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Josh Hardy’s condition continues to improve

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In her family of six, Aimee Hardy has always led the charge to keep the faith—even as one of her sons has fought to survive multiple bouts with cancer.

Josh, 7, underwent a bone marrow transplant in January and then battled adenovirus, which can be fatal in patients with weak immune systems. Aimee has always believed he would beat the virus.

And it looks like he will.

“Glory to GOD the medicine is working,” she wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday night.

Test results the family received on Tuesday show that the virus is retreating, thanks to an experimental drug, brincidofovir, that is being developed by Chimerix Inc.

Before Josh received the drug March 12 (and again on Saturday), the virus had copied itself in his bloodstream 250,000 times, Aimee said. This week’s test show that the count has dropped to 1,000.

“If it stays on this course, it should be gone by next Monday!!!!!” Aimee wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday night.

Chimerix, a small pharmaceutical company in North Carolina, worked with the FDA to launch an open-label pilot study March 11 for 20 patients, including Josh.

The announcement was welcome news because the company had refused to provide the drug for what is called compassionate use—the treatment of a seriously ill patient using a new, unapproved drug when no other treatments are available. Aimee Hardy and her husband, Todd, refused to accept Chimerix’s decision.

They appealed for help on social media, and thousands of relatives, friends and strangers touched by Josh’s story rallied to pressure Chimerix to change its mind.

The company then announced the agreement with the FDA, saying it had been working with the government agency for months.

FAITH SUSTAINS FAMILY

Josh’s doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Center in Memphis had pleaded with Chimerix to release the drug.

When the Hardys launched the #savejosh campaign, the doctors told Aimee she was wasting her time talking to the media and being away from Josh.

But she said she had to do everything she could to help her son, and she stayed positive.

That attitude, and her faith, have been a source of comfort in trying times, she said.

Aimee often experiences “Godwinks.”

The Urban Dictionary defines a Godwink as an occurrence so odd and out of the ordinary that it had to be put in place by God; a wink from God letting you know you’re moving in the right direction.

She said with Josh, she’s had them since he was born.

She couldn’t decide what to name him—something with a J—Josh, Joel or James (all four of her sons’ names begin with the letter J—Jude, Joe and Jack).

So for his first day of life, Josh didn’t have a name.

But that night, in a dream, her grandmother told her to name him Joshua, and the next day in the hospital, a Bible verse matched the dream’s message.

The name Joshua means “the Lord saves.”

Another Godwink that Aimee described involves dates.

On Jan. 9, 2007, Josh began chemotherapy treatment for his cancer.

That day she read Chapter 1, Verse 9 in the book of Joshua: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

She interpreted the verse to be God telling her that he is with her everywhere she goes.

“The day and his name correlated, and it was God telling me not to worry,” she said.

When Josh finished what they hope will be his last round of chemotherapy treatments seven years later, the date was also Jan. 9.

‘BELIEVE WITHOUT A DOUBT’

Throughout all Josh’s treatments, she’s turned to the Bible for guidance and comfort.

“There’s lots of Bible verses, if you believe without a doubt, you will receive what you ask,” she said.

She shares her faith in her Facebook and Caring Bridge updates about Josh.

In her most recent one, posted Wednesday afternoon, she writes:

“GOD is truly moving mountains in Josh’s life. And we are grateful we are able to be used to bring GOD Glory. Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, “Go throw yourself into the sea” and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’”

The Hardys are still asking that “Josh’s Army” continue to pray for the boy’s recovery.

A major concern now is Josh’s kidney function, which had been damaged by the medication he was taking before the brincidofovir.

She always ends her Caring Bridge posts with praises and prayers for God.

“Dear LORD in Heaven: Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Thank YOU! The Brincidofovir is working. Thank YOU for providing us a way to get it.

“I am so grateful the world is watching so they know it is YOU that moved the mountain,” Aimee wrote. “Thank YOU for Josh’s complete recovery. I can really start to see it taking shape. And though I live by Faith and not by sight, it is nice to see Josh’s progress and successes. YOU are a GOD who keeps HIS Word. I trust YOU fully.”

Since they’ve been at St. Jude for the past two weeks, the rest of her family’s faith has strengthened.

“I think from the miracles that we’ve witnessed, it will be easier for the boys to carry on the faith that I have had,” she said.

She’s raising her four sons to have faith, like her.

“Josh totally believes in faith and he trusts it, and Jesus will hear him.”

caringbridge.org/visit/joshuahardy

facebook.com/SaveJoshHardy

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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