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The importance of newborn screening for SMA

Rory and Carolyn met in seminary, fell in love, and got married. They decided to hold off on starting their own family while they settled into their first jobs in North Dakota. After a few years, they moved to Minnesota, where Rory accepted a job as a minister, and Carolyn enrolled in a hospital chaplain residency program. At the time, they did not know how important the decision to move would be for their future family. When they moved, neither North Dakota nor Minnesota had SMA on their newborn screening panel. It wasn’t until March 2018 that Minnesota adopted and implemented newborn screening for SMA, and then several months later, in 2018, Rory and Carolyn’s only son Edan was born.


This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 2 months ago by Halsey Blocher.

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    • #19470
      Kevin Schaefer
      Keymaster

      Happy Friday everyone!

      Check out Halsey’s latest column here. This is definitely a topic that most of us here can relate to. I know I’ve had strangers come up to me and pray for my healing, and I’m sure others here can relate. It’s always a pretty awkward scenario.

      I do like what Halsey says here about encouraging people to ask first, before praying for someone in public. Some may be fine with this, while others might find it uncomfortable.

      What do you think? Have you been in this situation before?

    • #19499
      Kelly Miller
      Participant

      Halsey has explained how I feel & worship God to a tee! While I don’t think He causes me to suffer things like pain, illness, & not being able to walk or do things for myself, I do believe He allows me to have this life in order that I will be uniquely qualified to minister in whatever way to people that is needed. I have never been 1 of those people who wished as a young child that I could walk or do things other children could do because I knew this was my calling in this life.

      I had my 1st encounter with people praying for me when I was about 7 yrs. old. My brother & I often played with the neighborhood kids outside during the summer. I was being pushed in my chair down the road to a friend’s house by her & her sisters. We were just laughing & going along like kids will do when a car full of what I thought were much older people drove by, then stopped just ahead of us. Out piled about 6 or 7 “hippies” (they were probably around 18 or so yrs. old & had bell bottom jeans, long hair, lots of fringe) who ran up to us, immediately fell to their knees, & asked if they could pray for me. At this point in my life, I had no other experience with religion or God or prayers, so I was a little bit frightened. The girl who was pushing me was about 3 yrs. older than me and had a little knowledge of what they were about to do, so she said yes for me. They took out their Bibles & began what I thought was chanting & putting their hands on my head & arms. It wasn’t particularly scary, but it did feel weird to me. I didn’t tell my parents later because actually, I was so caught up in playing with my friends that, I pretty much let it go as young kids often do. It wasn’t until much later, in high school, that this memory came back to me, because I was faced with another similar incident on my own.

      I’ve had many of these experiences, both alone and with others, including my parents. None of us have ever said no, not even before we were Christ followers. I know for myself I see it as beneficial in that it does show my faith in God, that He has a plan in all of this for me. I also believe it’s helpful to the other person because they are worshiping with their own faith, and they believe it will do me some good to pray.

      It’s not offensive to me at all, but I do understand why it might be to others who are either shy or don’t believe in what I do. I think it’s okay to politely tell the people that you would rather not have them do that right now, but that you appreciate their thoughts. They shouldn’t get offended by that – if they do, they aren’t particularly the right kind of Christians to begin with.

    • #19507
      Ryan Berhar
      Member

      Interestingly, I can only recall one time that a stranger prayed for me. It was a couple years ago at a park. My friend and I were doing a Bible study, and the guy noticed that, so it wasn’t completely random given the context. It’s not like I was at the mall or something. I appreciated this, but I could see how it might make  someone else uncomfortable.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Ryan Berhar.
    • #19510
      Halsey Blocher
      Participant

      Glad you all enjoyed it! As a Christian, prayer has never bothered me and I’m a big advocate of it, but since not everyone share this opinion I thought it would good to remind people to approach these situations as respectfully as possible.

    • #19511
      Adnan Hafizovic
      Participant

      When we talk about religion and this topic, I did not have such an experience, although I believe and I know that many people I know are praying for God for my health. My opinion is that there is no need for it, because in Islam, and I believe in Christianity, that pray of  ill person is much more valuable to God, because we are the ones who are in great temptation. Recently, a friend of mine asked me to pray to God, so God allowed her to find a fine husband.

    • #19623
      Halsey Blocher
      Participant

      Hey everyone! I just wanted to share something that happened this weekend as sort of a follow up to this column and discussion. As we were getting ready to leave church, a woman that I haven’t met before came up to us and asked if she could pray for me. Like I said, this doesn’t bother me, so I said yes. What I really want to share is how much I appreciated the way she approached the situation. First of all, she asked first and waited for an answer. I got the impression that she would have been okay with it if I had said no. Secondly, I appreciated how she worded the prayer. She didn’t ask that God would heal me in the wait that I would just get up and walk. She basically asked that He heal me His way in His time. It could be that I get up and walk, it could be through medical intervention, it could be that I am not fully healed until heaven, or it could be something none of us have thought of. The point is, she left it in His hands. She also prayed for protection for me and my family, which is something I always appreciate. The whole experience was ironic considering I just wrote this, but her approach was exactly what I was trying to encourage when I wrote it.

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