Be Anxious in Nothing…

For the many readers who have asked how to make donations to the Andre family, or how you can help, please visit for more information.  Thanks for all the love you’ve poured out on Aubri.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:6-7 

I have a friend who has a niece named Aubri.  I’ve never met her, but lately, I’ve seen a lot of pictures of her, read about her life, and prayed for her family.  And a few minutes ago, I read something about her dad that reduced me to tears. 

The Bible verse above is written on the wall of Aubri’s Angels, a website created and updated by my friend, Sarah.  Aubri has cancer.  Aubri is seven years old.  Aubri lives in pain.  To understand Aubri’s complicated diagnosis, please follow the link and read all about her.  What I want you to know today is that it’s seriously life-threatening, extremely rare, and devastatingly complicated for her family, and for the doctors who are treating her.

Here’s a brief synopsis of what has happened to this family.  

Aubri was diagnosed with cancer in Ontario, and was being treated there.  The costs were covered through OHIP (God Bless OHIP), and her dad Phil’s extended benefits package through his job at the Heinz factory in Leamington.  This was clearly a stressful and scary time for the family, but at least, financially, things were reasonably stable.

When Aubri’s diagnosis became much more complicated (an unusual mutation, and essentially battling 2 forms of cancer), the doctors in Ontario suggested Aubri be transferred to Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.  That is more than 3000 miles (about 5000 km) away from their home.

Aubri.  Be Anxious in Nothing

Aubri and her mom, Lisa

Willing to do anything to help their daughter, Aubri’s mom Lisa packed up all 3 of her children and moved to Alberta.  Issues with finances and housing arose, all due to rules and restrictions.  Because Alberta Health has a 3 month waiting period for new residents, Phil stayed behind in Ontario at his current job in an effort to keep his extended benefits package active to help with the medical costs – an attempt to save the life of his 7 year old daughter.

And this is where my tears began.  Today, Phil was told Aubri will be losing those benefits.  The reason he learns – Heinz has deemed that because he and Lisa live in separate provinces (and are not divorced), the children do not have access to his benefits.

The children do not have access to his benefits.

The children do not have access to his benefits.  Because he isn’t divorced.

Because doctors in his province don’t know how to treat her.  Because he wants his daughter to live.

Because Lisa had to move to save the life of their daughter.  Because he hasn’t divorced his wife.  Because he can’t live with them right now.  To save her life.

The children do not have access to his benefits.

Can we just think about that for a moment?  Can we get past the part where it just kind of bothers us, or sort of sits poorly with us, and just live in that place where we are actually furious?  The place where bureaucracy and red tape are not just annoyances, and hoops to jump through, but are actually devastatingly unfair practices that can mean the difference between life and death?  The difference between access to medicine that just keeps us alive, and access to medicine that heals us?  The difference between allowing a parent to care for a child, and forcing a parent to resign from their job, give up their benefits, take a chance on debt and foreclosure to maybe land another job in a devastated economy that might be stable enough to provide a sick child with health care?

Deep breath.  That was a lot of words.

I don’t know Aubri, or Phil and Lisa, or their other gorgeous kids.  But I know we are all just one diagnosis away from being this family.  It could be you.  Or you.  Or me.  What do you do when your bank account tells you you can pay for the medicine for 2 more months?  Do you rely on Philippians 4:6-7?  I struggle with anxiousness daily!  I worry about tomorrow when I’m living in today all the time.

Right now, I’m thinking about Lisa, and how she feels, 3000 miles from friends and family.  3000 miles from her husband, and how Phil feels, having just resigned from his job, with no wife to hold his hand or children there to make him smile.  I am sure they cry.  I am sure they lay down at night and sob into their pillows.  Then put on brave faces in the morning, for their kids, and for each other.

I’m thinking about Aubri, with 6 different types of chemotherapy racing through her body, layered with pain meds, anti-nausea meds, and the crippling side effects of each of these.

I’m also wondering what can make this better?  Is there anything that can spur hope in desperate situations?  What can burrow deep into the souls of Lisa and Phil today?  What can take a darkness like they are in and fill it with light?

I think we can.

We can speak truth to them.  We can speak love to them.  We can remind them that we are sad with them.

