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November 29, 2012 / Ingrid

Homecoming…Celebrate Life

After much preparation, Jesse was released from the hospital, Tuesday, November 27th.

No more continuous IV’s, early morning blood draws, around the clock vital signs, call lights, pumps beeping, hospital food and “Who’s my nurse today?” inquiries.  Upon release, Jesse was not feeling well.  He was sick throughout the day until late into the evening, possibly he was excited but anxious about the transition.

Jesse’s homecoming may be considered bittersweet… We are so happy to be together again as a foursome!  To have watched him rebound from this last blast of chemotherapy, which was like no other and has taken longer than expected, is such a relief.  There was a long period of time in the last couple of months that Jesse was so sick and medicated we were not sure what the future held.  During this time Jesse began to take ownership of his diagnosis, of decisions being made, of people he chose to reach out to or to let in, of his future…of his life.  It can be so overwhelming to us as parents, to family, to friends and onlookers but I can’t even imagine how overwhelming it must be to him…no one can.  So, we all must be patient and encouraging to this young man as he makes decisions and choices we may not understand.

Jesse is a fighter, some have called him a warrior.  He has not taken off his gloves or put down his rifle…he is making a rationally conscious decision to live his life to the fullest with the prognosis he has.  Jesse has already beaten the odds.  Yes, he has cancer but it is not the kind that can be simply cut out or given local radiation…it is leukemia.  Not the ‘good’ leukemia as one of the doctors called it (as if there was such a thing!) but the bad, complicated kind with the Philadelphia chromosome and 315i mutation…it’s ugly.  So, after exhausting all of the normally scheduled chemotherapy protocol regimens, an oral trial chemo and his last trial chemo regimen, plus enduring great neurological damage, he has chosen to reevaluate the situation.  He knows how hard this has been on his body and how much more his body would have to endure to even come close to a possibly successful bone marrow transplant.  Jesse believes the chemo and radiation necessary to get him to a transplant are to great of a risk for his survival and we honor that decision.

With that, our new motto is…Celebrate Life!  This is not the time for sorrow or the end of the story.  This is the time to make great memories, live life to the fullest, to look inward, to evaluate life and priorities.  What really matters when it’s all said and done?  How will you be remembered?  It’s not just a question for Jesse, but for us all.

I encourage everyone to… Celebrate Life!


2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.



Leave a Comment
  1. Tillie Bryan / Nov 29 2012 10:35 am

    Keeping you and all your family in prayer Jesse. God will never abandon us, but will give us the
    grace we need to meet every obstacle that life presents with courage and confidence in His
    great mercy.
    Jesus loves you and we do too.


    • Candace Gentry / Nov 29 2012 10:41 am

      To the entire Hourigan family-
      We are so thankful you are all home. Your strength amazes me. Jesse, we are encouraged by your growth and ability to make your decisions. Your willingness to share your journey has been an inspiration to many. Thank you for including us! Celebrate your life and thank you for encouraging us all to do this as well. I think sometimes we forget! We love you all!
      The Gentry’s


  2. Diane Fox / Nov 29 2012 10:41 am

    Praying for you as you celebrate life together!!! even without further treatment, God has the power to heal Jesse if it is His will. I believe in miracles and I believe in the God that is in control of them!!! Diane


  3. Angela / Nov 29 2012 11:22 am

    THis letter is so encouraging as it should be to everyone who reads it. I am saving to read and re-read. My prayers are with each of you and especially Jessie.


  4. Diane Snellenberger / Nov 29 2012 11:24 am

    Praying for all of you as you celebrate Jesse’s coming home. May your holiday be wonderful together with Jesse. May God’s blessings be upon all of you. There are so many miracles at Christmas, especially Christ’s birth, that I pray there is one all wrapped up for you.


  5. Cindy chambers / Nov 29 2012 11:55 am

    We hope Jesse will celebrate life!!! He has fought and had so many prayer warriors out there and we will continue to pray for you all!!!


