IMG_3752

Left to Right – Genequa (12 years old)/GeSean (5 years old)
Deshante (17 Years old/GeVon (7 years old)

God’s Timing is Perfect
By ASHLEY BERKERY

Today I realized life is not always perfect, or fair for that matter, and Gregory and Spring Pickens from Foley, Alabama will be first in line to that testament. The Pickens have had to fight a battle with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), a rare gene mutation (often a mistaken form of leukemia) that typically only affects males. Women, usually unaffected, can be carriers of the disease and in this case Spring is a carrier.
The Pickens lost their first child, Cortez, in 2008 at four years old to WAS. Spring and Gregory’s two oldest daughters, Deshante (17) and Genequa (12) could be carriers of WAS but are free from any worries that they might actually inherit the disease’s symptoms and affects because of their gender.

In 2006, the Pickens family welcomed son GeVon, who tested positive for the disease, and then 3 years later GeSean entered into the family, also testing positive for the disease. They knew from their experience with Cortez to test for WAS at the birth of both of their sons.

The Pickens are temporarily relocating to the Birmingham area in order to receive the best treatment possible for the disease from Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham.

When I arrived at the house in Homewood where they are staying this summer, courtesy of aTeam Ministries, all five children (they have son Brooklyn, 2, who has not been diagnosed with the disease) were lively and energetic running around the front yard. Sort of like a zoo – same as my house! The sweet smiles and laughter melted my heart.

What also melted my heart was speaking with Gregory about how they found out in January of 2013 that GeSean’s blood counts were so low that the doctors told him he desperately needed a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible. Each month since birth the boys have had blood work done to monitor their blood platelet levels, and unfortunately the same troubling news in January followed for GeVon. Although GeVon’s levels are not as low as GeSean’s he will soon need a transplant just like his brother.

“I know God is good,” said Gregory, “and I had to have faith that he would provide for my family.”
That God did! It was shortly after the Pickens received the news that their boys needed transplants that the doctor called back with the news that their daughters were both PERFECT matches for the boys.
“I had a son die from this disease,” said Spring, “and this has been hard on me and I have been stressed out a lot, but I try hard to stay strong for the kids. I thank aTeam – they are awesome and we feel like Andy Thrower is a family member. He has a heart of gold. I know God is going to work everything out and I have Faith in God and I know everything is going to be ok.”

God’s timing is perfect and as much as I try to believe it in my own life – I believe it after today – after meeting a family that is living proof that the perfect bone marrow match is possible – and that God is perfect and good!

If you would like to help the Pickens family while they are in Birmingham sign-up to take them a meal for dinner.  http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=IBPS1958

IMG_3763

The Picken’s Family

IMG_3749

GeVon – Brooklyn – DeShante