Chris and Angela Faddis want to be your friend — on Facebook. If enough people visit their social network page, they will see the reason behind the request.
The couple is writing a book, and need help financing their project. It’s a love story, their story, that began Easter Sunday, 2011.
The ending hasn’t been written, and if Chris has his way, they will live happily ever after.
And like most fairytales, there’s always an antagonist that has to ruin the best-laid plans. For Angela, it’s stage IV colon cancer.
The doctors have given her little chance of beating it, calling it things like, “incurable,” but then again, this story is still being written.
The couple is choosing life-giving words like “trust” and “redemptive suffering.”
Their book, “It is Well – Life in the Storm,” chronicles the first day of diagnosis through the past year of treatment. It’s a story for anyone who has gone through suffering, depression, illness or loss.
“It’s for anyone who is looking for reasons to believe,” Chris said. A former youth minister, he said he would relish an opportunity to go back and meet with his former teens and tell them, “I still believe.”
That’s despite the constant doctor visits, the unanswered questions, the sleepless nights, juggling parent duties with two young children and the loss of wages from going part-time as a marketing consultant. Just like that, Chris sees the glass half full.
Other people are equally amazed by his peaceful spirit, upbeat attitude and unshakable faith.
“We tried giving up hope, but we can’t,” Chris said. “Our faith has informed us of a different hope.”
The best medical treatments were likely not all going to be covered by the insurance company. So Chris, who is well-versed in social networking circles, felt crowdfunding would be the quickest way to get the book self-published, and provide emergency funds to help the family.
Basically, a whole bunch of people are asked to donate a specific amount of money for a designated cause or project, in return for perks or various rewards.
In the Faddis’ case, they have assigned dollar amounts to the perks. For instance, donate $25 and get a signed hard copy of the book, and for $2,500 receive 200 copies of the book and Chris will come speak at your parish or event.
He is using the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to build project awareness. Donations will not only get the book published, but help the family cope with the anticipated $65,000 in medical expenses.
“We took the idea there to try instead of searching for a publisher,” Chris said. “We invite people to help make it happen.”
Photos and weekly updates are posted on their Facebook page.
On Angela’s good days, the couple isn’t thinking about anything else, except going to God in prayer with a novena.
“When things are going well, we spend time in prayer because it’s much harder to do when she is feeling ill,” Chris said.
Along with their family and friends, the Catholic communities of St. Timothy and Our Lady of Mount Carmel have surrounded the family with love and support, something for which they are deeply grateful.
Together, they have handed it all to Jesus and trust their journey will be used for His glory.
“Every day that she’s here we are grateful,” Chris said.
Like the time their son climbed into Angela’s lap, where he rested and stroked her face.
Chris only began writing, in earnest a little over a month ago but he has a sea of material he wrote over the years.
The book’s title, “It is Well,” refers to a hymn written by Horatio Spafford in the 1800s after two tragedies left him and his wife childless.
“It just had to be the course for us,” Chris said. “When we finally trust, God shows us the next step in our lives.”
Chris plans to have the 150-page book completed by August or September, and it will include reflections by Angela.
“We’ve been on a journey of trust for a long time,” Chris said.
And in the words of Angela to her husband when she was diagnosed, “Jesus still rose, and so we’re going to trust.”
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Chris Faddis is writing a book to pay for treatment for his wife’s stage IV colon cancer. Angela is 31.
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