Ann Farabee: Meet Savannah

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2019


Meet Savanah. 7 months old:

She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a type of cancer – with a tumor the size of a grapefruit. Her first three years of life were filled with surgeries, scans, chemo… and lots of tears. But, at age 3, she was- and still is – cancer free.

I met her not long after that, as she and her family began going to the church I attended. I watched her grow up – full of life, full of energy, full of joy, full of fun.

Meet Savanah. Age 13:

She had begun to be in pain and developed a limp. Surgery was scheduled – and she was looking forward to it. She just wanted to feel normal again.

The plan was to replace crushed vertebrae with rods and screws to straighten her back. During the surgery, the nerve signal was lost. She awoke to family standing by her bedside – with tears in their eyes. Her life had forever changed. She was paralyzed from the waist down.

The days after surgery were dark and lonely, even though she was never alone. Each day, she awoke to a world she did not want to be part of. When she finally sat up – almost two weeks later, she felt like she was standing through the bed from her waist down. She had no balance and could not sit up without falling over. One day, her mom insisted she let the nurses help her get a real shower, and Savanah kept yelling at her, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.” Her mom responded, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”

Visitors arrived with motivational signs, posters, or cards that were put on display in her hospital room. She saw them, but they were not reaching her heart. She dreaded every moment of her days, and rehabilitation was a chore she had no desire to do.

But one day… lying in her hospital bed, she looked around and noticed eight words on a wooden block, “Be still and know that I am God.” She saw it a second time. A third time. She could not stop looking. That is when she knew. God had made her be still, so she would know who He was.

*She knew she was not alone in this fight.

*She knew God was bigger than her problem.

*She knew that feeling sorry for herself had to stop.

Meet Savanah Now. Age 25:

*Former Carson High School Homecoming Queen.

*Learned to drive a car.

*Has lived independently.

*Married Dillon.

*Gave birth to son, Baylor – now 2 1/2.

*Gave birth to twin girls – Saylah and Evie – now 11 months.

*Can load all 3 children in the car by herself – and go somewhere!

*Involved in Community Outreach Project at South Rowan Community Church.

Savanah’s wisdom shared with us:

*Be patient – wait to see the bigger picture.

*Teach your children not to give up.

*There is always a way to do something – it may just look different.

*Looking different on the outside does not mean you are not capable.

*God’s timing is perfect – even if it is not the journey you expected.

Hopefully, there’s a little Savanah in all of us.

See more about Savanah at

Savanah, Dillon. Baylor, Saylah and Evie.

Ann is a speaker and teacher. Contact her at or



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