Leave your words of love for Phil and Lisa in the comments below, and I’ll be sure they get to read them all.


We can speak up!  We can speak out!  We can remind them that we are angry with them!

Click on this link.  Copy and paste the following text into the form and send it to Heinz to communicate your frustration in a respectful way.

H.J. Heinz Company,  I am saddened and frustrated to hear about the termination of benefits from  the wife and children of Phil Andre, who worked at your factory in Leamington, Ontario.  Phil’s daughter Aubri is battling cancer at Alberta Children’s Hospital, where Ontario doctors have deemed her cancer be best treated.  Lisa, Aubri, Jaxon & Averi Andre’s benefits were revoked because they do not currently live at Phil’s address, as they are with Aubri in Alberta.  I view this decision by your company to be an abuse of the rules and regulations that govern your company’s benefits policies, and ask that you consider changing this rule.  I believe this decision on your part shows that you place finances above the life of a seven-year-old girl.  I urge you to create more ethical and compassionate business practices, and believe that the world would be a better place if we all treated others the way we would want to be treated.  While Phil Andre’s situation cannot be rectified since he is no longer an employee of Heinz, I sincerely hope that your company will make adjustments to this policy before another family suffers the same fate.  Please notify me of your decision in regards to changing this policy.


Be Anxious In Nothing...

We can give.  Donate.  Help.  We can provide clothes and shelter and transportation for them.

Click here and send a message to Sarah and she can provide you with what the Andre’s need at this time, and how to get it to them.


And we can pray.  We can pray right now.  We can pray for Aubri, for her doctors, for healing, and restoration to her body.  We can pray for a job for Phil, and for a break from the stress of secondary issues, so they can focus on Aubri.  Lisa and Phil need prayers of comfort.  More than anything else, Phil and Lisa need people to remind them of Philippians 4:6-7.  Be anxious in nothing.

Phil and Lisa, I pray that your hearts are comforted, and that you know how many people care for you and your children.  All my love to you. xo


30 comments on Be Anxious in Nothing…

  1. The Chandler family
    February 25, 2014 at 10:00 am (5 years ago)

    Aubri, Lisa, Jaxon, Averi and Phil……you are in my thoughts and prayers today and everyday until I hear you have all overcome this unbearably difficult time in your lives….. There are stories and passages written and spoken every day of people overcoming impossible odds, and in all those stories….there is always the certainty that angels surround you all, earthly and spiritual….you are never alone…….in our darkest days, when we believe that in our most vulnerable, weakened states, God’s strength and love is perfect in all of us, when we gather together in love, support and prayer for a beautiful, courageous family like yours in need of a Miracle…..Miracles show up, they must… It is a profound love like this that saves and delivers you all from this hell that you are going through….this is what our family prays for, for all of you to have Aubri’s full health restored, and for a joy and peace to enter your hearts and minds that passeth all understanding…..I believe you will have this all. And Believing is the first miracle…. Xoxoxo

  2. Carol
    February 25, 2014 at 7:57 am (5 years ago)

    I live in Kingsville and think about this family regularly. I pray (and I’m not really a praying person-so I hope it’s extra special) that this family finds peace. That mom finds a moment when her gut isn’t ripped apart by heartache, that dad finds a moment when he feels like a strong provider for the family, and a moment for Aubri’s siblings where they can feel whole again. Most of all, I pray and hope and wish for Aubri. That she may feel small glimpses of her old life before this mess. That those small glimpses turn into big, giant, whole ones and that she heals her body and soul.

  3. emily lawson
    February 12, 2014 at 1:34 am (5 years ago)

    i dont know if my message got thru but file a human rights case health care is a right but if you dont fit neatly in their category or you are complicated as i was well then you get to fundrase fortunately my son did a cd of his music but filing my case and writing hand writen notes to all mlas and sending them my sons cd and doing a story on cbc well after 8 months of raising a grand a month they put me in a drug study all by myself .. i am better be hopeful be an optomist my son nick jackson produced his cd in our closet we did it
    emily lawson i live in yellowknife nwt

