Here’s the Good News and the Bad News

Good morning, prayer-warrior friends! I feel like all I do anymore is ask you for prayer, and we can’t thank you enough for faithfully answering that call! This week, as we traveled to Dallas, as we sat in the Neurology clinic, anxiously awaiting news of LeRoy’s latest MRI, we could literally sense your prayers. Grateful. That’s a small word, but we are sending it out to you with enormous depth.

You’ve traveled this journey with us since August, and we’re blown away by your faithfulness to intercede for us.

First of all, we have to tell you—God remains faithful. He is at work. When I say we have some “bad” news, really, as a believer, no news is “bad” because we know that all we experience is directed under His sovereign care. We are in His hands—and that is the safest and best of all places, no matter what. Through all of this, we are seeing tangible evidence of Him doing the unexpected to spread His glory. And that’s all that matters.

On Wednesday, the neurology team gave us both good news and the “bad” news (their terminology).

First, the good news: The aggressive steroid treatment they’ve had LeRoy on for six weeks has significantly reduced the size of his spinal cord lesions. We praise the Lord for that! Dr. “G” took us on a tour of his MRI and even our untrained eyes could see how the lesions have shrunk! They no longer light up the entire length of his thoracic spinal cord, but just a sliver remains. But that leads me to share with you the “bad” news.

The bad news: The lesions that remain in the spinal cord are in an area that cause significant pain. The sensory fibers embedded in his muscles in that area are not functioning properly; they are sending nerve signals to the muscles to tighten, when they are already pulled too tightly.

Dr. G threw out some big words (that I asked him to spell) as he tried to explain why LeRoy is experiencing such excruciating pain. One of those words was: pro·pri·o·cep·tion (prō’prē-ō-sep’shŭn). (Warning: this part of my post is a bit technical and you may want to skip this next sentence.) Proprioception is a sense or perception, usually at a subconscious level, of the movements and position of the body and especially its limbs, independent of vision; this sense is gained primarily from input from sensory nerve terminals in muscles and tendons (muscle spindles).

But, LeRoy has lost this perception.

The problem is, LeRoy’s sensory nerves are confused and out of control! This is what’s causing his excruciating pain. His sensory nerves keep sending signals to his muscles to tighten, when actually they don’t need to tighten. His sense of where his foot is, or even his ability to feel his left leg and foot in motion, is gone—preventing him from being able to walk without some crutch-like device and special “sensory” inserts in his shoes.

Another piece of bad news is that spinal nerve damage is permanent. The damage he has throughout the nervous system can be repaired, but if the spinal cord is damaged that is permanent. They can’t tell yet if that’s the case with LeRoy’s injury, and the neurologist said he is hopeful the steroids will reduce the remaining lesion, but he can’t tell yet if that area will have permanent damage.

Here’s the Treatment Plan:

They are doing another round of the high powered steroids to see if that last spinal lesion can be reduced. But this much steroids is hard on the body; steroids are not something that can be taken long term. They are also adding some different meds to try to help with pain and sleep. We are both sleep deprived and that affects the body’s ability to recover and heal. (It also makes me a bit brain-wonky!)

So, that is a big prayer request: that the steroid treatment LeRoy is doing this month will remove that last lesion that is causing such pain and he will be able to sleep at night.

We return to Dallas the first week in December for another MRI. The plan is to put him on a new immunosuppressant drug at that time (Remicaide) that has to be administered at the hospital through IV. It costs thousands of dollars for every injection, so we are applying for financial aid for that medication.

That is another prayer request: that God would give favor with the financial assistance for this medical treatment.

The doctor believes this is Neurosarcoidosis rather than NMO (which is one thing specifically we were praying for!). Remember when I asked you to pray for that back in September?

Back then I let you know that they haven’t started the immunosuppressant drugs yet because they’re still trying to determine whether this is actually NMO or Neurosarcoidosis. If it is the second disease, the prognosis is much better, but we know that every cell of LeRoy’s body is in the Father’s hands—no matter the diagnosis.

