When Christopher Monistere, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, his parents Michael and Beth felt numb—as if their entire world had crashed in around them. Although Michael never questioned his belief in God, he did wonder if his faith could be strong enough to endure the journey his family was now on.
The family had countless questions and were facing so many overwhelming unknowns, but all they could do was hold Christopher’s hand and hope they could find him the help he needed.
The day after Christopher was diagnosed in November 2016, he had emergency brain surgery in Louisiana. He had three more emergency brain surgeries in Louisiana before Christmas in 2016. None of the surgeons his parents talked to in Louisiana believed the tumor could be resected further. Christopher’s parents were worried because all of his surgeries were emergencies.
A couple days after Christmas, his father went to church to pray. That night, he received a phone call from a total stranger, and within minutes, he was on the phone with Dr. Frederick Boop, the director of neurosurgery at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
When talking with Dr. Boop, Michael took a leap of faith and said he and his wife would take Christopher to Memphis to live in a hotel until Dr. Boop could see him. They believed Christopher was at risk for another emergency surgery and believed he would be safe if he was close to Dr. Boop. Upon hearing this, Dr. Boop said he would see them when they got to Memphis. The next morning, Michael and Beth packed up their things and drove Christopher to Memphis, nearly 400 miles from their home in Metairie, La. They met with Dr. Boop the next day and he performed surgery on Christopher the following week.
Christopher spent the next month in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where his parents never left his side. They wished more than anything they could trade places with their little boy, and they often told him of this wishDuring this first hospital visit, the family was unable to stay at FedExFamilyHouse because it was full, so they lived in Christopher’s ICU room, as many parents do when caring for a sick child.
During a follow-up visit, the Monisteres stayed at FedExFamilyHouse and felt it was an absolute blessing.
"We can’t say enough about what you have done for us. From the time we walked in the door to the time we left, we saw Le Bonheur believes parents are important to their child’s care. To be at our best for our children, parents need rest. FedExFamilyHouse is a gift to families. Because of you, parents like us can continue fighting for our son,” says Michael.
Christopher’s journey is an ongoing one, but the family recently learned great news. His tumor is gone. Although he will still need regular scans and treatments, Christopher is doing great, and the entire Monistere family is overjoyed that the tumor causing so much pain and suffering is no longer there.
Throughout this process, Christopher’s family has learned many lessons—about everything from pain and fear to perspective and positivity, but one of their key takeaways is that any day that your child isn’t suffering, is a good day.
Thanks to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and FedExFamilyHouse, the family’s burden has become lighter, and for that—they are eternally grateful.