My little girl is very sick and is hurting. Carissa and BJ have now had their second meeting with her M.C.A.S. (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Disease) specialist, who has M.C.A.S., herself, and are learning more about this very distressing condition. At the same time, Carissa seems to be developing NEW sensitivities very quickly as time goes on. She now has to eliminate oats and raspberries, along with the myriad of other things she has already been reacting to. Unfortunately, this is not simply like other cases of allergies or certain sensitivities. With M.C.A.S., Carissa's body is profoundly traumatized, and is consequently in a constant state of heightened alert, reacting to a multitude of things that you and I encounter everyday as if they were dangerous invaders. Her reactions range from swollen throat and congestion to sudden, extreme sleepiness or dizziness and flushing, to passing out, or to full blown anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. As a result, she is living in a constant state of anxiety over what food or scent or medication or supplement she may react to next. We believe, and the doctors concur, that this condition is at least partly a Post-Traumatic Stress reaction over her brother's death. It is said to be incurable and lifelong. We are praying for God's supernatural healing (II Chronicles 16:12; Psalm 62:5; Mark 9:23; Luke 1:37). In the meantime, we beseech all our friends to pray for the LORD to provide for the financial needs involved. Just two of the five or six medications the doc has prescribed for her will cost $250 per month, unless insurance pays. Then, there's the cost of seeing the specialist (last night's phone interview lasted over 45 minutes. Carissa and BJ have not yet looked at the bill). There's also the higher but absolutely necessary cost of fresh foods, untainted by any processing involving corn (which is MUCH more limiting than you may think). And, they now need $1,500 to repair the AC on their car, because heat, itself, can trigger a potentially dangerous reaction, as can exhaust, cigarette smoke, or other smells of the highway (we've been experiencing a heat wave in VA these past couple weeks). Please pray, too, for spiritual encouragement and emotional healing for Carissa, and for us all. I have to admit we're all feeling quite overwhelmed, and are struggling to fight off discouragement. Thank God we know this brief time on earth is NOT the "main event!" (Romans 8:17-25; II Corinthians 4:17-18; Hebrews 11:13; 13:14).