Saturday, August 18, 2007

"We're not denying that heaven could be possible"

Part 7 of Gloria's story has been printed in the Seattle Times this morning. Please continue to pray and may the Lord bless all of you today!


Also, I would like to throw out one more intention that is near and dear to my heart right now. My grandma's skin cancer (on her face) has returned and she will go back in for surgery on Sept. 5th. Please pray for her comfort and healing. She is one amazing women! Her strength just floors me. She was the oldest of many children, raised 11 of her own, and then ran a daycare for years. My grandpa passed away about 35 years ago, while their youngest was just 12 years old. My grandma is now 86 and has fought a lot - knee surgeries and other leg problems, glaucoma (only sees out of one eye now), open heart surgery, and she has also seen three of her boys pass away. She is definitely part of the reason I have my faith and love our Lady so much!

I love you, Grandma!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Carrie's Baby Shower!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to celebrate Carrie and Tom's new little one...what a fun time! I can hardly believe how quickly time has flown - it seems Baby Herring will be here before I know it! ...joined shortly after by Baby Mauss! Congrats to all!

I wanted to share a few pictures of the lovely ladies! (and I know, I know, I'll put them on facebook.)

The WWU Ladies! :)

Pregnant Ladies!!

Carrie & Me

Silly Girls :)

And they even look beautiful when they clean!

Stories, Updates, & a Video Slideshow

Jerry has put up quite a few entries on his online journal about Gloria. There are updates and quite a few emails that people have sent in, as well as an amazing audio slide show from one of their late night prayer sessions. (A link to this can be found on the journal page.) While I encourage you to check out the journal for yourself, there is one email I would like to share that I think really sums up what Gloria is all about.

I am Julie Carrick, a Catholic Recording Artist who lives in Scottsdale, AZ. I had the privilege of meeting Gloria a few years ago and as I learned of her condition, I brought a first-class relic of St. Philomena to the St. Philomena church and was humbled beyond words as I thought that I would help lead this church community to pray for one of their own in, somehow, a deeper way.

During the concert at the church, Gloria, without hesitation, held the reliquary that holds the small piece of St. Philomena's bone, and one by one people came forward to pray with and for Gloria.

As the concert was ending, I went to Gloria and asked her if she felt anything after the opportunity to pray with so many people for her healing and with the most precious smile she simply said, "It was really nice to pray for all their needs. I didn't get tired at all. Thank you for letting me pray for them with St. Philomena."

I was overwhelmed to realize that this beautiful child had been praying not for her own healing as I had suggested, but instead had prayed with each person who had come forward, for that 45-minute period of time, for their needs.

I know they were praying for her healing, but she was not at all thinking of her need, but of theirs. This child is truly filled with God's grace.

We will begin a novena here in Scottsdale, AZ, and I am sending a note to every person in our ministry database, to flood heaven with her intention and especially through the intercession of St. Philomena and Nicky Mailliard (a cancer patient from Scottsdale who died in 2005). For Gloria, and for her entire family, we ask our Lord Jesus to shower His richest blessing and fullness of healing.

In His Service,

Julie Carrick

Note: If you can't access the journal through the link or previous links, it is because they have moved the stories a few times. Usually you can find everything on the Seattle Times homepage now or by going there and clicking on local stories.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Reporter's Journal - "We're Not Out of the Water" (Aug. 4th)

Reporter's journal Jerry Brewer 12, 3:26 PM

Gloria's parents have been sleeping for the past fewhours. It's much-needed rest.

The latest news is that Gloria will be slowly weanedoff her numerous medicines because doctors want her tostart breathing on her own.

She's almost there right now. She's barely using herbreathing tube for support now. So the goal is to wakeher and take out the tube before the end of the day.

What's unknown, however, is what Gloria's pain andother symptoms will be like once she is out of this coma.

Family and friends here are obviously encouraged bythis latest news. The hope is that Gloria will get totalk with her family.

It's been interesting to see some of the family's supporters come together in the intensive care waitingroom. Some had never met before. I've been payingcareful attention to how people are reacting now thatthey're realizing how vast Gloria's support base is.

It's very uplifting to see these people, who've beenon the same mission for more than four years, united. And they refuse to give up, too.

Also, I have some information to pass along:

For those wanting to pray with others for Gloria, St.Philomena Parish's 5:30 p.m. Mass tonight would be agood place to go. A huge group of the Strausses' friends will be there.

After St. Philomena is in Des Moines.The address is: 1790 S. 222nd St., Des Moines, WA 98198

St. Philomena Parish's Mass at 5:30 p.m. today,they will pray the Rosary.

Also, there is a 24-hour adoration at the chapel just outside the church. People are gathering at all hours of the night to pray for Gloria there. Knock on the back door, and someone will let you in.

If there are any other prayer meetings, e-mail me at, and I will post them in this journal.

August 12, 12:40 PM

Doctors are consulting Gloria's parents about her latest scans right now. Her condition remained the same overnight.