The good news (if Dr. G is right and this is Neurosarcoidosis) is that this autoimmune disease often goes into remission after three or four years, if the meds keep it under control during that time.

Big prayer request: That the treatment (or the merciful hand of God) will send this disease into complete remission—soon!

We asked about whether LeRoy will need to get on disability and the doctor’s response was: “I believe your body will respond well to this treatment, and after a period of rest and recovery, you should be able to return to your work as a pastor.”

THAT made me want to jump up and do a happy dance in his office, but I refrained. He doesn’t know me that well, yet.

Thank you, thank you, for your prayers. It still looks like a long road ahead, but we left Dallas hopeful that the treatment will bring recovery and eventually pain relief. Thank you for continuing to uphold us in prayer and walk this faith journey with us.

This passage has been a recurring one to bring encouragement through this journey. Perhaps you need to be reminded of this today, too?

[box]Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).[/box]

We prayed for a diagnosis and a treatment plan—and God answered. Thank you for praying with us!!


  • Annette

    Comtinuing to pray for the needs you have shared! Thank you for your faithfulness to share! God Bless you both!

  • Cathy

    Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have been following & praying & I’m so glad that there’s a glimmer of hope medically (there always is spiritually since we serve the God of the impossible).May you both be strengthened both physically & spiritually as God is glorified in both of you

  • Heidemarie Richter

    Thanks for keeping us updated! I`m praying for you as often as the Lord reminds me. I live in Germany and I´m blessed by the courage, steadfast faith and honesty God has given you.
    Thanks for your encouragement and the example you both are to many of us. I´m looking forward to listening to LeRoy´s latest sermon, I downloaded it to my smartphone.
    May Jesus continue to bless you with this spirit of gratitude and trust.

  • Jennifer Cate

    In Romans, PAUL reminds us of God’s faithfulness to Abraham
    and Sarah when their bodies were all but dead, yet
    he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise
    of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave Glory
    to God being fully persuaded that God had power to do
    what He had promised. Praying this and specifically for
    Financial assistance as well as remission of this disease
    Lifting you up in prayer! Love you both,

  • Terri

    Praising our Father, the Jehovah Rapha with you.
    Lord You alone are our Great Physician, You alone are our Comforter and Friend. Thank you for being in our midst and carrying our friends in your hands through this ailment. Help Leroy and Kimberly get the rest they so need. Give them Your perfect peace and restoration. Sending love and prayers.

  • Leanne

    Praising God for all He has done and all He will continue to do in your lives! As always, thank you for your transparency and for your faithfulness!! May the Lord continue to answer all of these requests and allow LeRoy to go into a permanent remission from this!! You are a blessing and encouragement! Love you!! Leanne
    Zephaniah 3:17
    ” The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
    he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
    he will exult over you with loud singing.”

  • Gail

    Praying still, that you remain in the center of God’s Will for your lives, which you are! Praying for the pain, for healing, for Good rest for you both. Your love for each other is a blessing to all, and your faithfulness to God is the Beat example we could have! Thankful with you for each answered prayer! We appreciate the updates so we can pray over your requests, but even when we don’t know them, God does! Go ahead and have your happy dance! We praise Jesus with you both! Love sent your way from Ohio! God bless you, as you certainly Bless Him with your lives of surrender! ♥

  • Debbie

    Praising God for His touch upon Leroy and Praying God’s continued healing to get the last of the lesion. Praying this new meds will reduce the pain and the two of you will get much needed rest.

  • Rebecca Einwechter

    Thank you for the updates Kim. Sending my love to you both, and prayers for mighty miracles of healing, wisdom, hope, and also much needed rest. Thank you for your faithfulness through this fiery trial. Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

  • Rebekah Beene

    Praying that the God of Miracles, our Lord, will do what only He can do. And that the recompense of reward will be so great for you both that the enemy will be permanently stunted and the call of Christ will exponentially increase! Healing, restoration, unprecedented outcomes and more.

