Raquel's Journey Home
Hi my name is Raquel Sims. I have three beautiful children. I have an 8 year old daughter named Imani and I have 11 year old twin boys named Christian and Malachi. My family and I have a very strong bond. When I was 24 years old I was diagnosed with AML leukemia. It was shocking for us all. I was in so much disbelief that I told the doctor to redo the labs because those results he had in his hand weren't true. Well wishful thinking because the results were true. As the doctor close the door to get a room prepared for me to be admitted into the hospital, I initially started to cry. All of a sudden I heard the Lord speak to me. She said - 'Raquel you said you had your faith?, As I'm waiting for God to finish his statement, nothing else was said. I thought about what was said and I started weighing my options on it. Should I walk with God or just walk by myself? To make a long story short, I decided to walk with God. I was still scared because I didn't know what was going to happen. It has been 6 years since the diagnosis. Since then, I have had plenty of procedures. I have had MRI's, bone marrow biopsies, lumbar punctures, and I even had to have a tracheostomy and I had to have the trach in for 3 months. I have had many great highlights also because my boys gave their lives to the Lord on their own, we have grown closer as a family, and we have a great relationship with our church family Conyers seventh day Adventist Church. They have been so good to us. They are the true representation of God's people and how God would want us to treat each other 'Love Thy Neighbor as you love thyself'. In August of 2014, I had a relapse. The leukemia came back. I had to complete chemotherapy and radiation. I had a bone marrow transplant on December 19, 2014. In preparation for the transplant, my children have to live with family for 5 months because we couldn't be around each other. I had to have a caregiver because I couldn't take care of myself, let alone care for my 3 kids. 5 months literally felt like forever but I did call them every day and night. I was still trying to be a parent no matter how near or far I was from my kids. Recovery was and still is hard. The gvhd (graft-versus-host disease) Hit me hard around May 2017. I had chronic gvhd which happens to be scleroderma. The scleroderma has affected my range of motion and all of my joints are tight from head to toe. Due to the lack of range of motion, it became hard to care for my kids once they we're back in my care. It got so bad that I couldn't get out of bed and I couldn't walk and I had no energy to do anything. I wasn't eating and I was losing weight. I eventually had to give up my apartment, my kids had to move in with family, and I was being admitted to the hospital, I was admitted in the hospital in May of 2017 and I went to my uncle's house when my kids were living for one week. While at my uncle's house, I woke up one day feeling sick only to discover that I had pneumonia yet again so I was admitted into the hospital on September 1, 2017. My daughter's birthday is September 2nd. Although I missed her birthday, she still enjoyed herself but I have missed out on many birthdays and holidays and time spent with my kids. I have now been in the hospital since September 2017 and I'm still here is now February 2018. My kids miss me badly and I just thank God that they are so strong keeping their faith in God. They haven't been tainted by the situation. They are still able to keep up the grades and they have decent Behavior considering our ongoing situation. As of now, our housing situation is rough. Things didn't really work out with my family and my insurance isn't going to pay for my stay at the hospital any longer. I have made great progress in the hospital. I am learning how to stand again and I'm taking steps in order to eventually walk again. I'm working diligently with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to learn to swallow. My family and I need a place to live but I don't have enough funds to do so. I am on a fixed income which makes it hard to afford safe and affordable housing. I am asking for help so I can have a safe place to live with my kids and also help with a live-in caregiver for my medical needs. I appreciate everyone who takes the time out of their busy schedules to read my story. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much from Raquel, Imani, Christian, and Malachi. May God continue to bless you.
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