Woman, Mother, Walking Miracle
December is often considered a wondrous and magical time of year. When miracles happen. With this in mind, I share with you the heartwarming story of Ali Cobb in Woman, Mother, Walking Miracle.
Having been through a couple of bouts with cancer, Ali’s latest battle would test the faith of even the strongest. However, through it all, Ali remained steadfast in her devotion to God and His plan. Sharing a beautiful story of hope coupled with the power of prayer.
Additionally, it’s not a coincidence our featured walking miracle started a business centered around the beauty and wonder of Christmas. Wonder & Whimsy Design is Ali’s Christmas decorating business. Providing a platform to share her love of Christmas, the beauty this time of year brings, as well as a season of hopefulness.
I hope you find Ali’s inspirational story a restoration of your own faith. Furthermore, an opportunity to delight in miracles and the magic of Christmas.
Ali grew up in Carmel, IN.
My parents were a big influence on me. Mom was a Valedictorian at Ohio State and furthered her education at Harvard, eventually retiring from Eli Lilly after a wonderful 30-year career. She humbly and quietly promoted women and racial diversity during her career, specifically to positions of influence. My father was the owner/operator of Fulk Equipment Company. Both of my parents were and continue to be dedicated to mission work with the Christian Missionary Fellowship.
Additionally, Ali is no stranger to putting in work. In fact, working for their dad, she and her brother did install jobs for Fulk Equipment Company growing up.
I drove a forklift, could run a bandsaw, jigsaw, and cut steel. The only thing Dad wouldn’t let me do was the welding!
Ali attended Ball State University, while her high school sweetheart and now husband, Scott, attended DePauw. Her degree in elementary education got underway and she and Scott began their family.
First came their twin girls, Kennedy and Kirsten, in April of 2003. Then in August of 2004, son Brady. It should be noted, that’s… 3 kids under the age of 2!
Ali’s first cancer diagnosis came in 2007. Specifically, stage two melanoma requiring several facial surgeries to rebuild areas of her face removed due to the cancer.
Fortunately, Ali recovered and went into remission. While the journey was a difficult one with young kids and multiple surgeries, Ali admits it was nothing compared to the recent fight.
An avid tennis player and runner, Ali felt an intense shortness of breath on the treadmill in December of 2018.
When I started to feel bad, I really can’t explain it, but I just had this knowing it was melanoma again. Call it my inner voice or even God. Whereas I was shocked when they said stage 4, I was not when they told me cancer had returned.
A chest X-ray revealed a shadow in her right lung. Additionally extremely fatigued, she had a 101-103 degree fever every day for two months. Ali describes feeling lethargic and out of it for those couple months.
Eventually, she was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma and the cancer spread to her lungs and liver.
STRENGTH THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT
Disheartened by the diagnosis while simultaneously feeling out of sorts from the continuous fever, Ali began aggressive life-saving treatments.
After my diagnosis, the kids (all in high school at this point) had to grow in so many ways. We have really tried to raise all three of them to stand up on their own two feet. To know they are not perfect and shouldn’t expect themselves to be. Even so, know their strengths and know when they need to concede. Because of my sickness, we were able to see them put these life lessons to use much earlier than we’d ever imagined. They each absolutely rose to the occasion in their own way.
Ali leaned into her faith as well.
95% of my strength came through the Holy Spirit. I would pray sometimes – just get me through this one day, this one hour, this one test, this 20 minutes of throwing up on the bathroom floor – We all had to depend on our faith. In general, I had no idea what the healing journey would entail and that’s a blessing. If you know, there’s likely no way you would walk through it.
With the stage 4 diagnosis, cancer spots in her lung, and the mass in her liver, Ali’s doctors recommended immunotherapy. The immunotherapy eliminated the cancer spots in her lung. In addition, the nest in her liver shrunk from 7 inches long/3 inches wide down to 3 inches long/2 inches wide.
After this was achieved, it was time for surgery.
The goal of the surgery was to remove the nest in her liver. However, there was great risk given the potential for bleeding and other complications with the location and attachment to the liver.
The night before surgery, our family and friends gathered. In a powerful laying of hands, everyone prayed for healing and for the surgeons. As I reflect, it was in this moment I know God healed me.
Ali underwent surgery the next morning in June of 2020. After the surgery, she met with the pathologist, oncologist, and liver doctors.
They were all astonished.
Each of them looked at me and were in shock. Despite the difficulty of the surgery, the cancer was completely gone. Each stating they had no idea why or how. While they were saying they couldn’t explain it, I knew exactly what had happened. I had this overwhelming sense the cancer had been lifted from my body over prayer in the prior evening.
Additionally, Ali shared her love and appreciation of the doctors throughout the process.
While I put my healing ultimately on God, none of it would have been possible without the work of my team of doctors. I had to walk the path with my doctors to get to where I am.
WALKING MIRACLE LESSONS
In awe of Ali’s story and the way in which she shared it, I asked how being a walking miracle changes life perspective.
We live in a society of plan, plan, plan. Then achieve, achieve, achieve. Going through cancer gave me an incredible gift of perspective. On one hand, there is what society deems important. Conversely, there is what you and the Lord find as your purpose.
Ali also talked about the outpouring of love from friends and their community. This love being not only for her, but also Scott and the kids as well. In fact, she thought…
I need to love better and do better after this!
Friends sitting with her on the bathroom floor, sick after treatments, while others cared for her children as their own. The Cobb family is truly grateful for the wonderful support they received and continue to see.
Without a doubt, love given through not only word, but also action. One evening I told Scott – I didn’t know this many people liked us! (Said through laughter!)
The biggest blessings to Ali are being alive as well as the deepened faith by their entire family.
WONDER & WHIMSY DESIGN
2021 has been Ali’s year.
I feel more normal again. Particularly like I have the mental and physical capacity to take on more. Even make decisions where before I felt too much in a fog to do so.
Subsequently, feeling mentally and physically better along with the desire to do something for herself, Ali launched her business, Wonder & Whimsy Design.
I absolutely love Christmas. Armed with the encouragement of those closest to me and feeling the desire to do something for myself, I decided to start a business centered around decorating Christmas trees and mantels. Previously, I’d done some decorating for friends and a few events on the side. Ultimately, I want to share my love of Christmas and the beauty of it with others.
Check out @wonder.and.whimsydesign on Instagram.
Furthermore, get signed up for 2022 soon. This walking miracle already has a wait list!
SUMMARY- WALKING MIRACLE
Ali and her family are faithful servants of God, gaining strength through the Holy Spirit even in difficult times.
There were times I couldn’t find the words. I would get in the trap of thinking, “why me?” In those moments, I turned to gospel and Christian worship music. Memorizing the music, in particular, and reciting the words became a great comfort.
The chorus to Raise a Hallelujah being one of her favorites:
I’m gonna SING, in the middle of the STORM
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, HOPE will arise
Death is the defeated, the King is ALIVE!
As you walk into this holiday season, let Ali’s inspiring story of hope be a gentle reminder of the miracle of Christmas and this wonderful time of year.
Thank you, Ali and the entire Cobb family for sharing your story with The Mom Huddle!
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
– Lyrics from Need You Now by Plumb
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