Friday, August 20, 2010

Monster Inside My Daughter - Guest Post by Lorilyn Roberts

Monster Inside My Daughter
“I feel a pulse,” one of the medics said.
The paramedics worked feverishly on Manisha to make sure she was still alive. My beautiful seven-year-old daughter from Nepal lay on the floor unconscious at the O’Connell Center of the University of Florida.             
“Has she ever had a seizure?” another one asked.
“No, no,” I said in bewilderment. Manisha rolled over and vomited.
One emotion consumed me: Fear. The enormity of single parenting hit me like lightening.

I cried out, “Where are you, God? I feel so alone.”

After hooking up stabilizing IVs, Manisha was whisked off in an ambulance to Shands Teaching Hospital. I found a pay phone and called my mother. Her first comment was, “Do you know what day this is?”
I remembered—September 19. Four years to the day and almost to the hour, my father had died of a brain tumor. It was about 5:00 p.m. My shattered world continued to close in on me. A short time later my worst fears were confirmed.

“There is something on the CAT scan. We have a called a neurologist,” I heard the nurse say.

“No, no, no,” every cell in my body cried out. “God, you can’t let this happen. Not again!”

But God was silent. The next nine days of hospitalization were filled with tests—MRI, gallium scan, spinal tap, TB test, HIV test, numerous blood draws, and too many questions and not enough answers by doctors doing their daily rounds with medical students in tow. Manisha had what in medical parlance is called a “zebra.” 

As the days passed in the hospital, I asked God for two things that humanly speaking seemed impossible. I prayed first that the doctors would not have to do surgery. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing Manisha’s beautiful thick, curly black hair shaved off. The ugly scars of surgery still lingered in my mind from my dad’s brain surgery. And I prayed that whatever was in Manisha’s head would not be cancerous. I had asked God to heal my father of a brain tumor and he died. Could I trust God for Manisha’s healing?

It was critical that the doctor’s make the correct diagnosis. The wrong treatment could kill her. Did she have a malignant brain tumor or a worm inside her head? Manisha had been adopted by me from Nepal at the age of three—old enough to be exposed to the extreme poverty of Nepal and lack of clean drinking water. 57.1 percent of the water in Nepal is considered unsatisfactory for human consumption, contaminated with feces.

Manisha’s condition turned out to be caused by a tapeworm infection of the brain—the most common parasitic infection of the nervous system. The larvae can travel anywhere in the body—the muscles, brain, eye, and other structures. The condition, known as neurocysticercosis, is still relatively rare in this country, but is appearing more on the radar as part of the differential diagnosis for seizures. 

Thankfully, twelve years later, Manisha is a healthy, well-adjusted 19-year-old finishing her A.A. degree at Santa Fe College—six months ahead of schedule.         

Why did God allow this nightmare to happen? I don’t know why God allows the hard things in our lives, but I do know God never wastes anything. I hope writing about neurocysticercosis today will bring awareness to this very preventable disease. International adoptive parents and travelers to the developing world should seek appropriate medical care upon returning to the U.S. if they have been exposed to poor sanitary conditions or contaminated water.   

In spite of the trials of single parenting, the years following that dreadful day of September 19, 1994, have been filled with life and joy. Manisha soon will be leaving home to make her own way in the world and I reflect on her middle name Hope—with God, there is always hope, and for that I am thankful.          

For more on Manisha’s story, be sure to watch Animal Planet’s “Monsters Inside Me” on August 25, 10-11pm EST. The book, Children of Dreams tells the complete story, available at, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstores.

Lorilyn Roberts graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama and is currently working on her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College. As a Certified Court Reporter, Lorilyn has made contributions to the National Court Reporters Association Journal. She provides real-time broadcast captioning for television. Lorilyn’s first book, The Donkey and the King, is a beautifully illustrated children's book. She also co-leads Word Weavers in Gainesville, FL. When not writing, taking graduate classes, or closed captioning for television/web, Lorilyn homeschools her younger daughter, Joy.

Lorilyn is offering a drawing for a free copy of Children of Dreams on her website and blog. The drawing will be on September 1, 2010. Go to the website for details.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Storm Warning by Billy Graham

Storm Warning by Billy Graham

This book was originally published in 1992.  Given the events in the past two decades, it was updated with Storm Warning signs from recent events.  It's an examination of the imminence of Christ's return in light of today's headlines and the events recorded in Scripture.

The morning newspapers are jammed with alarming headlines and stories asking questions no one can answer. In Storm Warning, Billy Graham examines the problems facing America today compared with what is to come as revealed in the Bible. He answers the tough questions as only he can with astute biblical insight, and points to the hope and renewal found in Christ-for our families, our nation, and our world.

Includes an in-depth analysis of the four horsemen of Revelation chapter six as well as insight on:
  • Signs of the times
  • The Apocalypse
  • Standing before God

About the Author
BILLY GRAHAM, the world-renowned author, preacher, and evangelist, has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history and has ministered on every continent of the world. Millions have read his inspirational classics, including The Secret of Happiness, Peace with God, The Holy Spirit, Hope for the Troubled Heart, and How to Be Born Again.

His son FRANKLIN GRAHAM has written an introduction to the updated edition of the book.

My thoughts
I requested this book because I absolutely adore Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter.  Also, my grandparents had a lot of respect for Mr. Graham, so with those recommendations, I wanted to know more about him.  I was not disappointed.  I am glad the book was updated with events that have happened recently because it makes more sense.  It's something I can "get".  I would recommend this book if you want to learn how to recognize the warnings given to us in Scripture or you just want to read something by Billy Graham.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vanishing Act by Liz Johnson

Vanishing Act by Liz Johnson

            Eighteen months ago, Nora James watched as her father was shot in an alley-and then she fl ed. She changed her name, her appearance and her job, hoping to keep her father’s shooter at bay. For months, it worked…but now her luck has run out. A ruthless assassin is on her trail, and soon Nora, now known as Danielle, will be found. But this time, she has FBI agent Nate Andersen by her side-right? The handsome agent would give his life to protect Danielle, but he’s wary of giving his heart…until a deadly confrontation leaves him with both on the line.

About the Author:
            Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-becoming an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines. 

            Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. Keep up with Liz's adventures in writing at

My review:
I enjoyed this book.  I liked the two main characters and enjoyed their interactions.  This was the first book I've read that is "Love Inspired Suspense" and it was enjoyable.  The story was quick moving and it had many twists and turns that I didn't expect.  I would recommend this book if you're looking for a quick and interesting read.  I'm looking forward to reading more by Liz.

You can buy the book on Amazon
Thursday, August 5, 2010


Where in the world has the time gone?  I haven't blogged in almost a month.  Have I been missed? :-)