Tuesday, April 12, 2011

As a parent...

Cherie, Reese and Gates

I didn’t see Cherie today. 

Gathered just feet away from the elevators a small group of us, including Grandpa and Grandma Hunsaker, some of their life long friends and Brian, talked of Gates’ progress.  In the crossfire of conversation, another family friend entered the room where I overheard Brian mention she was with Gates. 

Reflecting now, I imagine her there, her quiet presence reassuring her son as he rested from another arduous day; never leaving him solitary.  As a parent, I can only imagine how she longed for his comfort, how her heart must ache from caring so hard and loving so much.

“May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.’” – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

We love you, Cherie and we’re praying for you!

Gates amazed the masses again today.  His feet dangled off his bed as he sat, for 10 minutes, without the assistance of the adjustable mattress. 

Brandon Sulser (who I look forward to highlighting later in this blog – with his permission, of course) cheered Gates as he sat raised and upright, “Go, Gates, Go!  Nice!  Keep going!”  Brandon, who also uses a wheelchair, explained the miraculous milestone as “something that took me weeks to do,” in just a short six days.

The fluid in Gates’ lungs persists and Thursday is another target date to determine the next step.  It looks more likely the tracheotomy, which again would give Gates much relief, will be performed on that day.


  1. That truly describes Cherie: "caring so hard and loving so much." I have always admired her as a mother. She is an amazing mom and a wonderful friend. This is a beautifully written tribute to her and mothers everywhere. Thank you for keeping us posted. Cherie and family-- you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Cherie, I have been thinking about you since I heard about Gates and my heart weeps. I too love this tribute to you... I pray for you daily and admire your strength.

  3. I am moved to tears every time I read these updates! Thank you for keeping us informed. Hunsaker family we love you and are praying for you! Gates thank you for inspiring me each day with your progress, strength, and determination! You are a wonderful young man and I can only imagine how sacred your hospital room is with so many miracles occuring each day and the throngs of loved ones cheering you on on both sides of the veil!

  4. Thank you so much for making this blog. I have had very few updates until I found this,and have been so worried. The hope and love found here is absolutely inspiring. Gates and his family are in my prayers.

  5. I'm a secretary in the college of social work and had the privilege to see Brandon Sulser accomplish his MSW here at the University of Utah. He is a great source of strength and information and support for Gates and his family!
    Brandon has and always will change the world, he is amazing!
    Amanda Kirk

  6. As a mother of very active boys, I've feared moments like this. Sitting in a hospital, watching your little boy suffer....I'm certain Gates mother would take it all on herself if she could. I know she loves him fiercely and will ALWAYS be by his side.
    Gates, we've never met but I pray for you and your family daily. From what my brother Rich tells me, you're incredibly strong...physically and spiritually. Prayers will continue to be sent your way!