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This is the story about Cheryl Jeanette (C.J.) Felton. C.J. has attended Unity of Wichita, Kansas since 2007. She had previously lived in L.A., California where she was a member of and studied at the Agape International Spiritual Center, a New Thought church founded by Michael Bernard Beckwith who was one of the featured teachers in “The Secret.” CJ became an Agape licensed spiritual practitioner, and Religious Science certified practitioner and is a gifted intuit.

C.J. is well known at our church and often performed the meditation during service. Her 17-year-old grandson Isaiah who lives with her is a member of the Y.O.U. and has been active in serving the church.

In August 2012, C.J. got diagnosed with ALS. When she told me she said, “You can be my helper.” I really did not know her all that well at the time, but life flowed so that I have been in regular contact, and since I am a nurse it has come in handy. I am one of many of her supporters.

C.J. forged on and advocated for herself as well as others, and through the journey has stayed positive. She became involved with the ALS support group and researches everything about the disease including the most cutting edge therapies. She was one of the first people in Kansas to have a diaphragmatic pacemaker inserted to help her breathe. She goes to KU Medical Center, 3 hours away because that is where the closest ALS clinic is. She is willing to try anything to help the Drs. learn more about stopping ALS and heal her body. Currently, she is on the list to possibly be in a drug trial for an experimental drug that has shown promise in reversing ALS at Cedars-Sinai in L.A. this January.

At this time, C.J. is becoming more confined to her scooter chair and is losing the use of her legs, arms, hands, and speech. Despite the difficulties, she utilizes a handicap transportation service and is able to get herself to the Wednesday women’s church group meetings most times.

C.J. has been blessed with a great set up at home with her own quarters, a handicapped bathroom, and her son and grandson in the other section. Home health visits regularly, but she is now at the point that she needs a wheelchair accessible van in order to get to her Drs. in Kansas City, and to travel to L.A. in January. Being the resourceful and intentional woman she is, she has started a “GoFundMe” site to raise money for this.

Many of her medical bills are not covered by insurance and she makes too much to be on Medicaid. Recently she fell and was down for a while before anyone found her. She told me the only way she did not literally die is because of a trash can she was able to lean up against that helped her be able to breathe until someone found her. She requires a BiPap much of the time now to assist breathing so she was very fortunate she got through that ordeal. Since this incident, a church friend was trying to get her set up with a life alert, but it is NOT covered by Medicare, and she can not afford it! Still, she says she is not afraid.

Through all of these trials, she has remained positive. She cherishes life. She does not complain but keeps fighting for the things she needs. She says her room is her sanctuary. Many times she will look me in the eye and say, “I – am – happy.” She goes within herself knowing her wholeness and had even held meditation classes in her room with others for a while. She also wrote a book, ” Peace is an Inside Job.” She is an inspiration to all of us at church and an example of courage, power and faithfulness in a human being to see beyond appearances and be happy.

At this time, I am asking for you to click on the link below to C.J.’s GoFundMe site and donate. As she says, anything is much appreciated. Let us make a difference and help CJ achieve her goals. Maybe SHE will be the one to change the outcome of ALS with OUR help.

Go Fund Me to provide support.

Thanks,
Kelly McFarland
Youth Director of Unity of Wichita, Kansas

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