If you would like to know Mark Hufford's full story, check out below, written by his daughter, Bailey Kuykendoll.
Dad was let go of his job on September 18th 2017, without warning or notice. None of us saw this coming or had any idea of what God was up to! My parents showed up, at our door step, early the next morning and told us the news. We were completly dumbstruck and in total shock.
But you know how we KNOW for a FACT that God was in this from Day 1?! Prior to this happening we (my parents, Ron and I) had made a pact that we were going to look at moving to Florida when dad "semi" retires within the next 5 years. Neither mom or I were made for "winter living" and mom had DREAMED of some day moving to a warm location to be near the beach/ocean. Ron and I had moved back from Southern California just a few years prior and, needless to say, I turned into a TOTAL wuss when it came to cold weather! I had been ITCHING to get my parents to move South for years, the sole reason we moved back to Iowa (and to winter), was to be closer to them.
Mom and I did a lot of searching on where we wanted to live, it had to be South, it had to be warm and we had to be near (or as near as possible to) a beach!
So even though we all shed tears as we went through this process, we all KNEW from the very moment it happened, God was up to something!
While mom and dad were packing and moving items for Florida, dad started to get a "tingling" sensation in his fingers, this slowly moved up his arm and he was having trouble using it. He turned to his chirporactor and their Physical Therapist to see what they thought the issue might be. We all assumed it to be some kind of pinched nerve, and we continued to get "clarification," (or so we thought, that it was). As dad went in for adjustments and massages, he would start to get "feeling" back in his hand and arm again. In fact, it even traveled up his arm and was causing the left side of his mouth to droop. Mom was getting worried and we spoke at length on what was happening and what we should do, but because after an adjustment and or a massage the "droop" would go away, we continued to think it was just a pinched nerve or 2....
December 1st meant it was time to do the actual move. Dad drove down in one vehicle and Ron (my husband) was in the other, while mom and I stayed in Iowa to tie up loose ends and so that I could continue to work, without disruption. But that drive down was VERY hard on dad and thats when we all started to see him really go "down hill."
Our first few weeks in Florida were not as "picturesque" as we were hoping for, satan was attacking our family from every angle with every tool in his box. Finding a place to live was difficlut, finding dad care wasn't easy and just day-to-day tasks were a struggle. We could all tell that there was more going on than meets the eye (have you read any of Frank E Peretti books, if so, youll know what I mean). Just battles all around us, both physical and spritiual.
Finally, by the grace of God, a friend of ours from Des Moines helped us find an AMAZING chiropractor who took dad in with open arms. They ran a bunch of tests on him and were hopeful for his future. But it wasn't until mom revealed to them how much dad was sleeping did she (Dr. Mayer/Hunt) ask mom to take dad into the ER. (truly, none of us had a clue)
When mom called me to tell me dad had had a stroke due to a mass on the left side of his brain, I compeletly lost it. Not only did those sentences cause me to panic, but also he had bleeding on the brain and due to all of this, his brain was swelling. My first thought was that I might never see my father again....
But God is good, and He is faithful, when we showed up at the ER that evening, dad was in HIGH spirits, making the nurses laugh and tease each other. He had tears in his eyes, but laughter in his soul. Satan wasn't going to take this man down, without a MASSIVE fight.
All throughout this process we put God at the center of the struggle. As we clung to each other, each of us clung to Him and the hope He provides. Selfishly, none of us want to be on this earth without Mark Hufford, but thankfully we also know if it's God's time, than he will be in Heaven with no stress or worry, no pain and no sorrow.
THANKFULLY God has decided it isnt his time, just yet. Mom FERVENTLY prayed for God to work a miracle in dad's life. The day after Christmas, dad was scheduled for a craniotomy, and after about 7:30pm he was out of surgery. Dr. Hudson was happy about how quickly he was able to get to the mass, but he wasnt exactly thrilled with what he saw. He said there was no way he got it all, as it was attached to his "motor movement" area, that could paralize his entire right side of his body. He also made it sound as though "whatever this mass" was, was a death sentence. Mom and I had no idea if we were supposed to celebrate or cry. BUT my dad just made it through BRAIN SURGERY, and to me, that was a victory in itself, so now was the time for celebration. Baby steps.
As dad was recovering from surgery, both his right arm and left leg were not working. Satan thought he had the upper hand, but the next morning, after surgery, Dr Hudson came in with the pathologist and revealed that after another MRI, they got all of the mass out!!!!!!! He really didnt think he had gotten it all, and to be honest, we dont think he did. We truly believe God did a miracle as dad slept that night and took out what man could not touch. WHAT JOYOUS NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few days later, we finally got the results of the mass. It was cancer, another major drop in this rollercoaster of emotions. Its called Giloblastoma, a very common type of brain cancer.
Today, as I sit here, we are still making some MAJOR decisions for the future of our family. We need to decide a course of action to treat the cancer or at least the reason he had it in the first place. Dad still needs physical thearpy, even though I am HAPPY to announce he is doing very well. He is walking with a "walker," on his own and even today he lifted his arm in the air, 6" off the table. GOD IS SO GOOD.
We are opening up this account so that if you feel led, you can give to mom and dad. Since going through the lay off, they are no longer insured. This is going to be a long, and difficult finacnical road for them, one I wish I could just take away. BUT again, we are reminded that God is bigger than ALL OF THIS, and he is certainly bigger than a few pieces of paper and some silver coins. So we will continue to trust in him, its as simple as that. Thank goodness we have him to rely on, I wouldn't want to walk down a path like this, with no hope and no assurance of my real future, my eternal future.
And can I just say AGAIN, thank you, each of you, for your prayers and support. We continually read messages aloud to eachother, and shed tears of joy as we hear the words being spoken. I feel as though we are an army on the front lines and all of you are just a step behind us, carrying us forward. There is no one out there I would rather do battle with, even those of you who have reached out to me that I barley know, thank you.
With love and eternal hope,
- Kelly Fieleke
- Brooke Stewart
- Jody Kalvik
- Pat Holmertz
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