Hello everyone. We’d like you to meet Josiah David Klundt. Josiah is the fourth of five children and by no means is he “little.” Everything about him is big. His heart, his laugh, his tenacity and his charm. Boy does he have charm. Josiah is the type of boy to walk in a room, cause a ruckus, smile, bat his blue eyes and walk out of the room unscathed. He is a true Jedi. His love and passion for life at such a young age is clear to all. One of his true joys is “shooting hoops.” Last summer (when he was two) he would amaze us as he would walk around the driveway dribbling a full size basketball, stop, pull-up and knock back a J into his Little Tyke basketball hoop. He did this better then most kids ten times his age. He was amazing. He still is amazing, but a lot less active. May of 2017 we started to notice a change in him, a slight change, but a change nonetheless. Josiah began to limp a little and he began to slow down. He also began to stop dribbling his ball. We began to see his limp slowly increase and his mobility decrease. Josiah was in trouble. He knew something was wrong. Our first thought was that he hurt himself being a rambunctious toddler. Having two older brothers who like to use him as a tackling dummy, we just thought he had a boo-boo.
We went to two different chiropractors, followed by a physical therapist. Our hearts sunk when they suggested we see a pediatric neurologist. We made calls to everyone across Monmouth county, NJ to get the earliest appointment we could find. In the meantime we took Josiah to physical therapy twice a week, charming the entire staff of course, yet seeing no change. Off to get x-rays, pediatric orthopedics, blood work, and back to consult with our pediatrician. No one could find an answer for his progressive gait and his leg drop.
On July 16th, was the first time we saw a tremor in his right hand, he could no longer carry his cereal bowl to the sink. This was one day before his long awaited appointment with a pediatric neurologist. We thought we would have a answer the next day. However, the neurologist told us he passed his exam. Yay! Right? No. We were instructed by this doctor to bring him back to physical therapy. Leaving the office heavy hearted and confused. We went home determined to get an MRI. The neurologist we visited wouldn’t issue it. We called Josiah’s pediatrician, the orthopedic, the chiropractor and physical therapist to fight for us for this MRI. After a week of non stop phone calls the neurologist finally approved the MRI. We continued to research for answers. On August 1st we saw an infectious disease doctor and $1,200 later he was put on two different antibiotics for lymes disease. We never thought we’d pray for one of our children to have Lymes, but we did. The alternative was far too foreboding. We waited for results, and after three weeks of medication, there was no change. Meanwhile, we were fighting to get our little Josiah into CHOP for a second opinion with a muscular neurologist. We were first denied by our insurance company and then through the tremendous effort and advocacy of a friend in the insurance industry, we had an appointment with CHOP for Sept 7th. We would never make this appointment.
Every night we would lay hands on Josiah and pray for him. He would say, “Jesus fix my leg.” And in his happy silly little toddler voice he’d say, “my hand shakin.” Our souls ached for him. The scheduled MRI was for August 29th, the day our life changed forever. Not the kind of change a parent would ever want to endure.
A brain tumor… our hearts began to pound, our chests tightened, our mouths began to dry up, our vision narrowed, we were speechless. Not only was there a tumor, there was a cyst three times the size of the tumor itself sitting on the brain stem. To say our hearts were broken is an understatement. We were immediately admitted to Jersey Shore Medical Center and we were told that our little boy Josiah would need brain surgery, and soon.
We prayed, discussed with their staff, friends, family, and people we know who have gone down this road before us and we knew the Lord wanted us to transfer to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. And as we write this story, September 1st, 2017 we are five hours away from our son’s brain surgery at 9am.
Our family of seven is separated. Our three older kids at home with different family and friends taking care of them. We have been in the hospital unexpectedly since Tuesday with our sweet Josiah and our 5 month old nursing baby.
If we can leave you with this… Josiah loves to throw rocks in the water. So what? He’s like any other young boy. As we would go on a walk at the Manasquan Reservoir, at the Boardwalk, or along any body of water for that matter, he and his sibling would rid the shoreline of any rocks.
This summer Josiah has had very little range of motion. Now he would sit down to throw his rocks. Over and over. Enjoying the launch and the “bloop” as it hit the water.
Now we can’t get the thought out of our mind that this “throwing rocks” is akin to prayer. Each rock that is tossed into the water has a ripple. That ripple travels across the pond and reaches a greater distance by that one simple action… the “bloop.” That one little pebble goes out and affects the whole body of water, lives are touched by that one little “pebble.” So please continue to join us in prayer by “throwing rocks” for Josiah. Something that has brought him so much joy can be tossed back to help him get through this trial.
Thank you for reading our story and as the Lord leads you, we pray that any and all assistance would be used to the glory of God. Our family and friends have rallied around us beyond belief and they have banded together to meet our family’s immediate needs. Jason took Family Leave from work and unfortunately, he will not be paid his usual salary during this time.
Expenses will soon accumulate and we anticipate there being multiple costs incurred during Josiah’s surgery and subsequent rehabilitation post surgery. We thank God for each and every one of you. May god bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you. Thank you for reading our story, Josiah’s story.
In Christ Alone,
Jason, Brooke, Ben, Caleb, Olivia, Josiah & Madeline Klundt