A Parent’s Unconditional Love Rises Above Cerebral Palsy and Cancer, Post #45

Editor’s Note: This story I first told on February 18th. Judy Brooks lost her valiant battle to cancer on March 11th. We love and miss you, Judy. Tim, Sherrie and Terrie, this blog’s for you! 

The saying goes that we can pick our friends but we can’t pick our families. I am so thankful my family was picked for me. I have some precious jewels as family members. My first cousin Judy and her son Tim are examples of good people, good friends, good family members, and they have taught the world how to demonstrate love beautifully.

Tim was born with cerebral palsy in 1963. Tim’s doctors told the family he wouldn’t be able to walk. Judy’s parents, Tim’s grandparents, lived down the street from me growing up. They built a “walkway” with little handrails for Tim to prove the doctors and everyone wrong. With much prayer and perseverance, at three years old, Tim walked.  No is not an option with the Lord and perseverance as your rear guard.

Over the years, it has been a joy to watch Judy, her husband and family love on Tim and encourage him. I watched Tim graduate from high school in 1983. One of Tim’s most proud accomplishments was receiving his degrees from Cape Fear Community College, a degree in Business Administration (1999) and Accounting (2001).  We celebrated Tim’s 40th birthday in 2003 and 50th in 2013.

Like many in our family, Tim has such a servant heart and strong work ethic; he works at Easter Seals. Tim is brilliant. Although his speech is slurred, when you look into his big hazel eyes, you can understand him perfectly.

In December 2006, Tim had a stroke leaving him paralyzed except his left hand. His caregiver, Scott, taught him how to bowl using a ramp to assist him. Tim competed for two years in the NC State Olympics Bowling Tournament. In 2012, he received a first place medal and in 2013, a third place medal.

One detail I left out is that Tim’s mother Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and fought her stage four breast cancer while taking care of Tim and her family, her friends, her neighbors. Judy said, “It breaks my heart to watch my child struggle with his special needs but nothing like the pain God felt when His only son was nailed to that cross.”

It’s touching to watch how much the lavishing love of family and friends can bolster a soul, bolster a whole life, like Tim’s. They danced (Judy and her husband danced like professionals), laughed, prayed together, ate supper together, went to church together, served others together.

Through her doctor’s visits and chemo treatments, Judy’s effervescent, positive, Godly perspective encouraged Tim, her family and friends–all of us. She fought valiantly and lost her battle to cancer on March 11th. I was blessed to be try to honor Judy’s life in words  at the funeral. It was also a treat to give Tim a big hug and see Judy’s precious adult twin daughters Sherrie and Terrie Brooks.

Another inspiring Godly parent and child relationship is that of Dick and his son Richard Hoyt. Although I have never had the pleasure of meeting them, their story resonates in my heart. Richard was born with severe cerebral palsy. He and his Dad Dick enjoy triathlons. Dick carries Richard all the way, pulling him in the ocean as they swim, pushing him as they run, and carrying him on his bicycle for the cycling portion of the race.

Isn’t that a perfect image of how our Heavenly Father, our Abba—which means “Daddy”—carries us?

Just like God chose Judy, Tim and me to be part of the same family, and Dick and Richard Hoyt, God chooses us as part of His family. The love shared between Judy and Tim, Dick and Richard, is a touching example of the love God shares for us as His imperfect children. You are chosen. Feel the love.

“Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”   –Mark 9:7

Enjoy this inspiring video link of Dick and Richard Hoyt’s persevering journeys together.

Father and Son Persevere in Triathlon


–What can you learn from the loving relationship of Judy and Tim, Dick and Richard Hoyt? Please comment below.

–How can you love differently based on this?


–“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”  –Isaiah 46:4

–“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” –John 15:16


–Seek out one family member, friend or neighbor to lavish love on this week and beyond.

–Open your Bible and feel your Abba, Heavenly Daddy, loving on you, speaking to you.


Judy Brook’s obituary


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  1. onalee Avinger says:

    Wow!!As I wipe the tears from my eyes I’m reminded each week what a beautiful person and talented write you are!!I am so proud to call you my friend!! I love you girl!!!

  2. I cry every time I watch that video. Thanks for ur words Danya! Love ya!

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