About Us

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Shawn, originally New Yorker, transported to Tennessee for a few years, chased the love of his life in Iowa, only to move her back to Tennessee. Rachael, small town Iowa girl that traveled the globe to find her love in Tennessee. Little did we know how much our lives would change when Little Miss Magdalyn Joy entered the world. Join our journey through the unknown of Maggie's medical issues, known truths of God, and the nuts and bolts of life.


It's gotta be a God thing!

Ok...I know many don't like to talk about money, but I think it would be negligent to not tell you this amazing God story.  I'll have to provide a little bit of background to emphasize just how amazing God is.  He proves Himself and how he provides for us over and over again. (Particularly in the finances).
As poor as Mom and Dad are, Maggie has LOTS of friends and family that are supporting her.  It is amazing to me all the little and big donations that come in for Maggie's care.  Leading up to the summer, a couple of big fundraisers (at the campground and the bike ride), as well as other random donations set us up well for the adventures of therapy this summer.  Unfortunately in between the acquiring and spending, I had finally finished the grueling SSI application and submitted it.  Because Maggie's nest egg was sitting there, we were told we aren't poor enough to be eligible for SSI.  So, because we have generous friends and family, how does that compare with the fact that my daughter has a severe disability, that can be costly all around?!? (I'm pretty sure there are plenty of people on disability-because they are left handed, or something stupid like that-milking the system...we could actually use the money for providing her with the best possible care.)   Needless to say, I was quite disenchanted with the entire system.  We are poor enough to be stressed, but not poor enough.
At any rate...didn't mean to get off on that tangent.  I have a different point to my story.  Since all our big spending in PA and CT, and some more donations, I haven't had the chance to update and know where Maggie's finances sit.  But, we are in need of a hyperbaric chamber. Last week I tried to get started with some of the components of her program, but have really felt this oxygen to her brain piece is a major priority.  Vision requires a lot of oxygen and it seems she fatigues quickly.  Trying to implement the program without getting her brain to breath is like hitting our head against the wall.  I was a little discouraged when I found out the ideal chamber that I would be comfortable with us using was much more than I had anticipated.  I thought we were in the range of $7,000-8,000 but to actually meet our needs (one of us going in with her and a reputable manufacturer, etc.) we are looking at the $17,000 model.  Wow wee!!  Not what I expected.  Again, slightly discouraged that we won't be able to meet Maggie's needs for a while.
A point of clarification here. As much as we want to provide everything possible and try anything we can for Maggie, we are committed to be good stewards and following the Dave Ramsey principles we have acquired along the way.  Finances are a big enough issue, particularly for special needs families, that us going majorly into debt to try everything under the sun, would not be the least bit healthy for our family.  We have seen God provide perfectly and we are confident his provisions will continue.  As the funding comes in, we are able to explore the various avenues of treatment, that have proven beneficial up till this point.
Knowing I want to start the program and get moving with it, we considered checking into the medical financing program they have available.  But, then we would be strapped down by the debt.  Hmm??... Decisions, decisions!  We've thought about going ahead and getting it in hopes we could raise the funds this fall, or waiting to get it until after having a couple of big events this fall.  The struggle we have is that we don't want her to be falling any further behind.
I spoke back and forth with the lady at Newtowne Hyperbarics multiple times this week.  She was wonderful and even gave me some pointers if we ended up finding one second hand.  So, I had posted on the Family Hope Center Facebook page about being in the market for a chamber..any family looking to get rid of one?
Now, this is where is gets good.  Kay, a mother of a child with Infantile Spasms that I originally spoke with about FHC said she would check with a friend that may be interested in selling theirs.  Kay told me she doesn't get on FB that often, so the chance she saw my post was impressive.  But, it get's better.  She contacted her friends in Colorado.  They had listed the chamber a few months ago but it hadn't sold.  And just the night before Kirk had a feeling he needed to relist it on Craigslist.   So, Kay provided me with the link to their listing.  When I checked it out, it was the brand we were looking for.  I called up to the gal I had been speaking with at Newtowne Hyperbarics and she verified the version and serial number and reassured me that it should be able to meet our needs.  She even was willing to send a manual our way for it.  The family only used it about 50 hours and had it listed for $10,500 plus shipping, which was $400 for them.  So...remember that number....$10,900.  When I saw the price I thought "wow...that could save us quite a bit. But...that would mean we have to have cash in hand.  Hmm."  I set out to figure out just how much money Maggie had.  We've kept a fair amount of cash available.  Plus, I had checks that still needed to be deposited.  I checked the account online and tallied everything up.  Crazy, but we had $49 in ones.  I rounded that up to $50, but later came across 4 quarters in one of the envelopes.  So, when it was all tallied up...drumroll please.....exactly $10,900!  When I added it up and arrived at that number, I knew God was saying loud and clear, "have no worries.  I have your family in the palm of my hand, and your little girl will get what she needs!"  Absolutely AMAZING!!!

So, we are working out the details of getting the chamber and should be able to implement that aspect of the program in the very near future.  Also, now we will be poor enough to re-apply for SSI.

Can you find the error?!?!
AMENDMENT:  Over the weekend I had typed this entire blogpost up.  I thought it would be fun to include the picture that showed my excitement, but I figured I better check my math before I posted it online for others to critique.  And, low and behold, I had messed up!  Yep...didn't need to carry a 1 in the thousands column.  Therefore, in reality, Maggie only has $9,900.  Man, what a bummer, and what a farce.  I had just read Shawn the blogpost (and even cried reading it to him)  and then showed him the note paper.  Shawn and I couldn't stop laughing at the stupidity of it.  I debated deleting this entire post, but I think it is still a tremendous opportunity to show how God is caring for us.  Some may say that my miscalculations completely null and void anything I had said about God's provisions and faithfulness, but I think it shows His divinity even more.  I wouldn't say I am infallible in math computations, but usually I'm fairly decent in the math department.  For me to make this foolish error and the sum to have arrived at the $10,900, there is no doubt in my mind God knew I needed to hear His truths.  That if I arrived at the $9,900, His truth would not have been such a glaring, "I'm taking care of you!"  At $10,900, it was "I'M TAKING CARE OF YOU", yelled loud and clear in my face.  At $9,900, we talked and will easily be able to move our funds around and still make it happen, without too much of a hitch.  We already know we have some additional funds coming our way soon too.  This just makes for a few extra chuckles in the process!  Go ahead and laugh at me....we did!


  1. IDK if SSI goes based on your savings or Maggies. I work with people with disabilities (they guys i work with are adults in residential settings) and they can have up to 2k in their accounts before it affects their SSI benefits, but parents have set up trusts for their kids with way more than that and if the $ is in a trust then it doesnt affect the SSI. Catch is the trust costs $. If you think it might be helpful I can ask one of my co-workers a little more information regarding the trust thing.

  2. This is an awesome post...even with the amendment!!!! Yes, how great God is to even allow for your "silly math mistake" so you can KNOW He has you!!!! I know that this will speak to others in His faithfulness to provide for all of our needs, in His perfect timing!!!!