April 14 (a very good day)

They say that the next couple months are big for Jenny’s improvments. She does more and more each day. Her tiny movements are such big deal to us because each and every increase is one more thing she can do that she was not suppose to do. There are still frustrations. Her eyes are a problem because she still has double vision and her glasses do not work very well in bed. She was examined by an eye doctor today who gave very little that we could do to help, except patching an eye to stop the double vision. He also discouraged the use of contact lenses for fear of infection and other eye problems right now. But this was still our best day yet.

I was able to be there duing her speech therapy. She ate another popsicle (a few bites). This time, she opened and closed her mouth on her own and had good swallowing. She was also given water and apple sauce, which she did okay with. All of the these went down the right pipe with no problems. Jenny also gets to were a speaking valve on her trache (it lets air in the trache but directs it through the vocal cords on the way out the mouth and nose) most of the day. It was so great to hear her finally! She has made no noise for 4 weeks now and I did not realize how much I missed it. Most of the sounds are moans and slight word sounds. She does have her beautiful laugh back. In the past month, cries and laughs were silent. She moves her mouth and tongue slightly as she tries to sound out words. I can’t describe the feeling of hearing and seeing this. They took the valve off for a nap and we put it back on in the evening for Zach to hear her make sounds. We practiced words for fun and she was actually making sounds where you could almost recognize the word. Her ability to make sounds increased greatly in just those few hours. I kept working with her to say, “Hi” to Zach when he came to visit. He came in, Jenny said the word, and Zach knew what she said! Jenny was also able to make voluntary movements with her arms and right leg during occupational therapy. She was able to do them for me as well. The therapists are almost in tears each time she does a little move for them. I am in tears every time.


  1. All I can say is “WOW!” and give thanks and also say thank you to you again for all you do to keep this web site going.

  2. SOOOOOOOOOOO happy to hear about all your progress, Jenny! Popsicles, swallowing, voluntary arm and leg movements; even sounds!! I know the Lord is blessing you and your family, and it is so thrilling to know that you are able to laugh and count your blessings. Thank you so much, Mark, for keeping us so well informed. What a wonderful way for you to keep a journal of all that is happening! LOVE ALWAYS, TAMI 🙂

  3. I am having tears of joy as I read about your progress. Sometimes i call the house and hope no one is there so I can hear your voice on the answering machine but there is nothing like the real thing.


  4. Jenny,
    You never cease to amaze us! I knew that if anybody could re-learn to speak, you could! I was thrilled to read that your laugh is back! Your smile & laugh has always been so contagious! CONGRATULATIONS! Love, Vanessa, Andrew, Grant, Faith & Clark

  5. Way to go Jenny! I cried tears of joy when Mark called today! You’re progress is amazing to those who don’t know you well, but to me… well, I’ve seen your determination thousands of times. When silent in that bed, I’ll bet you’re “organizing” all your surprises for us. Keep up that wonderful spirit.

  6. Jenny and Mark and kids,

    Man, now what am I going to do?! I’m sitting here at my desk at work and while taking a break to eat, checked on your website. Now, as people walk by my desk (I’m in a hall–low man on the totem pole) they see tears running down my cheeks! Oh Jenny, know how much we love you and are praying for you. You amaze me, girl! Love, Diana

  7. Mark and Jenny,

    Thanks so much for sharing the news of your lives with us. The peace and joy you feel, even in the midst of challenges, comes through quite clearly. I know there have been and will continue to be times of frustration, but what a blessing it is to know that there will also be times of happiness and laughter.

    I’m one of Dee and Lois Ann’s children. Isn’t it wonderful to be part of such strong extended families, and to have so many friends and ward members to support you? Please know how much we all love you. So many prayers are being offered in your behalf. I know they can, have, and will truly make a difference.

    May there be sunshine in your lives today.
    Love, Cathi

  8. Jenny – I am so happy to hear about your progress. Please know that a day doesn’t go by without me thinking about you and keeping you and your family in my prayers. Your friends in Arlington Heights are praying for you everyday. We love you!
    Mark – thank you so much for keeping us up to date on Jenny’s progress. You are an amazing father and husband. Please give Jenny a big hug for me.
    Love, Melissa

  9. Hi Jenny,

    You go girl! You know how to do it and I know you are going to make it all happen. You are so strong in so many ways. I am so happy for you smile that it is back. Some how I knew God would give you back that soon. Too many people see that smile and it just puts sunshine in their day. Know that our prayers are going everyday for all of you. Aubrey, my eight year old wants to know everyday what you progress has been. She likes to pray for certain things instead of the whole picture. Mark if there is anything specific you need our prayer for please don’t hesitate to let us know. I know how powerful prayer is. He is so powerful, He can work this Miracle! Keep smiling Jenny 🙂

  10. Dear Mark and Jenny!

    As sooooooo many others have said. THANK YOU so much for allowing us to be part of your daily lives. We have been on constant communication with Margot. Our family prays for you and your family several times each day. We are so happy to hear of Jenny’s progress. We have always admired your strength and have known that you are both remarkable people. We admire your attitude and willingness to share all of the news with us. We love you both so much. We wish that we could take some or all of the pain away from both of you. Jenny, we know that you are a fighter and that you have a very strong spirit. WE love you and will continue to pray for your peace and comfort. If there is anything that we can do, please drop us a line or call us. You both are our heros. We will continue to follow your progress and pray for you. Keep the faith. Oh, by the way Mark…been kicked out of any good places lately? 🙂 That trip was soooooo much fun. I have recalled those fun memories so many times. Oh to go back there and do that again. Time just goes by way too fast. We love you. Give Jenny a big hug for us. Talk with you soon.

    Penny & Dee Loertscher xoxo

  11. Jenny & Mark,
    You are an amazing couple. I am in awe of your strength, courage and optimism as you are facing this trial of a lifetime. If anyone can meet this type of a challenge and beat it….it is you two. You are a great duo!! I start getting emotional everytime I read the updates. I feel excited for your accomplishments and sad when I hear about your pain and frustrations. I am praying for you and your family!! We all love you so very much. You have many fans!!! You have touched many lives in the past in a positive way and continue to do so now in an even deeper way through your example of faith!! Thank you for the updates Mark. Keep up the good work. Also, would it be possible to post your home address for those of us who may want to send Jenny something? Thank you!! May God be with you!

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