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Family turns to God after cancer diagnosis

No matter how big the cancerous tumor inside her chest, it dwarfs in size compared to her faith in God. And God is using her to spread His love.

"This is not something you can say man will heal," said Jenifer Beckum, whose 14-year-old daughter, Margaret, recently was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. "We pray for God, our ultimate healer, and trust Him, and use it to draw other people to Him."

After being hospitalized this spring and treated for pneumonia, Margaret's cough and respiratory symptoms did not go away. When allergy treatments failed, an x-ray taken on July 26 revealed a mass the size of her lung.

The size and location of the mass over her trachea was life-threatening, so doctors could not even do a biopsy to diagnose it. Margaret had to undergo three radiation treatments and intravenous steroid treatments to shrink the mass in order to do surgery. But that didn't work, either.

As she spoke of the trauma of those uncertain days, Mrs. Beckum did not hesitate when asked how the family handled it.

"We turned to God," she said. "We believe God is going to help us through."

Prayers were answered when doctors discovered a much smaller tumor located near the big one and were able to remove it for the diagnosis. Margaret began chemo treatments.

And the prayers continued even before the first treatment.

"All the churches have come out, not just ours," Mrs. Beckum said, adding that they attend Thomson First United Methodist Church.

"People are humbling themselves before God and praying," Mrs. Beckum said.

Margaret is the daughter of Jenifer and Bill Beckum, who are teachers in McDuffie County schools. She has two older brothers, Mackenzie and James. The family continues to pray as Margaret has four more chemo treatments to go through. Mrs. Beckum said Margaret is keeping up her school work through homebound study.

Mrs. Beckum and Margaret have talked a lot since her cancer diagnosis. She said they are learning to apply the lessons Margaret learned at summer church camp.

The theme of the camp was based on John 12:28 and was "glorify God wherever you find yourself." Margaret wants to glorify God through her sickness and trust Him through her treatments.

Web posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010

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