prayers.
The biggest lesson she’s learned through her daughter’s illness is that, no matter what happens in life, “to always keep the faith and know He is going to be here for you.”
To donate to help the family deal with the cost of medical care and treatment, please go to the following site: https://www.gofundme.com/miracles-for-madelyns-medical-fund.