Faith, family play a part in local girl’s leukemia recovery

Published 11:12 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SOUTH POINT — A year ago this fall during her first semester of college at the University of Kentucky, Carrington Ramey, a mechanical engineering student and graduate of South Point High School, came down with what seemed like a cold.

“We weren’t freaking out or anything like that,” said Stephanie Ramey, Carrington’s mother. “We thought everything was fine other than that.”
After her cold persisted for a month, Carrington, 19, visited a clinic at the University of Kentucky and underwent blood tests that determined that she had Burkitt’s Leukemia, a childhood leukemia.

“The doctor said it was rare that someone her age would get it,” said Ramey. “It was already in her bone, her blood, and her spinal column.”

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What followed Carrington’s diagnosis was a series of cancer treatments, hospitalizations, and a move for Kenny and Stephanie Ramey.

“Carrington’s treatment was in-patient for the whole six months,” said Ramey. “She was able to be treated at the University of Kentucky’s Children’s Hospital.”
Because Carrington was receiving treatment away from her South Point home, her parents moved to Lexington to be with her and were provided with housing by the Open Arms Charity Foundation.
“We’ve had some obstacles to overcome,” said Ramey.

While living in Lexington, Stephanie Ramey couldn’t work in her career as a teacher, and her husband Kenny relocated with his trucking job to Louisville to be closer to Lexington, eventually taking a job with Kroger so he could spend more time with the family. The job changes posed financial challenges for the family. “There’s been some sacrifices,” said Ramey.

Friends and family have recognized the Rameys’ sacrifices and are organizing a way to lend a helping hand by hosting a spaghetti dinner benefit at Solida Baptist Church on Aug. 29. The event will help the Rameys cover medical and personal expenses accrued during Carrington’s illness.

“Our friends and family have been very supportive,” said Ramey. “The spaghetti fundraiser is to help us start this next chapter in our lives.”

Carrington’s journey to recovery was not an easy one for her or her parents. “She was very scared in the beginning,” said Ramey. “She leaned a lot on family.”

Ramey credits the support of family along with a reliance on God with getting the family through Carrington’s treatment.
“We had God and we had each other,” said Ramey. “(God) would help us daily. That in itself has been a blessing.”

Faith played a part in how Carrington and her parents coped with the cancer diagnosis. Deuteronomy 31:6, a verse encouraging people to “Be strong and courageous,” was a verse that impacted the family during Carrington’s journey. “That was kind of the verse we took to heart with our faith and everything,” said Ramey.

Instead of focusing on the negatives and being angry at God, Carrington chose to be upbeat, her mother said. “Every little procedure wasn’t as scary as the time before,” said Ramey.
In June, Carrington completed treatment after five months. When Carrington’s tests came back clean, the family was thrilled. “We were just elated. We were excited,” said Ramey. “We believe that through prayer and being willing to serve God through all of this…that he made us strong enough (for the journey).”

The dinner is from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the church, 64 Private Road 2114. Tickets are $6 for dinner of spaghetti, salad, drink and dessert.