Pray for Chris Leavell - Cancer

Hey All, 

Please pray for my brother Chris, who is a member here on SI. He was diagnosed last Thursday with incurable Melanoma. 

Here is his update:


Thank you for your prayers for him and for his wife and three children.



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josh p's picture

I will be praying. His blog post was an encouragement to me. I read it to my son so that he can see the confidence of a man who trusts in Christ.

Jim's picture

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for our family, but the news we have been waiting for has come at last. Yesterday,Chris received a call directly from Bristol-Myers Squibs telling him that he had been approved for the combination treatment. It is an open ended supply until it no longer works, and are providing it free of charge to us. We are rejoicing for this wonderful news. They would send the drugs to our doctor and all that was needed was to get us scheduled at MSTI (Mountain States Tumor Institute) for his first injection. The doctor called today and it is scheduled for this Thursday at 2:00.

To recap the last week: last Tuesday (8th) was supposed to be the day Chris started treatment. While we sat in the waiting room, the doctor came out and let us know that they had not received the approval as of yet.There was some additional paperwork they needed from us before the application could be submitted. They had called us Friday, before the long Labor Day weekend had started, but we had been busy moving and did not get them called back. Needless to say, we quickly got them the information they needed and the application was submitted. We set a tentative starting date for last Friday (11th), but Thursday we received a call that it still had not been approved.  BM had questions on the dosage (based on weight vs universal dosage amount) and questions on the denial letter from the insurance company.

But that is all settled, much to our relief. Over the weekend Chris was running intermittent fevers and getting the chills. He is on a schedule with the pain meds now, which has helped tremendously. He also uses a sling to help relieve the pressure in his arm. The cancer is very aggressive and there are signs that it has spread to other areas of the body. Continue to keep him in your prayers that the combination of these two drugs will do what they are supposed to do: shrink the tumors and stop the progression of the cancer.

Even though, physically, this has been difficult, we have seen God use this in countless ways in many people’s lives. One phrase that we have sought to understand and live by is “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” It is not the joy of our circumstances, but the joy of Who our God is. As hikers, we know the struggle to get up the mountain, but once we are at the top, there is an awe and wonder of the beautiful view. The struggle is forgotten.  The Christian life is much the same. We struggle in this earthly life, but when our focus is on God and His glory, we can only stand in awe. The temporary sufferings of this life pale in comparison to the eternal glory and work of God.  

Chris had the opportunity to preach on September 6th. His text was 2 Corinthians 2-5. Here is the link to his message:

I need to add that we are so very thankful for all the cards and gifts sent our way. The thoughts and prayers from each one of you mean so much to us. We are blessed to have such loving friends and family. Thank you with all of our being.  

Jim's picture

Update from Michelle, Chris' wife

I want to let everyone know our very sorrowful news. Chris passed into the presence of the glory of God last night, October 15, at 11:04 pm.

We knew we were in a race with the very aggressive cancer. The cancer had metastasized so much in the liver and the side effects of that in his body were just too much for any of the treatment options. Anything they did was only temporary. We ran out of time for the immunotherapy to work. It was just too soon for him to leave us.  

But God knows the timing. As Chris would always say, “There is no such thing as bad timing with God.”

I will be spending time with the kids and family today, so I probably will not be answering any phone calls except from close family.  I will see any texts, email messages and Facebook/Caring Bridge comments.  I want to reassure everyone that I have seen every comment, felt every prayer, and felt very loved and supported through this whole ordeal.

I will post additional details about funeral arrangements in the coming days. I know this has been reposted many times, but I will leave off with Chris’ words. I said he was a prophet for his words are as true today as they were back on August 20.

“God is good and merciful to those that trust in Him. This news today has brought much tears and sorrow to family and friends. But all this sorrow is temporary. The reality is God has already had the last word on this cancer long before I was born. When Jesus rose from the dead and became the first fruits of the resurrection this cancer was defeated. It torments us for just a short time but soon will be swallowed up by eternal life. Even though it is a time of sorrow, our family is enveloped in peace that only comes to those whose faith and trust rests in the Lord.”

Jim's picture

By Michelle Leavell

I wanted to put this out there so that anyone who would like to come could make arrangements.
A viewing will be at Accent Funeral Home in Meridian, Idaho, Tuesday Night, October 20, 6-8 pm
Funeral is 10:00 AM Wednesday, the 21st at
      Fellowship Baptist Church 
      1824 W 3rd St, Meridian, ID 83646
A Graveside service is following the funeral at the Wilder Cemetery. This will be by invitation only as Wilder is an hour from Boise and space is limited.
A late lunch will be provided for family, close friends and out of town friends and ministry friends. If you are planning on coming in from out of town, please message me if you would like to be included in the dinner. I just need a head count. 
I am not sure if I missed any details, but I can come back and include any additional information I will need.