I would like to share a story with you about a precious boy in the Allen community, Zach Hoefler. A few know the entire story, some know a bit of the story, and many are seeing #Hoeflerstong and know none of the story. I'm in the camp that knows a bit of the story and will share it now (with the sweet consent of Zach's mom). It is my hope to share the story of a beautiful brave young man from Allen, and unite our community in prayer.
Zach is an amazing sweet boy living here in Allen, Texas. He lives with his mom, dad and sister in the Twin Creeks community. He grew up playing football with his friends, passionately supporting the Patriots, bonding with his dad with 70s rock, participating in Allen Eagles football, tolerating his beautiful sisters singing and acting, and faithfully participating in youth events and mission trips at Suncreek United Methodist Church. Just a fantastic, typical Allen High School kid. But just before his high school senior year, he started to experience headaches. The headaches increased in severity and doing everything right, the family took him to doctors and specialists and ultimately found out Zach had a brain tumor. While this is a scary diagnosis, the family's faith (a faith like no others) filled them with hope and trust in the doctors. The prognosis looked scary, difficult, but ultimately hopeful. In fact - after a summer of surgeries and hospital stays, the doctors encouraged the Hoefler family to get Zach back in a routine, and back to his senior year at Allen. He had some lifestyle modifications, many more doctor visits and a disappointing restriction that led him stay on the football sidelines; I teased him because he at least got to hang out with the cute athletic trainers! Zach's life was not ever going to be the same, but the future looked good. In fact, after senior year Zach enrolled in the University of Mississippi. He there started his freshman year and joined a fraternity.
So why all the #Hoeflerstrong posts now? Zach's freshman year at Ole Miss was interrupted by more headaches. And more hospital stays and radiation and peaks and valleys of health and sickness. The once seemingly manageable diagnosis of Pilocytic Astrocytoma has taken a terrible turn. While the cure rate is optimistically posted as 90%, it seems Zach is not falling into the favorable odds.
No stone has gone unturned for Zach. He has had the best care at Children's in Dallas, wisdom from St. Judes, and opportunities for trial drugs from MD Anderson in Houston. And at all times, faith in the ultimate healer Jesus Christ.
We do not know why some are healed and some are not. We do not know God's plan for Zach, we just know that there is a community wanting to do so much for the Hoefler family and sometimes prayer doesn't seem like enough. So the community is sharing #Hoeflerstrong anyway they can. I for one am sharing it to show the Hoefler's how VERY much they are loved, and to encourage everyone to pray.
Zach is at his home now in hospice care. I don't know what I can do for the Hoefler's, or Zach.
But for now, this is how I will pray for the Hoeflers,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.