  6. Sheila / Nov 29 2012 2:30 pm

    This entry, like many of the others detailing Jesse’s journey, brought me to tears. This courageous young man is choosing to celebrate life, make precious memories with family and friends, and deal with his diagnosis the best way he can. I have known several people, including close family, who have made the same decision as Jesse when they arrived at the same point in the battle with this horrible disease. I pray for God to give strength, comfort and peace to all of his family and friends, but especially his parents, sister and Jesse himself. I am adding that I hope the family is able to make that camping trip to the family farm in Kentucky. Please know you are in my prayers daily and I hope one of my grandmother’s favorite versus toward the end of her fight will give you comfort also:

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


  7. hwschmidt / Nov 29 2012 3:14 pm

    Dear Jesse, next Sunday is the beginning of a new Church Year, the First Advent, and for you is the beginning of a new, brighter tomorrow. Like the warrior, the champion you are, you are facing a new challenge with a CAN-DO attitude. From time to time we experience a new beginning in our faith journey, when the Holy Spirit breaks into our lives to inspire us, to lead us, and to deepen our commitment to Christ. Today, we praise the Lord for what has been happening in Jesse’s life. In the love of Christ, we encourage you, and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you. O God, you never forsake Jesse, his family, his friends, and we thank you for all you have done, and will do for him. Strengthen Jesse by the Holy Spirit, that he grows in faith and increase his love for you. May Jesse’s service and witness bring you honor and glory. Jesse, you are a child of God, a servant of Christ, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. May the almighty God bless you and keep you forever and ever.
    In Christ,


  8. Linda Niederbrach / Nov 29 2012 4:32 pm

    I have a letter/CD coming Jesse’s way.  It was sent to your home!  It’s expected to arrive by this Saturday.  I pray you will continue to keep us posted as Jesse (& your family) celebrate Life!

    Thanks — love in Christ, KY Linda



  9. lynn and jeff / Nov 29 2012 9:07 pm

    To Life!


  10. Chrystal Clayton / Nov 29 2012 10:38 pm

    Carpe Diem……Seize the day!
    Thinking of you as your travel to Kentucky. He loves that place and loves being with his family there! Enjoy!


  11. Dee Dee / Nov 30 2012 1:35 am

    We love you all and are honored to walk this prayer path with you.


  12. Sherry / Nov 30 2012 8:56 pm

    Jesse, you are an amazing young man. Our prayers are with you always.
    Sherry from Kentucky


  13. Matt A. / Dec 1 2012 9:42 am

    Jesse! I just have to say that you have got to be one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. As you were leaving the hospital you still smiled and said you were doing good when you saw me. You are a person that inspires others with your will to keep fighting. I look at how hard you fight and the challenges that you have overcome so far and it makes me think that if the rest of us had that kind of determination then there would be nothing that couldn’t be done. I hope that you celebrate life now just as hard as you have been fighting! You deserve it! I have you in my prayers still, and thank you for showing everyone what it means to be a fighter.


  14. Sarah / Dec 1 2012 12:57 pm

    Not only is Jesse a brave warrior, but from what I gather following this blog, everyone in his family is. God bless you all.


  15. Bob Strygulec / Dec 1 2012 2:37 pm

    I’m praying for a day full of closeness, warmth and special memories. We love you and your family!

    From the Strygulec’s


  16. pollype / Dec 3 2012 5:30 am

    (I taught Health & PE at RCS from 2006-2009)
    Just wanted to let you ALL know that you have been & continue to be in our prayers.
    With love & hugs, Sally


  17. pollype / Dec 3 2012 5:38 am

    I will be singing a song from the Christian musical, “Celebrate Life” next week…and will be singing for YOU! What a positive example you & your family have been, Jesse. You have strength & courage that we can only strive for. I hope you feel the love we are all sending your way, and the warmth of God’s loving arms as He holds you each step of your Journey.


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