Lea Mulder is a 24-year-old young woman who has been fighting brain cancer for the past two years. I first learned of her story a month or so ago when the youth director at our church, who is good friends with Lea, asked the church to pray for her before her most recent surgery. This surgery was Lea’s fourth, and it was a very dangerous procedure she was going to undergo; the risks included paralysis and even death. The reason she had elected to undergo such a risky surgery was in hopes of alleviating her headache pain.
As it turned out, the doctors were unable to remove the tumor, and found that it had progressed into a more aggressive form; they determined that Lea only has a few more months to live, even with treatment.
A couple of weeks after her most recent surgery, Lea was present at a Sunday morning service at our church, and was asked to share some thoughts with the congregation at the end. She was very candid in sharing that she struggles with knowing in her mind that God loves her, but yet not feeling it in her heart. She questions why He is allowing her to go through this ordeal, but yet she knows He does have a purpose in it. She knows that He can do a miracle and heal her if it is His will to do so. She also knows that if He does not choose to heal her in this life, He has a home in Heaven prepared for her; she will experience the ultimate healing when she gets there, and it will be total and permanent.
Lea’s story touched my heart, and I believe her story will touch others as well. I contacted her and asked if she would be willing to answer a few questions, and she agreed.
Before she was diagnosed with cancer, Lea was a college graduate and was working as a dental assistant. She loved her job, but due to constant headaches she had to quit working. The cancer has also affected the right side of her body; she describes it as being “slower” than the left side. This obviously impairs her ability to work as well.
Lea has told me that since her last surgery, she is feeling better, and is not as worn out as she was previously from being on many medications. Apparently the surgery has helped to alleviate her pain, which was the goal, and that is something she is thankful for.
Lea is strong in her faith in God, and I asked her if she has had any anger issues toward Him for allowing her to be in this situation. Her response was, “I don’t think someone would be human if they didn’t deal with anger issues…..our relationship with the Lord is like a marriage, a friendship, etc. You WILL get mad….and disagree about things.” This is true; thank God that He is a God Who is loving and patient with us, and understands our feelings and hurts. He is a big God Who can take our anger, and He knows how to walk us through it, soothe us, and bring us to a place of greater trust in His plan for us.
I asked Lea if she was at peace with the fact that, if He does not choose to heal her, that she will soon be at Home with Him, and she told me, “Yes, I am absolutely at peace about going Home. This world is nasty. I’m young and would like to do more, but if this is what God has then I know His will is best.”
From what I have heard those who know Lea best say, she has had a positive attitude throughout her illness and her testimony has touched many. And from what I have observed in seeing Lea interact with others on Facebook, she definitely has a sense of humor and is not just sitting around waiting to die. She is taking each day as it comes and living it as fully as she can. One of her dreams is to go to Paris. This may or may not be feasible, but time will tell. She is well aware there are some things on her bucket list she will not be able to accomplish, and accepts that fact.
If you would like to send Lea some words of encouragement, you can go to this website and send her a message. There is also information there on raising money for Lea to enable her to do a few things she would like to do while she still feels well enough; a bank account has been set up for her, and there is also a wristband fundraiser through her church. The bank account will only be kept open for a few more weeks, however, so if anyone is led to make a contribution, it should be done soon.
At the very least, Lea would appreciate your prayers, and so would her family. Prayer is a powerful thing and God can do wonders when we pray in faith. Thank you.