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Cheryl Lam, Germ Cell Tumor

Evelyn Lam’s faith had always been strong, but when an ultrasound revealed a tumor on the tailbone of her unborn seconddaughter, the serene young mother knew dread like never before.

Five hours after delivering baby Cheryl by cesarean section six weeks early, doctors had removed a two-pound tumor, nearly halving the baby’s weight. Cheryl spent three months in an incubator, and at first Evelyn’s husband Paul was afraid to hold his tiny, fragile daughter. After going home, Cheryl feverishly started gaining weight, an early sign of her now trademark quiet determination.

The whole ordeal tested the young couple’s marriage, but it also strengthened their faith in their church and each other. Paul and Evelyn had been unemployed during most of Evelyn’s pregnancy. When Cheryl was born, Paul had gotten a job he couldn’t leave. With the couple’s family in Hong Kong, Evelyn sat alone beside her daughter in the hospital daily, gaining a strange strength despite the sadness and stress. A second tumor was removed when Cheryl was ten months old.

"I never thought I could go through so many things," says Evelyn, who learned that when life is out of control, you just try your best and don’t give up. "Now I feel much more independent."

These days, the couple stands proud of both their daughters – who like hula hoops and piano and learning Chinese -- and thankful for their renewed understanding that every moment of life is sacred.

"We can see the miracle God made for us," Evelyn says. "We know we can depend on him and he’ll help us cope."

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