  • Sheila Bair

    Dear Kimberly, thank you for the details.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for answering the prayers for diagnosis and treatment. With LeRoy and Kimberly, we ask that “the treatment (or Your merciful hand) will send this disease into complete remission—soon!”

    “Merciful”… Merciful One, please have mercy on LeRoy’s body to heal and relieve pain. We know it’s possible that this suffering is a tool in Your “merciful hand” to bring healing and eternal hope to others You love but don’t know how to find their way to You. Even now in the suffering, please give them a glimpse of the “greater good” that You are bringing about as they keep submitting themselves to Your plan. Oh Lord, please have mercy!

  • N. Lang

    Thank you Lord! I’m smiling and praising God in my classroom right now. The students are out today. I’m so happy for a diagnosis and a treatment. Continuing in prayer for complete healing and/or remission. Glory to HIS name! God did it!

  • Robbin Dunkum

    As I was reading your post the sun from the window begin to shine. This verse came to me.. ☀️The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. Numbers 6:24 ☀️Sending prayers and love daily. Robbin Dunkum

  • Laurie

    Thank you so much for being faithful to keep us updated. I will most certainly be lifting the requests you shared up to the Lord. Praying God will give you His strength and grace as you continue to walk with Him through this difficult time. To God be the glory forever and ever!

  • Linda and Jerry Suit

    We are continuing to pray for complete healing and strength to both of you during this journey. Love to you both

  • Priscilla

    Will continue prayers for LeRoy. I praise God for His glory revealed through your difficult journey. Our God is a good, good Father.

  • James M. Johnson

    Kimberly and Leroy, my wife Renee is a member of the BSF in Kennesaw, GA, and someone mentioned the new challenge that you’ve found yourself faced with. I am James and fairly active on Facebook. Renee gave me your name, Kimberly, which I searched and saw your mention of LeRoy, knowing that you are the couple the member of BSF had been talking about. I’ve had NMO for about 17 years and would be glad to try to help you keep it between the ditches. The best way for us to connect is for you to send me a Friend Request and I’ll answer. Be safe, James

  • Donna

    Kimberly and LeRoy,
    I am praying that the steroid treatment LeRoy is doing will remove that last lesion that is causing such pain and he will be able to sleep at night. I am praying you both get the rest you need and for complete healing.


  • Dixie Armatis

    Dear Mrs. Wagner,
    I just wanted to thank you for the amazing book that you gave me and for praying with me that day. You and your husband are always in my prayers. More blessings to you and your family.
    Dixie A.

  • Thom (Tony) Sooer

    Kim (& Leroy) Greetings from Minnesota. For years I have tried to track y’all down and see how things were going after you left Indiana. Through the years I’d hear little details some encouraging, some not so much. Then as I was skimming Focus in the Family magazine I see y’all are part of an upcoming broadcast. It elated me to know that you were still in ministry still well and still Leroy and Kim.

    You guys might remember me as part of Central Baptist, but you may not know how you changed my life. Leroy challenging me has made my life better. For that I am thankful. I know your time in Richmond may have been a tough time for you guys but many lessons Leroy taught I still remember.

    It’s funny I watched several YouTube videos with you guys and it’s amazing the things you talked about I saw as a 16 year old but being a kid I had no way of knowing if it was “normal” or not, especially with my family background.

    So 31 almost 32 years later I am still a believer still grateful for your obedience and if it was for no other reason I am so thankful y’all moved to Indiana and a energetic preacher was willing to ask me when I was going to make Jesus my savior.

    I read what you had to say about Leroy’s health issues and I will pray for him with the intensity that I know he prayed for me.

    Thom (Tony) Soper

  • Sammy Tippit

    Hello Kim, I just learned of Leroy’s condition and I am so sorry to hear this, Tex and I will definitely be praying for you and Leroy. Please tell Leroy that we love him.

    Our grandson was on Remicade for a while for a different issue.