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Cancer Survivor Impacts Young Lives for Jesus

PLANS OF HER OWN
Erin grew up in a Christian home.  “I memorized all the stories, but we never talked about it at home,” she says.  Around high school, Erin made a decision about her faith.  “I got busy with sports and met people who weren’t Chrisians,” she says and decided she wasn’t going to believe anything about Christianity.  That was the time she decided to live her life doing what she wanted to do.  Erin graduated from college and was by then a self-proclaimed atheist.  This was also the first time she noticed a lump, but she did nothing for three years and was later diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  By the time doctors found it, the cancer had metascized and spread everywhere, even her brain. After she had surgery, she moved in with her parents. In 2007, after a treatment, Erin was on a 72-hour quarantine.  “I couldn’t have human contact because of the radiation treatment,” she says.  “I had never been more sick,” she says and worked herself into a panic.  She hit the floor and prayed out loud. “I’m so sorry God.  I need you; I need help.”  That was the first time she had prayed since she was a young girl.

While she was in treatment, Erin spent a lot of time soul searching.  She asked the Lord, “God, if I’m not going to live long, what do I do?” She decided to get her teaching credentials and started teaching high school.  Erin met Brent at a college alumni partyand got married in 2010.  “No matter how much you have your life planned out, God has a plan better than you can dream yourself,” says Erin.  “I am a walking miracle.”  The cancer came back four additional times.  Erin battled it each time, the last bout was in 2012.  Last month, Erin had a neck scan that revealed no abnormalities! 

For the last eight years, she has been working in the classroom with all levels and has spent the last five years working with middle schoolers.  “The more I spent time with girls, the more I realized a universal struggle,” says Erin.  She realized the young girls did not understand their self-worth.  “I wished my girls knew their true identity,” says Erin.  She says young girls today are confused and oftentimes trying to measure up with society.  “We have conversations,” says Erin.  “Who does God say you are? And who does the world say you are?  They are not the same.”  

BIBLE BELLES
One day, Erin was looking for ideas for what to get her niece Hannah for her birthday.  They decided not to buy another toy.  “It had to be something meaningful,” says Erin who simplified the story of Hannah from the Bible and personalized the book for her.  “We wanted her to know about a great hero whose name she shares,” says Erin.  Erin wrote the book and Brent illustrated the cover.  When they gave her the book, Hannah said she didn’t even know there was a Hannah in the Bible.  That’s when Erin got the idea for Bible Belles, a multi-media company dedicated to helping young girls ages 4 – 10.  “Wouldn’t it be great if girls today were just as excited about biblical women as they are about princesses; real examples of true beauty, women who can be great heroes for girls today?” says Erin.  “That would be something. That would be everything.”

Erin and Brent hired a Disney illustrator who work on many Disney productions.  “He felt called to do something that was kingdom-focused,” says Erin.  “Our big commitment is about quality.” Their plans include moving towards animation.

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Guest Info

Credits

Founder, Bible Belles, multi-media company dedicated to helping young girls discover real beauty

Author, Bible Belles, a book series of Bible heroes for girls ages 4-8

Host, Heroes for Her podcast

Penn State, State College, PA

Husband: Brent

One daughter, 3 years old

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