18 March 2014

Because of Cara

"The hope we have clinged to in the midst of our greatest heartbreak is that God is redeeming creation.  One such miracle is a little boy named Bennett." 
-Cynthia Hazell, mother of Cara

Cara Grace Hazell would be 6 years old today.  I was there, 6 years ago, to say hello and goodbye to her in that Raleigh, NC, hospital room where shortly afterwards her mother and father had to physically let go of their firstborn daughter.  

For the first time in our lives, Brian and I watched close friends grieve a parent's worst nightmare.

Never did I imagine that 2 years later, Brian and I would experience a similar grief when our son Bennett was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

Brian and I are deeply appreciative for friends who have once again asked that our son's life be saved in honor of their daughter's life who could not.

Here is the email Cara's mother, Cynthia, recently sent out to her friends and family in honor of Cara's birth and also the day she entered heaven: 

"When I realized Cara was not moving [in the womb], I was talking to one of my best friends, Breck. She is one of the kindest people I know and she coaxed me through those first moments of fear and for months after as I processed our loss. 

A year and a half later, we were both scheduled to deliver our second child on the same day, but three days before Breck felt something was wrong. Her baby had stopped moving. 

Bennett was delivered early, thankfully living, but dealing with major trauma from a ruptured bowel due to complications of Cystic Fibrosis. He and his family began a long fight for his life. (Some stories...,

The fight for Bennett's health is ongoing. There is no cure to Cystic Fibrosis and it is all managed through medication. Even more disappointing, there is no federal funding for Cystic Fibrosis research. All research is funded by private donations. The treatment for CF has come SO far in the past few years. However, there are 30,000 people in the US with Cystic Fibrosis and there is still a long way to go.

We are participating as a family in the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis walk at Duke on April 5th. There are several ways we are raising awareness and support:

1. We would love to have people join our team. Tim, Molly, Evan and I will be walking at Duke East Campus. Registration is at 9 and the 3K walk is at 10. (This is the link for the team page:

2. We have a team goal of $1,000 and are accepting donations in Cara's memory and Bennett's honor. Donations are tax deductible.

3. Please pray for the 30,000 children stillborn each year and the 30,000 individuals in the US dealing with complications of Cystic Fibrosis.

Thank you all for your love and support! We are grateful to have you in our lives.

Cara's Cemetery

Molly and Evan, Cara's younger siblings, honor the sister they never met by hearing stories about her and visiting her gravesite.

Cynthia wrote on her Facebook today: "We took the kids to Cara's grave this morning and talked about Cara's 'heaven' day.  Evan asked 'why' a million times and Molly said, 'I bet she misses us.'"

I know we certainly miss her.

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