  4. emily lawson
    February 12, 2014 at 1:27 am (5 years ago)

    file a human rights case – my case is somewhere on my facebook – file it then hand write notes cards to mlas in alberta and ontario with a photo of your broken family on it be arty .. then make noise call cbc do an interview it sucks to have to go public but my human rights case got me after fundraising 8 long months of my sons cd a thousand dollars a month then they suddenly wanted me to shut up and put me in a drug study all by myself for ayear it worked i am better be hopeful pray … be an optomist .. and make noise .. i am writing some stories and most canadians think health care is free well only if you fit neatly in their category if you dont or are comple_ that letter does not work if you are complicated well then you pay you pay you pay … educate the world … health care is a right canada signed the international agreement we also have a canadian charter of rights and freedoms pay attention to section 7 and 15 ithink .. you can contact me but in my case it worked … emily lawson i live in yelllowknife nwt ..

  5. Diane
    February 8, 2014 at 10:21 pm (5 years ago)

    Praying for your family

  6. Lindsey
    February 7, 2014 at 7:44 am (5 years ago)

    I have contacted Sarah to give and contacted Heinz as well.

    I am praying that everyone acts on this and does not think that “someone else” will help!

    Thank you for your post!


  7. Anonymous
    February 7, 2014 at 5:23 am (5 years ago)

    I will commit to donating at least $100 each month to the family. A small amount that hopefully will help in some way.

    • Sarah Guenther
      March 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm (5 years ago)

      I am Aubri’s Aunt and I do all of the blogs. This is amazing that you would do this for Aubri and her family!! God Bless you!

  8. Bayne
    February 6, 2014 at 10:52 pm (5 years ago)

    This is dreadful. I missed the resignation part of the story, but if Phil is looking for work I would definitely be willing to look with my company, we have facilities both in Ontario and Alberta (and pretty good benefits package). Would be glad to help on that front.

    • amygarwood
      February 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much for that offer. If you could use this contact link to give Sarah your info she will pass it on the Phil. It’s great to see that so many people care 🙂

      • amygarwood
        February 6, 2014 at 10:55 pm (5 years ago)

        To clarify, Phil stayed behind in Ontario for no other reason than to have access to the benefits. When they revoked him, he immediately resigned to go be with his children and wife. Thanks again.

  9. Mike
    February 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm (5 years ago)

    I feel compelled and provoked to create awareness about this little girl. I am a father of two little boys and whenever I hear something like this it sends chills down my spine. I also know that as a family man it brings great joy and pride to any man to be able to protect and provide for his children. I know that if this were stripped from me I would be left in pure awe and wonder of the disconnect between business and humanity. Who makes these decisions? Some white collared bigshot who doesn’t have to relay the message… That’s who… Who doesn’t have to look aubri in the eyes and tell her he needs to save money and that is more important than her health. Enough ranting. Look at a picture of aubri… Look into her eyes… Keep that in ur mind and if u can help in any way, be compelled as well.

  10. Name*Debra Miller
    February 6, 2014 at 9:15 pm (5 years ago)

    Sending prayers ,please know many are standing strong for you & Your Family

  11. Roger
    February 6, 2014 at 6:46 pm (5 years ago)

    I don’t know what to say! Praying.

  12. BC
    February 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm (5 years ago)

    Praying and thinking of this family and want to offer some suggestions as I dealt with this in a similar situation…..there are government papers available to file, that pertain to an involuntary separation, declaring that they are separated involuntarily due to illness. This process while lengthy can assist with finances and benefits. Perhaps someone can assist in navigating the way to complete all necessary paperwork and someone at HJ Heinz personnell can assist or have a heart and compassion in this situation.
    So sorry to hear that people still have to deal with all this when what they really want to concentrate on is the healing and wellbeing of their daughter. God Bless!

