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What Doesn’t Break You Only Makes You Stronger

I’ll see if I can get through this post without grabbing a Kleenex, so start your engines. My little buddy, Kaleb, has been having a heckuva time lately with infections and now he’s landed in the hospital with lung/blood infections, walking pneumonia, and more. On top of that, he’s got to have his port removed and placed on the other side due to one of the infections involving his port.

I’m a tough guy, but I’m also a softie once you get to know me or I get to know you, so when I read about the little ones going through what we go through, I don’t know why, but I feel like taking it for them.

Then I realize how stupid of a statement that is – given my position – I’ve got the same thing, only different!

I must be mental to want to take his place with those procedures, meds, pokes, and more likely than not guessing on the part of the medical staff. It has to be the “dad genes” kicking in now that we’re almost foster parents or something. A part of it is probably that I’ve been through so much, I know I can take it…

Here’s what I want you to do. Today. Sunday. Monday at the latest. Leave them a comment on their blog, or a comment here (they read and I believe they get e-mail notices of new posts. To go above and beyond, you can send him or his family something for this week in the hospital. He’s got at least 8 more days to go before he’s allowed to go home. They’ve made a list, so let’s show them some love. His mom made a list:

  • Kaleb likes Transformers, Dolphin or Orca Pillow Pet, Transforming Perry the Platypus Plush at Toys R Us, Phineas and Ferb THE MOVIE (Toys R US), Plush Angry bird (he only has a yellow one)
  • Gift cards/$ for/to Walmart, Target, Olive Garden, Pei Wei, PF Changs, Starbucks, QT, Wendy’s (any food)

Kaleb, your card is in the mail, so here’s a little something something extra for today:



  1. Kristi Bowers says

    You rock. Thank you!!!! Pray for him, the new med erythromycin is making his nauseous and his tummy is cramping. He can’t throw up cuz of his fundo so he is wretching. This is a major stinko!!

    • Aside from struggling for breath, upset stomach for the duration of a round of abx (oral or IV) is the worst way to be b/c nothing is comfortable or relaxing. I feel you, Fibro. I had the same thing after my sinus surgery in October. 2 weeks of feeling yucko.

  2. Kaleb,

    I’m writing with tears in my eyes as I pray for you. Praying that your tummy will quiet down and you’ll feel much better soon. Also praying that all the doctors and nurses make good decisions to help you get better faster.

    Sending you love and hugs with my prayers,
    Mildred (Jesse’s Mom)

  3. And to Kristi,

    I know how things go for a mom during a hospital stay — praying for you also for strength and for good sleep (when you can sleep)  :>)

  4. Kristi Bowers says

    Thank you Mildred and Jesse!
    Kaleb’s poor tummy. So many strong antibiotics! He is fighting 6 bacteria/mold in his lungs and bloodstream. But…he is a strong fighter!!

  5. Tara Hurlburt says

    You are an amazing guy with a huge influence.. Thanks for posting this… 

  6. Anonymous says

    Jesse, we’ve never met IRL, but over the past year of reading your blog I feel like I’ve gotten to know you.  What I know thus far I love. You are an amazing friend.  You are the best thing a fellow CF’er can have (or their spouse). Hopefully Kaleb will come out of this stronger for fighting and be a positive influence for someone else, like you have been for him. We have a PF Chang’s  gift card that will be heading their way. 🙂

  7. Lauramagsamen says

    Jesse- This is wonderful of you to spread the word for Kaleb.
    I will certainly head out today to do a little shopping and send a few things his way.  After Jordan spent 40 days in the hospital this winter, we know how the little treasures and surprises can brighten ones day!
    Prayers are headed their way.

  8. Wow, Jesse. If only there had been a champion like you in your corner when you spent the 1st 10 weeks of your life in the hospital!! I’m proud of you for bringing this to the attention of your many readers.

    And to the Bowers family, you guys rock! You keep on trusting Jesus even as He leads you through this almost impossible valley. There’s no greater witness to the power of God than people like you. As Mildred said, we’re continuing to pray for you guys.