She's still in a medically induced coma. Let me add more explanation to her condition.

A CT scan on Saturday revealed the cancer has spreadto Gloria's brain. The way Gloria's father, Doug, understands it, a tumor burst in her head Saturday.That was probably the cause of her seizures.

Gloria also has a tumor on her left lung. Dr. Julie Park, her oncologist, also told the Strausses that Gloria's chest pain could be from cancer invading her heart.

Throughout her 11 years, Gloria has made some amazing medical rallies, but she is cornered like she has never been before. Park has told the family there's no way for Gloria to escape.

It's jarring to see her in bed with a respirator doingher breathing. Some close friends -- Theresa Brennan, Jeanine and Jessica Morley -- visited a while ago, andtheir faces expressed exactly what I felt.

It's hard to get over how quickly this happened. Just last Sunday, Gloria was healthy enough to spend then ight at a friend's house. Two nights ago, she was joking on the phone with Jason Prouty, one of Doug's best friends.

On Saturday, her parents placed a crucifix on Gloria's chest, and I couldn't stop looking at it. As the respirator filled her body with air, the crucifix would rise along with Gloria's chest. That image stays with me. The message of why she's suffering was right there, obvious with every breath.

Then I looked at a dry-eraser board in her room. It reads, "We're Here To Glorify God Through God."

Last night, after some arguing, Doug got permissionfor a group of about 20 to pray over Gloria. It was somoving. No dry eyes.

But I can't escape this feeling of helplessness. All people can truly do now is pray to God. The cancer hasher boxed in. She's in an intensive care unit thatallows little access. She's trapped in a building withsuffering children all around.

And so we continue to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Gloria Update

This is an email I just received on Gloria's condition. Please add a few extra prayers for Gloria today. Thank you!

Dear Friends,

Unfortunately, this Gloria update does not contain good news. The night before last, they had to increase the amount of pain medicine from 45 to 50mg per hour. Yesterday, they ended up working their way up to 100mg. The first 50mg had taken three weeks, but now 50mg more wasn’t working. Just as her body had become used to the morphine, this pain medicine doesn’t seem to be helping any more. She is in constant pain. This morning, her breathing became labored. Dr. Park had told them yesterday that the cancer is pushing against her lungs, causing this to happen. They drove up to Children’s earlier this morning.

The family is asking that everyone pray, pray harder than ever. We are not giving up. With God, all things are possible. He can heal Gloria. They have always known it will get worse before it gets better and that has happened. Now we are praying that God will take her cross so that she can have her healthy life back. This time is especially difficult for Doug and Kristen. Please pray that God will give them strength and comfort. Please spread the word to people (email, phone, Myspace, word of mouth, however), we need as many people praying as possible.

We are going to be having another prayer gathering in our home tonight (Saturday, August 11). We know that God will be listening to our payers. “Where two or more are gathered, There I am in their midst.” Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come. The need for prayer right now is great. We will begin at about 8:00. Thank You for the prayers you have been saying for Gloria. Doug scolded me yesterday because I forgot to specifically tell people that the Strausses are very, very grateful of all the prayers. They know that people are always lifting them up in prayers. Doug had said to let everyone know, “We love them all and thank them so much.” If you
can’t make it tonight, please just pray from wherever you are. This is so much bigger than any of us realize and while you pray, know that you are among hundreds, perhaps thousands of people storming the Heavens for this miracle.

Dear Lord,
Help us to concentrate on this miracle, to give up some portion of our busy day to pray for the Strausses. Cast out all of our anxieties, doubts, and despair. Fill us with trust and faith in You. You can do anything Lord, You can heal Gloria. Please wrap the family in Your loving embrace so that they might feel comfort and love. Send peace into their hearts. Most of all, Lord, we ask You to touch Gloria with Your loving hand. Hold her in Your arms and wipe out all of her cancer. Please stop her suffering Lord, so that she may live to give glory to You for years and years to come. Thank You for being with us Lord. We know that You will never abandon us. Amen.

Once again, Thank You

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

New Kiddos!

Lots of good news!

First, as of Monday, July 30th, Eleanor has a new little sister! Her name is Georgia and she is adorable! I'm excited to have a new little one to take care of...of course, I have to wait a little bit (...4-6 months is a little bit, right?) until Ann Marie goes back to work. But regardless, I'm really excited!

Second, I got a new job! I have accepted a position at Holy Family in Auburn as their new assistant youth pastor. :) I'm really excited for this!!! I have heard great things about their high school group and met some of their junior high kids while co-directing One Week in Forks. They were awesome and I'm really looking forward to working with them and Josie and Jocelyn, who are the other youth pastors!

Well, that's it for my quick little update. :) Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summer!

"You're God. You can do anything."

Hey everyone - I've been slacking! Sorry!

Here's is the latest Gloria update for anyone who would like to keep following and hasn't seen it in the paper. :) "You're God. You can do anything."

Also, here is a brief clip from Komo News: "Helping ease heartbreak without a magic wand."

Thanks to all of you who are praying!