  13. Elizabeth
    February 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm (5 years ago)

    The phrase isn’t coming to me, something about for whatever, whatever could be me…or you. My hearts a-thumbing, as tears well up in eyes, Tears of sorrow for this family, for the others in like or similar positions, tears of anger for those, for the damned bureaucratic money-grabbing, selfish could be THEM paper-pushing Suits! AAAaaaargh, Tears….I think I’m going to bring in more firewood (physical) then I’m gonna stare, meditating on the flames (peaceful)….xo

  14. linda
    February 6, 2014 at 11:25 am (5 years ago)

    Lisa and Phil we love you guys and miss u more then u know… Miss Aubri it kills me to see u like this.. I pray to god to takes it from you everyday… I live with cancer my love and I will take yours in a heart beat ♥ I love you Aubri and I want to see your beautiful face back at home… Austin misses you too and wants to see you.. Love you guys Stay strong

  15. Stephanie
    February 6, 2014 at 10:20 am (5 years ago)

    Aubri, I’ve known your parents for many years and they truly are two of the strongest people I know. We pray for you and your family everyday. We look forward to the day when you and your whole family can be together, happy, healthy & home!

  16. Lindsy
    February 6, 2014 at 10:02 am (5 years ago)

    We don’t know each other yet, but please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Nicole Rustico
    February 6, 2014 at 8:29 am (5 years ago)

    To a family I have never met, your story has touched my soul. As parents we don’t think of ourselves, only the precious gifts God entrusted us with, our children. You have truly walked to the ends on the earth for your darling child and I am sure will continue to. I am praying for knowledge for the physicians, comfort and peace and healing for your daughter and for a financial miracle for you. Trusting in the Lord is not always easy, especially when we are faced with situations like yours, so many questions and the answers can’t come fast enough, but God has a way of showing up when we least expect it. God bless you and your family. Remember you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens YOU.

  18. Janice Coatsworth
    February 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm (5 years ago)

    It is not a surprise to me that the decision to revoke the benefits this family so badly needs, after all Heinz is owned by an American corporation, where the buck is where it all stops. No hearts and flowers stories can change the decision once made according to their policy. Just like they are closing the entire plant and because they are offering a few measly weeks of pay we should think they are being so good to a community that they are gutting to the core. So even if Mr Andre had stayed employed by Heinz he would have been looking for a job shortly anyway.
    I pray for this family, that this little girl can rally and survive the treatment to cure her cancer, for the parents, that they find the strength to find solace and strength in each other, and to the other children, may they not feel lost and lonely during this ordeal. And to the people who made the decision that started the whole mess, may you find a way to sleep at night, and I pray that nothing like this ever happens to someone you love.

  19. Connie
    February 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm (5 years ago)

    Please God you have the power to heal Aubri, please wrap your loving arms around her and heal her… Please be with her Dad and Mom and give them everything they need to get thru this. Please be with her siblings in everyway they need God please be with them all! In Jesus name Amen….

  20. Mikey C.
    February 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm (5 years ago)

    Phil & Lisa, while I don’t know you personally, you are fellow brother/sister in Christ & through that we are connected. I’m so sorry to read of what you & sweet Aubri are going through; your whole family is in my prayers & I’m reminded of Psalm 25 that says my Hope is in You, show me Your ways, guide me in truth for all my days, my Hope is on You! I pray those words bring light & hope to a dark situation!!

  21. Tammy
    February 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm (5 years ago)

    I am so saddened to read this whole article, sorry for little Aubri that has to deal with these kind of trials, wow, she is a trooper, sorry also for the parents to be separated (I am sure neither of them wanted this, but they did want to keep their daughter ALIVE)
    I am so sorry that a local company like Heinz (well local until June of 2014) could do this to one of their own, shame on them, you need to reinstate their benefits, give Phil all that he is entitled to and someone or everyone that reads this needs to contact Ellen.
    My prayers are with all of you.

  22. Name*
    February 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Praying for your family, is there a fund set up to help the family? I would love to help in any way.

  23. Laura
    February 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm (5 years ago)

    I may not know you or your family, but I have been reading about your story and it is terrible what had happened. May you find some peace in knowing that you are in my families thoughts and prayers. Stay strong 🙂

  24. Christie
    February 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm (5 years ago)

    I pray for you and your family everyday. You are a brave and courageous woman. God Bless!!

  25. Danielle
    February 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm (5 years ago)

    Beautifully written Amy! Aubri was in Allie’s class and we pray for them every night. I hope that others will do so too!

  26. ana
    February 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm (5 years ago)

    I don’t know you but I will pray that your family is filled with peace even though you are taking on this challenge with work and moving.


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